What Is Hydrostatic Testing And Do You Need This Test?

Real Estate Agent with United Real Estate TX #0552717

Hydrostatic Testing: You may have heard that this can damage pipes and cause huge repair bills. But not all homes need this testing done, and if it is done, it should be performed by a licensed plumber. Buyers need the permission of the sellers for this testing in Texas (TREC form 48-0).Poly Vinyl Chloride (PVC)

The purpose of a hydrostatic test is to check for leaks in pressure vessels like pipelines, plumbing, gas cylinders, boilers, and fuel tanks.

The typical home inspector is prohibited from doing sewer, water, and gas tests. A home buyer may be looking for a sewer or water LEAK test, but PRESSURE is not pumped into the pipe system. For this test, a plumber performs a fill-and-hold test by running an inflatable ball into a pipe simulating stoppage. Then, the system is filled with water, taking up to 30 minutes to fill. With the water shut off at the main, the system is kept under surveillance for another 20-30 minutes to determine if the water level drops.

If damage does occur as a result of the test, it's usually not caused by pressure, but by the WEIGHT of the water in the filled pipes. The type of pipe material used influences the chances of damage. 


Material in Yard

Material In House

Potential Issues



Cast iron

Pipe unions, collapse, tree roots


Cast iron

Cast iron

Rust, deterioration




Grade of PVC used, measured in years

Watch Fred Buck, licensed Texas inspector and master plumber, explain hydrostatic testing.

Where does the name hydrostatic testing come from? The "hydro" refers to potable water and "static" refers to sanitary or sewer.

So do you need this test on a home you're considering purchasing? Talk it over with your agent and make an informed decision!

Posted by

Lorrie Semler, REALTOR
United Real Estate Dallas

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Comments (5)

Kristin Johnston - REALTOR®
RE/MAX Platinum - Waukesha, WI
Giving Back With Each Home Sold!

Great information.  Thanks for sharing and enjoy  your day!

Oct 10, 2021 07:49 AM
Michael Jacobs
Pasadena, CA
Los Angeles Pasadena 818.516.4393

Hello Lorrie - I don't recall previously being aware of this test but I am aware that a real estate transaction can always test our knowledge.  Not just of the transaction but all of the different components involved on the way to closing.  

Oct 10, 2021 08:18 AM
John Pusa
Berkshire Hathaway Home Services Crest - Glendale, CA
Your All Time Realtor With Exceptional Service

Hello Lorrie Semler, REALTOR® in the Dallas area. Call/text 972-416-3417 very good report about the need for Hydrostatic testing.

Oct 10, 2021 09:43 AM
Nina Hollander, Broker
Coldwell Banker Realty - Charlotte, NC
Your Greater Charlotte Realtor

Hello Lorrie... this is something new to me. I've never heard of this test nor have I ever had anyone recommend or ask for it.

Oct 10, 2021 01:45 PM
Kathy Streib
Cypress, TX
Home Stager/Redesign

Hi Lorrie- I too am not familiar with this test!!!! 

Oct 10, 2021 04:43 PM