What Is The Main Purpose of Smoke Testing?


For commercial building owners one of the most effective ways to check the condition of sewer and drain systems is through something called smoke testing. Where smoke testing excels is in locating problems that cannot normally be identified by any other means short of digging up pipes. Smoke testing is another form of trenchless technology that allows plumbing contractors a way to affordably find problems within a complex sewer and drain system.

How Smoke Testing Works

Pressurized smoke is sent into the sanitary sewer system at a connection closest to the street. The smoke will fill the mainline and any connections to it, escaping from any leaks and coming up through the ground to the air. When this happens it helps to identify the location of a leak in the system. It will also show where there are leaks inside a building if smoke escapes and becomes visible indoors.

What Is The Main Purpose of Smoke Testing?

Smoke testing is used by the professionals at The Northridge Plumber for several reasons. The primary reason is to find where inflow and infiltration in a public section of a sanitary sewer system could potentially develop into problem areas follow heavy rain or snow melts. However, smoke testing is also used to do the following:

  • Locate downspouts, cellar, basement or yard drains or sump pumps in buildings
  • Find intrusion locations where ground water or surface water runs into the sewer
  • Identify cross connection locations between storm drains and sewer lines
  • Locate damaged sewer connections that could result is gas leaks into buildings

Why Would You Use Smoke Testing?

Because escaping sewer gases into public places can result is health issues, smoke testing helps to identify areas where the sewer system needs repair. It is a cost effective, non-intrusive method that can reveal plumbing leaks that cannot be found in any other manner. If you are a commercial building owner, the manager of an apartment block, operate a senior’s facility or any other building with multiple sewer connections, smoke testing is becoming a requirement of local and state governments for locating sewer line leaks.

Smoke Testing Is Harmless

Although it is referred to as ‘smoke’ there is no actual smoke used in this trenchless technology leak identifying process. In fact, the smoke used is a mist which contains a high concentration of atmospheric moisture.

When it is fed into a sewer line at high pressure, the low concentration of the smoke becomes highly visible so that it creates a visual reference of where a leak exists. It is not harmful to humans or pets and will dissipate in a matter of minutes.

Think Your Building Has Hidden Plumbing Leaks?

The Northridge Plumber has crews available to conduct a smoke test on your commercial or residential multi-family dwelling. All you have to do is give them a call to book your appointment. You can also email The Northridge Plumber. To see how trenchless technology can locate plumbing leaks without removing any pipe from your sewer or drain system, call 818-298-1344 today.


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