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Sheet metal mechanic
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Discussion Starter #1
Instead of forking up the money for a 2" pneumatic drain plug ($20 to $30) which I'll only use once, I heard that an inflated balloon will also do the trick. Any comments out there?
 

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Instead of forking up the money for a 2" pneumatic drain plug ($20 to $30) which I'll only use once, I heard that an inflated balloon will also do the trick. Any comments out there?
Never tried it cuz I have a box full of test gear. Give it a whirl and report back
 
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Look in your kitchen cabinet. There should be a lid large enough to place over it. You can seal with silicone caulk that you can remove with no problem.
 

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Sheet metal mechanic
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Discussion Starter #6
shower pan liner flood test

That's correct. I'm doing a flood test on my shower pan liner. I heard that a balloon (tied to a string) and shoved down into the drain will also work. I really don't want to spend $20 to $30 for a pneumatic test ball plug that I'm only going to use once. Any more thoughts out there?
 

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A balloon type of plug is needed --there is a lower drain/weep holes below the packed deck mud--

So the pipe needs plugging a few inches below the deck mud--
 

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Sheet metal mechanic
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Discussion Starter #8
shower pan liner test

Hey eplumber! I just tried a small balloon for my shower pan liner test. It seems to be holding back the water just fine. I happened to have some old small water balloons and blew one up to about 2.75 inches in diameter (my drain is 2") and worked it down into the drain past the weep holes. I added water tonight and will check it tomorrow after work. Just saved myself $20 to $30 dollars by not buying a test ball plug.:)
 

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Hey eplumber! I just tried a small balloon for my shower pan liner test. It seems to be holding back the water just fine. I happened to have some old small water balloons and blew one up to about 2.75 inches in diameter (my drain is 2") and worked it down into the drain past the weep holes. I added water tonight and will check it tomorrow after work. Just saved myself $20 to $30 dollars by not buying a test ball plug.:)
Let's hope it holds.:)
I had a good chuckle at your balloon idea. I pictured a DIY'er on his knees with his lips to the drain huffing on a balloon :laughing:
But hey, for $20......
 

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Let's hope it holds.:)
I had a good chuckle at your balloon idea. I pictured a DIY'er on his knees with his lips to the drain huffing on a balloon :laughing:
But hey, for $20......
Lots of people will do way more ridiculous stuff for less than 20 bucks.

:laughing:
 

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Sheet metal mechanic
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Discussion Starter #11
Balloon Plug

The balloon somewhat held the water back. Since an actual pneumatic test ball plug goes up to 13 psi - the balloon obviously not, there was a slight weepage down the drain which I could hear when all was quiet. I went to our garage (my shower is above) and looked for tell-tale signs of any leakage and found none. I had previously removed the sheetrock overhead to rework my drain and left the sheetrock down untill i'm done with the project. If the drain wasn't accessible, then I would recommend using a real test plug, but it held water long enough overnight so that I could check the entire underside of my shower the next day.:thumbsup:
 

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Cheap plug solution that really worked!

I also didn't want to fork over the dough...and as I was walking through Wal-Mart I noticed how perfectly sized a raquetball was to stop up the 1.5" drain pipe below the weep holes.... I just needed to make sure I could get it out when finished. The solution was to cut a 1" hole on the top side of the ball with a utility knife (this also helped it not to float). I could then grab the side wall and pull it right out.

I tried it, and it worked perfectly...

before filling the pan, I stuffed the ball into the pipe so that it was Stuck when lightly pulling up
 

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I often wondered about those drain cleaning guys on the other site talking about strangest things they have remove from drains. I would ask how those things would even get in the drain in the first place. I am now starting to get the picture. I guess thats what they mean with homeowners keeping the pro's busy.
 

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BTTT for another suggestion, as I'm getting ready to do the same thing. Just use another section of PVC the next size down (e.g. 1 1/2" PVC for 2" drain) with an O-ring around it and perhaps a bit of silicon. Probably less than $1 or so.

Haven't tried it yet but that's what I plan. Seems like it would work.

The balloon idea seems OK too, though it seems like might be more prone to leakage. I don't like the idea of allowing a small amount of water to leak by - this defeats the purpose. I would imagine you want to make sure that *zero* water escapes during the test. Just checking for water damage in the floor below is not sufficient - if there is a slow leak in the shower pan the water may be not leak through the ceiling all the way during the test, but will still of course cause big problems over time (mold, rot, etc.) As such it seems like you should ensure that *no* water leaks, by marking the side of the shower pan with a sharpie, filling up to that line, and ensuring it's at exactly the same level at the end of the test as it was at the beginning.

Sioux Chief used to have an el cheapo one for their drains - search for "double duty test plug" - it looks perfect and is made for for drains with weep holes (O-ring is below outlet for weep holes), however this is very hard to find, for whatever reason; appears maybe they stopped making it! One would think that Oatey, of all companies, would make such a thing for their very-common shower drains, but alas I guess not. As mentioned it's stupid for a non-professional to spend $20-30 for a tool they may only use once in their life, when a tool that's less than a tenth of that cost will do just as good a job.
 
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