What to Know When You Buy a Home with a Septic Tank

What to Know When You Buy a Home with a Septic Tank

When looking to buy a home, it is important to find out whether or not the home has a septic system, as opposed to being connected to the city or county sewer line. A home with a septic system means all the wastewater that leaves your home is processed in a septic tank and then dispersed underground. A home with a properly functioning and well-maintained septic system may not even seem all that different from a home on a city sewer. However, it helps to understand how a septic system works and prepare yourself to invest in routine maintenance, like septic tank pumping in Lawrenceville, that will keep the septic system functioning for decades to come.

How a Septic System Works

A septic system is made up of two main parts: the septic tank and the drain field. Anything that goes down the sink and tub drains, toilet, and laundry will all end up in the septic tank. A series of plumbing pipes transfers this wastewater from the home and into the septic tank, where the solids sink to the bottom and the liquids float near the top. The liquids are treated by a complex series of good bacteria designed to properly treat water so it can be safely released back into the ecosystem. These treated waters then flow through a series of perforated pipes called the drain field, where they leach out into the underground soil. Solid waste stays inside the septic tank and will slowly build up over time, which is why you will need to schedule regular septic tank pumping and maintenance to have this addressed by professionals and lessen the chance of having to do drain field repair.

Where the Septic Tank is Located

The entire septic system takes place underground and the location of your septic tank and drain field are not too close to the home. It helps to understand where the septic tank and drain field are located on your property so you can avoid digging too deeply or planting anything with deep roots that may damage underground pipes. The septic tank usually has two covered openings above ground for septic system technicians to inspect the system and where the septic tank pumping connects to via an industrial vacuum hose attached to a professional septic system waste removal truck.

The Importance of Regularly Scheduled Maintenance

Septic systems can last for decades when they are properly maintained and regularly inspected. Help avoid any surprise costs in the future by investing in proactive and preventative maintenance if your home has a septic system. An average septic tank can hold around 1,000 gallons of wastewater and will need to be pumped every 3-5 years, depending on the size of the household and frequency of use. For example, a household of 2 people may be able to schedule regular septic tank pumping every 5 years, but a household with 4 people and frequent visitors may need to schedule regular septic tank pumping every 3 years. Your septic system technician can inspect the septic system and determine the size of the septic tank to give you a better estimate of how often to expect scheduling regular maintenance and septic tank pumping.

Spotting Signs of Septic Tank Emergency

While preventative maintenance can keep you from even noticing a difference between a home on a septic system versus a city sewer line, there are instances when your septic tank might require emergency pumping. The most common reason for a septic tank pumping is when too much time has elapsed after the last septic tank pumping and the tank is now reaching capacity. When the septic tank starts to fill up too much, it can cause your sinks and tubs to drain slower than normal because there is less room for the wastewater to fill the septic tank. You may also notice backups in the toilets or sinks, which is also a sign that the septic tank is full. The pipes may make strange gurgling sounds and a sulfurous, rotten egg smell might be present in the home or aboveground where the septic tank is located on the property.

What to Know Before Buying a Home

When purchasing a home with a septic system, it is important to get a maintenance history of the septic system and information such as the septic tank capacity and location of the septic tank and drain field on the property. A regularly inspected and maintained septic system is a sign that this home is a good investment, while a home with a spotty record of maintenance may have a poorly maintained septic system that could cause trouble in the future. The home inspection should include a septic tank inspection with a septic system technician who can identify any potential problems. A well-maintained septic system should function just like any other home and can last 25-30 years with quality, preventative maintenance.

Septic Masters, LLC offers regularly scheduled and emergency septic tank pumping for homes and properties in and around metro Atlanta. We are available 24/7, 365 days a year in order to address any emergency right away and provide you with the best quality customer service in the business!

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