If you're curious about the condition of your septic system, or if you're thinking of buying a home that has one, then an inspection could be necessary. A thorough inspection lets you know the condition of the tank, which is especially important to know before you buy a house. Here is some information an inspector might provide.
Location And Size Of The Septic Tank
One thing the inspector may do is walk around your property to look for potential signs of problems that show up in the soil or grass above the system. In the process, they can locate the tank and mark it so you know exactly where it is. Knowing this is important so you won't build a shed or plant a tree over the tank. It's also helpful to know the size of the tank in gallons so you can estimate how quickly it will fill up in the future. This helps you schedule service calls before the tank gets too full.
Condition Of The Sewer Pipe
If you're having problems with your septic system, you may want to rule out problems with the sewer pipe, which could be the culprit rather than the tank. The pipe can be examined from the inside with a camera. A video camera shows the condition of the pipe so problems with tree roots, scale buildup, corrosion, or clogs can be identified. This can be done from the cleanout near the house, but the inspector may also need access to the house to flush the toilets repeatedly to check how well water flows into the tank.
State Of The Septic Tank
The septic tank is examined for signs of past problems and leaks. While the level of sludge will change as the tank fills, the water above the sludge should always be around the same level so it can flow out of the drain. If the water level is too far below the drain, that is a sign of a crack that allows the water to drain out of the bottom of the tank. If there's an old water line that's too high in the tank, then that could indicate a time when the tank got too full, and there might be clogs in the system.
The baffles are also checked, and if these show signs of having solids on them in the past, that could also indicate clogging or neglect of the tank. An inspection also shows the level of sludge and oil in the tank so you can anticipate when it will need to be pumped out.
All of this information lets you know if the septic tank is still in good shape or if you might be looking at the need to repair or replace it. This helps you make an informed decision before you buy a property, and it also helps you plan for tank repairs if they're needed so you don't end up with a septic emergency. For more information, contact local septic services or visit sites like http://sullivanseptic.net.