Jay Harris is Cpt. LoadTest

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Filed under: Mush

I’m finally leaving the apartment world and entering the brotherhood of the house-poor. The process is exciting, interesting, and oftentimes overwhelming. However, last week when the home inspectors came to check the place out, I was amused by yet another situation where my QA skills applied. Functional testing, automated testing, performance testing: it was all done.

Ways to Performance Test a House:

The water system
Turn on every water faucet in the house at the same time. Can the system handle it? Does the water pressure drop? Can the well pump keep up? Turn on the outside water faucets and the sprinkler system. How does it do now? If the house can handle it, you should not have to worry about the shower getting cold when the toilet is flushed.

The electrical system
Similar to the water system test, what happens when you turn on every light in the house? How about if you also start the dishwasher and the clothes dryer? The air conditioner, too? Maybe do the water test at the same time, since the well pump draws from the power system, too. Get some electrical system meters to make sure the power does not die down when the load is high.

Ways to Functional Test a House:

The electrical system
Aside from making sure that the lights to actually turn on, the outlets work, and that the doorbell actually dings, there are some other cool tricks that were done against my house. I forget the name of the toy, but the inspectors had this cool gadget that would simulate a short in the system, like someone splashing water on an outlet or getting frisky with a fork. The gadget would test that the GFCI outlets would actually trip under such a scenario. Purposely overloading the system to make sure that the safeguards did their job. It’s like pulling the network cable from a MSCS Cluster to make sure that the servers would actually fail over. I thought this one was the most fun of all the night’s tests.

Ways to Security Test a House:

I used to carry a long expired medical insurance card in my wallet. Sometimes I would lock myself out of the house, most commonly when I took the garbage out, and I would use the card to pop the door and get back in. (I would always have my wallet with me, even if I forgot my keys.) I wasn’t thrilled that I could do that, but it did come in handy from time-to-time.

I’m sure there are other ways to test a house. Anyone else have any creative tasks?

Tuesday, August 15, 2006 8:12:24 AM (Eastern Daylight Time, UTC-04:00)  #    Comments [0] - Trackback

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