I am very new to inspecting. I started my own business and I have past experience with construction but fairly new to being a business owner and a inspector. I have a request to do a septic inspection but I don’t know if I should sub-contract that or leave that separate for the customer to find. Thoughts?
Do you have a truck to suck out the septic tank?
Are you required to have a license in your state to do so?
I just refer the client to a septic company as a courtesy.
Where are you located as it might have influence on a proper answer.
Now for your question it really depends on what you call a “septic inspection” and what type of septic system it is. Even with a partially accessible aerobic system the best you can do is a partial inspection. A full and proper inspection requires pumping the tanks to inspect the interior for signs of trouble as well as other activities not typically performed during a home inspection.
Septic systems are expensive systems and making a mistake with an inspection can easily cost you thousands of dollars.
I do not have the truck. It is not an option for myself to do the inspection. I was just wondering if it was wise to subcontract it or suggest the customer to find the septic company her self.
Thank you, I am located in Florida and I don’t think I want to be involved with the septic inspection in anyway. It seems like too much can go wrong but I am needing clients so I was wondering if I should take the risk of sub-contracting. But it seems it is better to be safe than sorry.
If you know of a good septic company that will perform an inspection for a RE transfer then give them their name if you’re comfortable with the work. As for sub-contracting you take on the liability if the septic company hoses the inspection and misses something.
Thank you, you are very helpful.
Florida regulates septic inspection and HI’s can’t perform that service without additional licenses.
Refer it out and be glad you aren’t involved with it.
Thank you very much.
Some septic companies won’t even inspect them. The liability is too great. I prefer to just do a level 2 inspection of the visible system with a dye test. There is an online course on here you can take. If you aren’t sure, you are best to pass on the septic, or put your septic inspection limitations to the inspection in your contract. If you do that, you can either report the system operating satisfactory or recommend pumping, or further evaluation. Listing your limitations to the inspection is important.
The first question you should ask yourself is… Why would anyone want to assume the responsibility and liability associated with subcontracting? Fortunately in Florida you need a GC’s license to legally subcontract so there’s that to consider.
I agree with Roy.
Refer your client and have them write the check out to the septic tank company.
Same for wdo inspections.
You do not want to get caught in the contractor–sub contractor trap…
I am very familiar with septic systems and especially how they are neglected. Many years ago I worked for a company that pumped, repaired and installed them.
This is what I do as a Home Inspector: I recommend that my client get “Written Documentation” from the seller concerning maintenance done on the system, and if the Tank has not been pumped within the last 5-7 years (considered Normal Maintenance) that you request Sellers Have it pumped Now and the septic company inspect the the system at that time, and obtain the records/invoice from the seller.
IMO: The Seller should foot the bill for this normal maintenance (it is the seller’s poop, not the buyer’s) ie, the home should be at least broom clean by the seller when the property is turned over to the buyer, The Septic tank should also be left clean (pumped).
Solids in the drain field from a tank that has not been pumped regularly is very hard (almost impossible to detect) without a scope of the drain lines, and is still with all the right equipment is just a good guess at best. There would be a lot of liability in inspecting a septic system or making any guarantees. A system (drain field) that seems to be working fine for the two member seller’s family, may not be able to handle the water volume of the 5 member family of Your client.
Great point in knowing not only the number of permanent occupants buying to live in the home, but also the number of occupants that were using the system. I agree in the seller pumping out their own crap to leave a clean system. Seller gets rid of all their other crap in the house, why not the septic too!
Great response, think I will be using this. Thank you!