DIY pipe testing tool
DIY pipe testing tool
So in the last exciting episode I had a mystery on my hands, did I put the pipe insert in or not? It was too late to easily find out, if I was uncertain I’d have to take off the HardieBacker board, dig out the bonding plaster, cut out the offending bit and do it all over again.
Or would I?
Cunning Plan – how about testing the circuit with a pipe tester?
Pipe testing kits are really expensive aren’t they?
Or could I make one?
How to make a pipe testing kit in half an hour – please observe extreme caution, pipes under pressure can be very dangerous
Buy – for 15mm pipe:
- Copper pipe 15mm – some scrap will do
- Pipe cutter – they’re pretty cheap if you don’t have one – don’t be tempted to use a hacksaw
- 15mm flexi-pipe with 15mm compression ends
- Pressure gauge
- Fitting to attach to the pipe you’re checking
- Bike or car footpump
OK cut the copper pipe to 2x 10cm lengths – doesn’t matter too much about the length
Attach the gauge to one length of the copper you’ve just cut
Fit the flexi-pipe between the two pipes
Fit the fitting to the other – I was using HEP20 pipe, so I fitted a HEP20 fitting – duh
Blank off the end of the circuit you need to test
Attach the tester to the other
Pump up to 2 bar using the pump and attaching it to the valve fitting on the gauge – be very careful not to get too close to the circuit being tested, 2 bar is enough to make a bit of piping into a dangerous projectile firing demon.
Take off the pump
Screw on the valve cover – I had to do this as my gauge valve had a tiny leak.
Take the pressure reading – leave for ten minutes – if there is no loss in pressure then the circuit is good.
I did this and hey presto both of the shower circuits tested out fine, so no need to dismantle them and I didn’t have to have an expensive plumber in to test the circuits.
What else have I been up to?
Anyway after this I finished off Hardiebacking the walls.
I filled, sanded and painted the ceiling of the shower area, two coats now, it does need one more though.
Then it was bedding in the shower tray.
The shower tray weighs a metric ton so it was going to be really troublesome to mount correctly onto a bed of wet mortar.
Another cunning plan was needed.
First I built a frame that would form an L and allow me to make a rectangular frame to the two adjacent walls. This frame would allow me to mix up the mortar in place and level it out. Once the mortar was nice and level then I could hopefully slide the tray over the frame and into place. In the centre of the floor I screened off the hole with some cardboard, this would help to stop any wet mortar falling into the hole.
Prior to sorting this out though I cleaned down two edges of the tray – those that would abutt the wall – I then fixed on a shower tray strip that would help with the waterproofing of the tray once it was in place.
Armed with 2x 25kg bags of ready-mix mortar mixed it all up in place, levelled the mortar out and then gingerly eased the tray into place. It wasn’t easy but it worked, the tray really had to be manhandled in places but it finally fell satisfyingly into place.
Once in place and armed with a spirit-level I danced and jumped on it to get it level and ready for water.
After this the next job was to fit a pair of curtains in the living room.
These curtains were huge and heavy and had been made from two pairs of Ikea curtains and lined with thermal lining. My Mum had been working on these curtains and others for weeks now, they had been a lot of work, not only had they been stretchy curtains to affix to rigid lining problems but the things were enormous and weighty and my dear Mam isn’t as fit as she used to be. Still she’s made a brilliant job of them and the living room bays, once the draughtiest part of the house are now the snuggest and most airtight with the triple glazing and these uber-thick curtains.