In a dye test, the inspector will introduce dye into the water that is being drained to see how much of it enters the septic tank. From there, the septic tank will get pumped and the inspector will check for any backflow from the absorption area.
How do you test a septic system?
- How a Septic Dye Test is Performed. The septic dye test uses a fluorescent dye solution to visually identify a problem with the septic system. The dye is flushed down a toilet that is (presumably) connected to the septic system being tested. The amount of dye used is determined by the size of the septic tank.
What does a septic test consist of?
There are three things a septic system inspector will check during an inspection including the integrity of the septic tank, the proper function of the distribution box, and a leach field that is working as intended. If all three of these components are working correctly you will have passed the septic inspection.
How do you pass a septic system test?
You can also use these when preparing for the inspection.
- Pump septic every 2-3 years as mentioned above.
- Inspect around the pump every year for leaks or other issues.
- Keep records of maintenance and pumping.
- Use low flush toilets, low flow showerheads.
- Clean lint regularly from the washing machine.
What are signs of septic tank problems?
7 Warning Signs Your Septic System Is Failing
- Gurgling Pipes. They would occur when you run water in the house (e.g. when using the sink or shower) or flush the toilet.
- Bad Odours. It’s never a pleasant experience when this occurs.
- Water At Ground Level.
- Green Grass.
- Slow Drainage.
- Blocked Pipes.
How is a drain field tested?
In order to test the overall health and liquid capacity for your leach field, it is necessary to perform a hydraulic load test. This is done by running water at a certain rate over an allotted period of time. A failure occurs when water back-drains to the source before that allotted time period is up.
How do you tell if your septic tank is full?
How to tell your septic tank is full and needs emptying
- Pooling water.
- Slow drains.
- An overly healthy lawn.
- Sewer backup.
- Gurgling Pipes.
- Trouble Flushing.
How much does it cost to pump a septic tank?
How much does it cost to pump out a septic tank? The average cost is $300, but can run up to $500, depending on your location. The tank should be pumped out every three to five years.
How do I prepare my septic tank for pumping?
3 Ways to Prepare for Septic Tank Pumping
- Keep a Record of Septic Tank Maintenance. We recommend you keep track of all septic tank maintenance, service, and repairs that have been conducted since you’ve lived in the home.
- Locate System Components.
- Clear Away All Debris.
- Choose Curt & Jerry for Septic Tank Pumping.
How do I check my septic tanks sludge level?
To measure the sludge layer:
- Slowly lower the tube into the septic tank until it touches the bottom of the tank.
- As the device is slowly pulled out of the water, the check valve closes capturing a liquid/solid profile of the septic tank water. The thickness of the sludge layer can be measured.
What is the most common cause of septic system failure?
Most septic systems fail because of inappropriate design or poor maintenance. Some soil-based systems (those with a drain field) are installed at sites with inadequate or inappropriate soils, excessive slopes, or high ground water tables.
Does heavy rain affect septic tank?
It is common to have a septic back up after or even during a heavy rain. Significant rainfall can quickly flood the ground around the soil absorption area (drainfield) leaving it saturated, making it impossible for water to flow out of your septic system.
How can you tell if your leach field is failing?
The following are a few common signs of leach field failure: Grass over leach field is greener than the rest of the yard. The surrounding area is wet, mushy, or even has standing water. Sewage odors around drains, tank, or leach field.
How deep are drain fields buried?
A typical drainfield trench is 18 to 30 inches in depth, with a maximum soil cover over the disposal field of 36 inches.
How far is D box from septic tank?
The D-box is normally not very deep, often between 6″ and two feet to the top of the box. You may also see a pattern of parallel depressions, typically about 5 feet apart, that mark the individual drainfield leach lines. The D-box will at or near end of the drainfield area that is closest to the septic tank.
What to do after septic is pumped?
After you have had your septic tank pumped by a trusted septic company, there are some things you can and should do as the septic system owner.
- 1) Get on a Schedule.
- 2) Take Care of the System.
- 3) Know the Parts of Your System.
- 4) Check Other Possible Issues.
Buying a House? Make Sure You Get a Septic System Inspection!
If you are in the process of purchasing a home, you are aware that there are several phases involved in the process. You put money together for a down payment, go to open houses, chat to sellers and real estate agents, and ultimately discover a place you love to call home. The exciting part is about to begin. There are several steps involved: making an offer, getting pre-approval, scheduling a home inspection, and eventually, after heaps of paperwork, claiming ownership of the property. But hold on a minute!
You might be asking why you would need to get your septic system inspected.
Septic systems that are in poor working order can cost hundreds of thousands of dollars to repair or replace.
When a roof leak occurs or a break in the foundation occurs, you would want to be aware of the situation.
“All OK, but I’ve already completed a house inspection and a dye test.” “Doesn’t that suffice?” While these inspections may be sufficient to meet the criteria of a lender, they are insufficient to provide a full evaluation of a septic system.
What is a septic system inspection?
Performing a septic system inspection entails a thorough examination of all of the components of a septic system. The inspector will determine the location and condition of the septic tank, distribution box, and absorption area and make recommendations. In this process, he will uncover and evaluate all of the mechanical and electrical components of the system, including septic lines, baffles and filters, pumps and floats, alarms, and so on. During the inspection, he will open the septic tank (digging up the lids, if required) in order to check the wastewater sources from the home to the septic tank and physically inspect the septic tank at its operational level, according to the manufacturer’s specifications.
