40s home still on Septic Tank? Inspection?
You're right, Marlin. Even a 1940's septic system in good condition may work just fine. twilightcall may have the tank pumped out and the tank and lines video inspected, try it out and have it work from Day One.
However, one that old that has been sitting up could be clogged with roots growing into the tank and drainfield lines or from dirt washing into them. Unless it has been replaced or upgraded at some point, the odds of a 1940's system being adequate today for washing machines, dishwashers, and probably more bathing and other water usage by occupants may be questionable.
NC State Univeristy has been doing research on various septic systems for many years. In a nutshell, they recommend that the tank be pumped out at least every five years, or more often with above-normal use. I have ours pumped out in every year that ends in 0 or 5, for instance (my "idiot proof" plan for me...lol). Also, their conclusion on all of those bacterial and chemical additives is that they all are a waste of money. Normal usage provides more than all of the bacteria necessary for a septic system to function properly, even with a brand new system.
The only thng that I've ever added to our system in 30 years, is a cup or two of copper sulphate crystals flushed down about three times a year to prevent root growth in our drainfield lines. There are a lot of ornamental shrubbery and trees over or near the field, and we've never had any problems.
P.S. jpplumber posted while I was writing my post, and makes even more good points about a 1940's house. If the plumbing hasn't been upgraded, it surely is old galvanized that probably isn't even functional now after sitting up for 10 years. nopt to mention the electrical.
It all calls for a thorough licensed Pest Control Operator inspection and a licensed General Home Inspection of the structural and mechanical prior to closing. Even if a property is under contract, if major issues are discovered by inspections, the whole deal may be renegotiable.
Last edited by Mike Swearingen; 01-11-2008 at 07:40 AM.