Do I need to pressure test my drains/vents?

Users who are viewing this thread

hhcibtpaun

Member
Messages
151
Reaction score
4
Points
18
Location
Pennsylvania
Hey Everyone,

Had a question about pressure testing my drains/vents. In another thread I have been going through the replacement of all my plumbing. In general, its a 1 bathroom house with the following fixtures:

Toilet, Lav, Tub/Shower, Kitchen Sink, Laundry Sink, Washer

This is my little homeowner project and I had no plans to do a pressure test, but maybe I don't have confidence in a connection or two, so I figured maybe I would test. The last time I remember doing a pressure test was for some basement plumbing in a different house. That was easy because it was a small bathroom, that I could easily control blocking off everything for the test.

With my current situation I am trying to figure out how to block everything off. Basically, I would be testing the whole system at once. After reading through a few threads it seems like maybe a water test is better than air. If I did the water test, I assume I would use the vent pipe in my attic and start filling the water from there?

My concerns would be the 3 trap connections (sanitary tee) I would have to block up, then how do I block things from draining out to the sewer, if everything is buttoned up. Do I use a balloon or something?

Or do I just not do it and run the water after I get my water lines sorted out and look for leaks?

TIA...Mike
 

Jeff H Young

In the Trades
Messages
8,572
Reaction score
2,097
Points
113
Location
92346
if you block off the main and fill tub up to top youll get a pretty good test the lav will have water except the tee and the toilet line will have water . not what inspectors want but the vents wont have water. I do little jobs adding a sink line or moving a toilet dont always test . we are supposed to though
 

hhcibtpaun

Member
Messages
151
Reaction score
4
Points
18
Location
Pennsylvania
Thanks Jeff.

Do I want to get water in the vents to test them too?

I am thinking maybe I just do things in sections. Basically the sections that will be closed in. If I have an issue with something that is exposed I could always deal with it later.

If I did decide to do the whole system at once, it is a two story house, so the "head" (I think that is what it is) would be like over 20 feet and in the basement I have a Fernco donut connecting my 2" PVC into the cast iron fitting that leaves the house. Not sure how much pressure that fernco can handle, or if it is just enough to keep the sewer gasses from getting through.

Mike
 

John Gayewski

In the Trades
Messages
4,277
Reaction score
1,303
Points
113
Location
Iowa
We very rarely test dwv systems. At most we just dump some water and look for drips. I like to do this as it's going to tell you of there's a leak and there's not much effort involved.

Don't test with air. At most a vacuum test would be ok.
 

hhcibtpaun

Member
Messages
151
Reaction score
4
Points
18
Location
Pennsylvania
Thanks John. I think I will end up somewhere between dumping water and looking for drips, and maybe selectively plug up a section or two of a drain or vent to test where I may have a questionable joint. It is kind of a pain, since there is no water turned on in the house (a future pex project :)).

Thanks...Mike
 

Jeff H Young

In the Trades
Messages
8,572
Reaction score
2,097
Points
113
Location
92346
Basicaly if you are doing complete bathroom or a total rebuild of a house its not uncommon to test in my area. if no permit do what you like, but I might test it especialy if its not exposed like a basement or if its enclosed in drywall over living space
 

hhcibtpaun

Member
Messages
151
Reaction score
4
Points
18
Location
Pennsylvania
I might test it especialy if its not exposed like a basement or if its enclosed in drywall over living space

Thanks Jeff.

Yeah, I am trying to figure out how to test in sections. I have ordered the little pump up plug to block up the 4" drain out of the house. I will do the bathroom plumbing that will be closed up in the ceiling of my kitchen, the kitchen plumbing that will be behind drywall....and probably my basement plumbing, just to check my Fernco donut.

If I break it into sections it seems like an easier task. To do everything at once could be cumbersome, since I would have to plug alot more openings if I was filling water from my attic.

