Buying Investment Property Septic Inspection: What Property Buyers Should Know by Alex Karani August 28, 2021August 28, 2021 by Alex Karani August 28, 2021August 28, 2021 Investors need to hire an inspector to conduct a general house inspection before purchasing an income property. This usually involves looking at the house’s structure as well as looking for pests. If you are purchasing a home with a septic system, it is critical that you conduct a septic inspection. As is the case with any system, there are a variety of things that might go wrong. Before you close on a property, find out if there is a problem with your septic system. Septic system issues can range from minor repairs to major replacements that might cost tens of thousands of dollars. Here’s what you need to know about your septic inspection. Related: What to Look for During a Home Inspection of a Fixer Upper What is a Septic System and How Does it Work? A septic system is a wastewater treatment structure that is typically utilized in rural regions where there are no centralized sewage lines. It is used to treat all wastewater from a house with a blend of nature and established technology. The septic system starts with the house’s sanitary pipe, which delivers wastewater to the septic tank. The septic tank is an enormous watertight container often composed of concrete, steel, or fiberglass that is buried in the ground. When the septic tank collects the wastewater from the house, the solid waste settles in the bottom, where natural microbes break it down. The liquid rises to the top of the septic tank and is safely passed to a drain field. Grease and oils float to the top of the tank, forming a coating on the surface. This scum layer forms a seal that keeps air out of the tank, allowing bacteria to thrive. These bacteria then break down the solid waste in the tank. The entire procedure aids in the reduction of soil and water pollution. When it is in good operating order, the septic system filters the wastewater from the washer, toilets, sinks, and showers. It then redistributes the water into the ground. Most experts recommend that you do a septic inspection every three to five years to ensure that it is healthy and in good working condition. A septic system can endure up to 25 years, and in certain situations, eternally. It is entirely dependent on the system’s upkeep. A septic tank can last a lifetime if you do regular inspections and make the required repairs. However, septic systems are typically neglected because they’re buried in the ground. Despite what professionals advise, many homeowners put off having a septic inspection for far longer than five years. Moreover, many people put off calling the septic inspectors until something goes wrong. At this point, it may need serious repairs or a replacement of the septic system. It can cost thousands of dollars depending on the location of the system and the terrain of the property. Doing a septic inspection before buying a house will help you avoid any unpleasant surprises. What is the Procedure for a Septic Inspection? When buying a home, a visual inspection is frequently performed by the home inspector. The real septic inspection begins with the gathering of information, which is more of a pre-inspection. It entails asking a few questions, such as the age of the home, how often the owner pumps the septic system, when the last inspection was performed, any past problems and repairs made, etc. This procedure will assist the inspector in finding clues as to where potential issues could be. The inspector will then do an on-site inspection. While asking questions is helpful, you need a complete inspection to reveal the truth about the septic system’s health. The septic inspector will flush all of the toilets and turn on all of the faucets in the property to ensure that the water pressure is enough and that everything drains properly. He/she will check the drain field for standing water, which could indicate the presence of a cesspool. The inspector will also remove the septic tank cover and verify the water level during a comprehensive examination. The water level might indicate whether or not the water is effectively draining. He/she will then run water through the house to ensure that water is properly flowing from the house to the septic tank and that the water level in the tank does not rise when more water is added. During this portion of the septic inspection, the inspector may perform a dye test. In a dye test, the inspector will add dye to the water being drained to see how much of it makes its way into the septic tank. The septic tank will next be pumped, and the inspector will inspect the absorption area for any backflow. The backflow level informs the inspector if your drain field has a problem. The flow level is then double-checked to ensure that everything in the septic system is working properly and that there are no blockages. How Much Does a Septic Inspection Cost? Septic inspection rates vary based on a number of factors such as: Septic tank size How thoroughly they inspect the tank The person or firm doing the septic inspection However, a full septic inspection for a 1,000-1,500 gallon tank normally costs between $300 and $600. Check with your local health agency to see if they provide reduced-cost inspections. Related: How Much Does a Home Inspection Cost in 2019? Hiring a Septic Inspector If you’re buying a house with a septic system, you can ask a few questions to get an idea about the condition of the septic tank. Ask about the age of the house, the last time a septic inspection was conducted, whether the septic tank has any issues and any repairs made, etc. However, you also need to get a septic system inspection from a professional. Be sure to hire a qualified third-party inspector to conduct a thorough inspection. It might be tempting to hire an inspector who will quickly complete the inspection and sign off with a gold star. However, this could lead to you purchasing a home with a slew of issues in the future. If you require assistance in locating a qualified inspector, your realtor will most likely be able to provide you with some suggestions. Related: The Ultimate Rental Inspection Checklist for Property Managers The Bottom Line With good maintenance, septic systems are highly efficient. However, not all homeowners take care of their septic systems. This makes septic inspection an important part of a house purchase. To that end; you need to do your due diligence by getting a professional septic inspection before concluding a real estate deal. Start out your 7-day free trial with Mashvisor now. Start Your Investment Property Search! START FREE TRIAL Home Inspection 1 FacebookTwitterGoogle +PinterestLinkedin Alex Karani Alex is an entrepreneur and an experienced content writer focused on personal finance, business, and investing. For over six years, he has contributed to a number of publications, both online and print. When he's not writing or working, Alex enjoys reading, traveling, and the outdoors. Previous Post What is a “Notice to Perform” in Real Estate? Next Post What is An Active Option Contract in Real Estate? Related Posts What Is a Hold Harmless Agreement in Real Estate? 6 Ways to Invest in New York Real Estate Should Real Estate Investors Consider Moving to a New Location in 2018? 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