View Full Version : hose test

06-05-2008, 03:06 PM
did a home in boulder co---two months ago and there was snow on the roof----when i went back 48 hours later to pick up radon devices--snow was gone -so up on the roof i went and found it satisfactory----but every gutter on the house had rusted out main runs and was leaking all over the siding--fascia--trim--you name it---but nothing leaking inside--i have ten pictures of leaking gutters --rotted siding --rotted trim--fascia---recommend licenced roofer evaluate and repair---all of this was above a glassed in kitchen nook

well got a call today---heavy rains in colorado--buyer said i screwed up and the nook windows were leaking badly--she wanted to know if i did a HOSE TEST-----she said all inspectors in california and arizona do one

cant see my insurance company liking it if i took a hose to a house and caused water to run into the house----wonder what the seller would say about that---

anyone do a hose test--and do you bring your own hose--just what i need to buy

guess i'm hosed

so got a call

wayne soper
06-05-2008, 03:12 PM
You Hoser! I would tell her she's out of her mind, Then ask for the paper work on those requirements. Then ask her if she read your report. You did amend it after seeing the gutters and all that right?
I have never heard of any inspector performing a hose test aside from the one behind the garage before the broker shows up.
I would say beyond the SOP's.

Rick Hurst
06-05-2008, 03:32 PM

Now that you mention it, we used to have a inspector here in the Dallas area that I know did use a hose on some windows.

Mostly I saw him only using it on the leaded glass windows to determine leakage.

Never knew of anyone else to do it.

I don't.


Jerry Peck
06-05-2008, 05:39 PM
A hose test if a very bad test to do and to use it to imply the results actually mean anything.

First, *it is not an approved test of any kind*, and it certainly does not meet any ASTM standard for testing windows and doors.

Second, if there is a leak, all it shows is that there was a leak during an unapproved test, the may, or may not, occur during a real ASTM window water penetration test. And, if the leak causes damage, the seller could (I hate to take this side, but it needs to be taken in this instance of using an imaginary test which has no guidelines or anything) go after the inspector for damages to the house.

Third, if there is not a leak *you had better not say or imply the hose test actually meant anything*, because a real ASTM window water penetration test may result in failure, putting the inspector in a very tight spot trying to defend their reason for using a non-approved test which produces no meaningful results and passing it off as a meaningful test.

Tell the lady that those inspectors were ripping her off, they should have actually spent that time inspecting instead of doing a dog and pony show which produces nothing of substance, with only $hit as results from the dog and pony.

Matt Hawley
06-06-2008, 05:24 AM
We do hose testing on supect areas when doing IR inspections quite often. It works great for us and we have found numerous leaks using a plain old garden hose with a nozzle on it.

I just found a leak at a roof to wall intersection the other day using a regular old garden hose. I know the astm is a better way and will eventually invest in the equipment, but have have had Very good results using a plain old garden hose.

Jerry Peck
06-06-2008, 05:31 AM
but have have had Very good results using a plain old garden hose.

And the results tell you what? That it leaks when sprayed with a garden hose.

I can spray a garden hose up into soffit vents and make a leak appear inside to.


You are missing the point.

Matt Hawley
06-06-2008, 05:58 AM
Hello Jerry,

I hope all is well.

I dont use a hose testing on soffits, mostly roof to wall intersections, along flahing or around windows from time to time.

I set the nozzel pattern to what would simulate a decent wind driven rain and have found numerous leaks.

I know this is not the best or most text book way but it has worked very well for me. I know this method would not hold up in court and that the astm nozzel and racks are a much better way to go. I hope to get the proper equipment soon.

My point is that a garden hose has worked for me on numerous occasions during the dry months and I have found or confirmed that the suspect areas that were hose tested were in fact active leaks...Thats all.

Respectivley - Matt

Jerry Peck
06-06-2008, 07:19 AM

What I am saying, trying to say, is that hose testing from the ground gives no definitive results.

Hose testing from the ground does not replicate wind driven rain from above.

You can drive water in under flashings which were installed properly as those flashings are installed shingle style to drain from one to the other with rain from above.

If you hose test and it leaks, the result simply tells you that it leaks with a hose test, not that it leaks during a rain.

If you hose test and it does not leak, I'm guessing you explain to your client something to the effect of 'Well, you know, this hose test does not replicate rainfall nor wind driven rain, so even if it did not leak with the hose test, it may leak from wind driven rain as it come from different directions than the hose test, and with wind, so not being able to make it leak does not mean it does not leak.', or something to that effect.