If the home has been vacant for an extended period of time or if the number of people living in the home is expected to increase, the inspector will conduct a hydraulic load test to determine whether the septic system’s absorption area is capable of handling the anticipated daily wastewater volume of the home buyer’s family.
For septic systems in Pennsylvania, this implies that the inspector must have received training and certification from the Pennsylvania Septage Management Association (PSMA), which has created a set of requirements for an objective septic system assessment.
Each PSMA septic system inspection finishes with the delivery of a thorough report.
However, while this analysis does not provide a guarantee, the findings drawn from it may be able to save you thousands of dollars in septic system repairs or replacement.
If you do not have a PSMA inspection and report, you run the danger of inheriting the financial burden of substantial septic system repairs or perhaps the installation of a whole new system completely.
Septic System Inspection vs. Home Inspection
Inspections of the inside and exterior of a home are performed by professionals who are well-versed in the identification of typical faults. They will inform you if there are any evident issues with the roof, windows, electrical system, interior plumbing, foundation, or any other visible components of the house. A house inspection, on the other hand, is just a visual assessment that is non-invasive. Consequently, house inspectors only report on the components of the home that they can physically see, and nothing else.
- This implies that the septic system is not included in the scope of a standard house inspection.
- There is a good chance that they may flush the toilets a few times to ensure that the system is not actively backing up, and they may even remove the cover from the septic tank (if they can find it).
- How can a home inspector tell you what condition your septic tank is in if there isn’t a pump truck available to empty it?
- Despite the fact that home inspectors are well-versed in many aspects of the property, they are neither equipped nor prepared to conduct a thorough examination of a septic system.
- Rely on a PSMA inspector that specializes in septic systems to provide you with the most thorough and insightful septic system inspection available.
Septic System Inspection vs. Dye Test
Dyes are used in a dye test to check that wastewater is appropriately routed into the septic tank and not elsewhere on the land. Dyes are brightly colored and non-toxic, and they are safe to use. In layman’s terms, a dye test demonstrates that water can travel from point A to point B. At the time of a dye test, a technician will flush dye tablets down the toilet and down the drain, check to verify that the right wastewater sources are entering the septic tank, and walk about the property looking for dye.
In the absence of a dye test, it is impossible to determine the size or condition of a septic tank.
Dye tests provide little information on the operation of critical septic system components such as baffles, pumps, floats, and alarms, among others.
When purchasing a property, don’t take a chance on a future filled with septic system failures and expensive repairs.
For a complete septic system inspection, rely on the PSMA-certified inspectors at Hapchuk, Inc. to conduct the work for you. Our professionals will supply you with all of the information and help you want in order to confidently acquire a house that has a septic system installed.
Understand the Septic Inspection Process
There are certain distinctions in care, usage, and budgeting that you should be aware of, whether you’re a new homeowner with an existing septic system or considering about purchasing or building a home without sewer hookups. This document outlines three ways in which your budget will be affected if your wastewater is treated using a septic system. 1. You will not be required to budget for municipal sewer service. Because the municipal wastewater system normally processes all of the water, the cost of city sewage service is sometimes determined by how much water you purchase from the city.
- A large number of homes with septic systems also rely on wells for fresh water rather than municipal water, which means you’ll likely save money in that department as well.
- It is necessary to include septic maintenance in your budget.
- Although you are not required to pay the city for the usage of your septic system, you will be responsible for the costs of maintenance if you want the system to continue to function properly.
- It is possible that these maintenance and repair expenditures will build up over time, so you may want to consider setting up an emergency fund to cover any unforeseen repair bills.
- You’ll also need to budget for the cost of a single inspection and begin saving for the cost of a tank pump.
- Spreading the expenditures out over several months is the most effective budgeting strategy, even for an expense such as tank pumping that does not occur every year, because it allows you to better estimate the costs ahead of time.
- You may need to set aside money for septic tank replacement.
The tank and leach field may not need to be replaced if you have a reasonably recent septic system and plan to sell your home within a few years.
If, on the other hand, your home’s septic system is more than a decade old, you’ll want to start looking into how much a new system would cost you as soon as possible.
For example, if the previous owners did not do routine maintenance or if the system was installed on clay soil, the system may need to be replaced.
It is a prudent decision to begin putting money aside in anticipation of this eventuality.
When you have a septic system, you may use these three strategies to budget differently.
Make an appointment with us right away if you’re searching for someone to pump out your septic tank or to complete an annual examination of your septic system. Our experts at C.E. Taylor and Son Inc. would be happy to assist you with any septic system assessment, maintenance, or repair needs.
What is a Septic Tank Inspection? Do I Need It?
Everyone has undoubtedly heard the expression “it’s a filthy job, but someone has to do it.” After all, failure to periodically examine and repair your septic tank may result in a slew of unpleasant tasks to complete – and that’s not at all nice! Now, let’s take a look at what aseptic system inspection comprises and why it’s necessary.
