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Getting ready for air test (rough-in inspection)

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  • Getting ready for air test (rough-in inspection)

    Hey Folks, hoping someone can help out a diy'er with an upcoming air test.

    I am building a new home and did all of the plumbing myself. It has passed visual inspection but I need to get my air pressure test done (no water available at the location). I have a couple of questions that I figure you folks can answer with ease. I want to get through this asap as it is the last step before a tiny bit of insulation and drywall.

    First, should I use those flimsy plastic / rubber test caps on all my fixtures or should I go with a glue on abs cap? I used knock out water closet flanges.

    Second, for the rough-in inspection, am I fine to cap before the tub rough-ins (drain and vent) or do I need to cap the actual rough in part itself? It would be nice to cap before the tub as it is easy to get to.

    Lastly, building a pressure gauge / tool. I have searched around and found some guidance for copper but nothing for abs. Is there not a tool special made just for this purpose? If not, there should be....can anyone point me in the right direction to help pressurize the system? I may have time to swing by the local plumbing wholesaler tomorrow so I will also try asking there.

    Inspector says I need 5 psi for 15 minutes in case anyone was wondering. House is located just outside of Ottawa, Canada.

    Thanks in advance eh!

  • #2
    Re: Getting ready for air test (rough-in inspection)

    It all sounds good to me.Pump-it up.


    • #3
      Re: Getting ready for air test (rough-in inspection)

      If they only want 5 lbs psi then the flimsy caps are fine. They usually want to test everything you have built. So if your tub is installed then Cap the drain and overflow. Those pieces should have come with the waste and over flow kit.
      I have always used Water to test the building drain. So I don't know for sure about pressurizing. They may have a rubber cap with an air fitting at the plumbing supply.


      • #4
        Re: Getting ready for air test (rough-in inspection)

        Do I glue those flimsy things on? Or just slip fit?

        Thanks on the capping, my overflow kit did not come with caps other than the drain plug so I may have to cap before the overflow itself. Thanks folks
        Last edited by harrisb; 02-18-2009, 09:05 PM.


        • #5
          Re: Getting ready for air test (rough-in inspection)

          Those flimsy caps aren't made of ABS. I'm sure they are just polyeythlene, so that ABS cement will just make a big mess.


          • #6
            Re: Getting ready for air test (rough-in inspection)

            Thanks easyE and chemeng, much appreciated. I think I'm going to cut the overflow before my test and just cap it there if I am not able to find a proper cap (those air plugs are like $50 a piece, I would need 4 of them for a one time deal).

            When I figure out the components to build my pressure tool I will post up a write up on what I had to do.

            If anyone has additional thoughts keep em coming, sarcastic and all.


            • #7
              Re: Getting ready for air test (rough-in inspection)

              Make life easy on yourself and get a bunch of "jim caps" and "dollar plugs" ,you can use them on your roof vents and in locations where you discover that you have leaks. If you don't use them you can return em. Be careful to depressurize the system before removing them.


              • #8
                Re: Getting ready for air test (rough-in inspection)

                Glue the caps in or they will leak.


                • #9
                  Re: Getting ready for air test (rough-in inspection)

                  So how did you Do?


                  • #10
                    Re: Getting ready for air test (rough-in inspection)

                    So, I managed to get all of the necessary caps and fittings to build my air tool and prepare for the job at hand. I have not had a chance to do the test yet but here is a picture of the air pressure tool I built. It can be modified to work with either, abs, pex or copper quite easily.

                    The components include from right to left (all purchased at Home Depot):

                    - 1/4" Schrader valve
                    - 1/2" to 1/4" bushing
                    - 1/2" tee
                    - 1/2" to 1/4" bushing to gauge
                    - 0-30 psi gauge
                    The following components depend on what you wish to connect to, I am setup for both copper and ABS.
                    For ABS:
                    - 1/2" nipple
                    - 1.5" to 1/2" dishwasher adapter
                    - 1.5" fernco (not shown)

                    For Copper:
                    - 1/2" threaded to 1/2" copper adapter

                    Obviously this same type of setup could be modified for PEX or a variety of things. I have not yet put it together with teflon tape, I just wanted to give you a look at what I built.

                    Let me know your thoughts, I believe this should work just fine. I think I'm starting to get the hang of building what doesn't exist. Thanks all.

                    Last edited by harrisb; 02-19-2009, 09:21 PM.


                    • #11
                      Re: Getting ready for air test (rough-in inspection)

                      Hey Guys,

                      I forgot one thing while out shopping....what do you folks use to seal the cleanout for the pressure test? In a worst case scenario I could cut the pipe above the cleanout but I imagine there must be something better. Would a balloon be the solution for this? If so, I believe I would need the "long" variety. If anyone can confirm that would be appreciated. Thanks in advance.



                      • #12
                        Re: Getting ready for air test (rough-in inspection)

                        pack the threads of the cleanout with wax from a toilet wax ring. then torque it in.
                        Originally posted by NHMaster3015
                        No, it's not rocket science, it's plumbing and unlike rocket science it requires a license.


                        • #13
                          Re: Getting ready for air test (rough-in inspection)

                          have you considered a hydrolic test?



                          • #14
                            Re: Getting ready for air test (rough-in inspection)

                            Brad,long test balloon is the answer on a floor cleanout with a sweep down in to the line.
                            Push the test balloon halfway in there so it passes the line to block it off.
                            Then when you are done make cool animals for the kiddies!


                            • #15
                              Re: Getting ready for air test (rough-in inspection)

                              First thing , not sure about ABS but PVC is not recommended to be air tested there is an explosion danger ( it's not the P.S.I. but more the volume of air involved if it lets loose) . As far as a plug for a c.o , if it's a c.o tee Cherne makes a test plug just for a c.o. tee it is a c.o. plug with a blow up test ball attached to it . You screw it into the c.o. tee and then inflate it via an exposed schrader valve when you are done with the test you deflate it and any air or water used during the test goes down the waste line , not on the floor or into the room , keeps the building nice and clean and dry if you are required to test with water for a stack test. Any " balloons " that you use make sure you tie them off so they don't go down the waste line if they should accidentally deflate during the test .
                              Last edited by leakfree; 02-20-2009, 09:46 PM.
                              Steve in the trade since 73 doing new residential/Commercial work