Testing for Plumbing Leaks

Some buyers want an inspection of a home’s sanitary drain system to determine if there are any leaks. Hydrostatic testing is a method used to test sanitary drain pipes for strength and leaks.

When performing a hydrostatic test on a home’s drain pipes, a plumber typically fills the drain system with water and notes if the water level goes down over time. A drop in water level indicates a probable leak.

The Access, Inspections, and Utilities section (Paragraph 7A) of most TREC residential contracts states that hydrostatic testing must be authorized by the seller in writing.

Addendum for Authorizing Hydrostatic Testing (TAR 1949, TREC 48-0) is the form to use for this written authorization. The addendum specifies that the buyer will pay for the test.

This form also allows the seller and buyer to decide which party will be liable if damage is caused by the hydrostatic test.