The reasons for needing a septic tank inspection
Everyone has undoubtedly heard the expression “that’s a filthy job, but somebody has to do it.” For starters, failure to do routine maintenance on and inspection of yourseptictank may result in a slew of nasty duties, none of which are very enjoyable. Let’s take a look at what aseptic system inspection comprises and why it’s so crucial to do.
The types of septic inspections
Septic inspections may be divided into two categories:
- Visual inspections– These are normally performed by a home inspector when a house is being sold or purchased, and they include asking questions about the property and the house, such as when the previous inspection was performed, and so on. By running water and flushing all of the toilets in the property, the inspector may determine whether or not the water pressure in the house has been compromised. Cesspools, standing water, and the drain field will all be checked by the inspector as part of his inspection. This form of examination is quick and convenient, but it cannot tell you much about the condition of your septic tank, including whether it is healthy and safe. Full inspection is nearly identical to visual inspection, with the exception that it involves a considerably more extensive inspection. This is carried out by professionals and highly trained specialists who are equipped with the necessary equipment and tools for the job. The time period during which inspectors examine the water level in your septic tank to assess whether or not the water is draining properly. Additionally, they will do a few of checks to ensure that everything is in working condition before they proceed with the pumping.
Visual inspections– These are normally performed by a home inspector when a house is being sold or purchased, and they include asking questions about the property and the house, such as when the previous inspection was performed, and so forth Next, the inspector checks the water pressure in the house by flushing all of the toilets in the house and running the water. Cesspools, standing water, and the drain field will also be checked by the inspector. Despite the fact that this form of examination is quick and convenient, it cannot tell you much about the health and safety of your septic tank.
This is carried out by professionals and highly trained specialists who are equipped with the necessary equipment and tools for the task at hand.
Additionally, they will do a few of checks to ensure that everything is in working condition before continuing with the pumping.
Septic System Inspections
Nick Gromicko, CMI®, and Kenton Shepard wrote this article. A septic system is a system that collects, processes, and disposes of waste water and solids that are generated by a building’s plumbing system. When the solids are partially broken down into sludge, they are separated from the liquid effluent (water) and scum in a septic tank (fat, oil and grease). Effluent is discharged from the tank on a regular basis into a drainfield, where it is naturally filtered by microorganisms and re-enters the groundwater supply.
The septic system should be tested at least once a year, and it should be done immediately before putting the house on the market for sale.
Prospective home buyers who have not recently had their septic system checked should insist on having the system checked before they acquire the property, since it is in their best interests.
When it comes time to examine or pump the tank, this is typically not a problem. If a homeowner does not know where his or her septic tank is, inspectors can utilize the following tips to help them identify it:
- The placement of the tank should be depicted on a “as-built” design of the home. These designs are frequently kept on file by municipal health and zoning departments. It is possible that older systems do not have such a record. It is possible to get in touch with the prior owner
- Modern tanks are equipped with risers that protrude clearly above the ground surface. It is possible to probe a suspicious location using a thin metal rod that has been placed into the soil. It is critical to do this carefully and only on soft, damp soil in order to prevent harming the tank and its accompanying pipelines. Another option is to use a shovel, although this will need a little more effort. If a sufficient number of tank components are made of metal, a metal detector can be utilized. A tiny radio transmitter that can be flushed down the toilet and followed by a receiver can be used to communicate. The grass that grows the most lushly in a yard is frequently seen just over the sewage tank. Snow melts more quickly above the tank than it does in the rest of the yard. While they are not failsafe techniques of finding a place, they have been shown to be beneficial in the past.
What kinds of things may InterNACHI inspectors be looking for?
- Find out when the tank was last pumped by looking at the date on the tank. The sludge level should ultimately indicate if a tank has to be pumped, although having a record of past pumping dates might be useful as a reference. Using a “sludge judge” or a similar instrument, determine the amount of sludge present. It is normal for sludge to collect on the tank bottom, but it should not take up more than one-third of the tank’s total capacity or climb to the level of the baffles. The septic tank and drainfield should be located far away from wells and streams, for obvious reasons. Make certain that the system is large enough to accommodate the household it serves. A 1,200-gallon tank is normally required for a four-bedroom house, for example. The number of people that live in the house determines the size of the tank that is necessary. The tank’s capacity in gallons may be computed based on the size of the tank. For rectangular tanks, the capacity in gallons is equal to the product of the length, breadth, and depth in feet multiplied by 7.5. For circular tanks, the capacity in gallons is calculated as 3.14 times the radius squared x the depth in feet multiplied by 7.5. Check the ground surface for any liquid waste that has found its way to the surface. This is an unclean state that signals that the system is overburdened and needs to be repaired. In order to prevent wastewater contamination of groundwater and groundwater from flowing into the tank and causing it to overfill, make certain that it is waterproof. The presence of a riser lid should be checked for cracks and the integrity of the lid should be checked as well. Check to see that the baffles are securely attached to the tank’s inlet and exit pipes. It is recommended that each drain line receives the same quantity of wastewater. By opening the distribution box, you will be able to see what they are made of. If the box becomes tipped or blocked, it will distribute effluent in an excessively large amount, and it may even flood areas of the drainfield.
