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Check the septic tank lift pump before buying a new home

Some Texas homes are equipped with septic tanks while others are hooked up to municipal sewage and waste systems. It's important to know what kind of system the home you want to purchase has. If it has a septic tank, you definitely will want to check it to ensure it's not in need of costly maintenance and repair. One issue related to septic tanks deals with lift pumps, which may be used to move waste from a low-pressure environment into a high pressure one -- due to gravity and other concerns.

If the home you want to purchase employs a lift pump, here's how to inspect that it's okay:

Is there noise? If the lift pump is making strange noises or is conspicuously silent, it might have a problem that needs to be checked out. It may not be functioning properly, or it might not be working at all.

Are there leaks? If wastewater is coming back into the septic system out of the pump, it might have a bad valve or cracked seal.

Is there a float problem? The lift pump might employ a float -- as you have in your toilet -- to determine wastewater levels in the septic tank. If the float has a problem, the pump might stop operating.

Any extra water visible? Overflow problems are common in miscalibrated septic systems. These problems can also develop if the septic system is not capable of handling the amount of water used by the household.

Noticing any motor problems? The motor might burn out or breakdown rendering the lift pump completely inoperable and in need of replacement or repair.

Most real estate inspectors will check the condition of the septic system associated with a home you want to purchase. Either way, be sure to stay on top of this important area of home inspection before you agree to buy a property with a septic tank in Texas.

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