Buying A House With Septic Tank System: Expert Opinion

This article will be providing you with tips on buying a house with a septic tank. The contents outlined here will prove to be very beneficial in the long run.

Buying a house is a great investment that saves you rental payments among other things. While the prospect of owning your own home can be an exciting experience, you’ll need to be extra cautious.

Being extra cautious in this sense has to do with an understanding of what you’re getting into.

Quite a lot of people have ended up spending tons of money fixing or replacing their septic tanks after discovering such tanks are problematic.

Do all houses have septic tanks? No.

Only one-fifth of homes in the US have one installed. Septic tanks are more common in the Eastern US and rural settlements of New England.

Why Buy A House With Septic Tank?

If you’re wondering if there’s any benefit to buying a home with an installed septic system, we’re here to help!

Septic systems are waste treatment systems that have proven to be efficient. Quite a lot of homeowners will want to have reasons to justify their purchase.

Living With Septic Tanks

Should you buy a house with a septic tank? Let’s take a look at its pros and cons.

There are many benefits when it comes to installing septic systems in homes. This is an environmentally-friendly system that is also safe.

Septic systems are also self-maintaining and cost-efficient.

Have you decided to never buy a house with a septic tank? Hold on.

  • Environmentally-Friendly System

By design, a septic system is built to be environmentally friendly.

Here, any leakage of untreated wastewater is much more contained or localized than leaks or spills from sewer systems. That means only a small area is affected and can be treated immediately.

  • Safe

Are septic tanks safe? Yes.

Septic system backups, though unpleasant are much better at resolving as the causes are local and can be easily traced. The same cannot be said for a sewer system that includes several homes.

Backups can be much messier and bring up all sorts of disease-causing pathogens from the entire system.

  • Self Maintaining

One of the benefits of a septic system is that it allows for self-maintenance.

In this case, a septic system can be better maintained by only disposing of biodegradable waste down your drains. Certain items considered unsuitable to a septic system’s functioning can be excluded.

Taking these preventive actions extends the lifespan of your septic system. You also get to conserve water much effectively.

  • Cost-Efficient

Homeowners with septic systems won’t be paying monthly sewer-related utility bills. The need for recurring expenses is non-existent, thus serving as a cost-effective alternative.

Downsides To Buying A Home With Septic System

Not all is rosy when it comes to purchasing homes with septic systems.

In other words, certain disadvantages are common and include dealing with a failed leach field, periodic maintenance as well as taking full responsibility for repairs.

  • Dealing With A Failed Leach Field

The leach field, also known as the drain field is an important septic system component that contributes to the general wellbeing or functionality of the entire system.

Compaction is one of the common problems of a drain field that’s caused by driving vehicles and heavy machinery over drain field or drain field lines.

The resulting compaction prevents the absorption/filtration of effluent. This causes septic tank backups or the return of the contents back into the tank. A house having a bad leach field won’t be a good buy.

If the leach field is functional, you’ll need to ensure it is maintained.

  • Periodic Maintenance

Periodic maintenance doesn’t sound bad, does it?

However, you might find this a bit demanding when making comparisons between homes with septic systems and those connected to sewer lines. The latter requires zero maintenance on the part of the homeowner.

Septic system maintenance has to do with the pumping of the tank once every three to five years. This also includes septic tank replacements when due.

Buying a house with a shared septic tank may lower such costs by sharing it among users.

Other components of the system such as tank baffles, drain lines and filters may also need to be replaced along the way. These cost money.

  • Taking Full Responsibility For Repairs

When you buy a house with a septic system, you’re taking full responsibility for repairs.

Repairs are important as they’re part of maintenance services to be carried out where necessary. Buying a house with an old septic tank may result in spending a lot on repairs and replacements.

The services of a licensed septic service will be needed whenever problems develop.

Things To Do Before Buying A House With Septic Tank

Before buying a house with a septic system, it’s necessary to perform basic checks.

In other words, thorough inspections will be needed. Quite a lot of people make the mistake of only focusing on home inspection without looking at the condition of the septic system.

Apart from the home inspector, you’ll need to call a licensed septic system specialist. Such a technician takes a detailed look at the system to find possible faults.

These activities are all geared towards ensuring the system is in perfect working condition.

What Is Covered By A Septic System Inspection?

As part of the requirements for purchasing a home, the state of the septic system needs to be determined. This helps with proper cost evaluation among other things. One having a broken or bad septic system will see its value depleted.

Septic system inspections should take a look at the last inspection date. This helps assess the level of maintenance being practiced.

Others include checking for the presence of liquid waste on the ground surface, and ensuring baffles are firmly fixed or connected to inlet and outlet pipes.

The sludge volume in the septic tank is also important. A tank with high sludge levels will require pumping and cleaning. The septic tank and lids are also checked for possible cracks. Leakages are also inspected.

  • Additional Areas Covered By Septic System Inspection

Is the system’s installed capacity sufficient? This needs to be assessed to ensure a house purchase is worthwhile. Another critical area to look out for is to check the proximity between the drain field and water bodies.

There should be sufficient distance to prevent water pollution. Are the drain lines receiving an even supply of wastewater? There should be even distribution for proper absorption and treatment.

Buying a house with a septic system involves all of the above. We’ve seen the benefits as well as the downsides of making such a purchase. Also, the areas to look out for during an inspection have been provided.

These should greatly help in helping you make critical decisions.

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