Find out when the tank was last pumped by entering the date in the search box. While tank pumping should be determined by sludge level in the end, knowing when tanks have previously been pumped might be beneficial as a reference. Using a “sludge judge” or a similar instrument, determine the amount of sludge in the tank. In the tank bottom, sludge builds up, although it should not take up more than one-third of the tank’s entire volume or climb to the level of its baffles. The septic tank and drainfield should be located far away from wells and streams, for safety reasons.
- A 1,200-gallon tank is normally required for a four-bedroom house, for example.
- Using the tank’s measurements, it is possible to determine its capacity in gallons.
- For circular tanks, the capacity in gallons is equal to 3.14 x the radius squared x the depth in feet x 7.5.
- A hygienic situation is present, and the system is overburdened as a result.
- The presence of a riser lid should be checked for cracks and the integrity of the lid should be ensured.
- By opening the distribution box, you will be able to see what they are made up of.
- The baffle is covered in solids. This should be reported as soon as possible because it implies overflow. There is evidence of prior overflow due to chemical and water erosion. Ideally, the sewage level should be several inches below the baffle top of the drain. A lower level implies leakage, whereas a greater level indicates obstruction.
Inspectors should be familiar with the following facts so that they may advise their clients about the various ways in which they might cause harm to their septic system:
- The only thing that can be flushed down the toilet is bath tissue. Tampons, paper towels, cigarette butts, and diapers should all be disposed of in the garbage. In order to prevent microorganisms in the septic system from being damaged by household chemicals such as gasoline, paint, medicine, antifreeze, or pesticides from being flushed, they should never be put down the toilet or down the sink. In little volumes, detergents and bleach can make their way into the plumbing system. There should be no driving on or near the drainfield unless absolutely necessary. Their weight might cause damage to subsurface plumbing without them realizing it. There should be no other vegetation grown over the septic tank and drainfield. Roots from trees and huge bushes can create harm that is not visible. People are not permitted to excavate or construct structures on top of a drainfield. Ensure that any water drainage from rains, sump pumps, or any other source of surface water is routed away from the drainfield. An over-saturated drainfield can cause the water treatment process to be slowed down and plumbing fittings to get clogged. Fixing leaking faucets and toilets as soon as they occur is a simple method to extend the life of a septic system and avoid having to pay for an expensive replacement. Any waste of water in the home should be avoided at all costs. Taking shorter showers and avoiding using the garbage disposal are two examples of strategies to conserve water.
- It is not recommended that inspectors enter the septic tank to search for cracks. Tank interiors are extremely filthy, and entering should be avoided at all costs. The fracture will most likely be located at the level of the effluent, which will have drained from the tank via the crack if one is there. An effluent level that is much lower than the level of the tank outflow is a clear indicator of the presence of a fracture. A tank that has flaws that enable sewage to escape into the surrounding soil is effectively a cesspool and should be removed as soon as possible
- If the water comes from the tank, it indicates that the septic system is overburdened and has to be repaired. Sometimes, inspectors will use a dye that is flushed down the toilet to confirm that the water is coming from the residence and not from somewhere else. Despite the fact that this metric might be beneficial, it is not an accepted means of testing the operation of a septic system. A malfunctioning septic system will be confirmed if dye from the flushed dye shows in the puddle
- However, a working septic system is not guaranteed if dye does not appear. It may take many days for the dye to develop, and it may be too diluted to see properly
- It is outside the scope of a standard house inspection to evaluate a septic system, and this needs specialized skills. Laws differ from one jurisdiction to the next, and inspectors should be well-versed in them before providing this job. They should disclaim all responsibility for any component of the septic system examination that they did not do
Septic systems are meant to manage hazardous waste, and they may pose major health risks to both residents and inspectors if they are not properly maintained. Precautions include the following, in no particular order:
- Septic systems are meant to manage hazardous waste, and they may pose major health risks to both residents and inspectors if they are not maintained properly. Precautions include the following, in no particular order: a.
In conclusion, septic system inspections should be conducted on a yearly basis to verify that the system is operating properly. The septic tank is the most expensive household fixture, and it will have a much shorter lifespan if it is not properly cared for and maintained.
Don’t Forget The Septic Inspection When Buying a House
Septic system inspection is mandatory if you are planning to purchase a property that contains a septic tank. There are several things that may go wrong with septic systems, and with any sort of system, there is the potential for various problems to arise. Is it necessary to have a septic examination performed before purchasing a home?
Before closing on a home, you should find out if there is an issue with the septic system that has to be addressed. The problems that might arise with a septic system can range from basic repairs to extremely sophisticated replacements that can cost tens of thousands of dollars or more.
How The Septic System Works
A septic system installed on a home property can be used in place of a municipal sewer system in some cases. In the United States, 25 percent of residences have decentralized systems, also known as septic systems, which are permanent components of our nation’s wastewater infrastructure, according to the Environmental Protection Agency. It all starts with the sanitary pipe that runs from the home and delivers waste water to the septic tank at the bottom of the hill. This big container is normally composed of concrete, fiberglass or steel, although it can also be made of plastic or aluminum.
- This tank collects wastewater from the home and allows particles to settle to the bottom of the tank, where they form a “sludge” layer that can be seen on the bottom of the tank.
- This scum layer forms a seal, which helps to keep air out of the tank, allowing bacteria to grow in the tank below.
- The area between the sludge and the scum is referred to as the effluent area.
