SMOKE TESTING (FAQs FOR MUNICIPAL ENGINEERING PERSONNEL)
What if smoke enters the home and no one is there?
Crews conducting the test listen for smoke detector activation and observe the heating system chimney. If they believe smoke entered the home, a handwritten note on a business card will be left where it will be found.
Will the smoke harm my pets?
How do I get the smoke out, if it enters?
If the smoke has entered the basement, open an outside cellar access way and as many basement windows as possible. Placing an electric fan in an open window or open access will allow the smoke to dissipate faster.
If smoke enters my home, am I required to allow access to the test crew members?
During the test, I noticed smoke exiting from my plumbing vent, is that ok?
During the test, I did not observe smoke exiting from my plumbing vent, is that ok?
If smoke enters my home, does that mean I have to call a plumber for an emergency service call?
No. In 99% of the instances where smoke enters the home, the defect is minor, usually a dry plumbing trap, open or cracked clean out cap, a disconnected/uncapped drain pipe, or a defective wax seal under the toilet.
If a plumber is needed, will the test crews recommend one?
If smoke enters my home, and the test crew determines the source of the smoke entry, where does the information go?
The test results will be compiled in a report for the town.
What are the test crews looking for?
Anything that would allow rain water access to the sanitary sewer system.
Can I still use my water?
Yes. This test does not affect the water distribution system.
I (or a family member) has asthma/emphysema/allergies/difficulty breathing. What should I/they do if smoke enters the home?
Although the smoke is non-toxic, it is still smoke. Move the person to an area where there is no smoke, outside to fresh air is preferable.
What time will the smoke tests be conducted?
Between the hours of 8:00 AM and 5:00 PM, Monday through Friday.
I’ve called the fire department because I forgot that the smoke test was going to be conducted. Am I in trouble?
No, This does happen.
What will the smoke test crews be wearing?
All field crews will be in uniform with Flow Assessment markings with a current Flow Assessment ID badge.
What type of vehicle will the smoke test crews by operating?
Red Chevrolet box style vans with Flow Assessment markings.
How long does a smoke test last?
Normally, 10 to 15 minutes, but can go up to 30 minutes depending on pipe size and length of the segment.
What color is the smoke?
The smoke appears white.
How is the smoke moved through the pipes?
A fan powered by a gasoline engine, similar to a lawnmower, placed over the sanitary sewer manhole, pushes the smoke throughout the pipes.