WHY INSPECT AND PUMP PRIOR TO PURCHASE?
Would you buy a used car without looking underneath the hood?
Of course not, so why buy a home without looking at what's buried in the yard?
A septic system is like a car. It needs regular maintenance, parts fixed, and one day, the ole' clunker will need to be replaced! Because most components of a septic systems are "out-of-sight" people don't give them much thought and they often get neglected .... "if the toilets flush, the system must be working!?!?!"
An In-tank Septic Inspection with Pumping during your option period of the sales transaction tells you the type of system, whether or not it is functioning, its useful life and associated maintenance costs. In addtion:
- Has the system been well maintained?
- Are there repairs to be negotiated ? Or does the system need replacing?
- Do unpermitted alterations to the system or home need to be addressed?
- Will the sytem need to be replaced in the near future?
- What does it cost to maintain annually?
- How does it work?
Keep in mind the cost to replace a septic system can be $20,000 or more...repairs can run in the thousands!
Why Pump at time of inspection?
- Tanks crack during installation, by root inundation, by driving on them or by the expansion and contraction of the surrounding soil. It is impossible to determine if a tank is structurally sound without pumping the liquid out to allow visual inspection of the interior walls. State code requires a septic tank to be watertight and structurally sound. Code no longer allow just tank replacement but requires the entire system replaced.
- most homebuyers are not inclinded to pick up a shovel to locate and remove dirt off septic lids for the inspection...the pump truck driver can provide that service. (often there are multiple lids, sometimes buried 3-5 feet deep...thats lot of dirt to shovel!) If you choose not to pump, Rainbow Septic can provide names of digging companies
- Occasional problems are found during the inspection that require pumping to assess properly. Having the pump truck on site for pumping allows the inspector to perform further diagnostics. If the pump truck is not present, there is often the additional time and expense of a second trip to the property. Time is usually "of the essence" in a real estate transaction.
- VA and FHA mortgage lenders often require pumping to obtain the loan. Contact you lender to ascertain their requirements DURING THE OPTION PERIOD.
Please consult with your Realtor....OUR ADVICE ?...pump at the time of inspection. Don't be penny wise and pound foolish particulary when options periods are short!