- A T-shaped outlet is located inside the tank, which allows effluent to flow into the leach field by gravity, while baffles prevent scum and particles from passing through the tank and into the leach field.
- This box permits the effluent to flow uniformly into the proper chambers of the leach field, therefore reducing the risk of contamination.
- The final outcome is the same regardless of the method employed: the delivery of effluent into the leach field.
- There are a variety of various alternatives available when it comes to the sorts of chambers that may be employed.
- Leaching’s ultimate goal is to enable effluent to trickle down into the subsoil, where microorganisms in the top layers of soil continue to break down elements from the tank.
- Leach Field in a Residential Setting As you can see, a septic system is involved in a great deal of activity.
- A large number of homeowners are completely unaware of the importance of providing continuous maintenance, care, and cleaning for their septic systems.
- The results of the examination will be used to decide whether or not the tank needs to be emptied.
The cost of inspection and pumping might range between $300 and $500, depending on the location and size of the tank. The cost of maintenance is substantially less than the cost of repair or, in the worst case scenario, replacement of the equipment.
The Septic Inspection
If you’re doing the inspection as part of a house purchase, you’ll want to synchronize the scheduling of this test with the date of your regular property inspection to ensure that both tests are completed at the same time. Thus, if there are any issues with the plumbing systems of the home, these may be brought to the notice of the home inspector and documented in the inspection report. Additionally, grouping these inspections together will help you stay on schedule for any inspection contingency-related deadlines that you may be up against in the future.
At this point, you’ll be gathering documentation and obtaining answers to any queries you may have in preparation for the real inspection.
Because the system is underground, no examination can locate everything without excavating, which is unfeasible given the system’s location.
Here is a list of questions you should be prepared to answer before the inspection begins:
- Is it possible that the system has ever been pumped? This one is significant since it is the only genuine maintenance issue that the seller would be required to have completed
- It is also the most expensive. The seller’s knowledge of the location of the septic system is critical because if the seller does not know where the septic system is located, it is doubtful that they have performed continuous maintenance. Septic System Location Map – Regardless of whatever institution is in charge of supervising septic systems in your region, they should have a map of the septic system location given by the original home builder on hand. This is a critical piece of documentation for the septic inspection. It should not only display the position of the tank, but also the location of the leach field and the number of leaching Chambers
- If there is any available history on the system’s maintenance – for example, something like:
- The frequency at which the system has been pumped
- What type of contractor was employed
- Obtain any maintenance records that may exist
- Have there been any issues
- If so, have they been resolved?
- Where have all the covers gone? -Manhole coverings should be installed over the tank’s chambers to prevent water from entering the tank. This will be the method through which the technician will get access to the tank in order to test and/or clean it.
Putting together this information will serve two purposes: first, it will assist the technician who will be inspecting the system in knowing what to check for, and second, it will provide you with an understanding of how the house seller maintained the system.
The On Site Inspection
After arriving at the residence, the technician will attempt to determine whether or not the sanitary pipe used to transport liquid to the system is functional and in good working order by conducting a flow test on the pipe. As part of this test, you will need to turn on all of your water faucets in your home to add or charge your system with enough water to sustain as many people as the system was designed to support for 24 hours, which is often several hundred gallons. If there is little or no water flowing into the tank, it is likely that there is an issue with the plumbing in the residence or with the sanitary line that has to be addressed.
- If this is the case, an asewer line inspection may be required for the line.
- The opposite is true if the water in the tank rises rapidly, which indicates that a problem is occurring downstream.
- The flow test is the most important phase of the septic system inspection because it examines so many different parts of the system and ensures that the liquids are going through the system in the proper direction as intended.
- A significant percentage of those solids will convert into sludge and settle at the bottom of the tank, even though it is intended that they remain in the tank until they are pumped out.
- Once this is completed, they resume pumping the tank until they reach the underlying sludge layer, at which time they take another reading.
- If this is not the case, the technician will be on the lookout for larger difficulties in the leach field at a later stage.
- It is critical to keep the sediments and scum out of the distribution area and leach field to avoid contamination.
The leach field will be the final place that the technician will inspect.
They will be looking for any moist locations where water may be lingering, as well as smelling for any nasty orders that may have been generated by difficulties.
if the probe holes rapidly fill with water, it is quite likely that there is a malfunction with the system The distribution box of a septic system is another location of possible failure in a septic system.
Settlement or blockage of the distribution box are the most common causes of distribution box problems.
As you can see, there is a vast range of possible issues that might arise with a private home septic system, which you should be aware of.
Over 10% of all systems back up into homes or have wastewater seeping through the ground surface, according to data from the United States Census Bureau collected in 1995.
The United States Census Bureau conducted a survey in 1995.
You want to find out if there are any possible concerns with the property before you close on it. Including the testing of the septic system in the inspection process gives you the opportunity to engage the house seller in any later repairs through the use of an inspection objection contingency.
- Bill Gassett discusses the Massachusetts Title 5 Septic System Law
- Luke Skar discusses home inspection tips for buyers. Find out how to analyze home inspection priorities with the help of the Shelhamer Group. The Ultimate Home Buyers Timeline – Danny Margagliano
- The Ultimate Home Buyers Timeline
Septic Inspections: 6 Questions You Need to Ask
In this article, Bill Gassett discusses the Massachusetts Title 5 Septic System Law; in another, Luke Skar provides home inspection tips for buyers. Find out how to analyze home inspection priorities with the help of the Shelhamer Group; In this article by Danny Margagliano, he discusses the ultimate home buyers’ timeline.
