How Do You Inspect A Septic Tank? (Solution found)

How often should I Have my septic tank inspected?

  • The average household septic system should be inspected at least every three years by a septic service professional. Household septic tanks are typically pumped every three to five years. Alternative systems with electrical float switches, pumps, or mechanical components should be inspected more often, generally once a year.

How do you know if you have septic tank issues?

When your septic system fails or is full, sewage and wastewater will no longer enter the tank. Instead, it will stay in the pipes until it begins to come up. This results in sewage and wastewater backing up into sinks, drains, and even your toilet. This is the most visible sign of septic tank failure.

How do you know if your septic tank needs to be replaced?

5 Signs it’s Time to Replace Your Septic System

  1. Age of the System. It’s pretty common for a septic system to last 40 years or longer, which means if you buy a new home, you might never need to replace it.
  2. You’ve Outgrown the System.
  3. Slow Drains.
  4. Standing Water in the Yard.
  5. Nearby Contaminated Water Sources.

How often should a septic tank be pumped?

Inspect and Pump Frequently The average household septic system should be inspected at least every three years by a septic service professional. Household septic tanks are typically pumped every three to five years.

What is the most common cause of septic system failure?

Most septic systems fail because of inappropriate design or poor maintenance. Some soil-based systems (those with a drain field) are installed at sites with inadequate or inappropriate soils, excessive slopes, or high ground water tables.

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.

What will ruin a septic system?

Substances like motor oil, paints, varnishes, and floor wax will damage organisms in your tank. This bacterium is necessary to keep your soil and groundwater free from pathogens. Instead of putting these oils down the drain, refer to your city’s waste management for recommended guidelines to dispose of these chemicals.

How long does a septic system last?

A septic system’s lifespan should be anywhere from 15 to 40 years. How long the system lasts depends on a number of factors, including construction material, soil acidity, water table, maintenance practices, and several others.

Do septic tanks wear out?

Unfortunately, septic systems don’t last forever. With regular maintenance and pumping, your septic system can last many years. However, after decades of wear and tear, the system will need to be replaced.

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.

How do I clean my septic tank naturally?

You can mix about a 1/4 cup of baking soda with 1/2 cup of vinegar and 2 tablespoons lemon to make your own natural cleaning agent. The baking soda will fizz up to help get the dirt and grime in your tub and drains. It’s a great cleaner and your septic system will thank you!

How do I keep my septic tank healthy?

Do’s and Don’ts when maintaining your septic system

  1. Regularly inspect and maintain your septic system.
  2. Pump your septic tank as needed.
  3. Keep your septic tank lids closed and secured.
  4. Be water-wise.
  5. Direct water from land and roof drains away from the drainfield.
  6. Landscape with love.
  7. Keep septic tank lids easily accessible.

How do I know if my drain field is failing?

The following are a few common signs of leach field failure:

  1. Grass over leach field is greener than the rest of the yard.
  2. The surrounding area is wet, mushy, or even has standing water.
  3. Sewage odors around drains, tank, or leach field.
  4. Slow running drains or backed up plumbing.

Is Ridex good for your septic system?

How additives, like Rid-x, interfere with your septic system’s eco-system. According to the EPA and the Ohio Department of Health, not only are additives like Rid-X not recommended, but they actually have a detrimental and potentially hazardous effect on your septic system’s waste treatment process.

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.

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 indicate if a tank has to be pumped, although having a record of past pumping dates might be useful as a reference. Using a “sludge judge” or a similar instrument, determine the amount of sludge present. It is normal for sludge to collect on the tank bottom, but it should not take up more than one-third of the tank’s total capacity or climb 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 that live in the house determines the size of the tank that is necessary. 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, breadth, and depth in feet multiplied by 7.5. For circular tanks, the capacity in gallons is calculated as 3.14 times 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 unclean state that signals 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 waterproof. 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 exit pipes. It is recommended that each drain line receives the same quantity of wastewater. By opening the distribution box, you will be able to see what they are made of. If the box becomes tipped or blocked, it will distribute effluent in an excessively large amount, and it may even flood areas of the drainfield.

Find out when the tank was last pumped by entering the date in the search box. While tank pumping should be determined by sludge level in the end, knowing when tanks have previously been pumped might be beneficial as a reference. Using a “sludge judge” or a similar instrument, determine the amount of sludge in the tank. In the tank bottom, sludge builds up, although it should not take up more than one-third of the tank’s entire volume or climb to the level of its baffles. The septic tank and drainfield should be located far away from wells and streams, for safety reasons.

