How To Look At A House

McGarry and Madsen's home inspection blog for buyers of  

site-built, mobile/manfuactured and modular homes

Does a septic tank have to be re-certified if a house has been vacant for a while?

Tuesday, July 10, 2018

We got different answers when asking this question at county health departments in our area. One health department representative stated that as long as the original installation was permitted and inspected by the Florida Department of Health and it is not known to be in failure, no re-certification is necessary.  Another county specifies that the tank be re-certified if the home has been vacant for five years or longer. So we recommend checking with the local office of the Florida Department of Health for the requirements for their jurisdiction. 


    A septic system that has not had any sewage liquids drained into it for an extended period of time is often clogged by invasive roots that follow the retreating moisture backwards into the tank as the drainfield dries out; so, whether it is required or not, having a septic contractor inspect the system before you purchase a long-time vacant home is a good idea. 

 
   Also, see our blog posts How can I locate my septic tank? and Do I have to get a larger septic tank when I build a home addition?

• • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • 

  To learn more about septic tank systems, see these other blog posts:

What are the building code requirements for gray water reuse in Florida?

What can I add to my septic tank to help it work better? 

Why do septic tank contractors want you to get rid of your kitchen disposal?

How can I tell if a house is connected to a septic tank system or sewer?

What is a grinder pump? 

How often should I pump out the septic tank?

Should I call a plumber or septic tank contractor when my septic tank backs up into the house? 

• Where is the septic tank? Are you going to inspect it? 

• Can a house have more than one septic tank?

• What is the difference between gray water and black water in the plumbing code? 

• Is it alright to disconnect the washing machine drain from the septic tank and divert it to the ground in the yard?

    Visit our PLUMBING page for other related blog posts on this subject, or go to the INDEX for a complete listing of all our articles.

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