Just like you may have a check up with your doctor, a septic inspection can help you gauge the overall health of your system and identify problems before they get worse and lead to costly repairs.
When and Why They’re Important
Have you had your septic system inspected recently? For most homes, it’s recommended to get it inspected every 3 years and it can be a lifesaver for your home and your wallet. Inspections are also a good precaution to take when buying or selling a home and are a simple, cost efficient way to ensure you’re making a sound financial investment and keep your property in full working order all year long. A traditional home inspection typically doesn’t include a thorough evaluation of the septic system, if one at all, so it’s important to contact a certified expert to reveal the true condition of the system before signing on the dotted line.
What is an Inspection?
You may be wondering what a septic inspection entails and why you aren’t able to just take a walk out to your yard and look at it yourself. It takes a trained eye to identify abnormalities in your system. Typically, when you schedule an inspection, a technician will come to your home and start by performing a flow test. A working system will flush water through the sanitary pipe/tank and into the leach field. However, if very little water enters the tank, or tank water rises very rapidly, this indicates to the technician that there is an issue.
Next, the technician will measure sludge and scum layers. These layers should take up about 30% of the tank’s total volume. If sludge and scum take up more space, this indicates a problem in the leach field.
Finally, the technician will examine the leach field for any overly saturated areas which could indicate an issue with the leaching system. The technician can also probe the leach field to test for hydraulic test which will tell them whether the leach field is flooded.
Establish a Pumping Routine
An inspection will let you know if you are due for a septic tank pumping. This is especially helpful if you are a homebuyer and unsure when the last pump was. An inspection will not only help identify potential issues, but also lay the groundwork for a regular pumping schedule. This routine will help your system last longer and keep you from having to spend thousands on repairs.
Identify Small Septic Problems
Inspections also help you identify small septic problems before they become even larger and more expensive. Small cracks in the tank, damaged baffles, and damaged dip pipes can all lead to septic system failure and result in a full septic system replacement if left untreated. However, routine inspection can identify these problems early and remedy them in a less expensive way such as replacing or repairing individual parts.
Old Systems Can Cause Expensive Problems
Septic inspections can also determine when a system is at the end of its lifespan and needs to be replaced. Systems that get inspected and pumped on a routine basis can last for up to 30 years or more. However, if you wait too long to get your system inspected and are overdue for replacement, this can lead to more costly and even dangerous issues. A system overdue for replacement can lead to sewage backup into your home. This could also mean that affected fixtures need to be replaced (in addition to your septic) and people living inside your home may need to seek medical examination for exposure to dangerous pathogens. Not only is this extremely costly, but also harmful to your health.
Large septic system repairs are costly. A new septic system or large repairs can cost you up to $50,000 whereas an inspection only costs $300 - $1,000 depending on the size of your tank. Don’t allow your system to go unchecked! Septic system inspection is extremely important and is one sure way homeowners can “fix the roof before it leaks” so to speak.Schedule your inspection or call us today and one of our experienced technicians will be ready to help!