  1. A 1,200-gallon tank is normally required for a four-bedroom house, for example.
  2. Using the tank’s measurements, it is possible to determine its capacity in gallons.
  3. For circular tanks, the capacity in gallons is equal to 3.14 x the radius squared x the depth in feet x 7.5.
  4. A hygienic situation is present, and the system is overburdened as a result.
  5. The presence of a riser lid should be checked for cracks and the integrity of the lid should be ensured.

By opening the distribution box, you will be able to see what they are made up of. If the box becomes tipped or blocked, it will distribute effluent in an unequal manner, and it may even flood areas of the drainfield.

  • 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.

The baffle is covered with solids of various colors. Due to the fact that this implies overflow, it should be reported promptly. There is evidence of prior overflow due to chemical erosion and water movement. Water should be several inches below the baffle top when the sewage level is high enough. A lower level implies leakage, whereas a greater level suggests obstruction, etc.

  • 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.
  • Flushable bath tissue is the only type of tissue that may be used in the toilet. Toilet paper, paper towels, cigarette butts, and diapers should be disposed of properly. The flushing or dumping of household chemicals into the toilet or sink can cause microorganisms in the septic system to die. This includes fuel, paint, medicine, antifreeze, and insecticides. The plumbing system can be contaminated by detergents and bleach in small quantities. On the drainfield or in the vicinity, automobiles should not be driven. Inadvertently damaging subsurface pipework due to their weight Above the septic tank and drainfield, only grass should be grown. It is possible for the roots of trees and big bushes to cause harm that is not readily apparent. No one should ever dig or construct anything 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 drainage field. Having a drainfield that is oversaturated might cause the water treatment process to be delayed and plumbing fixtures to back up. Leaky faucets and toilets should be repaired quickly in order to extend the life of a septic system and avoid an expensive replacement. It is important to prevent wasting water in the home. Reduce your water use by showering for shorter periods of time and refraining from using the garbage disposal.
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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.

Inspecting Your Septic Tank

As a result, it is recommended that you monitor your septic system once a year to verify that it is operating properly. The septic tank is the most expensive household fixture, and if it is not maintained properly, its lifespan will be drastically reduced.

What You Need to Do the Stick Test

  • One 90-degree elbow*
  • Two SxMPT threaded adapters*
  • One coupler*
  • Two feet of white rag or old gym sock
  • String or duct tape
  • A pencil or waterproof marker
  • A disinfecting solution made of 1/4 cup bleach per gallon of water in a bucket
  • A plastic bag for storing the towel, rag/sock, and gloves*. All PVC materials are 1/2-inch Schedule 40 PVC plastic
  • No other PVC materials are used.

One 90-degree elbow*; two SxMPT threaded adapters*; one coupler*; two feet of white rag or old gym sock; string or duct tape; a pencil or waterproof marker; a disinfecting solution made of 1/4 cup bleach per gallon of water in a bucket; a plastic bag for storing the towel, rag/sock, and gloves* Schedule 40 PVC plastic is used for all of the PVC items.

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 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.

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 tank inspections are recommended at least once every three to five years, according to most experts. You should have your septic tank pumped out at the same time as the inspection, which is normally around the same time as the inspection. In order to keep your septic tank healthy and in adequate functioning order, you must pump it on a regular basis. Even though professionals recommend that homeowners get their septic tanks tested every five years, many homeowners choose to wait far longer than five years.

Inspectors will frequently recommend that you fix or replace your septic system at this stage, which can cost thousands of dollars.

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.

It is therefore necessary to check the flow level once again to ensure that every part of the septic system is functioning properly and that there are no obstructions. Morse Engineering and Construction can provide you with further information.

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).


Septic system maintenance is neither difficult or expensive, and it does not have to be done frequently. The maintenance of a vehicle is comprised of four major components:

  • Inspect and pump your drainfield on a regular basis
  • Conserve water
  • Dispose of waste properly
  • And keep your drainfield in good condition.

Inspect and Pump Frequently

Make frequent inspections and pumps; save water; dispose of waste in a proper manner; and keep your drainfield in good condition.

  • The size of the household
  • The total amount of wastewater produced
  • The amount of solids present in wastewater
  • The size of the septic tank

Service provider coming? Here is what you need to know.

When you contact a septic service provider, he or she will inspect your septic tank for leaks as well as the scum and sludge layers that have built up over time. Maintain detailed records of any maintenance work conducted on your septic system. Because of the T-shaped outlet on the side of your tank, sludge and scum will not be able to escape from the tank and travel to the drainfield region. A pumping is required when the bottom of the scum layer or the top of the sludge layer is within six inches of the bottom of the outlet, or if the top of the sludge layer is within 12 inches of the bottom of the outlet.

