SEPTIC TANK INSPECTIONS: Costs and Requirements


Are you considering purchasing a new home? If you’re thinking about buying a house with a septic system instead of a sewer, you should know how they function and how to maintain them. Neglected septic tanks can cause serious pumping problems both inside and outside your property. Get septic tank inspections before you buy a house. How much do septic tank inspections cost? It’s not as expensive as you may expect. It is a drop in the bucket when compared to the cost of replacing a septic system. So, how can you get your septic to pass inspection, and who handles tank inspections? We investigated this more below.

When Do You Need Septic Tank Inspections?

When you have plumbing inspections, it is evident that you need a septic tank inspection. If you notice a strong odor emanating from your plumbing system, you may have a septic tank problem.

Back-up waste in your toilets, sinks, and showers is another sign of septic trouble. Keep an eye out for water accumulating in your yard and spongy bright green grass growing over the leach field.

A septic tank inspection and routine maintenance are recommended every few years. This will assist you in avoiding significant septic issues. Also, septic tank inspections should be performed every one to three years, according to experts. If you have a larger septic tank, house, or family, you should have your septic system tested more frequently.

What Happens During Septic Tank Inspections?

A septic professional will analyze the condition of your septic tank and look for any problems during a septic tank inspection. The most frequent items to look for are tank size, leakage, sludge level, and drainage field.
It is critical to inspect for leaks. Leaks might cause your system to fail and produce a huge mess. The water level inside the tank will be checked by your septic professional. They will also inspect your system for tree roots, broken pipes, and anything else that may be obstructing it.

While evaluating the tank, the septic expert will ensure that the sludge level does not surpass one-third of the tank’s contents. They will also ensure that the size of your tank corresponds to the size of your property.
If your septic tank is too tiny for the quantity of use it receives, the expert may advise you to have it pumped more frequently than the normal three to five years.
The expert will then evaluate the flow of wastewater to the drainage field. If the water running toward the drainage or leach field does not appear to be flowing properly, they will recommend a repair.

Finally, the septic professional will inspect your septic system to ensure that it is installed at the right distance from any bodies of water. Septic systems mustn’t pollute the local groundwater supply.

Septic Tank Inspections Cost

The cost of septic tank inspections varies depending on the size of the tank, its depth, and any other issues that surface. The inspection should be performed by a trained and experienced professional.

Septic tank inspections cost in price from $100 to $450 for normal maintenance and $300 to $650 for real estate transactions or Title 5 inspections. The cost of a septic tank inspection is determined by the location, size of the tank and system, and whether it is a basic visual inspection or a comprehensive inspection.

How Much Do Septic Tank Inspections Cost

The average cost of a septic tank inspection varies depending on the purpose and type of inspection. The cost might range between $100 and $900. A visual check-up is the most basic sort of inspection. Typically, this will cost between $100 and $200. A dye test to check for leaks and pressure, as well as a visual inspection of the septic system, are included.

A simple check-up is a next stage. This will cost between $200 and $300. It involves a visual inspection, simple system testing, and measurements of your septic tank’s sludge and scum layers.

If your septic system lacks risers, a simple check-up should also include excavation to enable access to the ports. A comprehensive examination will cost between $300 and $600. It is the most comprehensive sort of septic inspection. A thorough examination involves a visual inspection, simple testing, and excavation.

Pumping and measuring will also be performed to ensure that you are on the proper pumping schedule. Keep in mind that septic tank inspections cost between $250 and $500 when purchasing or selling a house, depending on what is required.

Some septic tank inspectors may demand an additional fee for excavation. Check to see if it is included in the cost of the inspection. The cost of the inspection may also be affected by the size of your tank.

Who Does Septic Tank Inspections

Septic tank inspections are a frequent add-on during a home inspection when buying or selling a home. Using an expert inspection service or a licensed inspection firm is usually a smart idea.
When it comes to the condition of your home’s septic system, you don’t want to cut corners. It’s also not a good idea to try to undertake your septic inspection, though some sellers may try. You won’t be able to conduct a complete inspection, and your system’s integrity will be jeopardized.

Septic Inspection Near Me

You may be asking how to locate a septic system inspector in your area. You should be able to acquire a recommendation for a qualified septic inspector if you work with a real estate agent. If you are selling by owner, you might search Google for septic inspections in your area.
Septic inspection near me, septic tank inspection near me, or septic inspectors near me are all services I would recommend. There should be several options for who can perform a septic tank inspection.

How to Get Septic to Pass Inspection

You can pass in a variety of ways depending on your state and the type of septic inspection. A maintenance inspection can tell you if you have a minor problem or if you need to replace a pump. A functional inspection, on the other hand, determines whether the entire system is operational.


