When buying a new home, don’t forget your cesspool inspection. It was one of the constant messages that your grandmother always told you especially when you graduated from college. She knew that you would be acquiring a home of your own pretty soon so she took the liberty to give advice on choosing the right house and how to maintain it. She said that she spent half of her life in real estate so she knew that there were many agents who trick buyers into buying the house. They did this by using flowery words that really persuade the buyer to fall in love with the house. As a result, the buyer would not be able to focus on the technicalities of the house. After a few weeks, something in the house fails. A common area is the cesspool.
The cesspool is the wastewater treatment system for your home. This is installed when the property does not have any access to the town’s sewage system. It is said to be much like the conventional septic system but doesn’t have an outflow pipe. Instead, it has holes along the sides through which the pre-treated effluent disperses. But like the conventional septic tank system, it still needs to be cared for and maintained on a regular basis. But with the very busy lifestyle that most homeowners have, this is usually neglected. Most of the time, a home is just sold and bought without any consideration for the cesspool.
If a cesspool fails, you may have to spend an amount between 5,000 – 20,000 USD. It depends on the actual condition of the cesspool and the area of your property. By the time you considered buying a new home, you definitely took everything that your grandmother said into consideration. She shared some secrets in inspecting your cesspool before you buy the house:
1. Don’t waste your time waiting for backups
Warning signs are the usual things that the homeowner watches out for if the cesspool is failing already. One of these signs is the toilet that fails to flush. By then, they would ask their septic expert to make remedies on their cesspool especially when they know that their house is going to be sold soon. It is common for the homeowner to have the cesspool pumped out before someone purchases it. As a buyer, you have to check with the septic expert that handles that cesspool so that you may be aware of the problems and have them corrected properly first before buying the house or property. This would even lessen the amount that the buyer has to pay because of the cesspool problem.
Does the cesspool meet the updated code requirements? The cesspool has to be regularly updated before you buy the property or you will be the one to pay for its upgrade. But be aware that the local health department could tell you to upgrade your cesspool months after you have already bought the house.
3. Call the septic contractor
In inspecting the cesspool, do not get in touch with a home inspector. Get a septic contractor that does full service. These experts deal with septic alone. You could ask the local or zoning office for any recommended lists of septic contractors. A knowledgeable septic contractor will do the following properly while performing the cesspool inspection:
a. Visual inspection of the soil absorption system
b. Checking of the cesspool’s liquid level
c. Checking of the cesspool’s contents. This includes searching for any non-biodegradable substances that may abuse the bacterial processes.
d. Pumping of the cesspool
e. Visual inspection of the cesspool’s size
f. Soil boring to check the water table
A report will then be given to you. This includes any recommendations on upgrades that should be done on the cesspool. This thorough cesspool inspection is just worth 150 – 500 USD. This may be more than expected but it would be worth to pay such an amount if the house you bought was not inspected properly before you bought it.