Inspection Training

How to Perform Well Water Pressure Flow Test (UPDATED 10/19/17)

While performing a well water pressure flow test it is important to convey to your clients that we are not visually inspecting the well. The pressure flow test is a two hour test where we run the water for two hours and will make note of any deviation in the flow. If there ends up being a big difference in the two hour test we would call it out as a defect and recommend further evaluation by a qualified well specialist. Please review the entire procedure below.

 

Tools Needed:     5-Gallon Bucket, Hose, Pressure Gauge, iPhone (Timer and Stopwatch)

Procedure:    

  • In FileMaker program when inspector downloads the property/job you will be asked to take a cover picture. This picture should be a picture of the house.  Next, select “Well Water” template from the drop down menu. If you are performing a home inspection you can put this in section 9.04 of the plumbing section.  The two cover pictures for this section is the hose hooked up to the exterior faucet and the other end of the hose next to the 5-gallon bucket showing where the flow test is taking place.
  • When arriving at the property the inspector should walk around to find an exterior faucet to hook up the hose. Make sure it’s in a location where the water will drain away from the property since this will be a 2-hour flow test.
  • Before hooking up the hose, use your water pressure gauge to to get the PSI reading and put into the report under the “Water Pressure” section.

  • Hook the hose up to the exterior faucet and turn the water all the way on high. Start the timer on your iPhone for 15 minutes.  The inspector will fill the bucket up for the first time at this point right after turning on the hose.
  • Switch over to the stopwatch feature on the iPhone and make sure it is clear and set to zero. Hit “start” while simultaneously taking the hose and beginning to fill up the 5-gallon bucket.  As soon as the bucket is full hit “stop” on the stopwatch.  Take a screenshot of your phone that shows how long it took to fill up the 5-gallon bucket of water.  The inspector will repeat every 15 minutes for two hours and will have a total of 8 pictures.
  • When the timer goes off at 15 minutes the inspector needs to set the timer again for another 15 minutes.
  • Take the full bucket of water and empty away from the property.
  • After the 2-hour flow test is complete turn off the water. Unhook the hose from the exterior faucet and place it back into your vehicle with 5-gallon bucket.
  • In the FileMaker program, under “Well Pump Rate” select “Inspected” if the flow rate was acceptable or “Repair/Replace” if the flow rate was not acceptable.
  • The inspector will now have to record all 8 photos into this section. The pictures will be in the photo gallery so the inspector will just need to transfer those pictures into the FileMaker program.

  • After 8 photos have been recorded into the section the next step is to calculate the average flow rate. The inspector will need to add all 8 times together and divide by 8 to get the average.  Take this average and divide by 5. This will now give you the average fill time for 1 gallon. Now divide 60 seconds by the result of the first calculation and this will be your Gallons Per Minute (GPM) flow rate. Go back to the section in FileMaker and plug in the numbers in the correct location.  If the well had deviation in water flow and it’s going down as “Repair/Replace” you will have to do this calculation twice to see how much the water slowed down over the 2-hour flow test.

 

FILEMAKER PROGRAM


IN
  • An acceptable flow rate (average of XXX gallons per minute) was maintained over the course of the 2-hour flow test. (This measurement gives an estimate of the system’s ability to deliver water to the home. The outcome of this measurement is generally affected by the pressure in the cold water storage tank, the type and size of the pipes used to deliver the water to the faucets, the amount of piping and number of fittings used, as well as the faucet construction itself.)

NI
  • N/A

NP
  • N/A

RR
  • The flow rate decreased over the 2-hour flow test by ##% (XXX gallons per minute to XXX gpm), which could possibly indicate a problem with the well pump or well recovery rate. The inspector recommends further evaluation by a qualified well contractor and repair or replace as necessary.(This measurement gives an estimate of the system’s ability to deliver water to the home. The outcome of this measurement is generally affected by the pressure in the cold water storage tank, the type and size of the pipes used to deliver the water to the faucets, the amount of piping and number of fittings used, as well as the faucet construction itself.)