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Buying a Home with a Septic Tank: Important Advice

Friday, March 6, 2015 - 8:09am

You have found the home of your dreams in Syracuse and are ready to buy; but, before you get carried away by excitement, there are things you must check fully before going any further. You’ll ask questions about the roof, wiring, plumbing and much more, and in the course of your inquiries you may discover that the property has a septic tank.

Properly used and maintained, a septic tank system can work very well and should not deter you from purchasing the property. But to avoid unforeseen and expensive repairs later you must thoroughly check the condition and functioning of the septic tank system before going ahead with your Syracuse purchase.

There are three essential things you must do.

  • Ask questions about the septic system
  • Go and look at the site
  • Get the system checked by a professional

Questions to ask about the septic system

  • How old is the property?
  • Where is the septic tank? (If the owner does not even know where the tank is, the system has probably not been well maintained.)
  • Ask for details of the installation. Is it the usual tank and drain field? What is the tank made of? Are there separate dry wells or seepage pits? What is the service and repair history?
  • When the tank was last pumped? (If the owner offers to have the system pumped for you, ask them not to do so before your professional inspection.)

Take a look at the site

Walk over the area where the septic tank and drain-field are located. Look for damp or odorous patches and evidence of subsidence. Patches of greener grass sometimes indicate a problem, especially if the ground there is wet or smelly. Be very careful, especially near areas of subsidence. If the system is collapsing you don’t want to fall in!

To safeguard against accidents make sure that the septic tank has an effective cover.

Get a professional to check

Employ a professional septic system service like Mr Rooter of Syracuse to check the system thoroughly. A local septic tank expert will understand the soil conditions and factors affecting septic systems in Syracuse.

Pass on the information you have gleaned from your own inquiries and onsite inspection to the septic service. An operative from their company will repeat the onsite check and also perform a septic loading and dye test to see if it produces any signs of failure.

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