One of the most costly mistakes you can make when buying a house is not taking time for septic tank inspections. Since the septic system is buried, it can easily fall into the out of sight, out of mind category, which could cost you thousands in repairs and endless headaches later down the line.
While no septic inspection or test can completely guarantee that there are no septic issues to be found, the inspection will reduce the chances of a dangerous or costly surprise.
Septic System Overview
When a home relies on a septic system for waste management, the system handles and treats all of the wastewater flowing from your home’s sinks, toilets and showers. This self-contained system is located underground and consists of a main sewer line, a septic tank, a distribution box, an effluent distribution pipe and a drainfield or leachfield. Solid waste remains in the septic tank where it decomposes, and the other sewage, called effluent, exits into the leachfield.
Septic System Inspections
A properly installed and well-maintained septic system is an efficient and simple way of treating household wastewater. However, as the homeowner, you will be completely responsible for its operation, maintenance and repair since it is part of your property. A poorly maintained system or one with existing problems can will likely result in costly repair or total replacement. A leaking system can pose serious health risks. For this reason, a septic system inspection is highly recommended prior to purchase of the house.
You will want an independent inspector to perform the inspection so there are no conflicts of interest with the seller. The inspector will check to ensure that the entire system is functioning properly. Your inspector cannot advise you on whether or not to purchase the property. However, he will be able to alert you to any repairs and replacements that need to be done immediately or are likely to need attention soon.
What Will the Inspector Look For?
- Find the date that the tank was last pumped
- Check the sludge level
- Location of the septic tank and drainfield in relation to wells and streams
- Ensure that the system is large enough for the home that it serves
- Check for liquid waste that has leaked onto the ground surface
- If riser lids are present, they should be inspected for cracks and made sure they are secure
- Make sure that the baffles are firmly connected to the tank’s inlet and outlet pipes
- Inspect drain lines to ensure that each receive the same amount of wastewater
At West Coast Sanitation, we understand the value and importance of a septic system inspection prior to purchasing a home. Our professional inspectors strive to exceed your expectations and help you obtain the essential information you need to make an informed decision.
Call us at (951) 780-5922 right away. We have professionals ready to answer your questions.