If you're in the market for a new home, and the one you've chosen has a septic system, be sure to ask questions before you sign a contract. Purchasing a home before finding out about the septic system could leave you with serious plumbing issues after you move in. Here are four things you should do before purchasing a home with a septic tank.
As soon as you discover that the home you're interested in is connected to a septic system, you need to start asking questions. Gathering information about the system will help you avoid problems. Septic tanks should be serviced at least once every three to five years. If it's been longer than that since the septic system has been serviced, there may be problems lurking in the tanks.
Ask the homeowners where the septic system is in the yard. If they can't provide you with the exact location, they probably haven't had the system serviced in quite some time. To ensure that the service has been performed, ask to see service records for the maintenance. If they're unable to provide documentation, you should have the septic system inspected before you agree to purchase the home.
Flush the Toilets
When it comes to septic troubles, the toilets are often the first place you'll see the signs. While you're touring the home, flush the toilets. Pay close attention to the sounds you might hear during and after the flush. If you hear loud gurgling sounds when the toilet is flushed, the tank may be near maximum capacity. The gurgling sound is the tank trying to make room for additional waste.
Take a Walk in the Yard
The yard is another place where you're likely to see signs of septic problems. While your touring the backyard, look for large areas of wet soil. Those areas could signify that the septic system is leaking into the soil. If you locate puddles, smell the area around the wetness. If you smell foul odors such as raw sewage, the septic system is backing up, which means the system is about to fail. It's also a good idea to inspect the clean-out drains located around the perimeter of the yard. If the septic system has been backing up for a significant amount of time, you may see signs of raw sewage around the pipes. This is an indication that raw sewage has backed up into the home.
If you're thinking about buying a home with a septic system, make sure you're not purchasing someone else's problems. Use the tips provided here to identify potential problems with the septic system. Consult a company such as B&E Septic Services for more information.