Need help in the home selling process?
An experienced Partner Agent can assist you in navigating the choppy waters of business.
What is a septic system?
One in every five homes in the United States is equipped with a septic system, yet you’d be shocked how many people are unaware of what they are. A septic system is a system that is designed to remove waste from a home or building. During normal operation, it collects and filters water and garbage from the washer, sinks, showers, and toilets before returning it to the sink. The mechanism then re-distributes the energy back into the earth. The entire procedure contributes to the reduction of water and soil pollution.
The septic tank is where the water and trash from the residence are disposed of.
The liquid rises to the top of the container and passes through an absorption zone.
A layer of gravel serves as a drain field, allowing water to pass through it before entering the soil.
How often should you get a septic inspection?
The average American house has a septic system, but you’d be amazed at how many people are unaware of what they are or how to use them properly. When it comes to waste removal, a septic tank is an underground system that is installed in your home. When it is in good operating order, it collects and filters the water and waste from the washer, sinks, showers, and toilets. Afterwards, the mechanism distributes the energy back into the ground. The entire procedure contributes to a reduction in water and soil pollution, which is beneficial.
Into the septic tank goes the water and garbage from the home.
Eventually, the liquid reaches the surface and passes through an absorption zone.
An underlayment of gravel serves as a drain field, allowing water to pass through it without being filtered.
How is a septic inspection done?
The average American house has a septic system, but you’d be shocked how many people are unaware of what they are. A septic system is a system that is designed to remove waste from a home. When in good functioning order, it collects and filters the water and waste from the washer, sinks, showers, and toilets. The mechanism then re-distributes the energy into the earth. The entire procedure contributes to a reduction in water and soil pollution. Here’s a little explanation of how it works. The septic tank is where all of the water and waste from the house ends up.
The liquid rises to the top of the container and passes through an absorption chamber.
A layer of gravel serves as a drain field, allowing water to pass through it before entering the soil and becoming contaminated.
During the water’s journey through the gravel and soil, minerals present naturally in the earth filter the water, allowing it to be used once it reaches the groundwater table.
The average American house has a septic system, but you’d be shocked at how many people are unaware of what they are. A septic system is a system that is designed to remove waste from your home. When it is in good operating order, it takes the water and waste from the washer, sinks, showers, and toilets and filters it. The mechanism then redistributes the energy into the earth. The entire procedure contributes to the reduction of water and soil pollution. Here’s a basic rundown of how it all works.
Once in the septic tank, the waste sinks to the bottom where it is broken down by the natural bacteria there.
The absorption area is made up of a network of pipes that connect the septic tank to the drain field.
As the water passes through the gravel and dirt, minerals present naturally in the earth filter it, making it useful until it reaches the groundwater.
A thorough inspection contains all that a visual inspection does, but it also goes above and beyond that level of service. This is the inspection you’ll want to have done every three to five years, at the absolute least. Inspectors will remove the lid from the septic tank and assess the amount of water in the tank during a comprehensive examination. The level of the water might indicate whether or not the water is draining adequately. The inspector will next run water through the home to ensure that it is correctly draining from the house to the septic tank and that the water level within the tank does not rise as a result of the additional water being introduced into the system.
Dye tests are conducted to determine how much dye is incorporated into the water that is draining and how much of it makes its way into the sewage treatment plant.
Inspecting the backflow level will reveal whether or not there is an issue with your drain field.
How much do septic inspections cost?
The cost of a septic inspection varies based on the level of detail with which they check the tank and the size of the tank, but for a 1,000-1,500 gallon tank, a comprehensive examination normally costs $300 to $600. Remember to inquire with your local health department to see if they provide inspections at a reduced rate. Keep in mind that the cost of evaluating your septic system may vary depending on who or what firm is doing the inspection. In certain areas (such as Texas), you are not need to obtain a license or certification order in order to examine sewage treatment plants.
A license in a number of sectors, both within their state and on a national level, will be held by the most competent inspectors.
How long do septic systems last?
Septic systems may endure for up to 25 years — and in some circumstances, indefinitely — depending on the conditions. Maintaining the system is critical to its overall performance and reliability. If you get your concrete septic tank inspected on a regular basis and make repairs as needed, it can endure for a lifetime or even longer.
Should I repair or replace my septic system?
Here are a couple of things to keep an eye out for.
Puddles in Your Yard
A smart option is to have an inspector come out and assess your septic system if there is any standing water in your yard over your septic system. Take precautions to keep yourself and your animals away from the water, since it may be contaminated with hazardous substances.
Having a significant number of plumbing backups is a symptom that something is wrong with your septic system. It might be anything as simple as a small repair or as complex as a complete tank replacement, among other things. In either case, an inspector will be required to determine the situation.
If the grass over your septic area is greener than the grass in other sections of your yard, it’s time to get your septic system inspected and cleaned. In the event that a septic system begins to fail, it releases more water into the ground, which might benefit your plant life but can also be hazardous to human health.
