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What to Expect During a Septic Inspection

What to Expect During a Septic Inspection?

A septic inspection is a crucial part of maintaining a healthy and efficient septic system. During the inspection, the septic tank and drainfield are assessed for any potential issues, allowing for timely repairs and preventing costly damages.

What to Expect During a Septic Inspection?

This is a question many homeowners ask when they need to ensure their septic system is in good working order. In this article, we’ll take you behind the scenes of a septic inspection, sharing our firsthand experiences and providing valuable insights.

  • Septic inspections are essential for maintaining a healthy and efficient septic system
  • The inspection process involves assessing the septic tank and drainfield
  • Timely repairs can prevent costly damages and health hazards

Common Septic Inspection Findings

Issue 
Cracked Tank 
Damaged Wall 
Faulty D-box 
Pump Failure 
Invasive Roots 
System is too small 
Baffles clogged or not connected 
Low bacteria level 
Swampy Drain/Leach Field 
Tank overflows 
Septic tank doesn’t drain 
Sinking ground around the tank 
Leach field leakage 

Preparing for the Inspection

Before the inspection, it’s essential to prepare the area around the septic tank. This includes clearing the area of debris, ensuring access to the tank lid, and making sure the power source for the pump is accessible.

The Inspection Process

During the inspection, the septic tank is opened, and the sludge and scum levels are measured. The drainfield is inspected for signs of saturation, and the overall condition of the system is assessed.

Common Issues Found During Inspections

Some common issues found during inspections include cracked tanks, damaged walls, faulty D-boxes, pump failures, invasive roots, and systems that are too small for the home.

Repairs and Maintenance If any issues are found during the inspection, repairs are recommended to prevent further damage and maintain the efficiency of the septic system. Regular maintenance, such as pumping and cleaning, can also help extend the life of the system.

  • During a septic inspection, the inspector checks the septic tank for signs of damage or leaks. According to the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB), a typical septic system inspection costs between $250 and $500 (source).
  • The inspector also examines the scum and sludge layers in the tank. The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) recommends septic tank cleaning every three to five years to maintain the system’s efficiency (source).
  • The inspector may also check the distribution box, which distributes effluent from the septic tank to the drainfield. The EPA states that a properly functioning distribution box allows for even distribution of effluent (source).
  • The drainfield is inspected for signs of water pooling or poor drainage. The EPA advises that a failing drainfield may require replacement of the entire septic system (source).
  • The inspector may also check the septic system’s access ports and lids for proper sealing and venting. The NAHB notes that a poorly sealed or vented system can lead to odors and health hazards (source).

Tips for Homeowners: Keeping Your Septic System in Good Condition

  • Regularly inspect and pump your septic tank
  • Avoid putting non-biodegradable items in the septic system
  • Use water efficiently to prevent overloading the system
  • Maintain a buffer zone around the drainfield
  • Schedule routine inspections and maintenance

Septic Inspection Frequency Based on Household Size and Septic System Type

Household SizeSeptic System TypeInspection Frequency
1-3 peopleConventionalEvery 3-5 years
4-6 peopleConventionalEvery 2-3 years
7+ peopleConventionalEvery 1-2 years
Any sizeAlternativeAnnually

The frequency of inspections may vary depending on local regulations and specific system conditions. Always consult with a septic professional for advice tailored to your situation.

A septic inspection is a crucial part of maintaining a healthy and efficient septic system. By understanding what to expect during the inspection process, homeowners can ensure their system is in good working order and prevent costly damages and health hazards. Remember, a little preventative maintenance goes a long way!

First Call Septic is here to help with anything and everything about your septic system. Schedule an appointment today or call us now at 360-686-0505!

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