Septic Load and Dye Test Poll

How much water do you use to preform a septic Load and dye test?

  1. 50 gallons per bedroom

  2. 50-75 gallons per Bedroom

  3. 75-100 gallons per bedroom

  4. 150 gallons per bedroom

This is for an Occupied home and the tank hasn’t been pumped.

That’s exactly why not to do load tests Joe, by themself they tell you nothing usefull



Like home inspections, they are visual in nature, except most of the time you can’t see sh!t. Excuse the play on words. :smiley:

I was changing a lift pump in a septic tank last month, I smell a load and almost died, if that helps.

In Missouri, it is 200 gallons for a two bedroom and an additional 50 gallons for each additional bedroom. Also you should double up the water volume if home is vacant more than 30 days.

Septic inspections are required on all septic systems involved in the sale of homes here in AZ. You need a license to preform such tests.

Here in NY dye testing is an ancillary service its not part of the home inspection. We do have Licensing for home Inspections but not dye testing.
The ASHI protocol written by some local inspectors is 50-75 per bedroom on a occupied house.
I have been using 150 Gallons per bedroom and my reference was from Dan Friedman’s website I am writing the poll to see what everyone else uses.
Personally I don’t think 50-75 gallons per bedroom will tell you anything.

Unless the tank is near level, and the leech field is defective, the test tells you nothing. First thing one should really do is make sure the water is running into the tank. This requires the pit top be opened.

The liability outweighs the monetary benefit for the inspector, IMO. I always recommend an open pit inspection and pumping, and the field probed. This is a minimum standard.

I agree with Joe, back in the 90s I did many septic inspections and some did fail, but if the tank has been pumped the test will be ineffective and when the owners move in and start taking showers, doing laundry ETC that’s when your problems starts.

I always recommend a septic company come out and open the tank, determine the size and condition, pump the tank and if it was full is there any liquid coming back from the field, this would indicated the field is saturated. From there the septic people should probe the field to find out how saturated it is. Finally, I never recommend a septic company and tell the client to ask the realtor for a local company.
Keep in mind that I live in NH and it’s not uncommon to find a septic system that is 50 years old, in fact years ago I re-did my driveway and found an old brick tank that I had been parking on top off for ten years.

In SW MO, I am licensed to do Septic Evaluations and Inspections both (Evaluations are walk over, inspections are open tank). Even in the open tank, I don’t open the full lateral lines. The inspection is of the tank primarily. Normally if there are problems with the lateral line, they will be noted in other ways besides the dye test. The dye test primarily just tells you where the lateral lines discharge to; nice to use if you suspect the lines discharge into a ditch or something like that; otherwise useless.

Stress or hydraulic testing will also give you an idea if there are roots in or a heavy layer of biomat around the lateral lines.

I agree that the liability outways the monetary benefit, Although if you don’t offer the complete package odds are they will call your competator thay will and you lose the whole inspection.

Only if your phone skill suck. I have no problem explaining to my clients the benefits of hire a septic company to do this inspection. Not only do they get an expert but if they buy the house they already have a septic company who knows the system. I have never lost an inspection because I don’t do septic.

recently had this done for a home we are trying to buy. glad i did. home consists of 3 bedroom with a 2000 gallon cesspool. a regular septic or one who pumps them out couldnt do it as they werent licensed. we called in a licensed cesspool inspector. he introduced 400 gallons of clean water into system and took measurement. came back 24 hours later then followed up another day after that. the way he explained to me, cause i ask questions, is the 400 gallons introduced should have dissapated when rechecked. the system did FAIL as only 40 gallons leached out from the pool. glad we had this checked. the sellers are looking into estimates,solutions but my understandeing is a full replacement is needed and a failed cesspool is not repairable. may get a new drainfield or soundmound out of the deal. i also believe the health department gets involved in this as well.

the home that i currently own has the septic tank/cesspool combo that will hold 2000 gallons. here is our situation, it is 2 bedroom with 4 occupants. best i can tell, is it works o.k. and gets pumped out once a year. here is my question, has anyone ever tried the sewer additives like bacteria or enzymes that disolve the solids etc. the concept is there to disolve and open up crevices to allow more to seep or leach out. does it work or is it hype. any opinions appreciated. thanks

Flushable additives do not work.
Have the system properly inspected, evaluated and pumped after inspection.

If the system needs to be pumped out every year, that is a major red flag. Most likely the system needs replaced, and they are just buying time by pumping it so frequently. I have no idea where you are located, but many municpalities only require pumping every 3 or 5 years. Whenever there is any concern with a private disposal system, I always recommend the local Health Dept. be contacted.

One home system, all underground, and if you miss a bad problem it can cost you $30,000? How much are you paid to take a risk like that? Best answer; nothing, I tell them to hire a septic system inspector.