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New House with Septic System

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  • New House with Septic System

    Hey all..

    just made offer on a house with a septic system. Know nothing about these, other than you have to monitor and drain every xx years. Anybody have a HA way to monitor this?

    or anything else you do with septic that is helpful?

    thanks!

  • #2
    Not really anything to monitor but have it drained and inspected for cracks or other problems before closing.

    Comment


    • #3
      There are many types of septic systems. That is those that contain air-raters, aqua-raters or none at all, single tank and multiple tank units. Regular maintenance (getting it pumped out every 4-5 years depending on household load) and cleaning the exit filter once a year or two if it has one is pretty much it. This is one part of my house I care less to monitor. It's not that complicated... Just don't pour cooking oils etc down the drain either or heavy chemicals (kills bacteria).

      Robert
      HS3PRO 3.0.0.500 as a Fire Daemon service, Windows 2016 Server Std Intel Core i5 PC HTPC Slim SFF 4GB, 120GB SSD drive, WLG800, RFXCom, TI103,NetCam, UltraNetcam3, BLBackup, CurrentCost 3P Rain8Net, MCsSprinker, HSTouch, Ademco Security plugin/AD2USB, JowiHue, various Oregon Scientific temp/humidity sensors, Z-Net, Zsmoke, Aeron Labs micro switches, Amazon Echo Dots, WS+, WD+ ... on and on.

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      • #4
        There may be a third tank with a pump in it depending on the type of system and if the leach field is uphill of the tank. There will be an alarm wired to a float valve in the tank that will sound when the pump has failed or the tank cannot empty for some reason. Attaching a HA device to the alarm cable to notify you when it trips gives you some extra time to tell people to stop using the water and prevent it backing up into the house.

        John

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        • #5
          You'll nned to check if it's allowed by code in your area, but a useful safety is a relief valve between the house and tank that allows sewage to escape should there be a blockage in the tank or elsewhere downstream. This will prevent it backing up in the house and flowing back out of the lowest drain point (floor drain, shower, etc.)

          Nothing to electronically monitor, of course.
          -Wade

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          • #6
            Originally posted by Tomgru View Post
            Hey all..

            just made offer on a house with a septic system. Know nothing about these, other than you have to monitor and drain every xx years. Anybody have a HA way to monitor this?

            or anything else you do with septic that is helpful?

            thanks!
            I can't think of what you'd monitor... cleaning any monitor you put in there would be a really crappy job

            Z

            Comment


            • #7
              Not really the sort of thing you'd want to dive into. (bad pun intended).
              Real courage is not securing your Wi-Fi network.

              Comment


              • #8
                OK, seriously...
                Probably too late since you've already made an offer, but I'd have them tell you when it was last pumped, how old it is and if they've every had problems with it. Do you see anything in the leach field lthat looks like it's collapsed? If it does have an uphill leach field you should make sure it's alarmed like John says. Not sure I'd want one that's not gravity fed, but sometimes you don't get an option.
                Typically septic systems are pretty simple (just follow the normal guidelines as mentioned above) but if they've had problems with the drainfield, it could be very pricy to repair. We have a 1500 gallon vault with two people and it's usually 8 years before we have to pump it and we use a disposal.

                Either way, having them include a home warranty that includes the septic system (always read the fine print, the insurance companies definition of "home" is probably not the same as yours) would be a good idea (as it is with any house that's not new)

                Comment


                • #9
                  Originally posted by johnpeterson View Post
                  There may be a third tank with a pump in it depending on the type of system and if the leach field is uphill of the tank. There will be an alarm wired to a float valve in the tank that will sound when the pump has failed or the tank cannot empty for some reason. Attaching a HA device to the alarm cable to notify you when it trips gives you some extra time to tell people to stop using the water and prevent it backing up into the house.

