AAMA 501.2 vs ASTM E1105 Test In Los AngelesWhen considering that most buildings now-days are constructed to the most stringent building codes and standards available, one may think water intrusion into the buildings envelope impossible. Not exactly. With so many penetrations into the building like fenestration and taking into consideration human error, it becomes more clear that water intrusion into your Los Angeles building is absolutely possible.
Consider the AAMA 501.2 and the ASTM E1105 water intrusion tests. For many water testers, these are two of the most popular tests performed on fenestration (and building) components available.
Of course, the primary differences between these two tests are quite stark. For instance, the 501.2 Los Angeles fenestration test requires a hand held spray wand. In contrast, the E1105 requires a calibrated spray rack apparatus. Other differences include the use of an interior or exterior air chamber in conjunction with the spray rack apparatus with the E1105 test.
Each of these tests are useful in sourcing of water where it enters into the building. Be it a wall or fenestration product such as windows, doors or skylights. Many times, the choice between using the 501.2 or the ASTM E1105 is already made for them. These standardized tests are occasionally written into construction documents. Many times the E1105 is written in the form of a 502
Window intrusion testing in Los Angeles using the AAMA 501.2
The 501.2 storefront test is useful when testing the perimeter and other sealants as well as seals and joints within the window product. 501.2 tests are not to be used on operable doors or windows. Nor is the standard applicable for testing the rating or specific water performance of a product. The 501.2 standard will refer to the AAMA 502 and 503 standards for this.
What makes this test different on its face, is that the test is administered by way of a hand held wand of sorts. As opposed to a calibrated spray rack apparatus. Of course, the wand itself has specific requirements when in use. The nozzle for example is a special nozzel and the rate of spray from the wand, The distance the wand has to be from the specimen is 12″.
While using the spray wand when performing a 501.2 test, water is administered at a specific rate. The spray rate is 30-35 PSI and its never to go under this pressure. That said, the standard does in fact allow a pressure reduction. That is no less than 25 PSI so long as the reason is acceptable to the specifier.
Moreover, the use of the 501.2 here in Los Angeles is reserved for storefront systems. The ASTM 2128 allows us the flexibility to choose between testing standards and apparatus to perform tests. We’ll address in more detail soon.
ASTM E1105Here in Los Angeles the ASTM E1105 water test is the go-to test when performing the standardized tests using an interior (or exterior) air chamber. I’d say for the most part, the biggest difference between these two tests (501.2 and E1105) is the use of an differential air chamber. Unlike the 501 test which utilizes a spray wand to administer water onto the specimen, the E1105 utilizes a calibrated spray rack system to apply a “film” of water over the specimen.
At the same time, an air chamber will provide the pressure difference needed to force water through the assembly. Of course, here in Los Angeles when testing with the rack, it does have its requirements. For instance, the spray rack must spray at a uniform rate. That rate is 5-10 gallons of water per hour, per every square foot of area tested. Special equipment is used to calibrate this flow and is to be done within 6 month intervals annually.
The rate in which air is exhausted from an air chamber is very specific to the window rating or performance grade. Too much pressure and unintended consequences may result. Such as leaking in places which would under normal in-service use, never leak. Furthermore, too little pressure and the product may not be tested at the necessary pressure which may produce no leaking.
Water Intrusion testing in Los Angeles Using the ASTM E1105In most cases the spray application or manner by which the water test is administered is pre chosen for the tester. Which is to say the choice between procedure A and Procedure B is typically stipulated by the specifier before the test begins.
In accordance with section 12.1, Procedure A—Test is a static air pressure test. In other words, water is administered for a constant 15 minutes with no stopping. Contrast this with the procedure B test.
For the B test, water is administered for 5 minutes with a 1 minute break. This cycle is repeated up to 20 minutes in some cases but no less than 15 minutes.
A word about the ASTM 2128In some cases, the choice of tests may need to made by the tester when there is no pre determined standard. A good example of this is the ASTM 2128 Standard Guide for
Evaluating Water Leakage of Building Walls, testing standard. This guide allows a water intrusion testing agency the flexibility. that is, flexibility to choose tests which replicate water intrusion events for their specific condition or application as seen in this quote.
Diagnostic testing methods can be adapted from standard test methods such as E331, E547 and E514, to meet specific objectives for a particular building, and do not necessarily conform in every way to standard test methods. Diagnostic testing can also be adapted from in-service quality assurance testing procedures such as E1105, AAMA 502 and AAMA 503.ASTM 2128
The ASTM 2128 acknowledges the need to use the tools at hand in order to properly source water intrusion issues. There is in many cases, no one single test to achieve this. Water water intrusion specialists here in Los Angeles, the buildings are typically older. Older building possess older systems. In many cases, these systems are by now, deteriorated or degraded to a point of failure. Sometimes, failure within a single system.