Who Pays for the Septic System Inspection When Buying A Home?

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The list of things that need to be done when you buy a home can be daunting. If your dream house has a septic system, you must add the required inspection to your list. As a buyer, it is in your best interests to make sure that the septic system is fully functional. Lenders may refuse to finance a home with a failing septic system. In Washington state, the buyer pays for a septic system inspection.

According to the Environmental Protection Agency, twenty percent of US homes have septic systems. Most are in rural areas that lack a centralized sewage system. The home septic system collects and treats household wastewater from the bathroom, kitchen and laundry. The system consists of a septic tank and a drain field, or soil absorption field.

Types of Inspection

A general home inspector does a visual inspection of the septic system, looking at the age of the house and the system’s maintenance record, if any. Then, they test drainage and water by flushing the household toilets and running taps simultaneously.

The home inspector also checks for sewage overflow in the drain field. While this surface inspection can provide signals about how well the system is working, only a licensed professional can conduct a complete and thorough septic system inspection.

In addition to the visual checks, the full inspection goes deeper by removing the septic tank cover to check the water level and flow. Next, a septic dye test is done by flushing a non-staining dye into the system and waiting to see if the colored water appears in the drain field or surrounding area. The inspection also includes septic system pumping to identify problems in the drain field.

Septic System Problems & Fixes

The septic inspector identifies areas of failure and determines the needed repairs. Septic systems can malfunction due to improper design and installation or inadequate maintenance. A system that is regularly checked and maintained with septic pumping every 3-5 years is less likely to fail and can save you thousands of dollars in repairs.

Problems can also include clogged pipes and inlets from the house to the tank. Septic pumping will locate and remove clogs in the system. In addition, tree roots in the drain field that disrupt the soil and cause the system to malfunction can be cleared away.

When a septic system releases sewage outside its prescribed areas, it contaminates groundwater and nearby water sources, creating a health hazard. Additionally, drain field failure can cause noxious smells around the tank and sewage backup into the home. A septic system specialist uses restoration techniques and specialized equipment to reconstruct the area.

After the Septic System Inspection

To approve your loan, lenders usually insist that the septic system passes the inspection. In most cases, the seller agrees to pay for any repairs, which must be done before the closing.

The specialists at All Septic & Sewer have served clients in King, Pierce, and Thurston counties for over a combined 20 years. Learn how their inspections and timely repairs can bring you that much closer to getting the keys to your new home. Contact them today at (888) 541-6680. Follow them on Facebook to see what customers have to say and more septic system information.

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