Creating A Beautiful Home

2 Ways To Test The Septic System Of The Home You Want To Buy

by Serenity Harris

Considering purchasing a home that has a septic system? The setup might seem alien and complicated to those used to city waste systems, but a septic system can work just as easily and efficiently if the system is set up properly and maintained. As a prospective homebuyer, it is vital that you and your inspectors conduct a series of tests to make sure the existing septic system is up to order. Septic tank repair or replacing a burst pipe is expensive, and you need to know if that is a possibility before you make a formal purchase offer.

Here are a couple of the tests you can conduct to see if the septic system is in proper working order. Consult with a home inspector and/or a plumber for conducting and analyzing the testing to make sure you know what you're buying into.

Visual Inspection

You want to start by asking the homeowner questions about the age, maintenance history, and location of the septic system. Next up is conducting a visual inspection to check for any obvious signs of trouble. You can perform this inspection on your own, but it is often more helpful to have a house inspector conduct the check or to have a plumber accompany you on your inspection.

What are signs of septic problems? Check the area where the system is buried for any signs of leakage, such as unusually wet or smelly grass above the system. Don't walk over the actual system, especially if you see signs of leakage, as there could be a sinkhole that you definitely don't want to fall into.

Check to make sure that the drain field is adequately positioned, which means that gravity is able to do its job. You don't want a mostly level drain field or one that abuts wetlands that could seep into the drain field and cause a backup.

Load and Dye Test

A load and dye test is a good addition to your inspection process, especially if little is known about the system's maintenance history. The test involves loading the system with dyed water and then checking throughout the system to see if the dyed water ended up anywhere it shouldn't have during the drainage process.

You should call in a qualified plumber to perform the test and the analysis even though you can buy the dye tests at the hardware store. It's better to have a professional on hand who can quickly diagnose and propose fixes to any problems that arise.

Contact a business like Sullivan Septic to learn more.