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Andy21 10-20-2011 11:32 PM

What is the standard method of water pressure test for shower plumbing please?
 
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I hired a plumber for my standing shower enclosure. After the rough in, he just let the water run for couple of buckets. Later, I did this again and detected a leak at the connection of cold water inlet and the cartridge. He came to fixed it. But I became cautious and asked for a 2 hour water pressure test, which I leant by asking some contractor friend.
The plumber came over and put a cap on the shower head hose. Then I turned on the valves and also the cartridge handle to let the whole plumbing full of water. Right away, the leaks were detected at both A – the connection on the top of vertical plumbing and B- the bottom of the vertical plumbing. Spot A had lot of water coming out, while spot B had a slow drop. I shut the valves right away.
The plumber came and fixed the spot A easily, but he refused to check spot B. He said:’ I should have never turn the handle on and let the vertical section of plumbing full of water pressure while it was capped, since in the real life, the water always comes out from the shower head so less pressure. And the material was only made for 80 Psi… All I need to test is only between the valves and the cartridge.
He did not warn me not to turn on the water from the cartridge handle above, and I thought the cap was made for hold the water from the top. He said the cap was only for prevent water from come out if someone touch the handle by accident. And he asked extra $100 for this visit.
My question is: Do I need the entire plumbing system to be tested with the shower head capped, or like what the plumber said to only test the horizontal section between the main valves and the cartridge? What is the standard rule to the plumber?
The plumbing will be hidden inside the wall, so I want a peace of mind before tiling.
Thanks very much in advance.

TheEplumber 10-20-2011 11:56 PM

I typically cap all water outlets and test at 100 psi with air.
this is not always possible when adding to or repairing existing work. Then I test with water at normal pressure. all lines are still capped.
What brand of valve do you have and why would you pay your plumber to fix his own leak?
Consider this- If you install a hand held shower spray equipped with a on/off valve then I suspect the shower riser would develop full pressure- your plumbers argument does not fly.

Alan 10-21-2011 12:12 AM

Is his first name Jerry by chance? :whistling2:

He's half right. For now, your installation may not become fully pressurized. If you ask him to make that connection water tight he should.


Besides, I don't really see why someone would change their method of installation from the hot/cold inlets to the shower outlet.

Doesn't really make any sense to me. If an inspector saw that leaking, he would red tag it.


To answer your questions : Yes, that section should hold pressure. No, you shouldn't have to pay him another 100 dollars. Hope you haven't paid him for the initial install yet.

AlbacoreShuffle 10-21-2011 05:53 PM

Your "Plumber" is a fool !
I always test my work under operating pressure.
I screw a 3" nipple and cap into the shower arm connection and turn the water on, and open the shower valve to get pressure up to the nipple.
The last thing I want is a leak behind a tile wall.
If this was my house, Id have the work inspected by a city plumbing inspector.

ben's plumbing 10-22-2011 08:21 PM

all plumbing piping should be pressure tested for leaks either water or air .... and if it is contracted by a plumber it should be warranted for no leaks ...here in pa we stand behind our work for one year......only pay once......

Andy21 10-23-2011 11:59 AM

Thanks so much everyone for your helps!! The answer is firm, clear and detail.
I would also like to ask if there is a code to the plumbing jobs, especially for the shower pressure test? So I can print him a hard copy of the mandatory standard.

Ishmael 10-23-2011 03:50 PM

That guy is no plumber.

Here in MA, we have to pressurize all the domestic water lines to 125psi for 15 minutes to check for leaks on new plumbing.

TheEplumber 10-23-2011 03:52 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Andy21 (Post 754796)
Thanks so much everyone for your helps!! The answer is firm, clear and detail.
I would also like to ask if there is a code to the plumbing jobs, especially for the shower pressure test? So I can print him a hard copy of the mandatory standard.

Since you just reconfigured or added to existing pipes I would use the existing water pressure.
Remove air from the lines, fill with water and let stand for 24 hrs. Be sure T/S outlets are capped and valve is open

ben's plumbing 10-23-2011 06:54 PM

on repairs its up to the plumber to make sure his work is not leaking....on new work it must be pressure tested to at least 100psi and inspected this is code.

Andy21 10-28-2011 01:01 AM

Any glue can be applied around the connection outside the pipe?
 
It is very hard to talk to my plumber, a super difficult person with a very bad attitude. I think a contractor should be able to figure out if the customer is fuzzy for final payment, or is truely worrying about the quality. But anyways,two leaking spots had been detacted so far and I do not trust him.
I wonder if there is a type of glue I can apply around the joints just for extra protection although from outside of the pipe. Does anyone know such a product available?
Thanks!!

Ishmael 10-28-2011 04:06 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Andy21 (Post 758472)
It is very hard to talk to my plumber, a super difficult person with a very bad attitude. I think a contractor should be able to figure out if the customer is fuzzy for final payment, or is truely worrying about the quality. But anyways,two leaking spots had been detacted so far and I do not trust him.
I wonder if there is a type of glue I can apply around the joints just for extra protection although from outside of the pipe. Does anyone know such a product available?
Thanks!!


There's nothing like that that's worth using. How does the completed work look? Is everything neat and clean? Or are the pipes covered with a sort of gooey greasy film (way too much flux)? Do the newly soldered joints look clean, or are they sort of blackened with gobs of solder hanging from them? The completed soldered joint(s) should look exactly the same as a dry-fitted (not yet soldered) joint, but with a nice, satisfying little silver band where pipe meets fitting (but doesn't obscure the definition between pipe and fitting). Heaps of dried solder all over the outside of a joint doesn't mean any of it got up inside the joint where it belongs.


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