Homemade Pipe Plug to Test New DWV

Discussion in 'Plumbing Forum, Professional & DIY Advice' started by Spider, Apr 25, 2014.

  1. Spider

    Spider New Member

    Joined:
    Mar 17, 2014
    Location:
    Ohio
    I'm installing a basement bathroom and plan to fill the new piping with water to test. I plan on gluing caps on the drains to be cut off after testing and filling the vent with a hose on the roof.

    I know you can find test ball plugs for as low as $20 some places, but I'm doing this on a pretty tight budget and I hate to drop $20 on something I'll only use once.

    My question is are there other options besides a test ball plug to plug the main drain connection at a cleanout? Anyone ever tried using a tire inner tube to plug the drain? I don't want to use air because then I'd have to plug the drain and the vent, right?
     
  2. Reach4

    Reach4 Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Sep 25, 2013
    Location:
    IL
    I have a friend who used a toy ball with a needle inflation valve to block a 4-inch sewer line. He pumped the ball up with a manual tire pump. Insert the needle to release the pressure.

    I think he maybe put the ball into a thin cloth cylinder to serve as a handle to retain the ball so it did not wash down the sewer when not inflated. I am unclear on that part.
     
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  4. Terry

    Terry Administrator Staff Member

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    Plumber
    Location:
    Bothell, Washington
    [​IMG]

    These come with a chain, and a large metal loop to prevent the entire test-ball from sucking down the pipe when the air is released. I would hate for an inner tube to be sucked down into the piping. I frankly don't know how you could even fit one down. The test balls are long and thin.

    [​IMG]

    And the other one I like to use. There is no chance of this one winding up in the drain.
     
    Last edited: Apr 25, 2014
  5. asktom

    asktom Member

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    Location:
    Victor, MT
    Some rental yards have test plugs.
     
  6. Spider

    Spider New Member

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    Mar 17, 2014
    Location:
    Ohio
    I like the look of that clean-seal. What do those cost? Any idea what a rental place would charge for a test ball plug? If I end up using a toy ball, I'll definitely take pictures and post my results.
     
  7. Terry

    Terry Administrator Staff Member

    Joined:
    Aug 17, 2004
    Occupation:
    Plumber
    Location:
    Bothell, Washington
    About $35.00 for the Cherne clean-seal
    I would worry about a toy ball for plugging that. If it goes down the drain, your problems increase.
    We used to cap the end of the pipe, and then get a washdown when we broke out the cap. That was always fun. :eek:
     
  8. Spider

    Spider New Member

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    Mar 17, 2014
    Location:
    Ohio
    I wouldn't mind a nice shower, if there wasn't already a bunch of junk in the basement. Thanks for the info. I'm thinking i'll stick an inner tube in there with a rope tied around it. Thanks for all the info and stay tuned for results. :)
     
  9. asktom

    asktom Member

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    Nov 9, 2009
    Location:
    Victor, MT
    I think the down side of what could happen doesn't justify the savings and reserve the right to say, "I told you so".
     
  10. Spider

    Spider New Member

    Joined:
    Mar 17, 2014
    Location:
    Ohio
    What could possibly go wrong? ;) If water leaks by it'll just go to the main drain. If it does get loose, the only thing down stream is the main drain line that exits the house.

    Still, after popping an inner tube in a test pipe today I may spring for the plug.
     
  11. Spider

    Spider New Member

    Joined:
    Mar 17, 2014
    Location:
    Ohio
    I ended up springing for a hot dog plug and I'm glad I did really. It was easy to use, which really helped when I had to drain the lines to fix a drip while pressure testing. Thanks for the advice.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Sep 2, 2014
  12. Jeff H Young

    Jeff H Young In the Trades

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    Feb 27, 2020
    Location:
    92346
    Well heres a way if its in a ditch put a glue in cap at the furthest down hillof sewer. then glue on a wye, on the branch put a 4 inch pc of pipe and a jim cap now run your whole system fill with water. after test loosten jim cap let it blow then knock out test cap carefully retrieve. easy as pie . sorry i didnt notice thread is as old as dirt but cant cancel
     
    Last edited: May 24, 2020
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