Pipe TEST Forensic Analysis | SageWater

Pipe TEST Forensic Analysis

For Apartment Building Owners and Condominium Boards

SageWater Pipe TEST Forensic Analysis

For Apartment Building Owners and Condominium Boards

Get an inside look at your pipes for objective data that helps with budget planning. A SageWater Pipe TEST (Technical Evaluation of System Threats) is a forensic study diagnosing problems in a piping system and providing a report on its condition.

The Pipe TEST helps answer questions like:

  • Is repiping necessary?
  • Do you have to repipe right now?
  • Do you have to replace all your pipes at once?

What Makes the SageWater Pipe TEST Different?

Our Pipe TEST doesn’t just offer you data. It puts forensic analysis into context. This includes recommended action items based on the results, like whether a repipe is necessary, how soon, and estimates for what it will cost.

The forensics tell you the source of your problems, then our engineers give you options for what to do next.

Pipe TEST Forensic Analysis
Source: SageWater
Get a look inside your pipes with a SageWater Pipe TEST.

The Benefits of a Pipe TEST


Learn if a community-wide piping system renovation is necessary, and if it’s necessary right now.


Make informed decisions about when to schedule a piping renovation project amidst competing capital improvement priorities.


If the study indicates that a piping system must be replaced, obtain an estimate of how much to reserve.


  • For apartment owners: During acquisition due diligence, use a Pipe TEST when the age of an asset and/or high energy and maintenance costs indicate that a plumbing or mechanical system should be inspected. If the data show that a system needs to be replaced, you can use the findings to negotiate a fair price in addition to budget planning.
  • For condo and co-op boards of directors: Reserve studies report on conditions that your reservists can observe. But most of your plumbing and mechanical systems are out of sight—behind walls, ceilings, and floors. When you begin to experience recurring leaks and other problems with your aging systems, and you see increasing operations and maintenance costs, get a Pipe TEST. The results can be very helpful in communicating with homeowners who may be skeptical about the need to replace a system based on the schedule you set. The data and analysis in the report will help show that you are making informed decisions and establishing an appropriate sense of urgency (including the ability to wait).

What You Get with a SageWater Pipe TEST Forensic Analysis

The Pipe Technical Evaluation of System Threats (TEST) is a comprehensive offering that includes:

  • Piping System Inspection. The techniques depend on the piping system and materials. (See below for more information.)
  • Performed by certified and trained professionals and reviewed by a professional engineer.
  • Rapid Results. We complete most onsite inspections in just a few days and deliver full forensic analyses and insight in 3 – 4 weeks.
  • Tailored recommendations, estimates, and timelines delivered with the forensic report. You’ll learn the true condition of your pipes, how much longer they’ll last, and what it will cost to replace them. Based on the results and our recommendations, you can make informed decisions and establish an appropriate sense of urgency (or the ability to wait).

Pipe TEST Techniques: A Deeper Dive

The techniques used will depend on your system, piping material, and other factors. Examples include:

Camera your drain lines to find clogs, cracks, and sags.

Ultrasonically test for pipe wall deterioration.

Send samples for lab analysis to identify the reasons your pipe failed.

Test water quality, temperature, and flow to determine the cause of leaks.

Examples of Techniques and Findings

A photo comparing the thickness of two different pipe walls, with a healthy DWV drainpipe measuring at 0.170 inches and one that is thinning and needs to be replaced measuring 0.057 inches.
This forensic analysis compares the pipe wall thickness of a healthy DWV drainpipe (top) with one that is thinning and needs to be replaced (bottom).
A photo of a pin-hole in a copper piping system, visible with a digital microscope, which demonstrates that the interior corrosion has propagated to the exterior, producing leaks.
A digital microscope shows a pin-hole in a copper piping system. The interior corrosion has propagated to the exterior, producing leaks.
An image of the inside of a pipe. A robotic “rover” camera, one type that can be used in camera-based pipe inspections.
With camera-based testing, technicians will conduct a CCTV pipe inspection of your DWV piping system.
Camera-based pipe inspections
A technician prepares a camera for pipeline inspection.
Source: Milwaukee Tool
A close-up view of the exterior surface condition of a pipe, along with an ultrasonic report that includes data on its condition, indicating excessive corrosion and earning it the designation of “Severe.”
Ultrasonic testing works by precisely measuring how long it takes for a sound pulse to travel through a specific section of pipe wall. This provides key information about the thickness of pipes, which can point toward issues like corrosion or constriction.
A photo of leaking plastic tubing. A SEM image indicating where the leak propagated.
For pipe sampling, sections of pipe are removed from the system and sent to a lab for analysis, allowing for a more detailed inspection. Here, examination of failed plastic tubing shows that the fracture was due to a manufacturing defect.

Contact us to learn more:

Get a Free Consultation

Is a Pipe TEST right for your community?

Get a free consultation. We’ll help you determine if a Pipe TEST forensic analysis is right for your community.

Learn about the Top Benefits of Forensic Piping Tests from our blog post.

Pipe TEST Case Studies

Read how the Bonaventure Condominiums in Dallas used a Pipe TEST to understand the source of frequent waste leaks and explore solutions, including identifying priorities for a phased replacement process if needed.

See how a Pipe TEST helped Seattle’s Tower 801 Apartments identify that their kitchen stacks were in critical condition and establish a budget for an eventual system-wide pipe replacement.