Septic Systems and the Home Buying and Inspection Process


If you are purchasing a home that has a septic system, you will want the septic system inspected. Usually, it will be pumped and certified as well. Septic systems can be foreign to many but is a common part of the home-buying process, especially in more rural areas.

A septic inspector will need to be licensed. If you own a property that has a septic system, keeping up on the maintenance is vital. If you are keeping up with the proper maintenance, you should have no problems when you go to sell your home. Sometimes the septic inspection can be a difficult part of the real estate transaction, especially if it needs to be replaced. So, what is a septic system, and how does it work? Let’s take a look!

What Is Septic System?

Septic systems deal with all wastewater from the home. This means all water coming from, bathtubs, sinks, showers, toilets, and appliances. The water is filtered through a leach field and then returned to the ground. If it is working properly then these systems reduce the chances of water and soil pollution. The waste and the water separate and all solids sink to the bottom of the septic tank. As time goes on the solids get broken down by the bacteria in the tank. All of the water that is at the top of the tank moves through the pipes to the drain or leach field. The field contains gravel and it filters the water before it enters your soil. Your soil will filter the water further and it will make sure it is not contaminated as it reaches the ground.

Why Having a Septic Inspection is Important

If you have a home or are looking to buy a home with any kind of wastewater treatment system, an inspection is vital. These inspections ensure the system is working properly so that you are not affected by any potential leaks. About one in every 5 homes has a septic system. Even though it is common, many home buyers are unfamiliar and hesitant. These systems are underground, and homeowners typically forget about them and overlook their importance. You will regret not having it checked out regularly, so set reminders for yourself.

Additional: Fall HVAC Maintenance Tips

How Often is a Septic Tank Inspection Required?

You should have your septic tank inspected every 3-5 years. This goes along with how often you should have it pumped. The 3-5 years depending on the size of your tank and household. If you are sticking to this schedule then you should have a long life for your system because you are properly maintaining it. Fully replacing the system is extremely costly but will be necessary over time.

There are two types of septic tank inspections. A visual inspection is when a home inspector completes a visual inspection of the system. They will check the age and maintenance history as well. They will test the system by flushing toilets and turning on faucets to make sure the water pressure is good enough. A visual check will also be made for the drain field and they will be looking for standing water that could indicate a replacement. All of these visuals are important, however, you still want a full inspection by a septic company. A full inspection will go much further. They will open up the cover of the tank and check the level. Sometimes they use a dye to inspect how much enters the tank. They will check to see if any water flows back into the tank from the drain field. They fully check every part of the system to see if there is a replacement needed.

In Conclusion

Owning a home comes with maintenance. Having a septic system is just part of that maintenance, so don’t let it deter you from a home that you love. Mark a yearly inspection on your calendar for peace of mind and factor it into your budget so that you can keep track of this consistently and ensure you have a working system.