How Much Does a Septic Inspection Cost?

An average septic inspection costs between $200 and $900. But, depending on the type of inspection, the cost can often be much higher.
Written by Patrick Price
Reviewed by Melanie Reiff
Updated on Sep 15, 2022
On average, a septic inspection costs between $200 and $900, with the most typical cost sitting at around $550. Where exactly on the scale your inspection will land depends on the type of and reason for your inspection—as well as the depth and size of your septic tank. 
If your home is one of the 20% that are not connected to municipal sewer and water services, then it uses a well for water and a septic tank for waste. Septic tanks need to be meticulously maintained, drained, and inspected by specialists. Otherwise, they’ll rupture, filling your yard with fecal matter and other waste—which will also likely end up contaminating the well you rely on for water. 
There are many distinct kinds of septic inspections, and the prices for each of them are drastically different. That’s why
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How much does a septic inspection cost?

The average cost of a septic inspection, nationwide, is $550, but that’s across several different kinds of inspection. Depending on which type of inspection you need, it could cost much less or much more than the average. 
As the owner of a home with a septic system, it’s important that you know what the different types of inspections are, when they’re needed, and what each one costs. Here’s what to consider:
Type of inspection
When it’s needed
Average cost
Routine Maintenance Inspection
The most basic type of inspection. It includes a dye test and a visual analysis
Once a year
$200 to $300
Basic Inspection
Slightly more involved and in-depth than routine inspections. This type includes a dye test, visual assessment, a simple test of the systems, and measuring the scum and sludge layer in your tank
Once every three years
$300 to $400
Detailed Inspection
A deep-diving and thorough inspection of the tank and support system. It includes a visual inspection, a water flow test, a soil test, a simple system test, a tank audit, a pumping test, a measuring test, an examination of the relative water body distance, and possible excavation (if needed)
When buying or selling a home and if you suspect there may be a problem with the tank
$500 to $700
Camera Inspection
A special inspection that uses a snaking camera to gain a visual on portions of the septic system that are otherwise inaccessible
If and when there’s an issue with your septic system which cannot be seen
These inspections all have to be performed by septic experts with specialized training since the septic system has a delicate internal balance. A normal home inspection does not include any sort of septic inspection—and home inspectors are not qualified to carry one out. 
Some homeowners—especially if they’ve never had a home that uses a septic tank before—decide to skip the regularly recommended septic inspections. This is a very bad idea that you’ll only ever make once—after you’ve had your backyard turn into a fecal swamp and had to pay to replace a ruptured tank, the lesson tends to sink in. 

Septic tank maintenance and repair costs 

The price of a septic inspection does not include the cost of repairing any issues that are discovered during the inspection. Nor does it cover the cost of the regular routine septic services that you’ll need. Those will be a wholly separate set of expenses.

Routine service maintenance 

In addition to regular inspections, your septic tank will also need to be serviced regularly. The routine septic tank services that you’ll need include having your septic tank pumped, having your tank jetted, and having your tank filter replaced
The most basic and essential service is having the tank pumped. It will usually cost you between $300 and $600, depending on the size and depth of your tank, and it should be done every three to five years
The point of septic tank pumping is to remove any built-up sludge that has settled on the bottom of the tank. Without regular pumping, the sludge would accumulate until it became a blockage in the outlet line.
A blocked outlet line means that your tank will not be able to drain. As waste continues to fill the tank, and the resulting gasses continue to build up, the pressure can eventually cause the tank to rupture
If there’s ever a stubborn bit of sludge that normal pumping won’t clear, or if a blockage forms in the lines, you’ll need to have your system cleared out with a high-pressure water system. This process is called tank jetting, and it usually costs between $200 and $400
The only other routine service your tank needs is a filter change. Your septic inspector will let you know when it's time for a new filter, and replacing your septic tank filter will cost about $300

Repairs for damaged septic systems

If a septic inspection uncovers a problem in your system, the repairs can be fairly expensive. Like septic inspections, the cost of septic repairs will depend on the size and depth of your tank as well as the nature of the repairs. Some repairs might cost only a few hundred dollars, while others can easily reach into the tens of thousands. Here are some estimated costs:
Type of repair
Average cost
Baffle repair/replacement
$300 to $900
Pump repair/replacment
$200 to $400
Leach field repair/replacement
$5,000 to $25,000
Adding bacteria
General septic tank repair
$500 to $10,000
Outlet, inlet, and/or leach line repairs
$1,000 to $5,000
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Finding a reliable septic inspector 

Finding a reliable septic inspection company can be a bit tricky, and there just aren’t that many qualified septic inspectors around. 
Those that are available, don’t often choose to work for large national corporations. Most run their own business. There are some nationwide companies that offer septic inspections—such as
Mr. Rooter
. For the most part, though, finding a septic inspector is going to require some searching at the local level—but that’s as easy as googling the phrase “septic inspectors near me”. 
Once you have the name of a few potential companies, you can narrow them down based on the following criteria: 
  • Only use septic inspectors that are fully licensed and credentialed. This includes having an Installer Certification or License, having passed the Septic Tank Professional Exam, having a Septic System Business License, and having a Septic Tank Installation Permit.
  • Check and see what additional certifications, licenses, and organizations they belong to. Inspectors that belong to the International
    Association of Certified Home Inspectors
    (InterNACHI) are very reliable. 
  • Check the online reviews for any inspectors/companies that you’re considering. What kind of experiences have previous customers had? 
  • Check on the 
    Better Business Bureau
    (BBB) website to make sure that the inspector you hire is BBB accredited. 
When you’ve narrowed down your search to a few qualified candidates, request a quote from each of them. Then, you can compare the quotes to see which one offers the best deal. 

How to save on homeowners insurance

Septic maintenance and repair can be a pretty hefty expense. Unfortunately, it’s far from the only financial strain that a homeowner has to deal with. 
In order to make sure that your home and your wallet are protected from unexpected damages, you’re going to need quality homeowners insurance. And there’s no faster or easier way to find great coverage than by using
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that’s designed to save you time and money on
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On average, Jerry users save $800 or more every year on their insurance costs—that should be more than enough to cover your annual routine septic inspections! 
All you’ll need to do is download the app, answer a few basic questions, and then sit back a let Jerry get to work finding your great savings! 
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