Sewer and drainage pipes age and shift over time, but most of this cannot be seen because it happens underground. Some homes are improperly connected to the drainage system while others may have systems that are damaged. A sewer dye test is designed to determine the home’s sewer connections and make sure they’re in functional order.
The test will also ensure that any outdoor runoff is not entering the sanitary sewer system and causing any plumbing problems. These tests are performed by plumbers and drain service companies and they’re usually required as a part of selling a home in several cities across the country. The idea is that if these tests are done before a sale, the current homeowners will be responsible for any repairs instead of passing them on to the new homeowner.
Since it’s hard to tell if anything could be wrong with a sanitary sewer system unless there’s a major issue, this is a good preventive step many cities and counties take to ensure that buyers aren’t inheriting tens of thousands of dollars in sewer repairs.
The Dye Test Process
The plumber will first locate the “T” drains on your property (there should be two). Then, they will place dye (liquid or a tablet) into the drain and flush the drain with a hose. They will usually run the water in the house at the same time, noting the colors of the dye that they see coming through the system.
If they fail to see the colored dye come through the system, you’ve passed the test and your system is functioning as it should. If the dye shows up in the sanitary sewer drain, your system has failed and that means that it needs some kind of attention. You can ask the plumber at the point of inspection whether they might know what’s wrong, or if there’s any indication or way to tell.
Usually, they’ll be able to use sewer cameras to find the problem, but most failed dye tests require a significant amount of work to reroute the drain lines to be connected properly. You should ask questions and make sure that you understand what’s going on, and work with someone who will only dig up your yard as a last result. It might come to that, but it should only be when all else fails.
Many people may never find themselves in need of a sewer dye test, but if you encounter one, you’ll be prepared. Contact Elk Grove Village Sewer & Plumbing to learn more!
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