Run water from bath and kitchen for an hour?

Its something I do when I inspect a home. Then I walk the yard to see if the septic and leach field are ok…and go into the crawlspace to see if the plumbing is leaking…etc.

yesterday I did an inspection and the septic tank on an 1870’s house began to leak water out of its lid (lid was exposed)

water was running out of the lid at a pretty good rate.

apparently the septic had just been pumped two weeks prior.

The seller is now asking why I ran all of the faucets for an hour.

Just checking to see what others thoughts were on this…


That’s a good question. Why in the world would you run water for an hour.


One should not leave the water running in a room and then leave the room while it is still running. :flushed:

That is asking trouble in the form of negligence. IMHO…YMMV


so it is about an hour total…usually one bath for 1/2 hour and then the other bath…etc.

I have been doing it for years and was taught it back in 07 by an inspector with over 20 years experience.

So what do you do?

I’m fully aware that a sink or tub may fill up due to clogged drain…or that there might be a leak under the sink.

I always check immediately after turning on a sink to see if there is a leak

if the sink isnt draining then I dont just walk out of the bathroom

so far I’ve never had an issue.

I run water at the fixtures only when in the room inspecting. I NEVER leave a fixture running and carry on in another room. Is there a leak you think is going to pop up in an hour that isn’t apparent after running a fixture for one minute?


If I was the seller, I would be sending you a bill for flooding my leach field and time it takes for it to dry out and any damage incurred from that point. That was approx. 1,200-1,400 gallons of water.


how do you test the septic leach field?

what damage would there be that you are referring to?

Have you never taken a half hour shower?

Or had someone taking a long shower, with someone else in the kitchen doing dishes and the clothes washing machine going in the laundry room?

how do you calculate 1200 - 1400 gallons?

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I don’t need to say anymore, just keep doing what you are doing.

Where exactly is that in the SOP. Are you a licensed septic inspector in your state? If that’s what your doing…,… you are doing it wrong. Hey the guy you learned from has been doing “it” for 20 years so keep up the torch. Is still in business?

I wonder if hitting that GFCi button once is enough. I think I’ll lay in it for an hour to see if its working properly. I think I heard about that from a guy that’s been doing this like a real long time.

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well if you want to tell me how you calculated that …I’m all ears

even at 4 gpm that is nowhere near that much…even for 2 hours


how is it you only inspect to the SOP and stay in business?

I remove dead front covers on panels, walk roofs, etc…

I exceed the SOP

But do you walk the roof enough? I think a 2 hour walk on the roof would work better than what you’re doing now.

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Running water consistently for an hour is too long, especially at a 100 plus year old home on a septic system. That’s my thought anyway.


Obviously, gallons per minute was irrelevant, because the field system could not keep up.


They had the septic pumped two weeks ago…I am suspecting there may have been an issue with drainage

and they thought pumping would cure it.

when I walked the yard the grass was damp downstream from the septic…there were also two large trees nearby

I suspect that the drain field was underperforming


I would think that a properly sized and functioning septic system should easily handle an hour of running water.

between showers, sinks, dishwashers, kitchen sinks, clothes washers…often being run simultaneously…would be something the septic should be able to handle.


You asked what others thought. You’ve gotten answers. Were they what you expected?