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According to the EPA, one in five American households relies on a septic system for wastewater treatment. Most commonly used for rural homes or other areas not readily serviced by a municipal sewer system, septic tank systems provide treatment of household wastewater by relying heavily on natural decomposition processes and innovative wastewater drainage systems.
Homeowners who have a septic system know that proper care and maintenance can provide a lot of protection against potential septic system failures. Unfortunately, these systems do break down over time and may require costly repairs or replacement. There are several protection plan options for homeowners with a septic system to ease the burden of septic failures.
At House Method, we know that maintaining your home in an efficient and cost-effective manner is important. We’ve put together a guide to the various options for protecting a septic system, including a septic warranty and home warranty.
After researching and reviewing top warranty companies, our recommendation for home warranty provider is Choice Home Warranty for septic warranties. You can get a free home warranty quote by filling out this form or calling Choice Home Warranty at 929-400-6164. Read our in-depth CHW reviews for all of the details.
Septic systems require proper planning and regular maintenance, like a routine home septic pump, to run smoothly. Septic tanks, in particular, are highly resilient to damage when cared for properly. However, even with proper maintenance a septic tank and its leach field may encounter problems over time.
Repairing or replacing parts on a septic system can be an expensive undertaking. Even its more common repairs tend to be more expensive than other household systems. Below, we’ve broken down some of the more common septic system repairs and their average costs.
|Problem||Description||Average Repair Cost|
|Broken baffle||The baffle on a septic tank prevents dirt, grime, and scum from building up on the pipes of your septic system. A broken baffle allows grime to enter the pipes and causes blockages. Replacing a broken baffle quickly may save you the cost of replacing the tank completely.||$300–$500|
|Tank lid||Less expensive than other parts, your septic tank lid is still a major component of your septic system. It allows professionals to come and inspect the tank when needed. Metal tank lids often rust over time and need to be replaced.||$30–$70 for metal lids, more for concrete lids|
|Broken pipe||Pipes take wastewater from your home to the septic tank and then into the leach field. A broken pipe can happen due to material breakdown, tree roots, and shifting soil. Broken pipes can quickly lead to more expensive problems if not replaced right away.||$1,539|
*Repair cost pricing current as of January 2019.
Other septic system repairs are much costlier. Replacing any of the major components of a septic system will likely cost several thousand dollars. We found answers to the most common septic tank replacement questions.
Replacing a septic tank varies widely based on factors such as tank size, soil type, and tank material. Your tank size will depend on the size of your house. According to ImproveNet:
|Home Size||Tank Size||Cost to Replace Septic Tank|
|3 bedrooms||1,000 gallons||$600–$1,000|
|5–6 bedrooms||1,200 gallons||$1,200–$1,600|
If your septic tank needs to be replaced, you will also need to factor in the cost of professional installation. Though prices vary, the average total price to install a septic tank is about $5,600.
Replacing or repairing the pipes and systems in your septic drain field can be one of the most expensive aspects of repairing a faulty septic system. Many different factors determine the cost for replacing part or all of a leach field, so prices vary widely from $2,000 to over $10,000. A septic warranty may not cover the cost of replacing an entire drain field.
If you notice swampy areas in the leach field area of your yard, you may have a broken or clogged drain pipe. Call a septic inspector immediately to help stop the issue before it causes irreplaceable damage to the septic system.
Even with a septic warranty, the most effective way to prevent expensive damage is to practice proper maintenance. Regular inspections and home septic pumping will keep your system running smoothly. You’ll also be able to identify any issues that may be forming, catching problems before they become a costly replacement.
Your septic system should be inspected at least every three years by a professional septic service. For larger homes or those with more water activity, such as a family with small children taking baths and needing to launder clothes more often, a septic system should be inspected even more frequently. Septic systems with mechanical parts or electrical float switches should be inspected every year.
A home septic pump should be performed about every three to five years. Your septic service company can help you decide how often your system needs to be inspected and pumped. Be sure to keep accurate records of your system including a diagram, property map, and log of previous septic system maintenance.
All of the water used in your home’s plumbing eventually winds up in your septic system. The less water that enters the system, the better the system will operate to break wastewater down into the soil. By preventing wasteful use of water, you can make your septic system last longer.
Consider replacing inefficient toilets with high-efficiency models to reduce water waste when using the bathroom. Additionally, you can find energy-efficient shower heads and tap aerators that reduce water usage. Some companies and organizations even offer free kits with these products. Use the correct load size when doing laundry to avoid using more water than is necessary to clean your clothes.
Everything you pour down the bathroom or kitchen sink, flush through the toilet, or wash down the shower drain ends up in your septic system. Understanding what can and cannot be put into a septic system will help the longevity of your system. Never wash cooking oil or grease, coffee grounds, cigarette butts, or feminine hygiene products down the drain or toilet.
