Well and Septic Inspection

For Home Sale and Morgage Refinance

Let's face it, wells and septic systems are expensive to repair or replace. Therefore, the purpose of the well and septic inspection is to identify any obvious and maybe not so obvious malfunction of one of these systems prior to the real estate closing. With this information you can make an informed decision whether you should proceed with the purchase or re-negotiate the purchase price.

A well and septic inspection does not guarantee that the well or septic system will not fail or need repair. All the inspector can do is identify if something is not correct at the moment of the inspection.

well and septici nspection

For example: I inspect a well today and conduct a flow test which indicates that the pump is producing 10.5 gallons per minute, pressure tank is holding steady, the water sample passes, etc. Two month pass by and the well pump quits. The new home owner is most likely unhappy. But because the well pump is an electric motor I have no way of testing the electrical integrity of that pump while it is at the bottom of the well casing.

Well Inspection

What do we look for while conducting a well inspection? Problems or red flags that can be identified from within the house or evidenced through a water sample. Such as: Is the out side of the pressure tank rusty? Is it holding steady pressure? Do the gauges work? Do you notice strange noises or vibrations coming from the well supply pipe? Is the water sample clear or cloudy? These are the things that can be easily checked. Pulling well pumps and pressure testing tanks is too expensive. Something sellers, buyers and real estate people do not want to pay for.

Septic Inspection

In regards to the septic system here is an example why the inspector cannot guarantee proper function. Let's say that today I inspect a system and this residence is occupied by dad, mom and two small children. The tank is at the proper operating level. The baffle is intact. No evidence of effluent leaking to the ground surface. This system passes the inspection.

The new family moves in and six months later they call a septic pumping contractor because there is a an area of the lawn that is very soggy and the grass is dark green and growing very tall. Why? Here is an all to common scenario: The new family consists of dad, mom four boys and two girls. All of which are involved in sports.

What does that have to do with my septic system leaking? That typically means that many loads of laundry are washed each week if not multiple loads each day and many showers are taken each day. This equates to many gallons of water being used and discharged into the septic system each and every day. More water is going into the system than what it was designed for or because the septic system is old it may mot work as efficiently as it use to. This family simply is over loading the system.

So keep in mind that a septic system that works well for a family of three or four might night work properly for you. An inspector can only tell you what he sees at the time of the septic inspection. And because the inspector has no control over how much water a family discharges into their system he cannot guarantee how well the septic system will work. This is even true for brand new systems.

It is important to practice water conservation so that you do not overload the septic field. I don't mean that you need to be so restrictive in your water usage that you fear turning on the faucet. Just practice common sense and allow time between loads of laundry.

In conclusion, it is important for you to understand that a well and septic inspection is a snap shot inspection. It can only tell you what is happening today.

To schedule your well and septic inspection Click here.

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