The K-Valve® is a revolutionary device used in the inspection and testing of sewer and stormwater systems. These vital procedures are legal requirements across all residential, commercial and industrial environments.

A recent interview with Wynnes Patent And Trade Mark Attornies uncovered how innovative plumbing inventor, Glenn Knight, has singlehandedly transformed testing plugs and stormwater testing methods, making them safer and simpler for everyone.

Old-School Stormwater Testing Methods

Typical stormwater testing methods that tradespeople have used for years can be effective but they all have basic efficiency and safety flaws. For example, it can be hard to get some devices to grip within the pipe. It can also be challenging to release others after inspection.

As a result, there’s the potential for health and safety issues that have caused countless injuries over the years. On top of that, when a testing device gets lost down the pipework, it can take plumbers hours to find them and get them out.

In some instances, earthmoving equipment even gets brought in with pipes destroyed during the recovery process. It’s all messy, time-consuming and profoundly inefficient.

Glenn Knight to the Rescue!

Experienced plumber and keen inventor, Glenn Knight, saw the pitfalls and safety concerns that come with plumbing testing and inspection procedures.

He spoke to Wynnes, Australia and New Zealand’s premier, independent patent and trade mark attorney firm: “I’ve known 2 apprentices to break their wrists because they have had to hold the plug while releasing the water in the plumbing system,” Glenn explained. “If that plug goes down and into the ground, it could be anywhere – it could be under a slab.  In one instance, it has taken a group of guys 8 to 9 hours to get that plug out.  No one quotes for that.”

When developing K-Valve®, Glenn’s main aim was to prevent injury and save time. He came up with a unique design that was simple and easy to install. The K-Valve test plug controls the flow of water with a simple quarter-turn relief valve. That mitigates the chance of injuries to the hands, wrists and fingers.

Trialling K-Valve®

To try out its efficiency in terms of safety, time and money, Glenn got three independent plumbers to compare his invention with other common industry devices. “The other devices took around 10 minutes but with K-Valve it was 28 seconds,” Glenn says he discovered-and that was actually a modest calculation that favoured the older devices.

K-Valve® means plumbers can be 100 per cent sure that they’ll never lose another test plug down the drain. And, more importantly, there is no chance of getting their hands caught in a process that’s led to so many broken bones in the past.

An extra feature of K-Valve® is its pneumatic functionality for low-pressure air testing. That creates substantial water-saving opportunities, encouraged by council rules and regulations.

Protecting K-Valve® as an Invention

The K-Valve® device comes in a variety of different materials to match industry needs. Made from PVC, steel or HDPE, plumbers can use it in the trade waste systems of science buildings, supermarkets, sewer systems and even restaurants with grease traps.

Knowing he was on to a winner and, although altruistic by nature, Glenn set about protecting his K-Valve invention. The only people who were aware of it were his parents and uncle.

After conducting considerable research about other products on the market, Glenn sought the help of Wynnes, a group of attorneys who specialise in patents. On the advice of Ewen Wynne, he created prototypes for his invention.

K-Valve Gets its Patent

After a series of trials, Glenn Knight navigated the innovation patent system to seek IP protection. As an innovation patent only has an 8-year life he spent much of his time perfecting a business plan and networking.

Following more research, Ewen then advised Glenn that he’d need to significantly alter his design or create something new. Glenn made modifications to his invention 6 more times to get to what we now know as, K-Valve®.

The Benefits of Patent Protection

The new model has a totally different and improved design compared to the original prototype. As a result, Glenn now has protection for his K-Valve® device in Australia, New Zealand, the USA and the UK.

Dealing with all the costs involved was tough. “Spending the money on something that isn’t tangible, like something that I can hold, was hard for me,” Glenn explained.

But, when pitching his idea to investors, it dawned on him how essential the protection was. “The first thing an investor asked me was if I had the United States covered for IP protection and I happily said yes,” he says.

Onward and Upwards!

Glenn has now begun to successfully sell his product. Being in the plumbing industry meant he could use his connections to build momentum about his K-Valve® device. On top of that, he entered his device in an innovative product launch.

“A mentor of mine at the time showed my product to his contacts and from then on people were calling me and wanting to buy or supply my product to others,” Glenn says.

So far, the K-Valve® device has been a rip-roaring success with first-time buyers who go on to become regular customers with repeat orders. The award-winning K-Valve® is well on its way to becoming the new gold standard test plug for stormwater testing methods.

Going Global

Glenn takes great pleasure in knowing that his product is sorting tricky plumbing issues, reducing the chances of injuries and saving considerable time. Glenn is on the road to getting his product distributed nationally and expanding into the international market.

When asked what advice he would give to others, Glenn replied as quick as a flash, “Don’t tell anyone about your idea. Make sure you are covered. Don’t do it yourself, and be financially prepared.”

Try K-Valve® Today!

K-Valve® is a testing plug that’s the result of years of experience and innovative plumbing. Ideal for stormwater testing, no plumbing stockist should be without it.

If you’re a plumber or plumbing distributor, get in touch with us today. We’d love to talk to you more about how K-Valve® is going to save time and money as well as play a significant part in reducing the risk of plumbing injuries.