What Does A Septic Tank Inspection Include? (Best solution)

The inspector will locate and assess the septic tank, distribution box, and absorption area. During the inspection, he will open the septic tank (digging up the lids, if necessary) so that he may confirm wastewater sources from the house to the septic tank and visually inspect the septic tank at its operating level.

  • A septic inspection is a full review of the septic tank to check the water level. The inspector will remove the septic tank cover and observe the flow of wastewater through the septic system by running water from the house to the septic tank and the leach lines.

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 often should a septic tank be serviced?

As a general rule, you should only need to empty your septic tank once every three to five years. That being said, the actual frequency will vary depending on your usage and how many people are living in your home.

What maintenance does a septic tank need?

Septic tanks should be inspected every 1 to 3 years. Whenever you move into a home with a septic tank, the tank should be pumped and inspected. Septic Tank maintenance is important because continued neglect of a tank may result in system failure or the need for replacement of the soil absorption area.

How do you tell if your septic tank is full?

How to tell your septic tank is full and needs emptying

  1. Pooling water.
  2. Slow drains.
  3. Odours.
  4. An overly healthy lawn.
  5. Sewer backup.
  6. Gurgling Pipes.
  7. Trouble Flushing.

How long do septic systems last?

Septic systems can last for 15-40 years and the lifespan depends on various factors, including those mentioned above. Does your Sand Filter Septic System need servicing? Let our septic system experts help you.

How many loads of laundry a day are safe to do with a septic tank?

Spread Out Laundry Loads These use less water which puts less stress on your septic system. Regardless of the type of appliance you have, you should still spread out your loads. Instead of doing several loads in one day, consider doing 1 load per day or space out 2 loads if you must do more in a single day.

Can I shower if my septic tank is full?

Only the water would get out into the leach field in a proper system unless you run too much water too fast. The thing to do is to run your shower water outside into it’s own drain area, but it may not be allowed where you are. Used to be called gray water system.

Do septic tanks smell?

A properly-maintained septic tank should be odor-free, so if you notice a bad smell inside your home or outside near the leach field, it’s a sign that there’s a problem. Septic odors are caused by gases in the system, including carbon dioxide, hydrogen sulfide, and methane.

Can a septic tank never be pumped?

What Are the Consequences of Not Pumping Your Tank? If the tank is not pumped, the solids will build up in the tank and the holding capacity of the tank will be diminished. Eventually, the solids will reach the pipe that feeds into the drain field, causing a clog. Waste water backing up into the house.

How often does a 1000 gallon septic tank need to be pumped?

For example, a 1,000 gallon septic tank, which is used by two people, should be pumped every 5.9 years. If there are eight people using a 1,000-gallon septic tank, it should be pumped every year.

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. 1) Get on a Schedule.
  2. 2) Take Care of the System.
  3. 3) Know the Parts of Your System.
  4. 4) Check Other Possible Issues.

How do you know when your septic tank needs to be emptied?

Here are some of the signs for which you should look.

  1. Water puddling above the septic tank. So you noticed a small pool of water but it didn’t rain?
  2. Drains moving slowly. If the drain is moving slowly when you flush the toilet, it could be due to a clog.
  3. Bad smells coming from the septic tank.
  4. The sewer has backed up.

How do I check my septic tanks sludge level?

To measure the sludge layer:

  1. Slowly lower the tube into the septic tank until it touches the bottom of the tank.
  2. 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.

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.

Septic Inspections When Buying or Selling a Home

You could be perplexed as to why you might want an aseptic examination before selling your house. Alternatively, are you purchasing a new home that has a septic system? Get professional advice on septic systems and collaborate with a seasoned real estate agent throughout the process. Prospective home buyers typically hire an inspector to conduct a thorough inspection of the property before making an offer on it. The inspection will typically include a visual inspection of the house’s structure as well as a search for pests.

Septic inspections are extremely important for your health and the health of anyone else who lives in your home, so homeowners should make a point of scheduling them on a regular basis.

In case you are buying or selling a home, the septic inspection will be an important part of the process.