Other, lesser-known items that should never end up in your septic tank include dental floss, flushable wipes, and paper towels. Avoid using household chemicals in your plumbing as much as possible. For example, use a drain snake to unclog a pipe instead of a harsh chemical. Even products that advertise to be safe for septic systems can cause damage if used excessively.
The septic drain field is one of the most important components of a septic system. In this leach area, the disposed wastewater enters the soil to break down naturally and remove contaminants. Once this water has gone through the process it helps to replenish groundwater in the soil.
Keep your drain field in good repair by never parking or driving vehicles or heavy equipment over it. When planting trees and bushes with deep roots, make sure they are planted an appropriate distance away from the leach field. As too much water slows or stops the natural wastewater treatment of a drain field, be sure to avoid introducing excess water to the area, such as gutter runoff.
Many homeowners with septic systems want to know that their septic system is at least partially covered should a problem arise. There are several septic system protection plans that can help reduce the cost of a septic system repair, including septic warranty programs made for septic systems.
Although most standard homeowner’s insurance policies will cover your septic system as a part of your property, there are exceptions. Some policies limit the amount of coverage offered by classifying a septic system as “other structures” similar to pools or garden sheds. This may mean a reduced amount of coverage for your system.
Additionally, if your septic system is damaged by an earthquake or flood, you will likely need specific policies for those disasters in addition to your standard home insurance. Some insurance companies offer well and septic insurance designed to protect septic systems. For example, State Farm customers can choose State Farm septic system coverage for their homes.
Some companies offer a septic warranty to specifically protect a home’s septic system. A septic warranty is a septic system protection plan created as a service contract between the homeowner and the warranty provider. This particular septic protection plan option only covers your septic system, not your whole home.
Similar to a septic warranty, a home warranty is a service contract that provides protection to your home’s major appliances and systems. Unlike a septic warranty or septic insurance from home insurance, a home warranty covers more than just your septic system. Septic system coverage is usually an additional option to a base home warranty plan.
Different home warranty companies will provide different septic protection plans and services. Choice Home Warranty, for example, offers to cover septic tank pumping once in the life of the contract agreement for main line stoppage or blockages. Additionally, they provide coverage for septic system parts including sewer ejector pump, jet pump, aerobic pump, and the septic tank and line from your house.
Many home warranty companies do not provide coverage for drain field pipe replacement or regular maintenance pumping. Home warranty companies do not usually provide coverage to gain access to the septic tank or dispose of waste. As with most insurance and septic warranty options, a home warranty does not cover damages caused by neglect to the septic system or insufficient maintenance.
Sometimes. The average coverage cap for a good home warranty $162. In their contract, Choice Home Warranty includes up to $200 for septic tank pumping due to major blockages and $500 for repair and replacement of covered system parts.
Choosing whether to protect your septic system with a home warranty or septic warranty may come down to your home’s biggest needs. Some of the benefits of adding septic coverage to a home warranty over a specific septic warranty include:
The House Method team has put in the time to research and review several of the top home warranty companies and their coverage options. The table below gives you an overview of coverage offerings from top home warranty companies.
2 plans + optional add-ons, including septic warranty
Monthly premiums: $36–$44
Service fee: $85
4 plans + optional add-ons, including septic pump
Monthly premiums: $50–$60
Service see: $75–$125
2 plans + optional add-ons
Monthly premiums: $28–$43
Service fee: $75
3 plans + optional add-ons
Monthly premiums: $36–$38
Service fee: $75
Through our extensive research on the best home warranty companies, we recommend Choice Home Warranty for septic warranty coverage. In addition to their affordable pricing, Choice Home Warranty provides customers with customizable plans.
Other reasons we suggest Choice Home Warranty include:
Sometimes too many options can be an issue. Choice Home Warranty provides two base plans and offers additional coverage options for you to customize your home warranty. Their add-ons include septic warranty options to protect you from the expense of a septic system damage. Their standard coverage options include:
|Covered Items*||Total Plan||Basic Plan|
|Air conditioning system||X|
|Garage door opener||X||X|
|Ceiling and exhaust fans||X||X|
Additional warranty coverage is available at an additional charge, including septic warranty and septic pump coverage:
*Terms and conditions apply. Review complete limits of liability and any exclusions. CHW offers service contracts which are not warranties.
**See policy for specifics on response times.
***CHW reserves the right to offer cash back in lieu of repair or replacement in the amount of CHW’s actual cost (which at times may be less than retail) to repair or replace any covered system, component or appliance.
****In the event a claim is denied, and a customer seeks to have Us review that denial, We have the right to request routine maintenance records in reviewing its decision.
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