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this tool, why didn't I

hot_rod Member Posts: 15,029
think of this? A plumber in Ohio did.

A stepped tube that fits a variety of pipe sizes. The pieces are all nice quality, I used a lazy hand "tell tale" gauge to show this example. Mine came in a nice case with latches.

If I had a dollar for every test gauge manifold that I split, or stripped, or it rusted closed....

With care this could be a lifetime tool, at least the manifold portion.
Bob "hot rod" Rohr
trainer for Caleffi NA
Living the hydronic dream


  • icesailor
    icesailor Member Posts: 7,265
    third world (cheap) universal test rig:

    I can't show you the ones I used for many years, and I made many a variation on the theme.

    A few 1/2" X 2"+ nipples, a I/2" BL Coupling, 1/2" X 1/4" BM Coupling, 1/2" X 14" BM tee, a 1/2" Boiler drain, and the proper air fitting that matches the air hose that connects to your portable air compressor. A 6' washing machine hose and whatever gauge you need (0-5# for gas, 0-100 for anything else). A 1/2" IPS ball valve gas cock finishes it up.  Fits in a 5 gallon bucket like it grew there, and there isn't anything that you can't test of connect to blow out. If you can't figure out a way to connect to anything in the way you want, you're not really trying.

    I had to buy one of those things because I forgot to bring one down. I bought one of those things displayed. I still had to adapt it for ease. I could have built one from scratch with nipples and fittings. In Florida, they don't carry Black malleable fittings and Nipples. If they don't carry it at Lowes or Home Depot, you don't need it.
  • icesailor
    icesailor Member Posts: 7,265
    Tools to have:

    If you want a really cool tool, and don't have one of these, you will wonder how you went to so long without one.

    When you run across a severely eroded piece of copper tubing that sand cloth can't get down to the pits, the female side of this will shine it to like new condition. A lot of supply houses carry them. More useful that the store bought test rig.


  • hot_rod
    hot_rod Member Posts: 15,029
    haven't we all

    built up test gauges from cobbled together nipples and reducing couplings.

    I like that this one tool covers 1/2- 2", the gauges are top quality and protected in a case with all the attachments.

    A bucket full of throw-away gauges is not for everyone.

    And a wrench pulling plumber has a chance to see a well thought out product make it into the trades.

    When we did fire protection we had dozens of crappy test gauge setups scattered around the project, we spent as much time soaping and finding defective gauges as we did testing :)

    Never had great luck flowing backwards through a boiler drain, they are not built for that use, I like the ball valves best for two direction flow.

    Kudos to one of our own trying to offer a better mouse trap, and keep us in the wholesalers and out of the "can't build it cheap enough, third world products" box stores. Maybe he will retire to Florida with his success.
    Bob "hot rod" Rohr
    trainer for Caleffi NA
    Living the hydronic dream
  • icesailor
    icesailor Member Posts: 7,265
    Found in a bucket:

    There isn't a one in that photo that would have made it into my bucket. Mine is an extension of a 50' quality rubber air hose or a direct connect to the compressor. A 6' or a 9' washing machine hose connects to most anything I ran into. If longer, the 50' hose.

    Ever been by yourself looking for a water leak and have to use a Schrader valve to add the air while looking for the air hiss?

    You'd be loving my type. I had a shelf full of similar ones in the picture. They had their "seldom used" moments.

    Ever dragged a handy pump into a cellar to pump out a boiler or water heater? Once you blow the water out with air through a hose on the low point, you will NEVER cart a electric water pump into a cellar again in your life. Unless you are a sucker for punishment. Why I might even (sometimes) leave the air compressor plugged in on the first floor and throw the hoses (air and water) hoses down the stairs so I didn't have to cart the compressor down the stairs. Especially in those cribs with no electrical outlets in the cellar. Or they had a receptacle on the side of the boiler that had the power killed when you turned off the boiler.

    Sparky, Why would you?