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.

How often should you get a septic inspection?

The majority of specialists agree that you should get your septic tank examined at least once every three to five years. The examination normally takes place around the same time that you should have your septic tank pumped by a professional septic tank cleaning provider. In order to keep your septic tank healthy and in excellent functioning order, it is required to pump it regularly. Even though professionals recommend that homeowners get their septic tanks tested every five years, many homeowners wait considerably longer than this period.

At that point, inspectors will frequently recommend that you repair or replace your septic system, which can cost thousands of dollars if not done properly.

How is a septic inspection done?

Septic inspections may be divided into two categories.

Visual Inspections

If you are buying or selling a home, the home inspector will most likely do a visual assessment of the property. In order to do a visual examination, a few questions must be asked, such as the age of the house, how often the owner pumps the septic system, and when the previous inspection was performed. The inspector will next flush all of the toilets in the house and run all of the water in the house to ensure that the water pressure is enough and that everything is draining correctly. At the end of the inspection, the inspector will walk out to the drain field to ensure that there is no standing water, which might indicate the presence of a cesspool.

Even though a visual examination is convenient and quick, a comprehensive inspection may provide you with a more complete picture of the overall condition of the septic system.

Full Inspections

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.

Morse Engineering and Construction can provide you with further information.

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

You’ll almost always need to get your home’s septic system checked if you’re attempting to sell it. The same is true if you’re looking to purchase a home that has a septic system. When acquiring or selling a home, an aseptic inspection is a standard practice, and it is an unwritten law that the buyer must pay an inspector to do the inspection on their behalf. Pests will be checked for, and the septic system of the house will be inspected as part of this examination. Due to the fact that this is one of the most crucial components of your new home, you really require it.

  • These inspections are neither expensive nor time-consuming, and as a result, they should be conducted on a regular basis.
  • It’s possible that it will be too late by then.
  • It filters the water and then distributes it, with the primary purpose of reducing soil and water pollution in the surrounding environment.
  • It is vital to inspect and pump your tank on a regular basis to ensure that it is in good functioning condition as well as healthy.

Maintaining your septic tank on a regular basis is far less expensive than having to replace or repair it. Furthermore, there is little question that this will be a wise investment in the long term.

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.

The importance for frequent septic tank inspections cannot be overstated, as these checks not only save you money, but they also help to keep you and your family, as well as your property, healthy and safe. Get in touch with us right now for additional information or to schedule your next septic inspection.

Septic Inspections: 6 Questions You Need to Ask

You might be wondering why you would need a septic check before you put your house on the market. Alternatively, are you purchasing a new home that has a septic system? Get professional information on septic systems and collaborate with a seasoned real estate agent throughout the process. Prospective home buyers typically engage an inspector to do a thorough assessment of the property before making an offer on it. The examination will typically involve a visual evaluation of the house’s structure as well as a search for pests.

Septic inspections are extremely important for your health and the health of anybody else who lives in your house, so homeowners should make a point of scheduling them on a regular basis.

In case you are buying or selling a home, the septic inspection will be an important part of the process.

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.

See also:  How To Clean Out Septic Tank Drain Well? (TOP 5 Tips)

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?

A septic tank inspection is recommended at least once every three to five years, according to the majority of professionals. The examination normally takes place around the same time that you should have your septic tank pumped by a professional septic tank cleaning provider. In order to keep your septic tank healthy and in excellent functioning order, it is required to pump it regularly. Even though professionals recommend that homeowners get their septic tanks tested every five years, many homeowners wait considerably longer than this period.

At that point, inspectors will frequently recommend that you repair or replace your septic system, which can cost thousands of dollars if not done properly.

It can cost as much as $25,000, depending on the location of the system and the terrain of the land where the new system is being installed on the new system.

Maintaining frequent inspection and pumping will not only save you money on costly repairs in the future, but it will also help you avoid any unpleasant surprises if you decide to sell your home in the near future.

How is a septic inspection done?

Septic inspections may be divided into two categories.

