Septic Inspection Step By Step Guide for Real Estate Transactions

On This Page: Steps for Inspection, Check for Backups, Locating The System, Removing the Cover, Determine Levels, Test for Leaks, Inspect Baffles, Check Filters & Flow, Who Can Inspect Septic Systems

Whether you are a prospective homeowner looking to buy a new home or a real estate developer looking to make a profit by flipping a house, there are a ton of aspects of real estate transactions to look at before you make the final purchase. One of the most important parts of any real estate sale is an inspection of the home’s septic system. This can seem like a daunting task, but with the right septic system inspection company, the process can be quick and easy.

Before you buy a home with a septic system, take a look at this helpful step-by-step guide for septic system inspection for home sales to understand what aspects of the septic system need to be inspected, and what the septic inspector will be looking at during their evaluation. 

The Steps for a Basic Septic Inspection Includes:

Flushing Toilets and Running Water to Check for Backups

This is something any homeowner or home buyer can do in the home quickly and easily. Flush the toilets and see if any of them back up. Rush the faucets in the house for a while and see if the fixtures are draining properly or if any of them are backing up. If you see any of the water in the home is backing up, you need to perform a comprehensive inspection below to determine the issue. 

A Comprehensive Septic Inspection Includes the Following:

Locating the Septic Tank and the Draining Field

If the current homeowner does not know where the tank and drain field are, then they will need to be located on the property. This is one of the most important steps for a homeowner to do before the inspector arrives to save both time and money on the septic inspection costs.

Remove the Septic Tank Cover

This step is important as it gives the inspector access to the internal parts of the tank for a comprehensive septic tank inspection. Homeowners can also do this step prior to the inspector arriving.

Determine the Level of Sludge in the Septic Tank

In this step, the inspector will use a sludge testing instrument to determine the exact level of sludge in the tank. The instrument is a long, hollow, and transparent rod that the inspector will dip into the tank till it reaches the bottom. Upon pulling the rod back up, the amount of wastewater and sludge in the rod determines many aspects of the condition of the tank and lets the inspector know if the septic tanks need to be pumped or not.

Test for Septic Leaks

Determining if the septic tank is leaking is a crucial part of the septic inspection. This requires the inspector to fill the tank, mark the water level on the riser or wall of the manhole opening, and then check the level 24 hours later to make sure there are no points in the tank or system that are leaking. Both a vacuum test and a hydrostatic test will include pumping negative pressure or water (respectively) into the tank and looking for signs of wear or water leakage. 

Inspect the Inlet and Outlet Baffles

This step of the septic inspection involves inspecting both baffles of the septic tanks which are crucial components of waste flow from the house and into the drain field. The inlet baffle on a septic tank is a component that helps solids settle in the tank when waste is discharged from the house. The outlet baffle helps to prevent solid waste from being drained into the leaching field.

The inspector will check these components for cracks, corrosion, and other signs of wear and tear. They will also check to make sure the valves are tight and everything is firmly attached.

Check Septic Filters and Water Flow

The final step of the septic system inspection entails checking the filters and flow rate of the system. This is done by measuring the volume of water flowing through the system over a period of time. If the flow rate is too low, then the filter needs to be replaced. They will also check if there is water draining into the tank which is a sign of a leak in the tank. Also, they will check if there is any back-flow into the tank which may be an indicator of problems in the drain field. 

Who Can Do a Septic System Inspection?

Though homeowners can perform some of these inspection steps, you should hire an expert septic inspector to help you complete all of them. An experienced septic inspector has extensive knowledge about how septic systems work and what issues may arise. They have the training and tools needed to inspect every aspect of the septic system. Acuantia offers complete septic service for homeowners and is your best choice for septic system inspection in California, Texas, South Carolina, Wisconsin and other parts of our extensive service area. If you need an inspection on the condition of the septic in your new or existing home or property, trust it to the best septic company in the business, Acuantia. Call (888) 702-2502 now or submit a request online to schedule your inspection.

If you are a septic inspector or on-site wastewater service provider, we would love to hear from you. Contact us today about how we can get you more business by becoming a service partner.