Plug for testing the pan liner in the shower base??

Discussion in 'Shower & Bathtub Forum & Blog' started by Designie, Oct 12, 2010.

  1. Designie

    Designie New Member

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    Now that I have the shower pans built and have the PVC liner and the 3 piece drains in place, how do you get down to the pipe to put in the plug? I noticed every place has pretty much the same expanding rubber plug with the wing nut on it. Problem is, they don't fit down past the threads in the 3 piece drain.

    So if they are selling a million of these Sioux Chief drains from Home Depot, how are they plugging them to do the water leak test? :mad:
  2. jadnashua

    jadnashua Retired Defense Industry Engineer xxx

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    A plumbing supply house would have an inflatable, reusable plug designed for this, but some people just use a rubber balloon. The trick is to blow it up then tie the neck off while standing on your head! A long one makes it easier. It has to extend far enough to block the weep holes.
  3. jadziedzic

    jadziedzic Member

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  4. Jerome2877

    Jerome2877 In the Trades

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  5. johnfrwhipple

    johnfrwhipple Bathroom Design & Build - North Vancouver, B.C.

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    Serious - OMG
    Last edited: Jun 20, 2014
  6. GCloud

    GCloud New Member

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  7. hj

    hj Moderator & Master Plumber Staff Member

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    quote; How do you measure the evaporation rate?

    WHO CARES? You are looking for leaks from the pan, not loss of water from it, and since you are only testing for a short time evaporation will be a nonissue unless you are in the Sahara Desert.
  8. johnfrwhipple

    johnfrwhipple Bathroom Design & Build - North Vancouver, B.C.

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    Measuring Evaporation durning a flood test of your shower

    Serious - OMG
    Last edited: Jun 20, 2014
  9. hj

    hj Moderator & Master Plumber Staff Member

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    Usually, we test for leaking shower pans by filling them with water and LOOKING for water outside the unit, which is also what the inspector does. As for using a balloon for a test plug, I doubt that anyone could blow one up with the pressure needed to seal it in the drain, especially since a balloon can expand longitudinally as it is inflated so it does NOT have to expand outward against the pipe walls.
  10. jadnashua

    jadnashua Retired Defense Industry Engineer xxx

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    Personally, I don't see a need for a flood test longer than say overnight or maybe 24-hours. A shower doesn't have standing water in it unless your drain clogs, and if you don't see any evidence of a leak in 24-hours, it isn't going to be a problem. In a conventional shower, 24-hours would saturate it and show a leak in the liner, if there was one. In a surface membrane or waterproofing scheme, there's no mortar bed to saturate.
  11. johnfrwhipple

    johnfrwhipple Bathroom Design & Build - North Vancouver, B.C.

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    Last edited: Jun 20, 2014
  12. jadnashua

    jadnashua Retired Defense Industry Engineer xxx

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    A competant inspector at least should NOT pass a shower liner installed flat on the floor. Code requires the waterproof layer to be sloped to the drain...the tile is decorative, it is NOT the waterproof layer. I'm sure it happens every day, but I also agree, it is just NOT RIGHT.

    The natural alkalinity of a mortar shower base tends to inhibit nasty stuff from growing in the saturated mudbed for awhile. But, eventually, body oils, detergents, soaps, and other soluable things that can and will accumulate there if the liner is flat will start to 'fester' Ever walked through a swamp in the dead of summer heat? Your shower WILL start smelling like that if the liner (or surface membrane if using that type) is not properly sloped and is used well and frequently. May take a number of years, but unless only occasionally used, that stuff will accumulate. But, if it is sloped, it eventually drains. This is why is it crucial to keep the weep holes on a conventional clamping drain clear and to have that slope.
  13. jadziedzic

    jadziedzic Member

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    FWIW, the International Plumbing Code requires a 15-minute shower liner flood test (section 312.9). I opted for a 24-hour test on my Kerdi shower.
  14. johnfrwhipple

    johnfrwhipple Bathroom Design & Build - North Vancouver, B.C.

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    Last edited: Jun 20, 2014
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