residential septic tank

How Often Should a Septic Tank be Inspected?

Your home’s septic system is an integral part of your property. When it is working properly, it may be easy to forget about, but when issues arise they can be especially problematic. After all, your septic system is responsible for treating and disposing of all the wastewater from your home. If the sewer pipes get clogged or if there are drainfield problems, waste may not be going where it is supposed to. That can be not only hazardous to you and your property, but also a major expense to repair or replace.

To ensure the proper functioning of your septic system and the health and safety of you and your family, it is recommended that you should have a septic company perform an inspection on a regular basis. The United States Environmental Protection Agency suggests that “the average household septic system should be inspected at least every three years by a septic service professional.”

Regular inspections can help to ensure that there are no unseen problems waiting to become larger, more costly repairs or even a complete septic system replacement.

Real Estate Septic Inspections

In addition to regular inspections for all homes with a septic system, there is a special situation where a septic inspection is always recommended. That special situation is during the process of buying a home.

While most people considering purchasing a home will have a routine home inspection done, it is important to note that a real estate septic inspection is not the same as a home inspection. A regular home inspection is an important part of the real estate process. However while a home inspector will likely do some basic assessments of the septic system, they will not be able to provide as thorough of an evaluation of the septic system as a septic professional will be able to do.

According to the Florida Department of Health, in the Sunshine State “…only a state-licensed septic tank contractor or plumber or a certified environmental health professional can inspect and assess your septic system.”

Just as you invest in a home inspection to ensure that everything in the home you are interested in purchasing is in working condition, an investment in septic inspections can give you peace of mind knowing that you will not soon have to absorb unexpected septic tank services cost. If a need for septic system servicing, repair, or replacement is identified during the inspection, the required septic services can be part of the negotiation between the home buyer and the home seller.

Checking a real estate septic system

What Does a Residential Septic System Inspection Include?

There are two types of septic inspections: Visual inspections and full inspections.

Visual Inspection

A visual septic inspection typically starts with the septic expert inquiring about the property and the routine maintenance and repair history of the septic system. When was the septic system last inspected? Has the septic tank been pumped recently? Have there been any foul odors? Is there unusual growth around the drainfield or the buried sewer lines? Are there gurgling noises coming from the toilets or sinks?

Inside the home, the inspector will flush the toilets and run water in all the sinks, tubs, and showers to ensure that there are no obvious drainage issues. Outside the home, the inspector will assess the drainfield and surrounding areas for evidence of problems like standing water, foul smells, or unusual growth patterns of vegetation. 

Visual inspections are a typical part of a real estate purchase or sale. They can also be useful as a periodic part of a routine septic system maintenance schedule.

Full Inspection

A full septic inspection would include everything in the visual inspection, as well as some additional assessments.

To determine if there are any issues with the proper draining of your system, the cover of the septic tank will be removed to determine whether the water level inside is where it should be for effective operation. This means that the inspector will check the sludge level to be sure that it is not in danger of blocking the outlet pipe. Dye tests may also be done as part of an inspection as a way to evaluate how much water that is being drained actually enters the septic tank.

Finally your septic tank will be pumped. This is so that the inspector can see if there is any backflow from the absorption area, because this could be indicative of a potential problem with the drainfield.

Here is a list of things a septic inspector would look for:

  • When the tank was last inspected and pumped
  • The sludge level in the tank
  • The distance between the tank and drainfield to any wells or other sources of water
  • The size of the system relative to the size of the home
  • Damage or cracks in riser lids
  • Security of baffle connections
  • Drain line integrity

A septic inspection can provide you with the peace of mind that this vital component of your home is functioning properly.

Septic tank pump and check

Contact Septic & Drainfield Depot for Your Septic Inspection

If you are looking for a septic company in and near Lakeland, call Septic & Drainfield Depot today. We are local Polk County residents, and our team of septic professionals has been providing the best septic service in and near Lakeland for years. In fact, we have a reputation as one of the best septic and sewage companies in the entire state.

We offer a complete lineup of septic services, including:

  • Septic tanks
  • Lift Stations
  • Septic tank drainfields
  • Residential septic inspections
  • Real estate septic inspections
  • Septic tank pumping

We are committed to the highest standards of excellence. Our team of experienced septic professionals is knowledgeable and thoroughly trained. We will make sure that any problems found in your septic system inspection are diagnosed correctly and any problems are fixed effectively the first time.

Contact Septic and Drainfield Depot today to schedule your septic system inspection. We will provide you with a thorough septic inspection report and offer recommendations with transparent pricing for any repairs that we suggest.

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Contact Septic & Drainfield Depot

With our transparent pricing, free estimates, and honest professionals, our company shines above the rest in Lakeland, FL. We are committed to finding out the issue the first time we walk foot on your property, and finding an effective and efficient solution that will fit within your budget. A septic problem is never something anyone wants to deal with, but we are ready to tackle anything you need. Contact us for a free estimate.