Buried outside, residential septic systems are usually neglected until there is a notable issue with the system. Acting only when problems pop up with your septic system is a strategy that can easily backfire on you. By the time you seek out a professional to attend to your system, the damage suffered may be too extensive to repair. As a result, you may have to replace the entire system.
That said, not all septic system inspections are the same. Generally, these inspections can be categorised into two main types. These are visual inspections and full inspections.
Read along to distinguish between these two kinds of inspections.
Typically, these inspections are carried out prior to home purchase transactions. Homebuyers may hire a home inspector to inspect your entire property to assess its general condition.
As part of the inspection, the buyers' inspectors will visually inspect your septic system to see if it is working properly. The visual inspection may involve asking you questions, such as when the septic system was installed, how frequently septic tank cleaning and pump-outs are done, and when was the date of the last inspection.
The inspectors will also flush all the toilets and turn on the faucets to see if the water is draining properly. Finally, they will go outside to make sure that the leach field isn't soaked in water – a sign that your septic system may not be working properly.
If you want to avoid last-minute surprises during the closing, you can hire a home inspector to conduct a visual inspection beforehand. While it isn't thorough, a visual inspection of your septic system can help you know the overall health of the system. It may be just what you need to arrange for a full inspection.
In a full inspection, a professional will do everything discussed above, as well as remove the cover of your septic tank to inspect the tank. They will check the water level inside the tank to determine if the wastewater is draining normally. They may ask you to flush all the toilets and turn on the faucets in your home so they can monitor the water level.
If the water level rises when more water is introduced into the system, this may be a sign of excessive sludge build-up. The septic tank may need to be pumped out to get the water flowing properly again. The inspector will also check the physical condition of the tank interiors to determine if it needs repair.
Full inspections are typically offered by dedicated septic system contractors – the scope of work involved is too extensive for home inspectors to handle. That said, most dedicated services don't mind carrying out visual inspections between full inspections.
Whether you need to have your residential septic system inspected as part of home maintenance or because you plan on selling the property, septic system contractors are the pros that you should hire. No one knows the ins and outs of septic systems better than them!