A new device to leak test piping joints is described. The test is done external to the unpressurized pipe while the joints are easily accessible. Typically it would be done before burial of the pipe and completion of the entire system. It is adaptable to metal or plastic piping systems and a variety of joint types. The device was tested on butt fusion welds in polyethylene piping, a type of pipe commonly used in the distribution systems of natural gas utilities. Test results show that the device is as reliable as a standard soap bubble test, or a pressure test, both of which require the system to be hermetically sealed and pressurized. A trained mechanic can do this test in the field in about 20 minutes.

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