Hi! I’m consumer investigator Dale Cardwell with TrustDALE.com and I'd like to take a couple of minutes to talk about a subject we here at Trousdale hear a lot about, sadly in the form of complaints. It’s all about septic tanks. Now, only about 17% of Americans are on a septic system. Most people are hooked up to a sewer. I hope you had your septic tank inspected before you bought your house, but if you didn’t – chances are the first time you thought about it is when your bathtub or toilet started draining slowly or worse yet – backs up. Rule number one: that’s not the best time to learn about your septic system. Most people simply think it’s time to have their system “inspected,” and there’s usually a trip charge and fee for that. And that’s the price you read in the ad or are quoted over the phone but be prepared. The price is going up. That’s because the inspection almost always leads to your septic tank needing to be emptied. At that point, a reputable company will tell you why, and ask you to sign your permission for them to continue. Now here’s what you need to know. More often than not, something other than just a full tank is causing your septic tank to malfunction. But the septic company won’t know exactly what that problem is, until they have emptied your tank. Get ready for charge number three. For example, you might see an add offering to inspect your tank for $99, but when the inspection shows your tank needs to be pumped, get ready to pay another 150 to 300 dollars. When the tank is empty and the cause of the problem is discovered, it could cost you between 3000 and 5000 dollars, and in some cases, even more to repair or replace your system. I know what you’re thinking. Why don’t the companies tell me that over the phone? Because they’re competing against companies that don’t, and they know you’re likely to go with the lowest quote. So again, make certain the company explains each step in detail, and if that second charge seems too high, don’t be afraid to pay the inspection fee and call a different company for another quote. Of course, there is a way to avoid all this frustration. Get your tank inspected when you buy your home, and mark it on your calendar to get it pumped every three to five years. The more people who live in your home – the more waste you create, so five years is probably sufficient for a couple, three years is more in line for a family of four or five. But if your septic system is not in good condition, you could have to have it pumped more often.

Dale's New Book:
Don't Get Scammed: Get Smart!


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