Results of an Inspection
The septic system should be inspected if the grass over your septic area is greener than the grass in the other sections of your yard. Septic systems fail when they begin to leak more water into the ground, which can be beneficial to plant life but potentially hazardous to human health and safety.
How to Maintain Your Septic System
Tampons, paper towels, baby wipes, and any other foreign materials that cannot break down readily in your septic system should never be flushed down the toilet to ensure that your septic system lasts as long as possible. If you have a garbage disposal, use it to help break down any food that would otherwise block the pipes in your home. Make sure you never throw oil down the sink since it might clog up the septic tank and cause it to overflow. Try to choose a laundry detergent that is also safe to use with septic systems.
You should make certain that your sump pump is not connected to your septic system before starting.
Selling a House with a Septic System
Some counties do not need a septic examination prior to a home sale, however others demand a thorough investigation before a home sale. Check with your county’s health department to see whether you are required to have a septic examination performed prior to selling your home. Completing your own pre-inspection might also assist you in identifying any potential problems. If the seller is aware of any concerns with the septic system, the law compels them to provide this information to the buyer before closing.
Both sellers and purchasers are perplexed as to who is ultimately responsible for repairing damage to the septic system. Repairing the septic system is normally the responsibility of the seller, although you may be able to negotiate prices as part of the transaction.
Buying a House with a Septic System
Purchasing a home with a septic system necessitates answering a few questions. Here are some of the most important:
- What is the age of the house
- When was the last time you had your septic tank examined and pumped? Have you had any septic tank back-ups or standing water problems? Whether or if the septic tank has been repaired is unclear.
In addition, you’ll want to make certain that a third-party inspector does a comprehensive examination. When hiring an inspector, it may be tempting to hire someone who will go through the inspection fast and sign off with a gold star. However, you may end yourself acquiring a property that has a slew of issues down the future as a result of this decision. If you want assistance in locating a reputable inspector, your realtor will most likely be able to provide suggestions. In general, septic systems are quite efficient, as long as they are properly maintained.
You may also keep it in good condition by not flushing any non-biodegradable or harmful substances down your toilet.
Instead of doing it yourself, why not consult with a professional?
To get started, please call us at 1-833-2-CLEVER or fill out our online form today.
If you reside in the Northeast or the Southern portion of the United States, there is a good possibility that you will come across a home that has a septic system rather than a sewer system. In reality, one out of every five homes is equipped with a septic system. In order for a home with a septic system to sell, refinance, or be purchased by someone, it must pass an inspection before being put on the market. This is one area of the house where you don’t want anything to go wrong on your watch.
When it comes to the inspection, why is it necessary, and how should you prepare for it?
Pumping the septic system is necessary to maintain the system operating correctly.
Why a Septic Inspection is Important
It is advised that you do a septic check every year and pump the septic system every 2-3 years. This enables the inspector to ensure that the tank is clean and operational, as well as to identify and address any possible concerns before they become problems. This is an advice that unfortunately is not followed by every homeowner, who waits to have it examined until thousands of dollars in repairs or replacements are required. An inspection is crucial and required before purchasing or selling a property, as well as before refinancing.
State Rules on Septics
Septic tanks on state government property are subject to specific laws and restrictions in every state. This is where you’ll find it in Texas.
You may learn more about what is permitted as well as guidelines for septic system maintenance and upkeep. Septic inspections are performed by an aseptic inspector, who is certified and trained in this field. It is critical to know the location of your septic system before the examination.
How to Prepare for the Septic Inspection
- Septic tanks on state government property are subject to specific laws and restrictions in each jurisdiction. This is where you’ll find it in Texas: You may learn about what is permitted as well as advice for septic system maintenance. This type of inspection can only be performed by someone who is certified and trained in this field. A thorough understanding of your septic system is required prior to the inspection being performed.
Short on Time to Prepare for the Septic Inspection
Even though you are short on time to prepare for the inspection, you should have a look at the section on maintenance ideas below to see if you have enough time to do any of them before the inspection. It’s a good thing to be conscientious about maintaining your vehicle. If you don’t, you might find yourself in serious danger.
How to Pass Septic Inspection
Look over the maintenance ideas in the area below if you are short on time to prepare for the inspection and see if you can do any of them prior to the inspection. Consistently doing maintenance is an excellent thing to have on your resume. It is possible that you will get into problems if you do not comply.
Scum forms when oil or grease is introduced into the tank. With the intention of allowing it to flow out, the beneficial bacteria can typically take care of things. If the scum is still present in the tank, it is necessary to solve the situation.
A natural flow should be present in the septic tank. It is possible that there are no blockages or backups causing harm to the systems if this is the case. The three primary areas that are inspected are sludge, scum, and flow, but each state has its own set of rules, so check with your local government for specifics.
What if the Septic Inspection Fails
The inspector will provide recommendations on what needs to be repaired or replaced. You will be able to have another inspection when you have addressed these issues. If you are having an inspection done in order to acquire or sell a house, talk to your realtor about how much time you have to have it done. Unfortunately, for many, this is a deal-breaker unless the problem can be quickly resolved or replaced. Also, inquire with the inspection business about the cost of repair or replacement and determine whether or not this is negotiable with the buyer or seller.