You have to, to protect yourself from liability because it did not leak from the hose test, therefore you are either saying it does not leak (which would not be a good thing to say), or, you are saying that your test does not provide true results and therefore it might leak when it rains from the right direction.

Do you realize how many times you just told your client that your hose test is no good, that its results are meaningless? Meaning it is a waste of time and money.

Matt Fellman
06-06-2008, 12:51 PM
The only thing I ever use a hose for is to check drainage from a gutter downspout onto a driveway or patio... and even that is rare. Usually, there is moss or some other sign of water ponding.

As for spraying it at the house? I don't think it tells you anything of any value.

Ken Bates
06-06-2008, 02:53 PM
JLC has an interesting article in their archives regarding simulating rainfall under various conditions to check out windows and siding.

You don't have to be a fireman to simulate rainfall and I did that on one occasion to test some gutters.

This was a modest house with strange looking gutters that looked like they were designed to keep foliage out of the troughs by using a solid sheet of aluminum from drip edge to the outer lip with about one inch of opening above the outer rim/lip.

I was concerned that fast moving water sheeting down the 3 tab asphalt shingles would shoot over the outer rim/lip of the gutter.

Several years later I attended a presentation by a large gutter company.
It was then that I realized that I was testing the incredibly expensive "Rain Helmet" gutters.

Gunnar Alquist
06-06-2008, 06:24 PM

You could just hold your coffee until you get on the roof and "hose" it. Would that be a legitimate "hose test"? :rolleyes:

Jack Feldmann
06-07-2008, 09:03 AM
The only time I have used a hose on a house was to test laundry drains in vacant houses. I carry a washing machine hose in the truck.

I have also used a hose to check downspout drains, but it's usually the buyer doing it.

When I lived in CA, the people down the street did a knock down and rebuild and had problems with their windows. The window rep came out and used a hose.

Mike Schulz
06-07-2008, 12:20 PM
In the roofing profession we used a hose to try and locate a know leak. We would start at the bottom and work our way up until it was found. Now when we say bottom we mean spraying in the down position but slowly work our way up. Quite a few times leaks where never found on the roof and when simulated rain along the siding the leak would turn up at the location inside the home. Sometimes it was windows sometimes it was a flashing problem with the roof.

Now as a inspector the only time I used a hose is to check the correct pitch of a concrete porch or areas of concrete along a foundation. Nothing makes a better statement then a picture of a pond along a wall or porch thats pitched toward the house.

I also use a hose to hydraulic load the nitrification fields of a septic system.

James Duffin
06-07-2008, 12:52 PM
To me seems trying to create a leak is asking for trouble. I see shower tester dams advertised that go over a shower drain so water can build up in a tile shower and flood the shower flood to see if it leaks. If there was no stain on the ceiling when the owner left and there is a stain below the second floor shower when they return you are going to have a problem. My theory is to report what you see and not create problems that were not there when you got there.

Mike Schulz
06-07-2008, 01:42 PM
Small leaks may not show up for long periods of time by the naked Eye. Ask the camera boy's. I always fill a shower pan. If a stain is caused because of me filling it, well it failed under testing. Pan should not leak no matter what, filled or not.

Mike Schulz
06-07-2008, 01:44 PM
Hey James it's a little warm today isn't it...........:eek:
Yesterday my car outside temperature reading in Apex was 104

James Duffin
06-07-2008, 02:18 PM

You do know that under the new NC RE Purchase Contract the inspector and the buyer are responsible for any damage incurred during the inspection? Some Realtors I deal with are marking out this clause in the contract. I am more careful now than I was a year ago about damage to a property.

Also...I have a concrete bed shower in my own second floor bath that I installed 10 years ago and had no leaks. If a HI came to my house and created a leak he would have a serious problem! :)

And yes...it is HOTTT at my house! 96 in the shade. I am replacing a rotten window sill under a four window assembly and watching the horse race....Big Brown is awesome!

Mike Schulz
06-07-2008, 03:06 PM
I don't know what that contract states but I am sure they are referring to stepping through there ceiling, drop your ladder through there window, etc. I can't see how you can be responsible for testing something and it fails. If that,s the case we could not check anything.
If you tested a GFCI breaker and it would not reset and the owner said it always worked and you should pay for it, Would you? no it failed. That's all I am saying. Filling a drain pan I would think is testing and not destructive.

If I Filled yours and it leaked I will make sure I am out of town for awhile when you find out..........:D

James Duffin
06-07-2008, 05:25 PM
I would track you down...:D