Septic tanks found in residential or commercial buildings should be inspected regularly. This should be done as often as every year and as soon as you put the house or building on the market for sale. A septic system inspection will enhance a home's value, for instance and avoid liability issues that may arise in the future in case the system is malfunctioning.
If you are looking to purchase a home, you should also insist that the system be inspected before you buy. A healthy septic system is a crucial aspect of a good home or commercial property. Here is what an inspector will look out for during an inspection.
- The inspector will use a sludge judge or other device to check the level of sludge. It shouldn't be more than 1/3 of the tank's total volume or rise to the level of the baffles.
- Drain fields and septic tanks should be far from wells and streams and the inspector should confirm this.
- The inspector will check that the system is large enough for the home or commercial property. For example, a four-bedroom home should have a tank with a capacity of about 1200 gallons. If many occupants will be expected to live in the home, then the capacity of the tank should be more.
- If the system is overloaded, liquid waste will make its way to the ground surface. The inspector will check for this. It is unsanitary and will be easy to identify. The septic tank should also be watertight. There should be no spillage or in flow.
- The inspector will check the riser lids. If they are present, they should be secure and not cracked.
- The condition of the drain lines will be inspected. The distribution box will be carefully inspected in case of any issues that could result in flooding sections of the drain field.
The above is usually the initial inspection of the septic system. If the system is found to be alright, a more exhaustive inspection is bound to be carried out. The subsequent inspection involves detailed examination of the components after the septic tank has been emptied.
The system is examined for blocked drains and the condition of pipes. Camera inspections may be done to ensure the pipes and interior of the septic tank are in optimal condition.
Septic tanks in commercial buildings are not similar to those in homes. For a non-residential property, your commercial plumber will recommend a good inspector.