Many homes in York, PA, especially older ones, may come with a septic tank. Buying a house with a septic tank is fine, but you want to be sure to do your due diligence. Buying a house with an old or failing septic system will mean unwanted expenses down the line. Here are some questions to ask if you are thinking about buying a house with a septic tank.
Where Is the Septic Tank?
This is a very important question. You need to know the location of the septic tank to pump it and do maintenance on it, of course. But if the owner isn’t clear on where it is, it probably means they haven’t pumped it in a long time, if ever, which could be bad news.
What Is the Nature of the Septic System?
It’s good to know as much about the actual system that is installed as possible. You want to know what material the tank is made of (e.g. concrete, steel), the size of the tank, if it is a traditional tank and drain field set up, if there are separate drywells or seepage pits and so on.
Where Is the Tank Access?
Once you know where the tank is, you’ll also want to know how to access it to pump the tank or do maintenance.
Is There a Filter, and Where Is It?
If the tank has a filter, you’ll want to know where it is for servicing purposes.
What Is the Repair History of the Septic System?
If the system has required frequent repairs, it could mean the leach field is in poor shape.
How Often Is the Tank Pumped/When Was It Last Pumped?
Regular pumping is ideal, and you would like to know that the tank has been pumped recently. Keep in mind that you do not want the tank pumped right before inspection because you will not be able to test the drain field.
Is There an Inspection Port for the Leach Field?
If the property has a chamber-type leach field with an inspection port, you should know this because you can use the port to monitor the water level.
Have There Been Any Bedrooms Added to the Home Since it Has Been Built?
This question matters because additional bedrooms usually mean more people using the home and the septic system than originally intended. Extra people means more waste going into the tank, and the current septic system may not have actually been built to handle the load. If there have been additions and more people using the home, you will want to investigate whether or not you still have the right size septic tank.
If you see signs that the septic tank has failed or is failing, you should make sure a qualified plumbing professional is contacted immediately to repair the problems before buying.
Contact us for information about buying or selling a home in York, PA — with or without a septic tank.