Summer Breeze Lot 27 Gallery 42

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DCP03192.JPG (92436 bytes)    April 14, 2005 - Thursday - Our "rough plumbing" inspection, happens tomorrow.  For our ground work inspection we chose to use "stack pressure" or "head pressure" which entails filling the system with water to check for leaks.  For this inspection we opted for pressurizing the system with compressed air.  Both options are acceptable and we get to choose which to use.  We chose air pressure this time because if we filled the whole drain/vent system with water, it would not only waste a great deal of water, but if we had a major leak we would have MANY gallons of water inside the home.  As with any pressure test we cap off all the drain stubs, plug up the main sewer outlet with a large 4 inch test ball, plug up the three vents going out through the roof with small 2 inch test balls, and finally place a valve stem somewhere in the system so we can pressurize it with a hose from our air compressor.  This picture shows the valve stem and test gauge installed on the kitchen sink drain.  We chose this site for the valve stem and test gauge because it was close to our compressor.  According to the code book the drain/vent system must be pressurized to 5 psi (pounds per square inch) and it must hold this pressure (without adding any extra air) for at least 15 minutes.

DCP03193.JPG (142936 bytes)    April 14, 2005 - Thursday - Our rough plumbing inspection also tests our water distribution lines.  This picture shows our Vanguard Manablock all ready for inspection.  The water system is actually being tested with both air and water pressure.  Water pressure from the city water system is being used to test all the pipes from the water meter to the main shut off valve inside the home.  If you look closely in this picture you can see this main interior shut off valve above the manablock and slightly to the right.  It has a white tag behind it.  Notice this valve is closed so water doesn't come into the manablock.  The rest of the system is being pressurized with air.  This means all the pipes (or tubing) coming out of the manablock have test plugs installed at the ends of the pipes.  Since we will pressurize the cold water lines, we need a way to pressurize the hot water lines at the same time.  To do this we simply connect the hot water heater "send" to the hot water heater "return".  This loop connection can easily be seen in this picture on the far left.  Again if you look very close you can see there is another valve above and slightly to the left of the manablock.  This valve provides a shut off for the water heater and is nice to have in case the water heater needs servicing some time in the future.  Notice this valve is open so with our loop connection installed, when we pressurize the cold water lines it will also pressurize the hot water lines.

DCP03194.JPG (130604 bytes)    April 14, 2005 - Thursday - Like the drain and sewer system, we must find some way to connect a valve stem and test gauge to the water distribution system so we can pressurize it.  This picture shows a close up of the lower left side of the manablock.  We have an extra 1/2" port on the manablock that is not being used so we just cut off the valve stem and test gauge we used on the radiant floor system and connected it to this unused port.  Neat, eh?  Now when we connect an air hose to this valve stem it will pressurize the manablock and all the cold lines connected to it...and because of our "water heater loop connection" it will also pressurize all the hot lines!  According to the code book, the system must be able to maintain 55 psi or greater for at least 15 minutes without adding any additional air.

DCP03196.JPG (122743 bytes)    April 15, 2005 - Friday - The end of this week also saw the installation of our wonderful "zone control panel" made by IPEX.  Many companies make zone control panels for radiant floor heating systems, but according to our research the IPEX unit had the biggest "bang for the buck"...by far!   This picture shows all of the PEX tubing coming out of the slab connecting to the manifolds in the zone control panel.

DCP03197.JPG (146314 bytes)    April 15, 2005 - Friday - Here is a close up of the zone control panel.  The large, dark red thing on the right side of the panel is the "circulator".  It is the pump which "pushes" hot water through the tubing in the slab.

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