Septic systems today have a functioning life of about 25 years. Fortunately, by arranging a periodic septic inspection and making any repairs, you can usually extend the life of your septic system by a decade or more.
If you’re going to sell or buy a property with a septic system, here’s everything you need to know about what a septic inspection comprises and why it’s such a vital stage during a home inspection in Tulsa.
What Is A Septic Inspection?
According to the Environmental Protection Agency, more than one in every five American residences has a septic system. These systems treat and dispose of the wastewater from your toilet, shower, sinks, and washing machines.
Despite their long-term endurance, septic systems can have structural issues like plumbing blockages or clogged drain field sections. Despite the health risks of living near a failing septic system, the septic tank is sometimes disregarded for home upkeep and repair.
As a result, after making an offer on a property, homebuyers usually engage a third-party pre-sale inspection to assess the septic system.
As the name implies, a septic inspection is characterized by a formal check-up of your home’s septic system. You’ll need to hire the services of qualified septic home inspection engineers to inspect your septic system safely
You’ll receive an in-depth written report documenting the present conditions inside the tank, the severity of any leaks around the site, and an estimate of the septic system’s remaining lifespan after your septic inspector has completed their inspection.
What Happens During A Septic Inspection?
The type of septic inspection you pay for will determine what happens during the inspection. On the other hand, most septic inspections will begin with a visual inspection of your septic tank and a simple loading and dye test.
An inspector will access your septic system during the visual examination by opening your septic tank utility hole and obtaining high-definition internal photographs. A loading and dye test puts a dye through your septic system and looks for dye-treated wastewater leaks around the tank.
Choose a more thorough septic inspection. The inspector will be able to examine your septic system from top to bottom, from electrical components and mechanical piping to effluent screens and scum/sludge levels.
What Are the Types of Septic Inspections?
Septic inspections are available in four levels, ranging from a quick visual check to a comprehensive pump, soil, and engineering review. Higher-grade septic inspections are more expensive and time-consuming, but they are your best bet for detecting problems or possible concerns early.
We’ve briefly discussed each type of house inspection level below to give you a better idea of the benefits and drawbacks of each. Please remember that these grades are cumulative, meaning higher-level inspections include all actions specified in the previous levels.
Level 0 Septic Inspections
Level 0 septic inspections, also known as visual-only inspections, are conducted by a qualified home inspector and consist of a visual examination of the septic system and, in some situations, a short loading and dye test.
Some municipalities prohibit home inspectors from tinkering with septic systems; if this is the case in your area, you’ll need to hire a professional, third-party septic contractor.
Level 1 Septic Inspections
A septic inspector will open the utility hole cover and conduct a restricted assessment of the effluent screens and waste pipes during a level 1 septic inspection. In some states, a full septic tank pump out is required before a level 1 inspection may be performed.
Level 2 Septic Inspections
A level 2 septic inspection entails a detailed examination of the inside conditions of your septic tank. They’ll check for leaks and cracks in the septic distribution boxes and the thickness of the scum layer atop the effluent. Almost all level 2 septic contractors will want the tank to be pumped before the inspection due to the demands of the level 2 inspection.
Level 3 Septic Inspections
The most thorough sort of septic inspection available is a level 3 inspection. Level 3 inspectors will analyze the soil conditions around the septic leaching area and drain field and everything specified in the level 0,1, and 2 inspections.
When Buying A Home, Should You Have A Septic Inspection?
Absolutely! Septic inspections are designed to provide buyers (or current homeowners) with the most up-to-date information on the general condition of a home’s septic system. Remember that a pound of cure is worth an ounce of prevention. You can save thousands of dollars in septic system repair or replacement costs by detecting problems early.
To ensure that you’re aware of any concerns with the plumbing or septic system before closing, schedule your septic inspections to coincide with the general property inspection. You can reduce the chance of inspection-related complications delaying final closing negotiations by scheduling both inspections to close together.
If you need a home inspection in Tulsa, AEI Inspections is the company to call. Our staff has over 30 years of home inspection and structural engineering knowledge. Whether you’re selling, purchasing, or managing your house, we want to ensure that all safety regulations are met and that the construction is sound and up to code. Contact us right away!