Insepcting a conventional septic system

Originally Posted By: mwortman
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I would be interested in how other home inspectors are handling the inspection of a conventional septic system. I would like to compare other’s approaches to what I do.


Mike Wortman


Originally Posted By: pdacey
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I refer it out to a septic specialist. They pump out the tank, power wash it and get down in there to really inspect. It costs $350 and takes about 2 hours but they find things that a normal visual and/or dye test would not have uncovered.



Slainte!


Patrick Dacey
swi@satx.rr.com
TREC # 6636
www.southwestinspections.com

Originally Posted By: wpedley
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Just another question about septic inspections…


In regard to the townships that have a sewage enforcement

officer,wouldn't the buyer or seller have to contact them

if they wanted an inspection of the system? I know in the township

I live in that person is responsible for inspecting it. I'm not necessarily

talking about in-town systems where grinder pumps are used.


--
BPedley
Inspecting for the unexpected

Originally Posted By: mwortman
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Every thime you have a home with a conventional septic system you refer the septic part to a specialist???


Originally Posted By: pdacey
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mwortman wrote:
Every thime you have a home with a conventional septic system you refer the septic part to a specialist???


Yup. Not worth it. Almost every HI here does. Too much can be wrong that you can't see just doing a visual and dye test. Not many septics here inside the city. Mostly out in the county.

The way I address it with the buyer is, have the home inspection first. Then if you are still interested in purchasing the property have the septic inspected. Then I refer them to a specialist.


--
Slainte!

Patrick Dacey
swi@satx.rr.com
TREC # 6636
www.southwestinspections.com

Originally Posted By: mwortman
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I take a little differenct approach. A conventional system is not much different than a in town how with sewer connections. It all is working well there is not much that really can be inspected. A dye test really doesn’t tell much about the sewage lines and the laateral lines. Most septics are 1000 gallon or so…three tanks, etc…a dye test will not really reveal any problems. If all appears to be working- no slow drains, no backing up commodes…then I approach like a home with no septic. I walk the drain field and probe with a metal staff, looking for soft spots or areas that have a septic odor to them. I do recommnend that the buyer obain documentation on maintenance of the septic system, age, has the solids tank every been pumped (should be done every 6-7 yrs according to the intallers I have discussed septic tank inspecting with. Unlike an aerobic system, there is not much to go wrong except a full solids tank and roots in the lateral lines…but I will take your advice and use it to better inform my clients on what to do if they have a concern that my visual inspecton did not handle…thanksl


Originally Posted By: rpasquier
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I won’t touch a septic system, If I see something obviously wrong, such as a dip in the yard over the septic tank or a strong odor, slow drains etc, I will note it in my report, but my contract states that I do NOT do septic systems, although if the buyer wants I will subcontract a septic inspection out to a pro if they wish.


For an extra charge of course.... ![icon_lol.gif](upload://zEgbBCXRskkCTwEux7Bi20ZySza.gif)


Originally Posted By: rmello
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mwortman wrote:
I would be interested in how other home inspectors are handling the inspection of a conventional septic system. I would like to compare other's approaches to what I do.
Mike Wortman
![icon_rolleyes.gif](upload://iqxt7ABYC2TEBomNkCmZARIrQr6.gif) ![icon_rolleyes.gif](upload://iqxt7ABYC2TEBomNkCmZARIrQr6.gif) ok if my own septic tank,open the insp 4"plug at end of hm lines near to holding tank, have some one flush & drain as mush water as possaible. if water backs up or comes out of insp plug , tank or field is pluged. refer to a pooper scopper. i'd stay away from a full insp of septic sys the firt time some one puts a mouse mattres down the poriclen bus they will blame you ! as we say (appers to be funictional but not fully inspected !)


Originally Posted By: jpeck
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Have your client call a septic tank company. Not only do they install septic tanks and drain fields. and do pumping and service, but most will also do inspections.


Think about it a minute.

They get a call "me septic system is not working", before doing anything, they must first 'inspect it' to know what to do.

Just have your client call the septic company.

Down here (in Florida) we have another reason to NOT inspect them. An HI did a septic tank inspection on a house a legislator was buying, the system failed, the legislator drafted legislation (which was passed) to required a septic tank inspector to be a licensed septic tank contractor.

The best way to get legislation to pass the first time is to screw a legislator. They will write what they want, under the guise of protecting the public, telling their fellow legislators "See, if this can happen to ME, a legislator - like YOU, think about the poor average public voter, er, public citizen."


--
Jerry Peck
South Florida