Thanks...Mike
 

Jeff H Young

In the Trades
Messages
8,572
Reaction score
2,097
Points
113
Location
92346
OI fill it from the lav arm with a 1 1/2slip x 3/4 inch fip bushing with a hose bib screwed on and a hose x hose adapter. no need going up on roof
 

hhcibtpaun

Member
Messages
151
Reaction score
4
Points
18
Location
Pennsylvania
So, I tested a few sections and generally speaking I am pleased so far. I had a leak at the tub drain, but i never puttied that in, I was more concerned with the pipes. My next test will be with the drain properly sealed.

I had an issue in my basement. The first test I did I missed blocking up the main drain (4") and where a 2" pipe came in. When I had no pressure everything worked fine. Today I was able to block it up, but it leaked at the Fernco donut I have connecting my CI to PVC.

Do I lose sleep over this? This is the drain for my washer and laundry sink. Laundry sink will see very little use. Without blocking the drain I get no leaks. If it ever is a problem it is accessible. I just don't want to go fixing something that is not really broke.


donut2.jpg


Thanks....Mike
 

hhcibtpaun

Member
Messages
151
Reaction score
4
Points
18
Location
Pennsylvania
Pull it apart and re-lube it
Thanks john and Jeff.

Any special lube? I have seen black swan sealant mentioned here. I guess I just need to figure out where to cut the plumbing to make the fix....I think before I just used plumbers grease, but sparingly.

So more grease or the black swan or similar sealant?

Thanks...Mike
 

John Gayewski

In the Trades
Messages
4,277
Reaction score
1,303
Points
113
Location
Iowa
I've not used black swan for this type of seal, but I would think it would work fine.
Thanks john and Jeff.

Any special lube? I have seen black swan sealant mentioned here. I guess I just need to figure out where to cut the plumbing to make the fix....I think before I just used plumbers grease, but sparingly.

So more grease or the black swan or similar sealant?

Thanks...Mike
 

hhcibtpaun

Member
Messages
151
Reaction score
4
Points
18
Location
Pennsylvania
so, I ordered the Black Swan no hub sealant and it looks like it does not work with PVC. So, I plan to use in on the hub of the CI that I will push my Fernco Donut into. I also have a shielded coupling I am using to connect pvc to CI. I will use it on the CI side of the connection.

Should I put any type of sealant or grease at the PVC/shielded coupling joint, or where I place the PVC into the Fernco donut? Or is the PVC smooth enough that I do not need to worry about it?

Thanks...Mike
 
Last edited:

John Gayewski

In the Trades
Messages
4,277
Reaction score
1,303
Points
113
Location
Iowa
so, I ordered the Black Swan no hub sealant and it looks liek it does not work with PVC. So, I plan to use in on the hub of the CI that I will push my Fernco Donut into. I also have a shielded coupling I am using to connect pvc to CI. I will use it on the CI side of the connection.

Should I put any type of sealant or grease at the PVC/shielded coupling joint, or where I place the PVC into the Fernco donut? Or is the PVC smooth enough that I do not need to worry about it?

Thanks...Mike
Nothing on the pvc maybe some elephant jizz
 

Reach4

Well-Known Member
Messages
38,641
Reaction score
4,368
Points
113
Location
IL
Should I put any type of sealant or grease at the PVC/shielded coupling joint, or where I place the PVC into the Fernco donut? Or is the PVC smooth enough that I do not need to worry about it?
Liquid dishwashing detergent, or a strong solution of concentrated liquid dishwashing detergent, serves as a lubricant during install. It then washes away or dries up, and turns into not-a-lubricant. You don't want something that remains a lubricant on the donut.
 
Top
Hey, wait a minute.

This is awkward, but...

It looks like you're using an ad blocker. We get it, but (1) terrylove.com can't live without ads, and (2) ad blockers can cause issues with videos and comments. If you'd like to support the site, please allow ads.

If any particular ad is your REASON for blocking ads, please let us know. We might be able to do something about it. Thanks.
I've Disabled AdBlock    No Thanks