This is solid waste that settles into the tank’s bottom. If the tank is not empty, it can build up and cause excessive levels, as well as clog and flow into the drain field.
Pumping it regularly will empty it. The inspector can lower a stick into the tank during the inspection to measure the level of sludge. It should not occupy more than one-third of the tank’s volume.


When oil or grease enters the tank, it forms scum. The idea is for it to flow out, which the good bacteria can typically handle. If the scum remains in the tank, it is critical to address this issue.


The septic tank should flow naturally. If this is the case, there are no clogs or backups causing system damage.
The three main areas that are inspected are sludge, scum, and flow, however, each state has various criteria, so check your state’s requirements.

How Frequently Should Septic Tank Inspections Be Conducted?

You should get your septic system inspected every 3 to 5 years to ensure it is in good working order. This is roughly the same schedule that you will need to follow when having the tank pumped.

The cost of replacing a septic tank is prohibitively expensive. It is a large and costly job that will cost between $3000 to $9000. The process of replacing a septic system includes emptying the system, excavating it, removing it, and disposing of it. As a result, it’s ideal to prevent having to replace your entire system.

Frequent septic tank inspections and regular pumping are the greatest ways to avoid septic replacement. The typical cost of pumping a septic tank is $400, and it should be done every three to five years.
Pumping a septic tank entails eliminating all of the system’s liquid waste. In rare situations, you can have your tank pumped and examined at the same time. Before pumping, always perform an inspection.

How do I know when my septic is full?

Here is how to determine if your septic tank is full:

  • You are having difficulty flushing your toilet because it is continuously backing up.
  • Your pipes are gurgling or draining slowly.
  • Your lawn has sprung lush, green grass.
  • Water begins to accumulate in your yard.
  • Your house or yard stinks like… sewage.

How do I monitor my septic tank?

The Sludge Judge utility

Many septic systems and septic tank pumping professionals use a Sludge Judge to measure the sludge and scum layers in a septic tank to check the health of a septic system. This equipment costs around $75 and delivers extremely accurate thickness measurements of the two layers.

Can I inspect my septic system in Texas?

Under current state legal revisions, it is now allowed for a homeowner to attend a certification course on their specific brand of septic systems and undertake their maintenance. Contact the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality or go to their website at

How do I check the sludge level in my septic tank?

Remove the sludge stick with care and set it on a tarp. On the Velcro, measure the length of the sludge smear. Have your tank pumped if the total depth exceeds 18 inches. If the scum depth exceeds 6 inches, your tank should be pumped.

Does shower water go into a septic tank?

All drains in the house connect to a single line that flows to the buried septic tank outside. The wastewater from your toilet, shower, sinks, and washing machine is combined as it exits your home. However, when it reaches the septic tank, it begins to separate.

How do you know when a septic tank needs emptying?

How to know whether your septic tank is full and needs to be emptied:

  • Pooling water.
  • Slow drains.
  • Odors.
  • An overly healthy lawn.
  • Sewer backup.
  • Gurgling Pipes.
  • Trouble Flushing.

What will ruin a septic system?

Soap, detergent, Clorox, bleach, and other household items can wreak havoc on your septic system and damage the environment. Many things can cause algae to bloom, kill beneficial microorganisms, and limit the life of a septic tank. To break down waste, your septic system needs a combination of enzymes and bacteria.

Is bleach OK for septic?

Yes, bleach is harmful to septic systems because it kills germs. That is the result! While this is ideal for the toilet, where you want your germs to suffer, it is not ideal for your septic system.

How many loads of laundry can I do with a septic tank?

Any more could result in a septic tank overflow. To be on the safe side, experts recommend only one to two loads of laundry per day. If you need to complete more, you may always spread your tasks out over a few days. It takes time for systems to separate solid waste from liquids in your tank.


Getting septic tank inspections before purchasing a home is a smart method to avoid any surprises and costs after the sale. It is critical to perform good septic maintenance as the owner of a septic system.

Frequently Asked Questions

How long is a septic certification good for in California?

Septic inspections, which are required as part of a property transfer, are normally valid for two years. If a property is sold more than once in two years, the single inspection applies to all transfers.

Can I install my own septic system in Washington State?

Only licensed professional engineers are permitted to design on-site sewage systems. Also, before building, installing, repairing, expanding, connecting, or changing an on-site sewage system in Washington, service providers must get approval and a permit from the local health department.

Who pays for septic inspection in California?

Septic inspections, like building and pest inspections, are the buyer’s responsibility. Most buyers should set aside between $260 and $420 for a licensed septic specialist to do a septic inspection. The exact cost will depend on the area and the level of inspection.

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