High Pressure Laboratory

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Troubleshooting System Leaks

Isolate the system as much as possible (i.e., shutting V19 isolates over half of the potential sources)

Use the sniffer to locate the leak (not effective if system pressurized with air or nitrogen). Check the three connections which you made first, around the head of the pressure vessel and the 2 ends of the U-shaped connector.

Note that for connectors/valves with a hole in the side, this port is where the leakage will be apparent (not around the threads of the connector).

Snoop or a mild soap solution also may aid in locating the leak.

Tighten the connection, BUT DO NOT USE EXCESSIVE FORCE. Over torquing could result in catastrophic failure of the component. If in doubt, vent the system first.

Valves leaking by the seat may be identified by:

  • Using the sniffer on the low pressure side
  • Increasing pressure on the low pressure side
  • Using additional valve/plug to isolate the system.


University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
High Pressure Laboratory
School of Chemical Sciences
Roger Adams Lab Penthouse
600 S. Mathews Avenue
Urbana, IL  61801
Dr. William A. Boulanger
Faculty Advisor
wboulang [at] illinois [dot] edu
217-621-4023 (cell)
217-359-1626
Webmaster
scs-webmaster [at] illinois [dot] edu