A percolation test is done before buying a home to test the soil. This test is important because it helps you decide where to install a new septic tank. Many refer to this as a perc test.

If you buy a home in a rural area where you can't connect to the city water lines, this is a must-have. It shows you the best place to install a septic tank to make that new home suitable for your family. Take a look at 10 things you should know about perc tests in 2021!

“Time plays a role in almost every decision. And some decisions define your attitude about time." – John Cale

Water Drainage

One thing to know is that a percolation test looks at how long it takes water to drain and work its way through the soil on your property. Perc test companies often work with engineers and excavators who set up the test on your land. They use different holes placed in areas around your yard and compare the results to help you decide where to add a septic tank.

You Can Fail

Though it may seem hard to believe, you can fail one of these tests. Unless the results match the rules imposed by the health department in your county, you cannot pass. The company you work with will help you decide what to do next.

Occasionally Needed

Before you look at the average perc test cost, make sure that you need the test. Most counties only require that you pay for the test if the property does not have existing lines that connect it to the city or county water lines. If you can connect to a local septic system, you probably don't need a perc test.

You May Need to Spend More

On top of the price you pay for the test, you may face other costs. Many people find that they need to spend more to pass the test. If you fail the test, the county health department may ban you from building a home on the land. You may need to spend quite a bit of money to change the soil on the land to pass the test.

County Health Help

The county health department serves as one of your best friends during this process. Not only can the department help you find a company that can test your soil, but you can also find out what rules you need to follow and the numbers you need to have to build a septic system. The health department can even send someone out to oversee the test.

Soil Type

You can look at the type of soil on your property to get an idea of whether you will pass a perc test for septic purposes. Soil that has a large amount of sand and gravel has a better chance of passing than soil with less gravel will. You want to make sure that your soil has some sand and gravel along with clay particles.

Multiple Tests

You don't need to worry if you fail your test because you can pay for more than one test. The company may not test all areas of your property. If you fail, you have the chance to hire someone else to test other areas of the land and find the right spot for your tank.

More Than a Test 

When building a septic tank, keep in mind that you need more than just the results of a perc test. Many areas have rules regarding how far the tank must be from your home and how deep you need to bury it in the ground. If you buy land and plan to build a home, you need to make sure that you follow all local regulations.

Total Cost

While the percolation test cost starts at $150, sometimes it can be much higher. Some pay as much as $1,000 to $1,500 for the test. The amount that you pay depends on where you live and the company you hire as well as how much work they do and how many percolation tests they perform.

Valid for a Limited Time

You should also keep in mind that a soil percolation test is only valid for a limited time. Though some areas will accept your results for only two years, others let you use the results for up to five years. 

If you do not go forward with building a septic tank within that timeframe, you'll need to pay for a new test. Make sure that you keep these 10 important facts in mind before getting a perc test.    

Contact local perc test companies and request a free quote for your service!     


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