Tips for Checking for Leaks in an Expansion Joint

There are several reasons why expansion joints can fail, but one that can be a disaster for you and your facility is a leak. These can damage your piping system and your building’s structure and even cause mold growth. Fortunately, you can diagnose the problem earlier by using these tips for checking for leaks in an expansion joint.

Examine the Joint for Damage

One way to check for leaks when troubleshooting expansion joint failure is to examine the joint for cracks or any other damage. But don’t just rely on your eyes when inspecting the joint.

You can use two of your other senses to check it as well. Try to listen carefully to the joint to hear the sounds of anything leaking. You can even sniff the joint to determine if you smell the odor of something escaping.

Look at the Bellows

Examining the bellows is another good tip for checking for leaks in an expansion joint. Look at the bellows, and see if it features an orange top. If that portion of the bellows has popped, you’ve found the source of your leak.

Run Tests on the Bellows

If your bellows doesn’t feature an orange top, don’t feel like you’re out of options. You can run multiple tests on the bellows to continue checking for leaks. These include using a mass spectrometer to see if any helium is on the outside of the joint.

You can even test the bellows by filling it with liquid and pressure. Afterward, you should monitor it closely to see if you can spot any areas where the liquid seems to seep through.

A third method involves using a dye pen so that the joint will take in the dye. During the process, you’ll use a developer to attract the dye, showing the areas where it leaks.

These tips can help you quickly find the leak on your expansion joint. You’ll not only be able to get to the source of the problem quicker but also prevent extreme damage to your property.  

By Dianne Pajo

Dianne Pajo is a writer based out of the Chicagoland area with a passion for music, combat sports, and animals. She enjoys competing in amateur boxing and kickboxing, but in her other leisure time, you can find her performing music around the city. She is also a dog mom of 2.