In the service report for your system, the service provider should mention the completion of repairs as well as the condition of the tank.

An online septic finder from the National Onsite Wastewater Recycling Association (NOWRA) makes it simple to identify service specialists in your region.

Use Water Efficiently

In a normal single-family house, the average indoor water consumption is about 70 gallons per person, per day, on average. A single leaking or running toilet can waste as much as 200 gallons of water each day, depending on the situation. The septic system is responsible for disposing of all of the water that a residence sends down its pipes. The more water that is conserved in a household, the less water that enters the sewage system. A septic system that is operated efficiently will operate more efficiently and will have a lower chance of failure.

  • Toilets with a high level of efficiency. The usage of toilets accounts for 25 to 30% of total home water use. Many older homes have toilets with reservoirs that hold 3.5 to 5 gallons of water, but contemporary, high-efficiency toilets consume 1.6 gallons or less of water for each flush. Changing out your old toilets for high-efficiency versions is a simple approach to lessen the amount of household water that gets into your septic system. Aerators for faucets and high-efficiency showerheads are also available. Reduce water use and the volume of water entering your septic system by using faucet aerators, high-efficiency showerheads, and shower flow restriction devices. Machines for washing clothes. Water and energy are wasted when little loads of laundry are washed on the large-load cycle of your washing machine. By selecting the appropriate load size, you may limit the amount of water wasted. If you are unable to specify a load size, only complete loads of washing should be performed. Washing machine use should be spread throughout the week if at all possible. Doing all of your household laundry in one day may appear to be a time-saving strategy
  • Nevertheless, it can cause damage to your septic system by denying your septic tank adequate time to handle waste and may even cause your drainfield to overflow. Machines that have earned theENERGY STARlabel consume 35 percent less energy and 50 percent less water than ordinary ones, according to the Environmental Protection Agency. Other Energy Star appliances can save you a lot of money on your energy and water bills.
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Properly Dispose of Waste

Everything that goes down your drains, whether it’s flushed down the toilet, ground up in the trash disposal, or poured down the sink, shower, or bath, ends up in your septic system, which is where it belongs.

What you flush down the toilet has an impact on how effectively your septic system functions.

Toilets aren’t trash cans!

Your septic system is not a garbage disposal system. A simple rule of thumb is to never flush anything other than human waste and toilet paper down the toilet. Never flush a toilet:

  • Cooking grease or oil
  • Wipes that are not flushable, such as baby wipes or other wet wipes
  • Photographic solutions
  • Feminine hygiene items Condoms
  • Medical supplies such as dental floss and disposable diapers, cigarette butts and coffee grounds, cat litter and paper towels, pharmaceuticals, and household chemicals such as gasoline and oil, insecticides, antifreeze, and paint or paint thinners

Toilet Paper Needs to Be Flushed! Check out this video, which demonstrates why the only item you should flush down your toilet are toilet paper rolls.

Think at the sink!

Your septic system is made up of a collection of living organisms that digest and treat the waste generated by your household. Pouring pollutants down your drain can kill these organisms and cause damage to your septic system as well as other things. Whether you’re at the kitchen sink, the bathtub, or the utility sink, remember the following:

  • If you have a clogged drain, avoid using chemical drain openers. To prevent this from happening, use hot water or a drain snake
  • Never dump cooking oil or grease down the sink or toilet. It is never a good idea to flush oil-based paints, solvents, or huge quantities of harmful cleansers down the toilet. Even latex paint waste should be kept to a bare minimum. Disposal of rubbish should be avoided or limited to a minimum. Fats, grease, and particles will be considerably reduced in your septic tank, reducing the likelihood of your drainfield being clogged.

Own a recreational vehicle (RV), boat or mobile home?

If you have ever spent any time in an RV or boat, you are undoubtedly familiar with the issue of aromas emanating from sewage holding tanks.

  • The National Small Flows Clearinghouse’s Septic System Care hotline, which may be reached toll-free at 800-624-8301, has a factsheet on safe wastewater disposal for RV, boat, and mobile home owners and operators.

Maintain Your Drainfield

It is critical that you maintain the integrity of your drainfield, which is a component of your septic system that filters impurities from the liquid that emerges from your septic tank once it has been installed. Here are some things you should do to keep it in good condition:

  • Parking: Do not park or drive on your drainfield at any time. Plan your tree plantings so that their roots do not grow into your drainfield or septic system. An experienced septic service provider can recommend the appropriate distance for your septic tank and surrounding landscaping, based on your specific situation. Locating Your Drainfield: Keep any roof drains, sump pumps, and other rainfall drainage systems away from the drainfield area. Excess water causes the wastewater treatment process to slow down or halt completely.

