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Thread: Testing Drain Waste Vent

  1. #1
    DIY Member techinstructor's Avatar
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    Question Testing Drain Waste Vent

    We are installing a PVC drain waste vent system in our new home. Our state's building code requires that we water test the system with a minimum of 3' of head above the highest fitting. Please review our plan for testing this and let me know if there are any errors in my method.

    After installing all the pipes (drain and vent) we'll cap all the exposed ends except for the vent pipe where it exists the roof. We have a clean-out, on the outside of the house (which is created by the installation of a 4"x4"x4" combo wye in the line). We plan to insert an inflatable test balloon into the line, via this cleanout. Now, we haven't purchased this test balloon but I was thinking about this one: http://webstore.petersenresources.co...emCode=130004M.

    I assume that one can fill this balloon once it's in place via an air hose. My question is about deflating the balloon when the test is done in order to release the water so that it can flow on down the line to the septic tank. Since I've never used or seen one of these test balloons, I'd appreciate any advice that can be offered here. The instructions with the balloon say to release the back pressure before deflating it, but I don't see any way to do that.

    Thank you in advance for your advice.

  2. #2
    Nuclear Engineer nukeman's Avatar
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    You may need the long style test balloon to reach down the cleanout and into the main line. Basically, you inflate the balloon to 25psi or so and fill your system up. There is a metal ring attached to the balloon, so the balloon won't wash away if it deflates/slips. Once the test is done, slowly release the air from the balloon and it will let the water flow past and into the septic. You may have some water splash out of the cleanout when the air is released.

    You are a bit lucky that you only need to test with 3' of head as many places require 10' of head.

    I do have a long 4", a regular 4", and a 2" balloon from my test (only used once). If the PMs would work on here, we could arrange something (4" regular or 4" long). I don't need them anymore, so they might as well go to someone who can.

  3. #3
    Master Plumber Redwood's Avatar
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    Consider using a Cherne Clean Seal in this application.



    Last edited by Redwood; 10-21-2010 at 11:56 AM.

  4. #4
    Master Plumber-Gas Fitter shacko's Avatar
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    ...I assume that one can fill this balloon once it's in place via an air hose....

    Thats right, and when the test is done you can deflate the ball from the end of the hose.

  5. #5
    DIY Member techinstructor's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by nukeman View Post
    You may need the long style test balloon to reach down the cleanout and into the main line. Basically, you inflate the balloon to 25psi or so and fill your system up. There is a metal ring attached to the balloon, so the balloon won't wash away if it deflates/slips. Once the test is done, slowly release the air from the balloon and it will let the water flow past and into the septic. You may have some water splash out of the cleanout when the air is released.

    You are a bit lucky that you only need to test with 3' of head as many places require 10' of head.

    I do have a long 4", a regular 4", and a 2" balloon from my test (only used once). If the PMs would work on here, we could arrange something (4" regular or 4" long). I don't need them anymore, so they might as well go to someone who can.
    The code actually did require 10' of head but then it included this exception:
    Exception: Rough plumbing testing for one and two family dwellings shall be as specified above except the water level shall be a minimum of 3 feet above the highest drainage fitting.
    I am definitely interested in getting the long 4" inflatable plug. I tried to PM you but I'm not sure if you got it. In the event you didn't get it, you can email me at techinstructor07@gmail.com.

    Thanks

  6. #6
    Nuclear Engineer nukeman's Avatar
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    Email sent.

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