Look in any plumber’s box of tools and you’re likely to find an assortment of test plugs. They’ve traditionally been an essential part of the testing process sealing up the pipes and then creating pressure inside the system.

Plumbers may need to ensure that the piping system on a newly built office block is in working order. Or, they may be searching for a leak in old rural property. Whatever the job, they’ll need a test plug for this potentially dangerous work.

Find out how the revolutionary K-Valve completes the circle by reducing the risk of injury and saving contractors valuable time.

Reduce Your Costs!

For years now, test plugs have come in a variety of shapes, sizes and prices. K-Valve offers a safer, more cost-effective and one-size-fits-all solution.

Competitively priced, it’s available in UPVC 100mm standard and expansion form. K-Valve reduces the need to carry around a never-ending number of test plugs, many of which you might either lose or never use.

Help! Another Test Plug Lost

One of the difficulties of testing the systems of older homes or offices relates directly to the amount of pipework carried out over a number of years.

It’s highly likely that a string of plumbers long enough to create more than a few rugby teams may have carried out repairs in the past.

Over time, they’ll have fiddled about and tampered with the plumbing system. The result can be a labyrinth of pipework that’s virtually unrecognisable if compared to how it looked when the building was under construction.

Hazardous Accessibility

It’s quite possible that future testing may not have been high on the agenda of a plumber who knew they were unlikely to ever return. This creates issues. It can be extremely difficult to get to the places necessary to carry out a test.

For example, once a traditional test ball deflates after the completion of a test, it can occasionally get sucked down the pipework. This increases the risk of both injury and loss of these types of test plugs.

They can get pushed down the pipe by the force of the moving water during a hydrostatic test, for example. That puts plumbers in danger of getting their fingers sucked into the pipe when in an awkward position too due to the force of water.

Have You Seen the Time?

Some testing plugs like inflatable balls make the whole testing process laborious, inefficient and unnecessarily time-consuming. A plumber will also need specific tools when using them.

These can range from air pumps and compressors to thread sealants. All of these cost money and are a drain on well-earned cash.

Traditional types of testing plugs are typically non-repairable should they fail or develop a leak. Most plumbers and contractors will also tell you that an inflatable ball, for example, will only last for up to around 5 uses.

Inflatable Test Balls Are Inefficient

Manufacturers have often been keen to emphasise the design of the ring and chain assembly of a testing ball. They’ll say it helps to prevent the plug from getting drawn into plumbing systems during tests.

However, there are drawbacks. Used correctly they may get the job done but inflatable test balls are not the most efficient testing method, nor are they the safest.

The whole testing process gets even more time-consuming whenever a leak crops up. With inflatable test balls, there is no mechanism to only let some of the water out when fixing the issue. It’s highly likely you’d have to fully drain the pipes and begin again.

Even when there are few problems encountered, testing multiple floors with the plumbing test ball method translates into constant draining and refilling of pipes. It wastes time, water and money.

Safety First

One of the most serious disadvantages of the traditional plumbing ball testing method is that it can put contractors and plumbers in danger of serious injury.

Should the ball tear, contractors are going to get wet. When deflated once the testing process is over, there’s the risk of water spraying out at the test port location. All this can mitigate the chances of a slip-and-fall accident, especially in the colder winter months.

Electrical Dangers and Flying Debris

There’s also an increased danger of electrocution should a spray of water come into contact with power cables on site. And, given that test balls are highly sensitive to inflation pressures, it’s not unheard of for them to over-inflate and fracture. That can cause pieces of metal to break off surrounding pipework and injure the plumber or contractor.

Plumbing test balls tend to fail at times during the placement, inflation and removal of the device. That can happen as a result of ageing equipment, human error or faulty gauges. This all creates unnecessary risk.

If there’s a rupture in a multistorey building, for example, and water spills onto the floor, it can leak down to other floors causing serious damage and potentially leading to mould issues in the future.

Hidden Testing Dangers

Without the right test plug, there’s an increased chance of plumbers coming into contact with polluted water. That can lead to serious illness and subsequent time off, ultimately costing valuable time and money.

In pneumatic test settings, the pressure exerted can be so great as to cause injury when there’s a problem. It’s enough to send fittings, gauges, valves and tools flying if the wrong or faulty testing equipment gets used.

Common injuries range from eye problems to broken bones and even mild brain trauma. Gases can also escape leading to asphyxiation for those working in cramped conditions.

Make K-Valve Your New Bestie

K-Valve mitigates all the risks associated with traditional testing methods. Easy to install, it’s an award-winning product that’s set to revolutionise the entire testing process involved in the pipework of all types of buildings.

Don’t take our word for it, try it for yourself or, if you’re a plumbing distributor, make sure you have it in stock. K-Valve is going to save time and money, as well as reduce the chances of injury to plumbers and their customers in all test settings.