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Why You Shouldn't Pump Your Septic Tank Just Before Selling A House

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Pumping a septic tank is a good maintenance service. However, it's not advisable to pump the septic tank if you have put up your house for sale. Pumping the tank may look like a "favor" to your potential clients, but they may disagree if they want to test the septic system. Read on to learn why this isn't a favor after all.

The Test

The septic loading and dye test is the common way of testing for the efficiency of septic systems. It involves putting a test volume of colored water (that you get by putting dye in the test water) into the system to see if it all flows into the tank or breaks out in the yard, which is evidence of sewer pipe damage. The test also shows how fast the water from the drainage pipes reaches the drain field, an indication of the efficiency of the septic system.

The Problem

However, if the tank was recently pumped, you may not succeed in putting enough water into the tank to reach the drain field. Therefore, you may think that the septic tank is efficient (when the waste takes a long time to reach the septic field) while, in the real sense, the water/waste in the tank would be inadequate for the test. Therefore, it doesn't make much sense to use the septic loading and dye test on a system that has just been pumped. Without the test, your potential buyers won't know whether your septic tank is working or not.

The Complications

The plumbing system is one of the most important parts of a home, so it makes sense that your potential buyers will want to test or inspect it before closing the deal. They won't be thrilled to learn that they are unable to test the system because the tank was recently pumped.

Not only that, but you can also lose valuable customers this way because some lending institutions require potential homebuyers to perform the septic dye test before they can fund their purchases.

Even if you manage to sell the property, further complications can arise if you knew that your septic system was problematic but you still opted to pump it. In such a case, the homebuyer can accuse you of breaching your duty of full disclosure if they discover a malfunction in the septic system after buying the property. Even if hiding the defect wasn't your intention, you don't want to waste resources defending such an accusation. Do everybody a favor and don't pump your septic system.

For more tips on how to sell your house in compliance with all local laws, speak with a local real estate agent.