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:

  • Septic inspections are classified into two categories:

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.

Don’t Forget The Septic Inspection When Buying a House

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 home, healthy and safe. Contact us right now for additional information or to schedule your next septic check.

How The Septic System Works

It is safe to state that you require frequent septic tank inspections since they not only save you money, but they also keep you and your family, as well as your property, healthy and safe. Contact us today for additional information or to schedule your next septic check.

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.
  • 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.

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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

Buying a House? Make Sure You Get a Septic System Inspection!

If you are in the process of purchasing a home, you are aware that there are several phases involved in the process. You put money together for a down payment, go to open houses, chat to sellers and real estate agents, and ultimately discover a place you love to call home. The exciting part is about to begin. There are several steps involved: making an offer, getting pre-approval, scheduling a home inspection, and eventually, after heaps of paperwork, claiming ownership of the property. But hold on a minute!

  • You might be asking why you would need to get your septic system inspected.
  • Septic systems that are in poor working order can cost hundreds of thousands of dollars to repair or replace.
  • When a roof leak occurs or a break in the foundation occurs, you would want to be aware of the situation.
  • “All OK, but I’ve already completed a house inspection and a dye test.” “Doesn’t that suffice?” While these inspections may be sufficient to meet the criteria of a lender, they are insufficient to provide a full evaluation of a septic system.

What is a septic system inspection?

Performing a septic system inspection entails a thorough examination of all of the components of a septic system. The inspector will determine the location and condition of the septic tank, distribution box, and absorption area and make recommendations. In this process, he will uncover and evaluate all of the mechanical and electrical components of the system, including septic lines, baffles and filters, pumps and floats, alarms, and so on. During the inspection, he will open the septic tank (digging up the lids, if required) in order to check the wastewater sources from the home to the septic tank and physically inspect the septic tank at its operational level, according to the manufacturer’s specifications.

If the home has been vacant for an extended period of time or if the number of people living in the home is expected to increase, the inspector will conduct a hydraulic load test to determine whether the septic system’s absorption area is capable of handling the anticipated daily wastewater volume of the home buyer’s family.

For septic systems in Pennsylvania, this implies that the inspector must have received training and certification from the Pennsylvania Septage Management Association (PSMA), which has created a set of requirements for an objective septic system assessment.

Each PSMA septic system inspection finishes with the delivery of a thorough report.

However, while this analysis does not provide a guarantee, the findings drawn from it may be able to save you thousands of dollars in septic system repairs or replacement.

If you do not have a PSMA inspection and report, you run the danger of inheriting the financial burden of substantial septic system repairs or perhaps the installation of a whole new system completely.

Septic System Inspection vs. Home Inspection

Inspections of the inside and exterior of a home are performed by professionals who are well-versed in the identification of typical faults. They will inform you if there are any evident issues with the roof, windows, electrical system, interior plumbing, foundation, or any other visible components of the house. A house inspection, on the other hand, is just a visual assessment that is non-invasive. Consequently, house inspectors only report on the components of the home that they can physically see, and nothing else.

  • This implies that the septic system is not included in the scope of a standard house inspection.
  • There is a good chance that they may flush the toilets a few times to ensure that the system is not actively backing up, and they may even remove the cover from the septic tank (if they can find it).
  • How can a home inspector tell you what condition your septic tank is in if there isn’t a pump truck available to empty it?
  • Despite the fact that home inspectors are well-versed in many aspects of the property, they are neither equipped nor prepared to conduct a thorough examination of a septic system.
  • Rely on a PSMA inspector that specializes in septic systems to provide you with the most thorough and insightful septic system inspection available.

Septic System Inspection vs. Dye Test

Dyes are used in a dye test to check that wastewater is appropriately routed into the septic tank and not elsewhere on the land. Dyes are brightly colored and non-toxic, and they are safe to use. In layman’s terms, a dye test demonstrates that water can travel from point A to point B. At the time of a dye test, a technician will flush dye tablets down the toilet and down the drain, check to verify that the right wastewater sources are entering the septic tank, and walk about the property looking for dye.

In the absence of a dye test, it is impossible to determine the size or condition of a septic tank.

Dye tests provide little information on the operation of critical septic system components such as baffles, pumps, floats, and alarms, among others.

When purchasing a property, don’t take a chance on a future filled with septic system failures and expensive repairs.

