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Emptying your bladder… or someone elses… not a good idea

July 16, 2010

Emptying your bladder…

Water faucetYep, the bladder was emptied, and no one felt good about it. It was inspection time for my listing. (I hope my house inspector friends will chime in on this one.) I got that dreaded phone call from the home owner, they came home at the tail end of the 2 hour plus home inspection. The inspector informed them they had a problem with the well, there was grit all over the jet tub. And yes there was, the tub was full of “stuff”.

My clients were more than upset. They assured the buyers and the inspector this never happened before, they have never had any problem with the water. This home is a large colonial 6 years young in beautiful shape. They called the best well guy around who immediately asked if the inspector was running all the water in the house for a long time, and if the jet tub faucets were also opened. Yes indeed, seems the inspector turned all the water on as soon as he came in and left them running the entire time he was working (2 hours). The well guy also said that the jet tub has a larger water pipe running to it, and if things weren’t bad enough when the jets were turned on it created a surge which kicked up the sediment in the bladder. Sediment is normal, my client changed the filter after this little experience. The water was clear as a bell after a bit.

WellThe well is fine, we have paper to prove it from one of the best well guys around. We are all comfortable with the results. But I am not comfortable with these type of tests. I went to the town sanitarian today and we discussed it in detail. She agreed with me and gave me documentation from the state of CT that outlines guidelines for a push test when doing a septic inspection.  50 gallons of water per bedroom only, done slowly and steady. But this type of test is to test a septic system! This was not the septic inspection. I understand this can put undue strain on a septic system and can cause what appears to be a failure because of the volume of water being pushed through it. Bad idea all the way around. Better idea to run water from an outside hose into the distribution box to see what happens with the fields, so I was told by the sanitarian.

I see it over and over again and get no clear answer as to why the water needs to be running wide open through the whole house through the entire home inspection. This is not a well yield test, those take hours, the well needs to be emptied, measurements taken. To get water samples you don’t have to run water for an hour. I am always upset by this. As are the home owners when they realize what happened.

Cost my client $75 to be told that there was nothing wrong and that running the water like that is a bad idea.

My second gripe? We are in a drought. Why would anyone run water so irresponsibly in a drought situation? I’m just sayin… So, what say you? I am really hoping someone out there can enlighten me as to why this is a common practice and why I am wrong? (I don’t think I am, but I am really looking for an explanation here!) I really don’t understand the value of this type of test?

And please, don’t empty my bladder!

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