Setting a Shower's Flood Test

The single most important step in your shower build. How to set the test like a pro.

  1. johnfrwhipple

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

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    The single most important step in a shower renovation is the flood test. Only after this test is done do you have the piece of mind and knowledge of how well your shower was built.

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    Above is a variation on my tipped coin technique. With a 1" scratch in this 12"x12" Slate Tile I tipped the slate so the water lined up exactly on the mark. The two tile in the shower on the floor help hold the tile still and keep it from sliding.

    The process is simple and can be done one of many different ways. I think any technique that breaks the surface tension on the water is the way to go.

    Lets look at all the possibilities and make sure you set your test right.


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    Above you see a simple 1.5" inflatable test plug. These work with an extension hose and bike pump. You can also use a plug that looks like this.

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    The yellow thing is an extension hose for the inflatable test plugs. Lying on it is a 2" inflatable test plug. At the top left a blue and orange twist and set plug.

    All work. Getting the right plug is the key first step.

    Many showers have different installation set ups. Regardless of the shower type or drain type testing the waterproof connection is so key.

    This week I will be flood testing a solid stone shower base. This is very much like any fiberglass shower base and these showers like custom showers should be checked.

    The discussion and materials needed to complete a successful flood test are continued here.



    Different Types of Shower Test Plugs

    Below a closer look at 2" inflatable and 1.5" test plugs. Both Inflatable and twist and set shown
    Last edited: Aug 8, 2014
  2. johnfrwhipple

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

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    1.5" Inflatable Test Plugs

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    Last edited: Jul 13, 2014
  3. johnfrwhipple

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

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    1.5" Twist and set Test Plugs

    [​IMG]
  4. johnfrwhipple

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

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    2" Inflatable test plugs

    [​IMG]
  5. johnfrwhipple

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

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    2" Twist and Set Plug

    [​IMG]
  6. RedShoecounterbalance

    RedShoecounterbalance Stay away from ladders

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  7. johnfrwhipple

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

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    A brand new 2" Inflatable shown above with a 3' extension hose. I don't recognize the valve end on the hose. What type of pump do you use to inflate that up Counter?
  8. RedShoecounterbalance

    RedShoecounterbalance Stay away from ladders

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    The valve end is a deflation tip/cap!!! I use my compressor @40psi. Then i use a gauge to verify..... I have 2 bike pumps neither will inflate this??? This is the only plug i can get down the quick drains ... Ill be flooding. Proline this week....
    johnfrwhipple likes this.
  9. johnfrwhipple

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

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    It's a good plug for that drain. Works for the side outlet as well.
  10. johnfrwhipple

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

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    [​IMG]
    Flood Test - August 2014
    Masset, B.C.

    Marking Method: Tipped Tile with scratch
    Pass/Fail: Pass
    Waterproofing System: NobleSeal CIS - Ardex 8+9 hybrid

    After a flood test the water should drain and the weep holes should be working well. Check this. Proper slope for a shower's waterproofing is 1/4" per foot.​
  11. johnfrwhipple

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

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    NobleSeal CIS Shower Flood Test
    August 2014

    Test Plug Type: 2" Inflatable test Plug
    Duration: 72 hours
    Evaporation Control: Yes
    Waterproofing: NobleSeal CIS
    Drain: ACO
    Shower Design: Barrier Free



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  12. johnfrwhipple

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

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    [​IMG]

    Typically if you saw this after a shower flood test your heart would stop. But this was not from the shower's flood test but rather from a missing connection from the master bedrooms exterior deck and the waste line. Water can do so much damage to a home. This is why a flood test is so badly needed.

    I rigged up a water diverter out of some metal flashing to reroute the water outside the bedroom window. I'm glad it's not my bad and that I could help out in the mean time.
  13. johnfrwhipple

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

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    Questions on Flood Test: - Water test success?

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    "I've just completed a 8-hour water test of my 4' x 5' shower and found no leaks (hurray!). Liner used is two pieces of Oatey shower pan liner that was seamed with the appropriate PVC/liner x-15 adhesive. Seams were cured for over 24 hours before water test.

    The caulk I used under the liner at the drain was DAP Alex Fast Dry acrylic latex + silicone (see:http://www.dap.com/product_details.a...=10&SubcatID=3). A little bit of caulk squished out of the bolt holes when I set the drain flange on top but weep holes were not compromised. Caulk was cured for 72 hours before water test.

    When I completed the water test and drained everything, I noted that the caulk at the one bolt hole appeared "wet" and slurry-like and the same slurry-like caulk had smushed into three of the weep holes. That said, I did not have any failures at the drain site (I have access to beneath the drain from a closet on the first floor). So I'm wondering... am I safe? Do I need to take the drain flange off, scrape off the caulk and redo it with 100% silicone (is that even possible?)? Am I ok as is or did I use the completely wrong product to caulk with and water will eventually make that point a failure?...."

    - Weenie from Dallastown, PA


    This is a past shower flood test but a failed approach. The chalk used will break down over time and then fail. Much better to make that connection from the shower liner to the drain with something like NobleSealant 150.

    More Info on NobleSealant 150

    To see how I do this process check out this blog post of mine here: http://no-curb.blogspot.ca/2014/08/hooking-up-acos-pvc-clamping-drain.html

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    Above you can see my use of NobleSealant 150 under the liner and above the base portion of the clamping drain. I like to use plastic as a bond breaker as well. Read my blog post for more info. You only get one chance to make this connection perfect.
    Last edited: Aug 22, 2014
  14. jadnashua

    jadnashua Retired Defense Industry Engineer xxx

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    FWIW, at least in the USA, the all rubber connector with the hose clamps is not allowed above ground, and would not pass code in the USA as used in one of John's drain connection. Canada may allow it, but the banded coupling is required in the USA for good reasons when above ground.
  15. RedShoecounterbalance

    RedShoecounterbalance Stay away from ladders

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    Mission band is the term....No hub not allowed in MN.. they .....look the damn same but they are not.

    pretty sure johns flood tests are inspected as is the plumbing, so just to clarify here for people reading and myself really.........you are trying to point out what exaclty ?
  16. jadnashua

    jadnashua Retired Defense Industry Engineer xxx

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    While what is shown might be legal in Canada (I do not know), it is not in the USA, and a lot of people on here are from the USA. So, to keep a USA reader from running into problems, used a banded connector when it is above ground in the USA.

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