For some reason, the internet is not really clear on what exactly must be done for the plumbing/mechanical rough-in inspection. Does the bathroom fan ducting have to be installed? Does the water line have to be connected? Do we set up the line with a pressure test first? Or does the inspector do that when he arrives? What about the HRV – fully installed or just shown on the diagram?
The inspector isn’t available on the weekends so we did what we could on Sunday and hoped to get answers earlier enough on Monday that we’d still be able to get our inspection checked off. We found out through the various contractors we see in the drive-through that we may need to have the system either air pressurized or filled with water. In either case, we’d need to block the path to the sewer and all fixture openings on our own. After another hardware store odyssey, we found that they all had the fixture plugs and none had the inflatable plug for the 3″ sewer.
We thought we’d lucked out when the plumber who helped us at our previous rental agreed to lend us his device. Awesome guy. We then got lucky again when the inspector called and told us that he was going to go out to the distant land of Reserve, NM first and then hit us on the way back in the afternoon. He also told us what he wanted to see during his visit. The inspector clarified that he didn’t need to air test it; he needed to fill the plumbing system with water to 4 feet above the floor line and then check for a level change and/or leaks.
Apparently local plumbers would typically NOT connect to the sewer until after inspection; this way they could just cap the sewer facing end until they got the green light. Since we’d already connected to sewer, the only option was to find a “donkey dong” inflatable test plug (plumber’s words) or a normal inflatable test plug with a 3′ extension hose that would let the thing reach into our U-shaped double-combo cleanout in the driveway. Or cut the system from the sewer and rejoin it later (BOOO!).
There was not a single unit available in Silver CIty; the nearest was in Cruces (2-2.5 hours away) and would be impossible to obtain before the inspection. None of the local plumbers had what we needed…*start biting fingernails*
We considered ordering online but it would take a few days to get here. The only option seemed to be to postpone the inspection for a day and spend the afternoon driving to and from Las Cruces. Fortunately, before committing to such an arduous drive, we decided to call the inspector and tell him we couldn’t find one.
We got really really lucky. The inspector said he’d meet us at the house and take a look…upon arrival, it was decided that – since all the plumbing was exposed under the house and it would be easy to spot/repair a leak – he could do a wet test where we just ran a garden hose into the plumbing system and checked for leaks. We passed. PHEW!
Brian was also relieved to know – based on the inspector not saying anything about it – that stacking plumbing fittings real close together (< 1mm apart) was ok. He was concerned there might be some spacing requirement that would allow an inspector to observe the use of purple primer or something.