For a complete septic system inspection, rely on the PSMA-certified inspectors at Hapchuk, Inc. to conduct the work for you. Our professionals will supply you with all of the information and help you want in order to confidently acquire a house that has a septic system installed.

What’s Required for a Central Pa Septic Inspection

The real estate market has experienced a resurgence as local realtors return to work. Some realtors even claim that there is a lack of available properties, and we know that homes are selling quickly. In order to ensure that the most vital utility in the home is operating correctly, an examination is necessary when purchasing or selling a house that has a septic system installed. (And when we say “your home’s most critical utility,” we are referring to your septic system.) It is impossible for a standard house inspector to provide a full evaluation of all components of your septic system, which is what a septic inspector does.

  • We’ll check everything from your tank and baffles to your inlet and outlet lines, as well as your pump tank and drainfield, to verify that everything is functioning properly so that you may purchase or sell with confidence.
  • First, we’ll inspect your septic tank to determine its overall health, including the condition of the bottom walls, roof, and baffles.
  • If there is a dosing or lift tank present, we will also evaluate the condition of the tank’s floor, walls, and roof.
  • Checking all of the wiring and making sure your pump alarm is operational are all part of the inspection process.
  • As part of our inspection, we’ll check for correct plumbing connections and make sure the necessary plumbing fittings are connected to your system.
  • We do this to make certain that your drinking water is not contaminated in any way at any time.
  • Who is in charge of coordinating the inspection process?
  • We are delighted to collaborate with your real estate agent directly!
  • Buyers are typically liable for the expense of a septic examination, while the present owner is responsible for the cost of septic pumping and cleaning up the system.
  • Is it necessary to do a hydraulic load test at every inspection?
  • Please call us immediately and ask to speak with Kyle Kline, our licensed septic inspector, for more information about Lancaster Pa septic inspections and hydraulic load testing services.

Kyle works with both buyers and sellers, and he is eager to interact with you directly via your agent in order to make the process as seamless as possible.

How to Inspect a Septic System

Septic tank systems in residential buildings must be examined and pumped on a regular basis to ensure that they continue to work properly. In this piece, we’ll go through the best way for performing a DIY septic tank examination.

Your Septic System 101

It’s important to understand how your septic system works and what you should check for while inspecting the tank before you can evaluate your system. A septic system is basically comprised of a tank buried in the ground that is connected to a structure (such as your home) by drain pipes. A septic system can be installed in a variety of configurations. When waste water departs your house through the toilets and sinks, it is sent to the septic tank for treatment. Any particles present in the water (such as food scraps from your kitchen sink) will sink to the bottom of the tank, leaving a layer of sludge on the bottom.

  • If the drain field in your yard is full, water from the septic tank will flow into it and filter through the soil, eventually reaching the ground water underneath you.
  • At the course of time, both the sludge in the bottom of the tank and the scum on the top of it expand in size.
  • This is due to the fact that sludge or scum that enters the drain field has a high likelihood of clogging the tank.
  • A clean-out of the septic tank is necessary when the amount of sludge or scum in the tank exceeds one-third of the total volume of the tank.

Safety Information

Follow these safety precautions before you begin checking your tank:

  1. Work with a companion
  2. Never lean over the tank and inhale the vapors
  3. Never work alone. Never walk into a tank to look for someone who has fallen into it. Unless you have received particular training for the task, never enter a septic tank on your own initiative

You should keep in mind that septic tanks can contain enough methane gas that it can cause someone to lose consciousness, and that falling into one is typically fatal.

Performing the Inspection

Using a 10 foot 2×4 and marking it with measurement lines every 6 inches, you’ll be able to tell how deep down into the liquid the 2×4 has been placed when you put it into the tank when you put it into the tank. Insert the 2×4 into the tank slowly and carefully. There will be a coating of scum on the surface. Upon breaking through the scum to the liquid underneath, you’ll notice an immediate shift in texture. The height of the scum on the board markings should be noted when you notice this happening.

When this occurs, you will be able to notice a distinct difference in quality.

The final measurement is the height of the board when it reaches the bottom of the tank.

Example: If the board reached sludge 4 feet into the tank’s contents when it reached the bottom, but was only 5 feet deep when it reached the top, then implies there is 1 foot of sludge at the bottom of a tank that can carry 5 feet of trash.

If you want to see an excellent illustration of this method, watch this YouTube video: Terry’s Plumbing can provide you with further information on examining the drainage system in your property.

In addition to answering your questions to the best of our abilities, we will come out to your home if the plumbing system is in need of repair.

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