Why You Should Have the Septic System Inspected Before Buying a Home

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Buying a home is an exciting and involved process. There is so much to consider and do.

One of the most helpful, and often forgotten, things you should do before buying a home is to have the septic system inspected.

While some counties mandate this as part of the home buying process, others do not. Also, depending on what city your new home is in, the responsibility for septic system inspections may fall on the buyer or the seller.

If you are buying a new home in the Tri-City area of Washington, call your health department to determine who is responsible. After all, if your septic system is not healthy, then neither is your home.

What problems can a damaged septic system cause?

A septic system efficiently deals with wastewater, including sewage and human waste, as well as drained water from sinks, washing machines, showers, and bathtubs.

When a septic system is damaged or improperly maintained, not only can it result in costly repairs, the health of your pets, family, and neighbors can be affected.

Some signs of a damaged or failing septic system are:

  • Standing water over the tank or drainage field
  • Bathtubs, sinks, and toilets that drain slowly
  • Gurgling sounds from your plumbing
  • Offensive odors near the tank or drain field
  • Lush growth

Leaking septic systems can also cause algal growth in nearby water bodies and create high levels of nitrates and bacteria. A failed septic system is releasing untreated sewage into your yard and the water table.

This pollution can harm the environment and be extremely toxic to those exposed through the food and water supply, causing illness and disease.

How much does a septic inspection cost?

Depending on your home’s location and the type of inspection required, septic system inspections can cost as little as $150 to more than $500. Some companies will charge an additional fee for writing the report.

Compared to the average septic system repair cost of $1,889 in Washington, a proper and thorough inspection can save you money and time.

What does a septic inspection involve?

You can choose from two types of septic system inspections: a visual inspection and a full inspection.

Visual inspections are relatively low impact and take little time. As a result, they cost less. A full inspection, however, should be done every three years and is a more rigorous affair.

Visual Inspection

A visual inspection begins with the technician gathering knowledge about the property and home. How old is it? When was it last inspected and drained?

Then, the technician will look for poor drainage or areas of standing water. They will perform a flow test by flushing toilets and running water in the house. The inspector will visually check the drainage field for sulfurous odors or greenery that is growing a little too well.

Full Inspection

A full inspection starts with the visual inspection. The technician, however, will take several additional steps to ensure the septic system is working correctly.

These steps include:

  • Uncovering the septic tank to verify the water level
  • Running water in the home to observe how quickly it drains and the water level in the tank does not increase
  • The use of dye to determine if there is any backflow into the home

If you are buying a home in the Tri-City area or need to have your septic system inspected or pumped, call Ace. Our team of technicians will provide efficient and courteous service. Reach us at (509) 546-0631 or request a service via our website.