PLUMBING TEST PROCEDURE
WHY IS IT NECESSARY TO TEST FOR SEWER OR
WATER LEAKS UNDER MY FOUNDATION?
Due to the clay type soils we have in North Texas Area, which expands when wet and contracts when dry, grouped with the age of the home which could be piped in cast iron sewer piping, it is very common to have a leak(s) under the foundation of your home. An undetected or UN-repaired water source that is not attended to “will” cause major problems to the foundation and structure of the home.
WHEN SHOULD A PLUMBING TEST ON MY SEWER AND WATER BE DONE?
Anytime foundation adjustment has been done on your home is the most common time for testing. During the lifting process it is always possible that plumbing pipes could pull apart or break under stress which cannot be avoided during the adjustment.
However there are several other reasons to test.
1. The need for foundation adjustment in the first place.
2. Prior to any mud jacking on your foundation.
3. Severe Dry Summer.
4. Re-occurring sewer pipe stoppages.
5. Higher than usual water bills.
6. Prior to the purchase of a home.
7. And preventative maintenance just to name a few. (Recommended at least once a year)
WOULDN’T I KNOW IF THERE WERE LEAKS UNDER MY HOME?
Normally with a potable water leak, you would be alerted with either a higher than normal water bill. Wet areas or very low water pressure. However if you have a sanitary sewer leak there is not a measuring device such as a water meter to alert you. The sewer pipes are 2 to 3 feet under the ground covered by dirt and surrounded by concrete beams around the exterior of the home. With this known, any evidence of a leak will only come in the form of foundation and structural damage. At that point the cost of repairs will normally be very expensive and the damage could be severe.
WHAT IS A MAIN LINE SEWER CLEAN OUT AND WHY DO I NEED IT?
A main line sewer clean out is one or two pipes that are attached to the main sewer line exiting the home. The most common place for these pipes are close to the perimeter of the home, usually in the flower bed area. The purpose of the clean out(s) is to allow access into the main sewer line for the purpose of inserting a sewer machine cable to unclog a sewer, insert an inflatable test ball for testing, or to insert a camera for visual inspection of a problem. These clean outs are required to accurately perform any type of testing on your sewer system. (Wall clean outs are not usable for proper testing)
WHAT IS THE PROCEDURE USED TO PERFORM A TEST ON MY SEWER AND WATER?
A standard water pressure test gouge is connected to a water source in your home. The preferred testing point is at your washing machine connection box, however, it is just as accurate to attach the gouge to an outside faucet that does not have a vacuum breaker device on it. Once the gouge is connected to the desired location, we open the valve and pressure up the gouge. Once the gouge is connected to the desired location, we open the valve and pressure up the gouge. Once the gouge is pressured up we document the pressure reading (PSI) and turn off the main water source to the home at the city water meter or at the customer shut off valve located outside and we monitor the gouge for loss of pressure. If the gouge drops in pressure it is obvious that there is leakage in the water system. At that point the home would need to be diagnosed at each fixture and each water source to determine where the leakage may be occurring. This would be called a “Potable Water Diagnostic Test”.