When it comes to stormwater testing, not all test plugs types are equal. There are plenty of risks with several of them. Some can cause injury. Others are highly labour-intensive.

The 2 main methods for stormwater testing are the air test and the water test. Other ways include smoke testing and the mandrel testing method. A variety of plugs can help to get the job done.

Read on for the lowdown on how test plugs work, specifically the two more traditional testing methods. And, find out why K-Valve has revolutionised the stormwater testing process by mitigating some of the pitfalls involved.

The Importance of Testing

We typically carry out tests to make sure that plumbing systems are free of leaks and are up to standard. This is vital because every section of a plumbing and underground pipe system plays an important role. Together they ensure the running water and overall system are in good working order.

In newly installed systems, the testing procedure serves to ensure a completed project complies with certain regulations. You may have to perform a test before an official inspection and then again in the presence of a specialist officer.

Pipe Balloon Type Testing

You might see regular inflatable pipe plugs labelled with a variety of names. These range from plug stoppers to pipe balloons and from flow blockers to pipe bungs. Pipe balloon plugs get used for a number of purposes. These include:

  • To stop the flow of the fluids to block pipes
  • To test new pipelines
  • For the maintenance and repair of the existing pipelines
  • For testing some non-pressurised gravity lines such as sewer and drainage lines

Inflatable pipe plugs can come in a wide range of sizes, for example from 35 mm to 3600 mm in diameter. Many pipe balloons are for standard pressure use. However, there are special products produced for high-pressure and chemical applications depending on the environment and a customer’s needs.

Many models get used to block channels or piping to prevent the flow whether it be water, sewage, or drain water.

Sewer plugs can slide and get damaged because of a decrease in friction force, an increase in back pressure or temperature fluctuations. Some kits will include holding hooks and an inflation connection but not always a bypass connection.

Experience shows that a key disadvantage of inflatable test plugs can be that they are labour-intensive. The entire testing process uses up even more time should there be a leak.

With inflatable test balls, there is no way to just let a little of the water out when fixing the issue. It’s highly probable you’d need to completely drain the pipes. You’d then need to start all over again. There is also a risk of injury should the plug or bag not deflate properly.

Issues can often crop up when those carrying out the test try to remove the test plug.

Fingers and hands can become trapped. If the person involved gets seriously hurt there can be a hugely detrimental impact not only on the project itself but also on future work commitments.

Testing with Steel Drain Test Plugs

These kinds of test plugs have a design that makes them durable and able to hold tight during the testing process. They also come in a variety of shapes and sizes so that they can fit any kind of pipe.

Sometimes pipes can’t withstand the pressure applied during the testing process. It is far better to find this out before a building or the home becomes occupied. Putting right any problems that crop up during a test tends to be more cost-effective and can lead to less damage.

It’s not uncommon to see a whole array of steel test plugs with wingnuts in a specialist plumber’s bag of tools. Although these test plugs are common, they can create safety issues.

For example, when the seals wear out over time, it’s quite easy to drop them into the pipe. Again, as with the balloon-type testing plug, the temptation can be to fish them out and cause yourself an injury.

And, if the wingnuts become damaged, the plug will leak rendering it ineffective. There’s also the indeed expense of having to keep a variety of different-sized plugs.

Why K-Valve Is the Solution

K-Valve is a revolutionary solution to some of the problems of traditional testing techniques. It offers these key benefits that other types of valves cannot match:

  • It’s very easy to use and reduces the risk of injury
  • It controls the flow of water with one simple quarter-turn relief valve
  • It saves valuable time and also makes savings in the quantity of water used

An extra feature of the test plug is the pneumatic functionality. This creates real water-saving opportunities.

No More Plugs Down the Drain!

A key issue with testing the systems of older properties is the number of times repairs to pipework have taken place over time. It’s highly probable that a number of tradespeople have untaken repairs at one time or another.

Each will have had their own way of getting the job done. The consequence can be a maze of pipework that differs dramatically from how it looked when the property was first built.

Testing may not have always been a top priority meaning that different plumbers may not have taken it into consideration. The result of that can be difficulty in getting into the nooks and crannies where it is essential to conduct the test.

Should a balloon-type test ball deflate once testing is over, it may sometimes become sucked down the pipework. K-Valve does away with the chance of this happening and reduces the risk of injury as result.

With K-Valve, there’s no need for an array of extra tools or different-sized valves as there are in other traditional testing techniques. K-Valve makes the whole testing process less laborious, more efficient and less time-consuming.

Plumbers and Distributors: We Want to Hear From You!

Whether you’re a tradesperson or a plumbing distributor, we want to you take advantage of the benefits the award-winning K-Valve has to offer. It offers a cost-effective and highly efficient way to carry out stormwater testing.

We understand how test plugs work and have come up with a simple solution to the many issues traditional testing techniques can cause. Get in touch with K-Valve today to find out how you can get your hands on this revolutionary game-changing product.