During a recent inspection we uncovered two major problems with a homeowner’s septic system. Not only was it not properly set up, the septic tank was so corroded that it led to replacing the entire septic system. Here’s some lessons you can learn from the situation.
We’ve talked a little about greywater systems before, but the main thing homebuyers need to know is that legal greywater systems are extremely rare.
In the case of this inspection, the potential homebuyer thought it was a benefit that the home was advertised as having a greywater system. That is, until it was inspected.
In fact, there was no actual “system” for this greywater — the greywater from the bathroom sinks and showers was being discharged directly into a dry creek. There are dozens of stipulations for having a legal greywater system, and the homeowners’ system didn’t meet any of those criteria.
While inspecting the septic tank we discovered that the wall of the tank around the outlet pipe was corroding badly, creating a space between the pipe and the concrete tank that allowed liquids to seep out.
This was not repairable, so we recommended tank replacement. Here’s the kicker: because the tank needed to be replaced, county septic regulations required that the entire system be replaced.
The lesson here? Don’t settle for “visual” or “dye” inspections. The septic tank corrosion would not have been discovered without a full inspection; because the inside of the tank was inspected, however, the buyers were able to avoid the approximately $16,000 cost for the new system (the current homeowners were not so lucky).
Our licensed inspectors have years of experience inspecting of all types of septic systems — we perform over 300 certified real estate inspections every year.
Buying or selling a home? Contact us now to schedule your septic inspection.