Components Checked During a Septic Inspection

When you purchase a house, your mortgage company may require numerous different inspections before they issue the loan. One of these inspections is a sewer inspection, and this is completed to ensure that the sewer system of the house is working properly. Getting this inspection is for your benefit, because it will tell you if anything is wrong with the system. Here are three common problems sewer systems can encounter.

Full Tank

If the home you're buying has a septic tank, the inspection will reveal how full it is. Most residential septic tanks hold up to 1,000 gallons of sewage, and they should be pumped every two to three years. If the tank has not been pumped recently, or if the tank is at least half full, you should request pumping for it. This may be done at the expense of the current homeowner, and it will save you up to $300.

When a tank starts getting full, it may begin to have problems. Septic tanks are designed to hold water and solids, but the water should drain from the system, and this is the part of a septic that is inspected next.

Bad Drainage Components

Septic systems have baffles, which are devices that prevent the solids from leaving the tank. Baffles also help with the drainage of the fluids that enter the system. When a toilet is flushed, everything ends up in the system. The bacteria in the system helps decompose the solids, and the baffles help separate the solids from the liquids.

As the liquids leave the system, they end up in the drainfield, which is another component that is checked during a septic inspection. If the drainfield is not functioning properly, it may need to be repaired or replaced. Replacing a drainfield may cost $5,000, or even more.

Other Parts that Malfunction

In addition to these two things, a septic inspection also reveals information about the following parts of the septic system:

Drain Pipes

If the house is old, there is a big chance that the drainage pipes may be clogged, or have clogs beginning to form. One of the main reasons this happens is from tree roots. When tree roots start getting into the drain pipes, they can clog them. The only way to fix this is to replace all of the drain pipes from the house to the tank.

Sewer Pump

Every septic system needs a sewer pump, too. This pump is what forces the waste water from the home into the tank. The waste water travels through underground pipes all the way to the tank. If the pump is old or is not working properly, it will not be able to complete this task.

This can lead to a backup of sewer inside the home, and this is a very messy problem. A bad pump may also cause ventilation issues too.

Sewer Vents

The sewer vents are not always included in septic inspections, but you can request this. Every faucet and toilet in the home should be tied to a sewer vent. This vent helps eliminate built-up sewer gases that naturally form from indoor plumbing. The vents run from bathrooms and kitchens to the roof of a house. If a vent is clogged, you may smell a sewer odor.

During a septic inspection, a sewer pump repair company will perform numerous steps to find out how the system is working. You will get a report on paper that states the findings, and this will help you know what to do next. If there are issues, you can ask the current homeowner to fix them. If they refuse, you may want to look for a different house to buy.


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