Water retention testing determines the ability of mortars and plasters to retain water under suction. The test results determine compliance and specifications. The results obtained from the test method do no necessarily indicate the degree of water retention when used with masonry units. The amount of water absorbed by the unit depends on the rate of absorption of the masonry unit. The water retention apparatus works in specification tests of masonry cement and physical testing of quicklime and hydrated lime. The unit incorporates a vacuum regulator and gauge system as opposed to using a mercury manometer and relief column. The bleeding rate apparatus determines the rate and bleeding capacity of cement paste and mortar by direct and continuous procedure.