Before closing on your dream home, you have to thoroughly inspect the home and its grounds. If the home has a septic system, part of your inspection should include questioning the seller. Without asking the right questions, you could be left with a system that is in need of replacement soon after closing. Here are some questions you should ask the seller about the septic system.
When Was the Septic System Installed?
Even if you have the septic system professionally inspected, you still need to know some information about the installation. There are issues related to an improper installation that could show up after you have closed on the home.
In questioning the installation, you need to know whether or not there is a standard tank and drain field. You also need to know what the tank is composed of. The composition of the tank dictates how you care for it and how often it needs to be professionally serviced.
In addition to covering these areas, you need to find out where the tank is located. If the seller does not know its exact location, be wary. It is likely that the tank was not properly maintained by the seller.
What Is the Service History of the System?
Ideally, the seller has had the septic system serviced on a regular basis and it is in good condition. However, this does not always happen. Ask the seller to provide you with the service history for the system. If he or she cannot verify the information personally, find out which septic system service he or she used and contact the service directly.
If the seller is offering to have the tank pumped right now, ask him or her to wait. You want to have your own inspector or septic installation expert come in and inspect the condition of the tank. If the tank has been emptied, your inspector will not be able to test the drain field.
What Is the Current Water Usage?
Water usage plays a major role in how often the septic tank needs to be pumped. Since you are new to the property, you need to know how much water is being used by the current owner and how often he or she has the tank pumped. You can use this information to estimate how often you will need to shell out for a pumping service.
An easy way to determine usage is to ask the seller for the water meter readings for the last six months. You can then compare the water usage with your own usage and determine how quickly you and your family would fill the tank.
There are other questions that you should cover with the seller. To learn everything you can, consult with a septic tank service before talking to the seller.