Septic Tank Inspections When Buying a Home
Why septic system inspection is a must when buying a new property?
If you are buying a home with a septic tank it is essential that you get a complete inspection of the complete system. The right time to know about any damages or problems with the septic system is before you shift into a new home and that makes septic tank inspections when buying or selling a home critical. The problems with septic systems range from a simple repair to a complete replacement. The simple repairs are easier to do and cost comparatively lesser whereas the complete replacement can burn a hole in your pockets.
Things to do for the inspection:
The best time to get septic tank inspections when buying or selling a home is to coordinate it with the time of your overall property inspection. This helps you bring any issues with the septic system to the home inspector’s attention and can then be recorded in the inspection report. Clubbing these two inspections together also keeps you aligned to any inspection related timelines that you are targeting.
The septic tank inspections when buying or selling a home start with a pre-inspection which is all about gathering information. In this stage, you will be putting together all the documents as a homeowner and figuring out answers to the questions asked. This pre-inspection, helps the inspectors with more clarity on what exactly they should be looking for. As the septic system is underground, a complete check can only be done with excavation which is not practical. Hence, it is important to identify the potential areas of problems and do an inspection at those spots.
Here is a list of questions you should seek answers for before the inspection:
- Has the septic system ever been pumped to remove solid waste and excess water? Periodic pumping is an important maintenance task performed on a septic system and as a homeowner it is important for you to understand the maintenance schedule of the system.
- What is the location of the septic system? Knowing the location of the system is important and if the seller is not aware of the location, it is most likely that no maintenance has been carried out.
- Complete available history on the maintenance of the septic system. It is important to understand things like how often pumping has been done, which contractor was used, were there any problems with the system and did they get fixed.
When you gather the above information, there will be twofold benefits, one you will be able to help the inspection technician with better information to perform the inspection and secondly, you will have more information about how the system has been maintained.
What happens during the inspection process?
During septic tank inspections when buying or selling a home the technician will first perform a flow test to confirm that the sanitary pipe which delivers the liquid to the system in intact and functional.
To check this, all taps in the house are turned on, if enough water does not flow into the tank then there is a potential problem with the system. If such a problem is identified, then the technician will check each source of water to identify the exact spot of problem. If the water in the septic tank rises too quickly then there is a potential problem downstream.
The next step is to check the septic tank itself and check the levels of effluent, solid waste particles, sludge and accumulated scum. The distribution box in another point for potential failure and the problems usually occur due to clogging.
There are various problems that can occur with a septic system. While septic systems have a long life, and continue to work fine for many years, septic tank inspections when buying or selling a home are a wise choice.