                  John
                  I had a system once that had 2 pumps. An aqua-Aerobic pump which ran for 16.5 hours a day on cycled times. Then a clarifier pump which fed the bed. There was a float and current sensor electronics associated with it which I suppose you could interface with HS, but the alarm was auditable anyway. So the only time any use of HS integration would be when you're not home... then who cares anyway and nothing can be done so.... Anyway, glad I moved. That sucker added a good chunk to the hydro bill.
                  HS3PRO 3.0.0.500 as a Fire Daemon service, Windows 2016 Server Std Intel Core i5 PC HTPC Slim SFF 4GB, 120GB SSD drive, WLG800, RFXCom, TI103,NetCam, UltraNetcam3, BLBackup, CurrentCost 3P Rain8Net, MCsSprinker, HSTouch, Ademco Security plugin/AD2USB, JowiHue, various Oregon Scientific temp/humidity sensors, Z-Net, Zsmoke, Aeron Labs micro switches, Amazon Echo Dots, WS+, WD+ ... on and on.

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                  • #10
                    Thanks everyone... good info! and Funny :-)

                    we are having it inspected .. so sorry , didn't close yet.... just agreed on offer.

                    one thing my realtor noted was this, which made me wonder if there was something here I could monitor.

                    The other thing is that the septic has a septic pump to pump up to the drainfield – so when the power goes out – it will not work..

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      I wonder if you can get a battery backup arrangement for that pump. I know they have them for basement sump pumps so it makes sense that there is a backup option for these. I would not want to go through an extended power outage without being able to use the shower or toilets.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Good luck on the new house!

                        We have power outages all the time at our house in the mountains and the septic system is the least of our worries. When the alarm goes off we still have 300 gallons usage left before backup issues. With just a power outage we still have 500 gallons of capacity. At 2 gallons per flush that's a long time... And if your are on well water you will run out of fresh water long before you have a septic issue. If the leach field has been there 40+ years then there might be a concern. If it's been 20 years or less its probably ok but have it checked out.

                        John

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                        • #13
                          Good idea on the inspection. I forgot to mention that earlier. When I bough my current house, I had my system inspected as well. Filters help prolong the life of the bed and are now code on new systems where I live. I had one added a few years ago along with easy accessible risers - just because.
                          HS3PRO 3.0.0.500 as a Fire Daemon service, Windows 2016 Server Std Intel Core i5 PC HTPC Slim SFF 4GB, 120GB SSD drive, WLG800, RFXCom, TI103,NetCam, UltraNetcam3, BLBackup, CurrentCost 3P Rain8Net, MCsSprinker, HSTouch, Ademco Security plugin/AD2USB, JowiHue, various Oregon Scientific temp/humidity sensors, Z-Net, Zsmoke, Aeron Labs micro switches, Amazon Echo Dots, WS+, WD+ ... on and on.

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                          • #14
                            Thanks everyone!!!

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Depending on the jurisdiction, the local building department may be a good source of information. It's probably worth a call to them to see what you can learn about the local codes, any history they may have about your system, etc. They may have drawings that were submitted for building approval - or not. A lot depends on how strictly they enforce in your area.

                              Getting an inspection is extremely important, and it is probably required for a legal sale, but who does the inspection is also important. Realtors have a vested interest in completing the sale, so do not have a strong incentive to find picky inspectors. Do you have a buyer's agent? They are legally required to act in your interest, so should be able to arrange for a well qualified inspector and thorough inspection.

                              We have a septic system that is over 40 years old, and has had no problems for the thirty years we've owned the property. We have the tank pumped out regularly, but otherwise it has required no other attention or maintenance.
                              Mike____________________________________________________________ __________________
                              HS3 Pro Edition 3.0.0.548

                              HW: Stargate | NX8e | CAV6.6 | Squeezebox | PCS | WGL 800RF, Rain8Net+ | RFXCOM | QSE100D | Vantage Pro | Green-Eye | X10: XTB-232, -IIR | Edgeport/8 | Way2Call | Ecobee3

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