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Should You Get a Septic Inspection When Buying a Home?
This and Other Important Questions Answered.

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Frequently Asked Questions About Septic Inspections

What is the best inspection to get when buying a home?

What a complicated question! Our website describes the inspections we perform and our office can help you decide which one is the best for your situation. 

Check out our Septic Inspection options, to see which one is right for you. CLICK HERE

Why do you use a camera when doing a septic inspection?

Not every inspection requires a camera but most do. All septic components are in the ground and even though we are septic experts, we can not see what is happening inside the septic field lines until we insert a camera.  We also use the camera to help locate the distribution box so we can check for standing water, breaks, cracks or sludge in the lines.

How long does a septic inspection take?

As long as the location of the septic tank is known and dug up, a basic inspection takes under an hour. When digging, using the camera, or locating is involved, the time will vary.

Why should the tank be pumped at the time of inspection?

That’s a falsehood.  The tank does not have to be pumped at the time of an inspection. It's a maintenance item that should be performed by the seller. We advise you to have the Seller pump the tank before closing, at the Seller's expense. 

Should we have the tank pumped before we schedule the inspection?

NO NO NO Never pump a septic tank before an inspection.  Never ! It hides most problems and does not let the inspector evaluate the water flow and see the tank at the correct operational level.

Do I need to be present at the time of the septic inspection?

You do not but we do need someone who can turn on the water and point us in the direction of the septic system.  Arrangements can be made.

How do you inspect the septic system underground?

You open the septic tank by exposing the lids.  This usually takes a man and a shovel. We will use cameras and our expertise to inspect the necessary areas, ensuring they are in working order.

What is a dye test and should I get one?

A dye test is when you put dye down a drainage line and wait for it to surface on the ground outside. This test is used to show if effluent is surfacing to the top of the yard which could show that the tank, or D-Box are no longer sealed or the fields are failing. However, unless you are inspecting all of these components, the dye test alone will not tell you what you need to know. In addition the test dye could take days to surface, which the inspector may miss. We do not recommend doing a dye test.

What is a hydraulic load test and should I get one?

These are costly and dangerous to your system.  Most sellers don’t permit one. They are used when there is no running water. How do you know a septic system can accept water without running water. So you have to introduce water … to see if it’s working, you have to introduce at least 700 gallons of water per day for 3 days to fully test the system’s capacity to handle the water flow and imitates a family living in a house. This test takes 3 days of delivering water, all of which is costly. Then you can check the septic system. But can you imagine a septic system being flooded with 700 gallons of water immediately? It’s likely to push solids out into the septic fields, and it is our opinion that it can cause damage to a septic system that would be in otherwise good condition. People do perform them. But we don’t recommend or perform them.

Is a septic inspection really necessary if I already have a home inspection?

If you can afford to replace a septic tank for about $5000 or a septic system which could cost $15,000 and maybe up to $30,000 after you have spent all your money at a closing - then don’t worry and relax. The answer is No.  But if you don’t want to buy someone else’s septic problem - Be sure to inspect the septic before the closing.

Can you perform a septic inspection if the water is off?

Herring doesn’t advise it. Without a way to introduce water it's difficult to determine the functionality of the septic system.  We can do it but having running water is the best way to ensure our ability to perform the most complete inspection possible.

Can you perform a septic inspection if the house is vacant?

Yes. No problem.

More Questions Coming Soon?

More Questions Coming Soon?

More Questions Coming Soon?

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