Septic Tank rebuild question

Old 12-19-10, 12:38 PM
Thread Starter
Join Date: May 2010
Location: USA
Posts: 3
Received 0 Votes on 0 Posts
Septic Tank rebuild question

Bought a foreclosure that required a septic tank inspection.
The inspector passed it but said the walls and inside dividing wall were deteriorating and should be rebuilt.
He said he would do this and install new T connectors and a thicker lid with risers that would raise it above ground level.
The cost was $2500.
I know nothing about septic tanks but, facing replacement cost of $30,000 if it failed, we decided we should go ahead and have it done.
We were here working late on a Sunday night and came back Tuesday morning to find the earth covering the septic had been dug up.
We didn't think the work was done since we were only gone one day and didn't think concrete could dry that quickly and the lid was not protruding from the ground.
The inspector informed me that he did not have to rebuild the lid (it was thicker than he originally thought).
When I asked how he poured the concrete for the additional 4 inches for the walls and removed the forms in one day he said they used the dirt around the tank for the forms.
My question: Is this a standard way for reinforcing concrete walls?
Can you use the surrounding dirt for a form and then just cover the freshly poured concrete with dirt?
I'm hesitant to dig the tank up to inspect the walls to see if entire wall was done but I suspect I got screwed.
Can't believe all the stated work was done in one day and I'm considering small claims court for breach of contract.
Should I hire another septic guy to inspect it?

Any info would be greatly appreciated,

Last edited by prv8eye; 12-19-10 at 12:39 PM. Reason: adding info
Old 12-19-10, 01:15 PM
Join Date: Oct 2002
Location: Hamilton County, Ohio
Posts: 4,295
Received 2 Votes on 2 Posts
Since he did less work than he quoted, did he give you a break on price? If not - why not.

In my neck of the woods, the inspectors work for the county and then you hire the contractor of your choice for repairs. I do feel that you may have been hammered.
Old 12-19-10, 05:29 PM
steve_gro's Avatar
Join Date: Jan 2004
Location: San Francisco
Posts: 1,092
Received 1 Vote on 1 Post
1) It's a conflict of interest for an 'inspector' to offer to do the work. It's unethical.

2) Concrete will harden under water -- it's a chemical reaction. If he did indeed pour concrete, it'll set up.

3) Try to find a contractor that does septic, one that has a good reputation (check the BBB), and pay him to inspect it.
Old 12-20-10, 04:45 AM
Group Moderator
Join Date: Mar 2003
Location: NC, USA
Posts: 25,041
Received 851 Votes on 786 Posts
Well, you know the riser extension work was not done. Dig down to a lid and peak inside. You should be able to see any repair work done to the divider and as long as you have a shovel nearby dig a hole near the edge of the tank and see if there was any fresh concrete poured. It sounds like an odd situation so I would certainly confirm the repairs before paying the man.
Old 12-20-10, 05:37 AM
Forum Topic Moderator
Join Date: Sep 2005
Location: USA
Posts: 5,749
Received 187 Votes on 167 Posts
I'd also ask him to come out to show you what he did. If it means you have to dig a bit of it up, fine. Also, if he didn't do what he estimated, the final bill should be significantly less.

I also like the idea of paying another reputable septic company to come out and inspect it.

Thread Tools
Search this Thread
Ask a Question
Question Title:
Your question will be posted in: