How-To Guide For Homeowners: Perform A Septic System Dye Test

Septic System

Septic systems are seen primarily in areas that do not have a centralized sewer system, like low-income Urban dwellings, rural areas, etc. This decentralized wastewater system usually consists of a septic tank and a drain field. 

Although septic tanks provide wastewater treatment, they can also sustain damages after a while. And this might not be so obvious to the homeowner. The downside to this is that it can result in issues like water supply contamination.

That’s where the need for a septic dye test comes to play. It helps homeowners to identify major issues in their septic system and resolve them on time.

That said, follow this guide to know how to perform a dye test personally on your septic systems.

How To Properly Perform A Septic Dye Test

Standard Rule:

#1 Find out the size of the septic tank

#2 Determine the quantity of dye you’ll need to color that quantity of water

#3 Decide on the source you’ll prefer to use in adding water to the tank, then calculate the rate of water flow (this should be in gallons per min)

After this is complete, it’ll be easy to calculate the amount of time you need to allow the water to flow into the septic tank.

How To confirm the connection between the building drains/appliance and the septic tank

In this case, you’ll need to add the dye to the drain/appliance before running water through it for about ten to fifteen minutes. That way, the water will be enough to push the dye all the way from the drain/appliance to the drain field.

Keep in mind that the success of this procedure will also depend on how well you’re able to follow the standard rule.

How To Verify Septic Effluent Escape From The Toilet Or Any Source In The Building

To perform this test, you’ll be needing a special dye that usually comes in colors like red and green. Next, you want to flush some of it down your toilet or directly into the system through other drains identified.

If the dye surfaces in your drain field or ground surface at your yard, etc, it’s a clear sign that something is not right with your septic system.

Keep in mind that in some cases, you may have to wait for about 20-30 minutes before the dye effluent shows up above ground level. Sometimes you may have to wait for up to 5 days before you find traces of the dye. 

Overall, if the septic system is set to flow at ‘common’ rates; then, a home inspector is likely to find dye (after running the test).

It’s worth noting that when the dye shows up on the ground surface, it implies that the septic system is faulty, and therefore it did not pass the dye test. 

A failed dye test is a major issue that could cause several problems and even deter you from securing a loan for your home. 

Hence, your best bet would be to consult a professional septic system inspector who knows how to perform the dye test, interpret the results and offer the best advice on what you can do. 

For more home maintenance tips and tricks!

Check out these links and other Septic Maxx Blog Posts for tips and tricks on your home maintenance care!

Spooky Halloween Septic Stories
What You Didn’t Know About Bathrooms?
Plastic vs Concrete Septic Tanks What you need to know!
How to maintain your top 3 home appliances

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