Septic Tank Inspection: When Should You Do It?

If you are in the beginning stages of selling a home with a septic system in place, you may wonder if you should inspect the septic system now or after you sell your home. A number of factors may influence when you inspect your septic system, including the system's age. Your septic system's age may play an important role in how well it performs for the home's new owners. Learn how age may influence when you inspect your septic system below.

What Happens to Septic Systems Over Time?

The EPA, or Environmental Protection Agency, recommends every new homeowner follow a set of guidelines before they purchase a home with a septic system in place. The guidelines educate buyers on what to look for before they purchase their new home. If your aging septic system doesn't meet the guidelines recommended by the EPA, you may not be able to sell your home right away.

Although any septic system can experience problems, aging septic systems are particularly vulnerable to issues. Septic tanks and septic drain fields can deteriorate with time. Septic tanks can collapse, corrode, or experience solid waste buildup. Drain fields can also clog up with solids or build up with unhealthy bacteria. 

An inspection can help determine whether or not your aging septic system requires repairs or replacements. 

What Happens During the Inspection?

After an inspector arrives at your home and property, they'll ask to see the paperwork for your septic system. All homeowners who own a septic system must register their septic systems with their state. Your state keeps records of everything about your septic system, including when you first installed it. The information helps determine your system's age and location.

After you supply the information above, an inspector will examine your septic tank, drain field, and your home's plumbing. An inspector will examine the:

  • appearance of your septic tank
  • location and condition of your drain field
  • condition of your plumbing system

An inspector will also examine the grass or property surrounding your septic tank and drain field. Your septic tank and drain field should be located in an area easily accessible by new homeowners. Your system should also be located away from ponds, lakes, and other bodies of water. The debris released into your drain field can run off into the water and cause problems for the environment.

If anything in your septic system fails to pass an inspection, you can repair or replace it before you sell your home.

Learn how an inspection can help you maintain a safe septic tank by consulting an inspector, such as Sullivan Septic at, today.