Visual Inspections

If you are buying or selling a home, the home inspector will most likely do a visual assessment of the property. In order to do a visual examination, a few questions must be asked, such as the age of the house, how often the owner pumps the septic system, and when the previous inspection was performed. The inspector will next flush all of the toilets in the house and run all of the water in the house to ensure that the water pressure is enough and that everything is draining correctly. At the end of the inspection, the inspector will walk out to the drain field to ensure that there is no standing water, which might indicate the presence of a cesspool.

Full Inspections

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.

Backups

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.

Healthy Grass

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

Unless your assessment reveals tainted well water or irreversible damage to the septic tank itself, you will almost certainly need to replace your system.

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.

Related Articles

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.

  1. 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.
  2. It is necessary to include septic maintenance in your budget.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. You’ll also need to budget for the cost of a single inspection and begin saving for the cost of a tank pump.
  6. 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.
  7. 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.

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.

  • 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 determine whether a tank needs to be pumped, but having a record of previous pumping dates can be useful as a reference. Using a “sludge judge” or a similar device, determine the amount of sludge present. It is normal for sludge to accumulate on the tank bottom, but it should not take up more than one-third of the tank’s total volume or rise 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 who live in the house determines the size of the tank that is required. 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, width, and depth in feet multiplied by 7.5. For round tanks, the capacity in gallons is calculated as 3.14 x 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 unsanitary condition that indicates 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 watertight. 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 outlet pipes. It is recommended that each drain line receives the same amount of wastewater. By opening the distribution box, you will be able to see what they are made of. If the box becomes tipped or clogged, it will disproportionately allocate effluent, and potentially flood sections of the drainfield
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In a septic tank, baffles are components that restrict wastewater entry to a sufficient degree to guarantee that particles are distilled and that solids (as well as scum) are not discharged into the drainfield. It is via this process that they are able to protect the soil’s absorptive quality and hence extend the life of the entire system. They are often constructed of the same materials as the septic tank, which might be fiberglass, steel, or concrete in construction. Inspectors should look for the following things in baffles:

  • 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:

  • Solid waste should be removed from septic tanks by a professional septic tank pumping service, not by an inspector. No one else should be allowed to enter a tank unless they are a licensed and properly equipped professional. Noxious gasses such as methane can induce asphyxiation and death in a matter of minutes. When a septic tank begins to exhibit indications of fragility, proceed with extreme caution! Collapse has the potential to be deadly. Keep an eye out for tanks with rusted metal, improvised lids, or anything else that seems to be in unsafe condition.

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.

  1. 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.
  2. This scum layer forms a seal, which helps to keep air out of the tank, allowing bacteria to grow in the tank below.
  3. The area between the sludge and the scum is referred to as the effluent area.
  4. 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.
  5. This box permits the effluent to flow uniformly into the proper chambers of the leach field, therefore reducing the risk of contamination.
  6. The final outcome is the same regardless of the method employed: the delivery of effluent into the leach field.
  7. There are a variety of various alternatives available when it comes to the sorts of chambers that may be employed.
  8. 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.
  9. Leach Field in a Residential Setting As you can see, a septic system is involved in a great deal of activity.
  10. A large number of homeowners are completely unaware of the importance of providing continuous maintenance, care, and cleaning for their septic systems.
  11. 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.

See also:  How Close Can I Build To My Septic Tank? (Perfect answer)

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.

Additional Resources

  • 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 Tank & Cesspool Inspections in New York & New Jersey

  • Inspectors will open the tank and examine the baffles that prevent sewage from flowing into the existing structure. We may do a volume water test
  • This is optional. On the tank, the condition of the toplids will be examined for signs of leakage or cracking. We present a full report of our findings to the prospective buyer or seller of the property. A list of recommendations for the repairs or replacements of each of the concerns detected is also provided. On request, we can provide entire tank pumping services as well as camera work.
Camera-Assisted Septic Tank Inspections

Septic systems are, by their very nature, submerged beneath the earth. Visual inspection may become difficult or impossible without the use of specialist instruments as a result of this. Septic tank inspection technologies that use cameras have improved the efficiency of this work by allowing your septic specialist to visually check every element of the system with care and thoroughness, rather of just visually inspecting the tank. The technique involves sending a digital camera across your complete sewage system and drain field using an extension pole or wire.

