Purchasing a home is a major decision requiring important considerations before signing on the dotted line. When you are purchasing a home with a septic tank, additional scrutiny is necessary to avoid unexpected septic repair costs, which could be significant. By asking some pointed questions beforehand, you can get a better idea of the condition of the system and if repairs will be needed. This will allow you to adjust your offer and avoid any surprises after the sale.
First, What is a Septic Tank?
A septic system is a private sewage treatment plant to handle solid waste and effluent from the residence. A septic system consists of a holding tank and drain or leach field. After solid waste and effluent from the home enter the tank, microorganisms breakdown the solids while the effluent travels to the leach field where it is absorbed into the surrounding soil.
Where is the Septic System?
First off, you should know where your septic tank and leach field are to avoid damaging them and where to direct the plumbers when they need to service it. Your tank and leach field area must be protected to maintain proper operation. Never park cars or heavy machinery on or near a septic tank or leach field. In addition, when landscaping, you would not want to plant trees, shrubs or plants in these areas.
How old is the Septic System?
Older septic systems sometimes require more service and maintenance. The reason is as time goes by; the leach field can deteriorate and lose its absorbing properties. This is usually a result of septic tank neglect — failure to pump — over the years.
When was it Last Serviced?
As mentioned above, failing to pump and service your septic tank can have lasting ramifications on the leach field. As the solid materials in the tank build, eventually, they will enter the drain field outlet and enter the leach field. When this happens, they diminish the absorption capabilities of the field, which will prevent effluent from draining properly. Ramifications of this lead to sewer back up and leach field replacement, which can be costly.
Why are these Questions Important?
The aforementioned questions are important to protect your interests when buying a house with a private septic system. A neglected septic system is a prime candidate for major repairs. Since these repairs are costly, it can significantly increase the overall purchase price of the home and require more out-of-pocket expense.
For answers to your questions, contact The Pink Plumber today.