Testing pipes for airtight integrity is vital for plumbing contractors. Notably, house inspectors do not commission a new structure whose utility piping system does not meet laid-down council standards. As such, pipe testing is mandatory for both safety and compliance reasons. That said, test plugs come in a variety of brands, and that means different features and capabilities. As a plumber, it is critical to be careful when choosing a test plug because the efficiency and integrity of piping tests ride on your selection of test plug. This article highlights critical features you should look out for in a test plug.
Central Bypass Port
Most test plugs come as a standalone product, meaning that usage is restricted to pipes of a certain length. If a plumber wants to test longer tubes, then they have to purchase test plugs explicitly designed for longer pipes. While there is nothing wrong with this approach, you still have to carry out tests on varying lengths of pipework to conduct an entire inspection. It eats into your toolbox space and can be a nuisance if you do not have a car. Test plugs that are designed with a central bypass port allow you to transform two test plugs into one. You connect a hose in both ports which enables you to fill or vent a pipe. With the ingenious feature, you no longer have to carry around bulky equipment.
Male Hose Thread
Traditionally, an operator removed the test plug before allowing water or air to flow through once a pipe test was complete. It was time-consuming, especially if you are supposed to test lots of pipes. Notably, an efficient test plug has a one-piece base and stem design to ensure a tight seal. The best part about such a test plug is that the design incorporates a male hose thread on the stem section which you can easily cut off and connect via a valve. It allows you to charge or drain the system as you remove the test plug, thereby saving time.
When looking for a test plug, you want one that is self-energising. In traditional or less-efficient test plugs, the lock and sealing features are separate. Therefore, an operator first has to ensure that the seal is airtight before locking the test plug in place. The downside with such test plugs is that you have to be extra careful with examining the integrity of the seal. The model can lead you to second guess your actions and waste precious time. However, a self-energising test plug uses differential pressure to lock and seal the equipment simultaneously, consequently ensuring a fail-safe operation.
For more information, reach out to a company such as GSS Hire.