Point of Sale Septic Inspections

When you make the decision to have an aseptic system inspection performed as part of your real estate transaction, it is critical that you understand what to expect. When it comes to this procedure, one of the most important considerations is the employment of a competent septic specialist rather than a typical house inspection. A septic contractor will be able to provide you with an honest and complete inspection of your septic system, as well as guidance on how to best understand the state in which it is currently operating.

  • Locate, Map, and Identify Tank’s identity is revealed. Unless the system has previously been mapped, the expert will need to find the septic tank and the entry point to the tank. Remember that if you do not know where your tank is located, some professionals may charge you an extra cost for the location and mapping of your system, so keep that in mind. The drainfield and tank will be searched for during this time by your inspector, who will insert a tool into the ground to locate the drainage system. Aside from looking for signs of leaks or drainfield difficulties, your inspector will also look for indicators of leaks or drainfield issues, which are often indicated by dark green grass or changes in the sort of weeds that are growing. Pumpout Tank Conditions Should Be Monitored At the bottom of a tank that is operating properly, there should be a layer of scum separated from the gray water and the sludge, and the tank should be operating at the right levels for the conditions. Following confirmation of the operational levels and layers, your inspector will begin the process of draining out the tank. After the tank has been pumped, the inspector will beam a light into the tank to examine the interior of the tank for signs of corrosion or other damage. At this time, the septic inspector will also inspect and clean the effluent screen to verify that it is effectively filtering any particles and preventing them from entering the drainfield. When the inspector does this section of his examination, he looks for signs of cracks and checks to see if the tank is watertight. Water lines that are higher than the acceptable level might occasionally signal a problem with the drainfield.
  • Your Drainfield (Note: If the liquids are not at the required operating levels, then additional inspection of the system is necessary.) Unless your inspector notices evidence that your drainfield may be faulty, it is unlikely that they will delve into your drainfield to investigate. If there are evidence of weed growth, such as brilliant green grass or certain species of weeds, a simple soil test or probing the ground may be sufficient. Parking cars on top of the drainfield site or trees in the area surrounding the drainfield are two more examples of things that might result in the need for drainfield repair. Most of the time, drainfield repair is only necessary when systems have not been adequately maintained. Replacement of Soil and SodIt is critical that the septic specialist communicates exactly how they will dig to gain access to the tank and how long they will be digging. The sod should be cut out properly, and any dirt should be collected and placed on a tarp. The examination should be followed by a complete replacement of all soil and sod in the same location to ensure the least amount of surface effect.

There are several steps involved in the inspection process, which might take up to six or eight hours to complete. This inconvenience should be considered modest because septic inspections disclose a great deal of information about your system and provide you with the piece of mind that your system is properly maintained and suitable for your water usage. Crews Environmental has been inspecting septic systems for more than 25 years.

