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House purchase with new septic system install

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fiveightandten

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I'm purchasing a house and the inspection revealed the the entire septic system was failed. The house is 1989 construction, 4 bedroom, located in Connecticut, and was on the original system. Original system:
-1,250 gal concrete tank
-3 D-boxes
-3 x 60' long and 2 x 15' long leeching fields

The seller is paying for the new system install and from what I can tell from the proposal (attached), they are moving to a pump fed system with plastic tanks. I know very little about septic systems, but this seems like a lower quality solution and I'm assuming we will need to install a generator backup for the pump. New system:
-2 compartment 1,500 gal poly tank
-1,000 gal poly pump chamber
-2 D-boxes
-2 rows 75' long Geomatrix GST 6212 leaching fields
-Liberty 281 effluent pump 2.5 HP

Can anyone comment on if I should be worried about buying the house with this install? Thanks in advance for your assistance.
 

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mark3885

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The new system is not a bad design , poly tanks will last forever unless you park a dump truck on it . The pump chamber is 1000 gals , so if the power goes out, you would be ok for a few days. I’m assuming you may have a well if you have a septic system, so you may need a back up generator for a well pump . A friend of mine has a system like this that has performed well over the last 25 yrs , the pump adds another variable to the maintenance schedule but I would not consider the system as a deal breaker. If the installing company is reputable and has some type of warranty connected to the system , it would not deter me from purchasing this home.
 

FishScreener

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I’ll go with Mark, that it seems to be an adequate design. If you have doubts get a Professional Engineer to review the design, but typically there is some public agency which has responsibility for approving septic systems.

AS to the generator: If you are on a public water system, you will need a generator. On a well system you won’t unless you have a back up for the well. In teh event of a power failure you‘re going to be limited to however much water you have in the well tank. Typically 50-gallons on a residential system.
 

fiveightandten

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The new system is not a bad design , poly tanks will last forever unless you park a dump truck on it . The pump chamber is 1000 gals , so if the power goes out, you would be ok for a few days. I’m assuming you may have a well if you have a septic system, so you may need a back up generator for a well pump . A friend of mine has a system like this that has performed well over the last 25 yrs , the pump adds another variable to the maintenance schedule but I would not consider the system as a deal breaker. If the installing company is reputable and has some type of warranty connected to the system , it would not deter me from purchasing this home.
Thanks Mark. As a first time home buyer, the inspection yielding a failed system has been a point of anxiety. The house is on a rolling lot, which appeared to be at odds with the leeching field of the original system. I presume their move to a pump has something to do with this. Thanks for the data point on your friend's system. Googling had lead me to think gravity fed is the preferable design, but it's good to have some reassurance.
I’ll go with Mark, that it seems to be an adequate design. If you have doubts get a Professional Engineer to review the design, but typically there is some public agency which has responsibility for approving septic systems.

AS to the generator: If you are on a public water system, you will need a generator. On a well system you won’t unless you have a back up for the well. In teh event of a power failure you‘re going to be limited to however much water you have in the well tank. Typically 50-gallons on a residential system.
Thanks for the reply. The system is in a watershed area, so the Town mandates an engineered system. We learned yesterday that this language is a *proposal* from a contractor the seller got a price from. They have not signed a contract, as they do not yet have the engineer's design (the Town has to approve that). So, this is clearly subject to change, though we were not previously notified of that status.

With respect to generator backup, the house is on well water. The tank is indeed 50 gal. The neighborhood has underground electric, but is obviously fed by overhead down the line. I work for the power company, so perhaps outages are on my mind more than most. But that's a good point that the well tank would be depleted before the septic pump tank went over capacity.

I think we'll put a generator on our longer-term list.
 

Jeff Handy

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Put a generator on your short list.

Big storms are getting more common all the time.

Generator will keep your well, septic, fridge, furnace, lights, microwave, sump pump, cell phone chargers all going.

Tv’s and computers are not safe to run unless you get an inverter generator.

You can unplug things if the generator is small, and just cycle things on as needed.

A dual fuel generator on natural gas and propane is really convenient.

Gasoline is ok too, but the carburetor tends to gum up, and stored gas gets stale and weak.
 

fiveightandten

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Put a generator on your short list.

Big storms are getting more common all the time.

Generator will keep your well, septic, fridge, furnace, lights, microwave, sump pump, cell phone chargers all going.

Tv’s and computers are not safe to run unless you get an inverter generator.

You can unplug things if the generator is small, and just cycle things on as needed.

A dual fuel generator on natural gas and propane is really convenient.

Gasoline is ok too, but the carburetor tends to gum up, and stored gas gets stale and weak.
Thanks Jeff. To provide a little more context, the house is 1989 construction date with the original roof (on its last leg) and boiler. We knew this going into our offer, but these are some larger ticket items that are fairly high priority. On the flip side, I've lived in town for 19 years and we've never lost power here. It's a different neighborhood, but the town has its own electric division and the reliability is quite good (this new house is <2 mi from the substation, with underground primaries covering part of that path).

Can you recommend an adequate generator? A friend of mine works for a generator sales/service company, so I can lean on him when the time is right, but it's nice to have input.

-Nick
 

Jeff Handy

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Generac and Kohler whole house permanent backups are nice, not cheap.

Home Depot and Harbor Freight sell some good portable ones, too many variables to start listing options.
 
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