For a rookie plumber, being tasked with testing the plumbing system of a new building can be daunting, especially if the development is complex. There is a lot you have to consider, and that makes it easy for rookie plumbers to make mistakes when using test plugs. As such, rookie plumbers must familiarise themselves with test plug mistakes. This provides insight into common test plug application mistakes. Read on.
Ignoring Site Preparation — When testing the plumbing system of a new building, the first thing you must do as a rookie plumber is clear out the testing site. Any grease or dirt present in the piping can compromise the quality of the test. For instance, if there is grease inside the pipe and you are using an inflatable testing plug, the test plug will keep sliding inside the pipe and affect the readings. Similarly, dirt and other debris inside the pipes can be trapped between the test plug's seal and the plate, thereby providing space for trapped air to escape. Therefore, wipe clean every site inside a plumbing system where you will use the test plug. If you start with a clean installation point, you can rest assured of accurate test readings.
Plug All Branches — When pressure-testing the plumbing of a complex building, do not start the process without understanding the schematics of the plumbing system. It gives you an idea of the number and location of branches that are connected to the pipe you are planning to install. It will help you to plug all the branches to stop pressurised air or water from escaping, thereby ensuring accuracy during testing. The last thing you want is to conclude that there is a leak when in the real sense the problem stems from an unplugged branch. In a complex plumbing system, you need to plug several pipe branches depending on the different installation sites for the test plug.
Tighten Wing Nut — Standard test plugs feature a wing nut, which is used to tighten the grip of the device to the inside walls of a pipe. Unfortunately, most rookie plumbers do not tighten the wing nut enough, and this provides an avenue for air or water to escape and render the test useless. Therefore, once you push the test plug in place inside the pipe, ensure that you turn the wing nut until you cannot turn it anymore. If possible, use a pair of pliers to tighten the wing nut and the seal cap further. That is the only way you will make sure that the air or water stays inside the pipes throughout the entire test process.
Reach out to pipe test equipment suppliers to learn more.