What to expect at a well and septic inspection

  • In the United States, more than one in every five houses is reliant on some form of septic system, according to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). It is common for potential buyers to be concerned when they learn that a house has a well and septic system, because these systems are expensive to fix or replace. You may, however, protect yourself by ensuring that you have a professional inspection performed
  • But, what exactly does it entail? In locations where there is no access to centralized sewer systems, a septic system is a type of underground wastewater treatment system that is prevalent. The majority of rural residences with septic systems will also have a well that provides them with water for their daily needs. According to the Environmental Protection Agency, more than 15 million houses rely on private wells for drinking water. According to Nathan Foote of Health Services Expeditors, a well and septic inspection are equally as important as a house inspection in order to safeguard both buyers and sellers from any problems. In fact, in certain counties, an inspection is necessary before a building permit may be issued. Point-of-sale programs are compulsory in Eaton, Ingham, Shiawassee, and Barry counties, which means that all wells and septic systems in the counties are subject Michigan health department inspections before a transaction can close, according to him. These regulations are not in effect in other counties like as Clinton and Jackson, according to the report. In counties where an inspection is not required, a lender will often require one, and if a lender does not need one, a buyer or seller will need to obtain one from the county clerk. When it comes to a real estate transaction, it is in everyone’s best interest to complete the deal as quickly and efficiently feasible. When it comes to mandatory reporting, you’ll need to get it done nonetheless, but getting it done early means you’ll have all of your information up front, which will help you prevent any surprises or unexpected equity loss. What is the significance of an inspection? Septic systems and wells are significant, high-dollar investments. Foote estimates that a reasonable replacement well will cost between $6,000 and $6,500, while a new drain field for a septic system will cost between $7,500 and $25,000, depending on the situation. During an inspection, the inspector will test the water system and examine the volume and pressure of the water flowing through the system. Their inspection will include checking the well to ensure it is properly constructed and compliant, as well as conducting water tests for bacteria, nitrate, and arsenic in accordance with local regulations. Besides looking at the pumping equipment, the inspector will also do a detailed plumbing assessment to determine how the water is entering into the system and where it is ending up. The contractor will also create a thorough map of the property indicating the position of the well, as well as the placement of the septic tank, the tank lid, and the drainfield. According to Foote, “we will also be inspecting the status of the drainage field.” “Does it appear to be operational? What is the age of the building? Additionally, the septic tank will require pumping, particularly if it has not been done in the previous three years.” Upon completion of the inspection, the inspector will submit the report to the party that requested it, which might be the county, a lender, or the buyer or seller. When the report is submitted to the county, the health department evaluates it and determines whether or not the system should be authorized or disapproved. If the plan is rejected, the parties will have to work with the county to come up with a plan to fix the problem. According to Foote, the cost of a well and septic check normally ranges between $600-$700, which includes the inspection procedure as well as laboratory expenses. The average cost of pumping a septic tank is around $350. Repairs, if any, can be quite expensive, and while the burden for repairs is normally on the seller’s shoulders, everything is contingent on the outcome of the discussions. Those counties with a point-of-sale mandate will give a list of licensed and approved well and septic inspections
  • Nonetheless, it’s critical to hire an experienced, trustworthy professional. Do your homework and ask around for suggestions to find a qualified specialist. If you are considering acquiring a rural property, make sure to seek the assistance of a competent local REALTOR® who is familiar with these types of properties and who can guide you through the purchase and selling process. You may find a list of local agents and inspectors on the Greater Lansing Association of REALTORS® website, which can be found at

Septic Tank Inspections

In order to avoid difficulties, get your septic system examined every one to two years by a professional septic tank contractor and follow his or her recommendations for how often to clear out the tank to prevent backups. Alternative septic systems that involve mechanical components, such as a pump, should be examined at least once a year, or more regularly if advised by the manufacturer, to ensure that they are in good working order. A septic tank contractor will do the following tasks:

  • Find the location of your septic system and any access holes
  • To ensure that the interior slabs or tees (baffles) are in excellent shape, open the inspection port. Identify whether or not your system has an effluent filter and whether or not this filter needs to be cleaned. The homeowner will be notified when the filter needs to be cleaned via an alarm mechanism installed in some filters.
  • Make sure to flush your toilets. Make a visual inspection for evidence of sewage or wastewater backup. Measure the thickness of the scum and sludge layers
  • Identify any leaks that may exist
  • If there are any mechanical components, they should be inspected. Tank cleaning (pumping) is recommended if necessary. Make a visual inspection of the ground above the drainfield for sogginess or ponding, which might indicate poor drainage, a blocked system, or excessive water use. A drainfield inspection, which is a distinct operation, may be recommended by the contractor.

Read Septic Tank Inspection – What Should I Expect When I Have My Tank Inspected for a more in-depth description of the inspection procedure. both from the National Small Flows Clearinghouse, as well as Drainfield Inspection —Does My Drainfield Ever Need To Be Inspected? (pdf), both from the National Small Flows Clearinghouse (NSFC).

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