Are you wondering how septic inspections work? If you are buying a home with a septic tank, there are some things you need to be aware of. If you are selling your home, you could need an inspection of the septic system.
What is a septic system?
Before we work through what you need to know about
a septic inspection, it will be important to have at least a basic
understanding of what a septic system is and how it works. Most septic systems
consist of a septic tank, a distribution box, and a leach field. Septic tanks
assist in digesting organic matter and will separate floatable matter such as
oil, grease, and solids from the wastewater.
A septic system that is functioning properly will discharge the liquid from the septic tank to a distribution box to perforated pipes that are buried in a leach field. The pipes are designed to release the wastewater into the ground slowly.
Buying a home with a septic system
Other questions to ask should include if there has been any standing water near or above the tank and problems with backups. Also, find out about any repairs that have been made to the tank or leach field and when.
You will want to hire a septic inspector to really make sure the system is functioning correctly. Spending the money on this type of inspection should ensure you don’t get surprised by a large bill soon after you’ve moved in.
problems are found during a septic inspection your real estate agent should
help you negotiate the repairs to be made by the seller or funds reimbursed to
you to have the repairs made. These repairs can be a few hundred or more costly
thousands of dollars.
Selling a home with a septic system
When selling, you should really consider having a septic inspection before the sale, especially if you have not given your septic system a thought in years. If you do know of a problem with your system, you need to disclose it to the buyer. If problems are discovered with the septic system in the process of selling your home, it is likely the costs will be your responsibility, though this can be negotiated with the buyer.
What is done during a septic inspection?
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
A septic inspector will open the septic tank and look around visually. The inspector will also open the distribution box and check to see that it's functioning as intended and dig a hole in the leach field to inspect it as well. A good septic inspector will have a camera they will send into the system that will allow them to inspect the entire system thoroughly.
How much does it cost to inspect a septic system?
The cost of inspecting a septic system will vary depending on a few factors, including your location. The size of the tank which is generally either 1,000 or 1,500 gallons will also have some bearing on the cost. You can expect to pay a few hundred dollars. This can be the best money spent when buying a home. I have personally seen new systems fail that were not installed properly. Never assume the septic system is working just by looking at the property and that the seller has disclosed there are no issues.
How long do septic systems last?
On average a septic system will last from 20 to 50 years. Being a real estate agent, I have seen septic systems fail sooner as well as last longer. If you take care of your system, it will last longer. <
Carrie Colby is a Broker with Allied Real Estate, 909 Roosevelt Trail in Windham. She can be reached at 207-232-5497.