Product Spotlight: Test-Ball Plug blocks pipe up to 120 inches

Product Spotlight: Test-Ball Plug blocks pipe up to 120 inches

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Blocking a pipeline is a requirement during new installation or maintenance when either effluent flow needs to be temporarily stopped or when a new pipe is being air-tested for leaks. Blocking plugs effectively hold back air or water and are used inside a municipal sewer pipe to seal it from outside materials. But until now Cherne’s version of these plugs were limited to use only in pipes 96 inches in diameter or smaller. The I-Series Test-Ball Plug brings the technology up to size, handing pipe from 72 up to an incredible 120 inches. 

The world’s largest test ball, it blocks flow in the biggest pipes in sanitary and storm sewer systems. According to Asim Syed, director of product development and R&D for Oatey, it was carefully developed with an optimized design that offers improved performance and safety. 

“At 850 pounds and 152 inches long, the Test-Ball Plug is made of 100% natural rubber,” says Syed. “As a result, it has the superior ability to conform to pipe surfaces, as well as greater tensile strength and longer working life. Other similar-sized plugs on the market are not assembled with natural rubber material.”

Accommodating a back pressure of up to 6 psi, the plug features 3/4-inch eyebolts that provide superior holding strength. A field-replaceable pressure relief valve prevents over-inflation, and an aluminum end plate minimizes rust and corrosion.

“When job site conditions call for a test plug of this size, we know safety and performance are paramount,” says Syed. “That’s why we’ve engineered the world’s largest test plug with the same quality control and manufacturing standards that Cherne is known for worldwide.”

According to Syed, the R&D team developed several prototypes. After making improvements to each, the team finalized the design after the fourth prototype, ensuring the highest quality. A fifth prototype was made for assurance and to demonstrate consistency of performance and results. Testing for one prototype would take about two and a half weeks, thus taking five months before finalizing the plug design.

“While not all municipalities or utility contractors will need a 120-inch Test-Ball Plug, it ensures availability for customers who may need it for specific projects down the line,” he says. “Product demand is higher than ever, and urban sprawl is increasing, meaning more water collection and bigger pipes.” 952-933-5501;


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