AAMA 502-12 New Construction Water Test | Los Angeles
If you take the AAMA 502 Los Angeles Fenestration Testing standard and dissect it, you’ll soon find out that is essentially a how-to standardized testing method. Actually, it’s the go-to standard by which field testing of newly installed fenestration products is performed.
Moreover, the AAMA 502 Los Angeles Fenestration Testing standard is in fact the gold standard of testing for fenestration products. In short, the AAMA 502 test standard is used in the verification of the resistance performances of both air infiltration testing and water penetration testing.
As a matter of fact, the AAMA 502 Los Angeles Fenestration Testing standard is only applicable during construction, prior to occupancy permit. It is not to be used however, for fenestration products here in Los Angeles which were installed more than six months after construction. In the event the fenestration product is in fact older than six months. For this, the testing standard would be the AAMA 511-08.
To summarize the AAMA 502 test
In summary of the AAMA 502; the Testing standard provides a specification which is reproducible and appropriate conditions. As the go-to testing standard for newly installed fenestration products, the test serves two purposes.
- Number one, test the performance of fenestration products for air leakage resistance
- Number two, test for water penetration within a controlled environment
Just so there is no confusion, the AAMA 502 test omits any testing of curtain walls, sloped glazing and storefront systems. Due to this fact, the AAMA 503 is the standard used to perform these tests.
Nor does the AAMA 502 claim to verify structural load resistance.
What about leaks
On the other hand, let’s say there were leaks within the area of the fenestration product tested, but it was not the fenestration product leaking. In this case, the testing standard you would choose would be the AAMA 511-08 or even the ASTM E2128 testing standards.
It’s worth mentioning that any water infiltration or penetration that is not fenestration related is outside the scope of the AAMA 502 Los Angeles Fenestration Testing standard.
Equipment used for performing the AAMA 502 Los Angeles Fenestration Testing standard must meet the ASTM E783 and the ASTM E1105. As for the test chamber, it has to be attached and sealed in a manner which creates differential pressure across the entire specimen. Most individuals may not take into the effects wind, temperatures and rain and have on a test. Make no mistake, it can affect the test negatively.
An effort should be made to limit these factors during testing. If such protections prove impractical or impossible, notes regarding any potentially adverse environmental conditions must appear in the report.
According to the AAMA 502 Los Angeles Fenestration Testing standard. Testing is required to be performed just as soon as possible. Preferably after the fenestration product has been installed. When connecting the test chamber to the wall it should make a tight seal. Hence, the last thing you want after you construct an elaborate chamber is to have it leak unnecessarily.
Keep in mind that special consideration must be taken when applying the test chamber to various surfaces and substrates.
Specimen sampling, Non compliance and leakage issues
The AAMA 502 test is suggested to choose three fenestration specimens as soon after installation has begun. This is only after a representative number of fenestration products have been installed, adjusted, cleaned and sealed.
Furthermore, performing the field test as soon as practical may be beneficial in locating deficiencies within the fenestration product or installation before much of the project has been completed.
In some cases, there are times where specimens fail to conform to the ASTM 502 prescribed testing standards. In which case the installer or manufacturer is allowed an opportunity to perform and on-site investigation as to the cause of the non compliance. These non compliant specimens are to be repaired and re tested.
In some cases, leakage may occur and its source is found to be untraceable. In which case a forensic evaluation should commence. This test should follow the AAMA 511 at the same testing pressures as well as the 502 testing methods, collectively.
AAMA 502 Testing Specimen sampling continued
The specimens selected for testing shall be of a typical installation and installed in accordance with builder specifications. Additionally these specimens cannot possess any damage, irregularities, be ill performing or possess any incomplete punch-list items.
As a testing agency, it’s our responsibility to perform our own pre-test inspection of the fenestration products. Upon inspection of these components, we’re checking for items such as;
- Square, level and plumb
- Proper operation
- Proper drainage
- All surfaces for irregularities
Due to the sequence of events stipulated by the AAMA standard, when both tests, air and water resistance are performed in sequence, the air leakage test should be performed first. But, before that, the operator is suggested to inspect the specimen to ensure that all of the gaskets and weatherstripping is dry.
A/B TestingWhile performing the water resistance test, the specimen is to be tested in a locked position. When following the ASTM E1105 test standard, the operator should consider one of two options for testing.
Either the A ( static air pressure) or B (cyclic static air pressure) difference methods.
Certainly, while testing to the A ( static air pressure) standard, the specimen is subjected to a continuous 15 minute spray or water from a calibrated spray rack.
On the other hand, if the operator chooses the B (cyclic static air pressure) option, the test procedure changes. Instead of a constant 15 minute spray of water, the specimen is subjected to four, five minute cycles of spray with a one minute pause in between cycles. No matter which of the two tests performed, in either case an individual is positioned inside, looking for any leakage.
AAMA 502 Reporting
In conclusion, the final report must specify enough information that test reproduction is feasible.
Finally, a compliance statement confirms that testing conformed with 502-12 and related specification. Therefore, the statement should note any changes to procedure, reason for change, and whether products met stated requirements.
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