Cost of the Septic Inspection
If anything needs to be repaired or replaced, the inspector will propose it to you. Another inspection will be performed once you have addressed these problems. Talk to your realtor about how much time you have to do this inspection whether it is for the purpose of purchasing or selling a house. For many, this is a deal-breaker because it can’t be fixed or replaced in a timely manner. Also, inquire with the inspection business about the cost of repair or replacement and determine whether or not this is a bargaining point with either the buyer or the seller
Maintenance of the Septic System
The inspector will make recommendations on what should be repaired or replaced. You will be able to schedule another inspection when you have addressed these issues. If you are having an inspection done in order to acquire or sell a house, talk to your realtor about how much time you have to have it completed. Unfortunately, for many, this is a deal-breaker unless the problem can be fixed or replaced quickly. Also, inquire with the inspection business about the cost of repairs or replacement and determine whether or not this is negotiable with the buyer or seller.
- As previously stated, septic tanks should be pumped every 2-3 years. Every year, check the area around the pump for leaks or other problems. Maintain detailed records of all maintenance and pumping
- Low-flush toilets and low-flow showerheads should be used. Remove lint from the washing machine on a regular basis
- Check the area around the septic tank on a regular basis and make note of anything that doesn’t appear to be operating properly
- Only human waste and one-ply septic-approved toilet paper should be flushed. Keep an eye out for leaks and have them repaired as soon as possible. What appears to be a little leak may actually be the beginning of a larger catastrophe. Make a mental note of it. Spread out your washing over many days to avoid wasting a lot of water in one sitting. Water waste can cause drains to back up and cause the inspection to fail when there is an excessive amount of water used. Shrubs and landscaping – keep an eye out for any trees or shrubs that may be growing near the septic tank. Regardless of whether there is one, roots can grow into it and make holes. Trees are attracted to the nutrients in the drain field and will grow if given the opportunity, so keep a watch out for them and remove them before they do damage. Finally, the tank should be the appropriate size for the amount of people that will be living in the residence. If it is too little, it will be necessary to pump more frequently.
List of a Few Don’ts for Maintaining the Septic
- Do not use bleach or strong chemicals since these chemicals will destroy the beneficial microorganisms that your septic system need. When the helpful bacteria is unable to break down the debris, clogs and backups can occur. Don’t use the garbage disposal – it may seem like a good idea at the time, but it is not recommended in a septic-equipped home. As it does not break down the matter, it has the potential to block the septic system. Maintain a safe distance between vehicles and drain fields, and keep rainfall drainage systems off the area. Consequently, there may be difficulties with the wastewater, such as blockage or backups
Maintenance is critical since replacing a septic system may cost anywhere from $3,000 to $10,000.
If properly maintained, a system can endure for 25-30 years or more.
Are you shopping for a house and have concerns regarding septic systems, or do you have issues about the septic system on the property you now own? Send us a message using the form below and let us know what queries you have! We are here to assist you!
The Homeowner’s Guide to Septic Dye Testing
BlakeDavidTaylor / iStock / IStock.com As they age, septic tanks can experience damage that is not immediately visible, but which can nonetheless result in problems such as sewage backups or poisoning of drinking water supplies. Using a septic dye test, it is simple to identify serious issues without the need for more invasive inspection procedures. Although frequent, a dye test is far from comprehensive; thus, before scheduling one, make sure you understand the limits of this test.
What a Septic Dye Test Can Tell You
Photo by BlakeDavidTaylor (cc) IStock.com As they age, septic tanks can experience damage that is not immediately visible, but which can nonetheless result in problems such as sewage backups or pollution of drinking water sources. Major issues can be identified with relative ease utilizing a septic dye test rather than more invasive examination procedures. If you want to have a dye test done, be sure you understand the limits of this procedure before scheduling one with your doctor.
The Septic Dye Test Process
courtesy of IStock.com / AlekZotoff A septic dye test is performed by introducing dye to the septic system, which is commonly green or red in color, flushing the system with water, and then waiting to see if the dye emerges anywhere above ground in the system. Any leaking effluent is visible and traceable because to the dye used. It is possible that the dye will appear in your yard, the drain field, or a nearby river if there is a problem with the system. The house inspector begins by establishing the capacity of the septic tank, after which he or she calculates the amount of dye necessary to color the specified volume of water.
They can use this information to calculate how long they should let the water flow in order to fill the septic tank.
Alternatively, the inspector will use a dye tablet and run the faucet.
Afterwards, they’ll let the water flow for around 10 to 15 minutes to force the dye through the septic system and into the drain field.
An obstruction in the system, such as a damaged pipe, inlet, outlet, or other component, may allow the colored effluent to escape and travel to the soil surface at the location of the obstruction.
Again, though, just because damage occurs does not imply that the dye will reveal the presence of damage.
In rare instances, it has been observed in surrounding waters as much as five days after the initial sighting.
Some inspectors choose to return a few days later to double-check their findings.
If you’re thinking about buying the house, a failed dye test might jeopardize your ability to obtain a loan unless you have a strategy for replacing the dye used in the test.
A septic dye test alone will not be sufficient proof that a septic system is in functioning order, but it will show you if any severe difficulties are present and may assist you in obtaining a house loan.
In the event that you’re considering having a system dye tested, consult with a house or septic system inspector who has received specialized training in both performing and interpreting the test.