If you check with the local health dept. in your state,
a septic systems is suppose to handle a certain amount
of gallons (per bedroom) per day.
On a busy weekend, at full capacity, it is plausible that
people can run a lot of water for 20 min. and still not reach
this limit. Watch your water meter during this test to
check the gallons if you need to verify this.
On a busy weekend after swimming, everyone comes in
and starts the shower, flushes toilets, starts the
dishwasher, starts the washing machine, washes some
veggies for supper, washes their hands, clean the
house, wash the table, run some water for cooking, ect…
3 Bedroom x 2 people = 6 people (a lot of water when
everyone goes after it).
I have run this test on proper systems and they have
no problem. Compromised systems will show their weakness.
This is the purpose of the test and helps the buyer go into
the deal with their eyes open.
Professional installers have had no complaints about my test
and agree that it is fair field testing method. It is crude,
but its fair. You will not read about this method in a book,
but it is a “real world” testing method that I learned from
other inspectors and my own research.
The worst that will happen is a “system fails”, and then will be
inspected by a Licensed Professional Installer.
If you know what a Licensed Installer does, you will know that
my test looks like a walk in the park. I have never had anyone
pass a system that I marked as “failed” in 8 years of testing.
Approx. 50% of these old septic systems in the country fail this test.
I’m more worried about the systems that I pass than the ones I
mark as “failed”. I want to go home at night and know for sure the
thing really works.
Oh and BTW… the septic system is suppose to work on rainy days
too… just in case the Realtor tells you it was too wet outside from
the rain to run the test… smile.