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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Alton Bay NH
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    49

    Default Proper Method fo Inspecting Septic Systems

    Proper septic inspection method:

    On April 16 2011 the State of New Hampshire change the rules and septic systems can no longer be repaired. If a septic system goes into failure a complete new system must be designed, installed by a licensed contractor and approved by the State of New Hampshire. The cost of replacing a septic system in New Hampshire could be in up wards of $15-$20 K. This article talks about the proper inspection method for inspecting a septic system and how to evaluate it’s overall condition. Whether you own a home, selling or looking to purchase, a full evaluation of the septic system should be a consideration.

    Evaluate the plumbing components inside the home:

    I inspect all of the interior plumbing fixture's for proper connections. I also make sure all the waste lines are properly discharging into an approved waste system. Water treatment systems can be harmful to septic systems and I evaluate where the discharge of these systems go.

    Examine the inside of the treatment tank:

    I open the tank and examine the inlet and outlet baffles and determine the volume of the treatment tank. I inspect the visible parts of the tank for cracks, water infiltration, corrosion, and leakage. I also take a sample from inside the tank with a sludge sampler. Similar to what is used in waste water treatment facilities. By examining the sample I can determine the amount of sludge, liquid level and scum layer. This allows me to understand whether the tank is healthy and if it needs pumping.

    Distribution Box:

    I inspect the distribution box for corrosion, leakage and cracks. I also make sure the D-Box is level to ensure equal flow to each pipe in the leaching field.

    EDA, ( Effluent Disposal Area ) or leach field.

    I will determine the location and size of the EDA. Test hole's are hand dug in different locations throughout the EDA. This allows me to examine the condition of the EDA as well as how much saturation is present. A full evaluation of the EDA is critical in determining the overall condition of the septic system.

    Vacant homes:

    Septic inspections can still be performed on vacant homes. Sometimes a hydraulic load test will be done by running approximately 150-200 gallons of water into the system. Septic dye may also be used to determine flow.

    Reports:

    My New Hampshire septic system report is comprehensive and easy to read. I include digital photographs for a better understanding of the system, components and condition.

    For more info please go to New Hampshire Septic System Inspections | Russell Inspection Services


    Thought this may be helpful to anyone interested in septic inspection. Different parts of the country do them different so this is what we do in Northern New England. If anyone would like more info don't hesitate to contact me.
    I would like to hear from guys who inspect septic systems and how you do them.

    Similar Threads:
    Last edited by Peter Russell; 06-27-2011 at 04:10 AM.
    Inspection Referral

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Lake Barrington, IL
    Posts
    1,363

    Default Re: Proper Method fo Inspecting Septic Systems

    Peter,

    Around here your approach would be considered to be a lot of monkey business. Our "such a deal" septic tests involve putting a dye down the drain and running some water. If nothing shows up out in the yard the system is officially classified as Okey Dokey. This has proven to be a much faster method and is considered quite acceptable by our very knowledgeable and underpaid municipal authorities

    Of course the dye test tends to miss a few problems but that's beside the point. A page of disclaimers in your report and you're good to go.

    Last edited by Eric Barker; 06-24-2011 at 12:44 PM. Reason: Typo
    Eric Barker, ACI
    Lake Barrington, IL

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Spring Hill (Nashville), TN
    Posts
    5,847

    Default Re: Proper Method fo Inspecting Septic Systems

    Many years back after dropping about a dozen dye tablets into a toilet by accident, I turned a neighborhood lake fluorescent green! I had a relo company request a dye test during an inspection. It made the evening news cast as well!

    As far as I know they are still trying to discover who turned the lake green, and I think that was the last time I did a dye test!

    Scott Patterson, ACI
    Spring Hill, TN
    www.traceinspections.com

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Columbus GA
    Posts
    3,746

    Default Re: Proper Method fo Inspecting Septic Systems

    Quote Originally Posted by Scott Patterson View Post
    Many years back after dropping about a dozen dye tablets into a toilet by accident, I turned a neighborhood lake fluorescent green! I had a relo company request a dye test during an inspection. It made the evening news cast as well!

    As far as I know they are still trying to discover who turned the lake green, and I think that was the last time I did a dye test!
    So just how do you drop a dozen tablets by accident?

    ' correct a wise man and you gain a friend... correct a fool and he'll bloody your nose'.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Spring Hill (Nashville), TN
    Posts
    5,847

    Default Re: Proper Method fo Inspecting Septic Systems

    Quote Originally Posted by Rick Cantrell View Post
    So just how do you drop a dozen tablets by accident?
    I had the "open" bottle sitting on top of the tank lid and the lid was sitting on the seat while I looked at the innards. Like an idiot I left the bottle on the lid while I put it back in place. Oops, kerplunk and Oh chit! By the time I fished the bottle out the tablets were gone and in the bottom of the tank. It took about an hour and a bunch of flushing to clean it out.

    Scott Patterson, ACI
    Spring Hill, TN
    www.traceinspections.com

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Columbus GA
    Posts
    3,746

    Default Re: Proper Method fo Inspecting Septic Systems

    Quote Originally Posted by Scott Patterson View Post
    I had the "open" bottle sitting on top of the tank lid and the lid was sitting on the seat while I looked at the innards. Like an idiot I left the bottle on the lid while I put it back in place. Oops, kerplunk and Oh chit! By the time I fished the bottle out the tablets were gone and in the bottom of the tank. It took about an hour and a bunch of flushing to clean it out.
    Sounds like it might be a superfund site, if you ask me.

    ' correct a wise man and you gain a friend... correct a fool and he'll bloody your nose'.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Connecticut
    Posts
    1,828

    Default Re: Proper Method fo Inspecting Septic Systems

    yeah, all that, and a clothespin


  8. #8
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Ormond Beach, Florida
    Posts
    26,251

    Default Re: Proper Method fo Inspecting Septic Systems

    "Proper Method fo Inspecting Septic Systems"

    Call a septic tank contractor.

    Let THEM pump the tank out, inspect the tank, and do all the other things which should be done during a "proper" septic system inspection.

    This also lets THEM pay for a new septic system instead of you if something is missed or goes wrong.

    I've never understand why a home inspector would willingly take on that kind of liability for very little money (or even a lot of money - the the septic tank contractor do it).

    Yes, I know, there ARE home inspectors who are also septic tank contractors, and THEY are equipped to replace the system if they screw up.

    Jerry Peck, Construction / Litigation Consultant
    Construction Litigation Consultants, LLC ( www.ConstructionLitigationConsultants.com )
    www.AskCodeMan.com

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Knoxville, TN
    Posts
    2,446

    Default Re: Proper Method fo Inspecting Septic Systems

    As a home inspector, I'm not willing to dig up someone's yard to try to find the tank, then open it up, etc. That's just too much like work.


  10. #10
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Alton Bay NH
    Posts
    49

    Default Re: Proper Method for Inspecting Septic Systems

    I didn't say it was for everyone and it is a business decision. For me I would rather do one home inspection with septic per day than two regular home inspections. I make more, on average my home inspections with septic and well testing are 800-900 and I actually have less liability because I have 50% less clients do deal with. NH septic inspections are on the rise because of the new rule, no longer can systems be repaired. Once in failure a complete state approved system must be installed. Approximately 60% of the homes in my area are on septic.

    As far as liability there is very little, if, you have the proper training.


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