Septic system in a vacant house

6 Replies

I Have a bank owned property under contract. Most likely the property has been vacant for years (2-4) and poorly cared for. The house it’s self is 30 Years old. My question is what could be wrong with the septic system and what would the cost be for repair etc.... Thank you in advance

If its a concrete tank , its fine , just pump it . The drainfields  or drywell , you wont know till you start running water .  I bought something similar that was vacant for 7 years .  I had no problems at all . Just to be sure I ran a snake down the main line with water running , just to make sure the line was clear .

Howdy @Nick Ferroni

You should have the septic system inspected (camera).  Make sure the line from the house to the tank is in good shape.  I agree if the tank is concrete it will probably be ok.  You may need to open the top access lid to add water and have any residue pumped.  Inspections can cost $100 - $250.  Having the tank pumped $200 - $500, depending on the size and ease of access.  If you need the system repaired/replaced then your talking anywhere from $1,000 to $5,000.

There are tons of potential issues with a septic tank - but there are also thousands of potential issues with sewer, so the septic tank shouldn't be a deal breaker.  

For sure get the thing inspected - and probably needs to be pumped.  Bad tanks and broken drain lines in your field can turn into a really crappy problem (yes, pun intended).  But even at 30 years old, a concrete tank really should be okay.  If possible, and the tank is in bad shape, it would probably be worth looking into connecting to the sewer. 

I've had to replace a concrete tank and redo the entire field in one of my homes in Vegas.  Cost was around $12,500, including landscape repair (which was only sand and rock).  I would rather have connected to sewer but this place is out in the sticks and there's no sewer that far out.

I have NEVER seen a concrete tank go bad .  Matter of fact I have one in my back yard . its concrete , and it hasnt been used since 1972 when they ran sewer in the neighborhood . It is still in good shape 

@Matthew Paul My tank actually wasn't bad - I was putting in a pool and planned to move only the field, but the excavator drove over the tank and, well, that was that.  The tank was totally fine until that happened.  Outside of that I've never had to replace one either.

Hi Nick, 

I have heard that septic tanks have an average lifespan of 40 years, so an inspection would be a good idea. Some alternatives to septic might want to be looked into as well as a value add. 

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