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No Septic Tank, No Loan...Flush and Follow the Flow!

By
Real Estate Agent with HomeSmart Real Estate BR632450000

Hey, we flushed the toilet and it all seemed good! Well in Arizona a septic tank inspection prior to the close of escrow is required and paid by the Seller and the septic is registered and transferred to the new owner at escrow closing. This septic inspection is separate and usually after the Buyer's inspection. Flush and follow the flow and see where it goes! (photo: Thomas Hoang, Pixabay)

Want to hear about a strange real estate transaction that I had? Well, I bring you the case of the IMPLOSION of the SEPTIC TANK. Did I mean EXPLOSION? No, I said IMPLOSION. 

Yes, blame it on methane gas and heat. Septic tanks will have methane and we also have heat here in Arizona. POW!

The transaction was for a fixer upper ranch house on an acre of land in Arizona at a lower than the comps price. The transaction was tight the sellers had little money and the home had been neglected in many areas. I represented the buyer who was experienced with fixer uppers and was willing to give this home a go, however they did not have extra cash after some life events. They could afford the home and the monthly payments on their prequalified loan and was willing to fix it up over time, however with a low down payment and no cash left over.

Septic hole

Septic hole (Photo: Daniel Lincoln, Unsplash)

What happened? A methane gas build up, lack of flow in the septic tank for this vacant home and HEAT creating an apparent vacuum. The result, IMPLOSION. Even before my Buyer client went under contract for the home the tank had apparently imploded and the sewage had just been running into a hole as the tank had basically disintegrated. Follow the FLOW and see where it will go!

Septic hole in ground

Septic hole example but no septic tank (Photo: Septic hole Emilie Dwire on Unsplash)

The Seller sent out the septic inspection and pumping company as required in Arizona to close on a sale. Yet, the plastic septic tank was no longer there! It had imploded and decayed. An empty hole.  I had not ever seen this before. See their report:

Septic Tank Implosion

The Buyer's lender required a functioning septic system, but the Seller could not afford installing one, so the Seller canceled the contract as follows:

Canceled Contract Septic Tank

How does a septic tank implode you may ask? Well the inspector said the tank evidently made out of fiberglass (a plastic material composed of glass fibers embedded in a resins for strength) imploded or collapsed in on itself and then started to decay in the ground with the sewage. As an illustration, even strong metal tanks can implode also. See this YouTube video of tanks imploding (all it takes is heat, gas and a vacuum

Example of an Implosion

Examples of gas tanks imploding in a vacuum. Septic Tanks have methane gas

Good News and the Rest of the Story

The good news of this story is that I was able to find a nicer house for my Buyer client at a reasonable price and the best news of all? It had a great working septic tank! Hurrah, Hooray!

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Posted by

Jeff Masich

Broker/REALTOR®

Scottsdale including Phoenix, Tucson and Prescott metros and throughout Arizona


Buy/Sell with Arizona Homes and Land Group. Ask me, Group Leader about Metro Homes or Ranches and Large Acreage properties throughout the state.

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 Jeff Masich Arizona Homes and Land Group HomeSmart

 

 

 

 

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Comments (35)

Jeff Masich-Scottsdale AZ Associate Broker,MBA,GRI
HomeSmart Real Estate - Scottsdale, AZ
Arizona Homes and Land Group/ Buy or Sell

Thank you Anna Banana Kruchten Phoenix Broker an explosion of sewage is less desirable than an implosion which is what occurred here. However, either way a new septic tank is required. Jeff 😬

Mar 29, 2023 12:32 AM
Jeff Masich-Scottsdale AZ Associate Broker,MBA,GRI
HomeSmart Real Estate - Scottsdale, AZ
Arizona Homes and Land Group/ Buy or Sell

Thank you for "imploding" a little humor is always welcome Kathleen Daniels, Probate & Trust Specialist and "May the FLOW be with YOU!" Jeff 😀

Mar 29, 2023 12:35 AM
Jeff Masich-Scottsdale AZ Associate Broker,MBA,GRI
HomeSmart Real Estate - Scottsdale, AZ
Arizona Homes and Land Group/ Buy or Sell

Hi Endre Barath, Jr. thank you. "I DID, DID! ...as Tweety Bird used to say.

Mar 29, 2023 12:42 AM
Margaret Rome Baltimore 410-530-2400
HomeRome Realty 410-530-2400 - Pikesville, MD
Sell Your Home With Margaret Rome

Jeff Masich-Scottsdale AZ Associate Broker,MBA,GRI  Thank you for explaining why a septic tank would implode.  I want to share this information on my Sunday radio show with your permission.

Mar 29, 2023 10:54 AM
Jeff Masich-Scottsdale AZ Associate Broker,MBA,GRI

Sure . Margaret. 😬

Mar 29, 2023 11:14 AM
Margaret Rome Baltimore 410-530-2400

Thanks so much, 

Mar 29, 2023 09:11 PM
Adam Feinberg
Elegran - Manhattan, NY
NYC Condo, Co-op, and Townhouse Advisor

Prior to my parents retiring, they owned a company that manufactured and sold septic tank cleaning products (enzyme's and bacteria). We loved to tell everyone that it was a real crappy business, lol.

Mar 29, 2023 01:17 PM
Tammy Lankford,
Lane Realty Eatonton, GA Lake Sinclair, Milledgeville, 706-485-9668 - Eatonton, GA
Broker GA Lake Sinclair/Eatonton/Milledgeville

wondering why it wasn't vented.  I've had a septic on my house all my life, but they are always vented through the plumbing via a pipe out of the roof.

Mar 30, 2023 07:33 AM
faye schubert
Retired - Branson, MO
Living the Branson Lake Life

I always thought a true life REALTOR REALITY SHOW would be a big hit.

Mar 30, 2023 08:23 AM
Ed Silva, 203-206-0754
Mapleridge Realty, CT 203-206-0754 - Waterbury, CT
Central CT Real Estate Broker Serving all equally

Here in CT, most septic tanks are made of concrete, as we have the freeze of the ground and they are suspect to collapse. Over time the acidity of the waste will get to the concrete of the tank, however

Mar 30, 2023 09:11 AM
Dorie Dillard Austin TX
Coldwell Banker Realty ~ 512.750.6899 - Austin, TX
NW Austin ~ Canyon Creek and Spicewood/Balcones

Hi Jeff,

I've never heard of a septic tank imploding! Most of the properties I list and sell are on city services so have little experience in septic tanks. One other good reason for inspections when purchasing a home!!

Mar 30, 2023 05:37 PM
Jeff Masich-Scottsdale AZ Associate Broker,MBA,GRI
HomeSmart Real Estate - Scottsdale, AZ
Arizona Homes and Land Group/ Buy or Sell

Hey Adam Feinberg thanks for stopping by and I appreciate the wisdom and humor from the family business. 😀

Mar 30, 2023 10:06 PM
Jeff Masich-Scottsdale AZ Associate Broker,MBA,GRI
HomeSmart Real Estate - Scottsdale, AZ
Arizona Homes and Land Group/ Buy or Sell

Hi Tammy Lankford, I assume it was vented at least the toilets flushed. However when a blockage occurs in the line from that point to the tank there is a stoppage in flow causing the vacuum to occur combine with methane and heat in the tank and then the IMPLODE!

Mar 30, 2023 10:08 PM
Jeff Masich-Scottsdale AZ Associate Broker,MBA,GRI
HomeSmart Real Estate - Scottsdale, AZ
Arizona Homes and Land Group/ Buy or Sell

Hey faye schubert I think you are right and it could be up there with America's Funniest Home Videos. Jeff

Mar 30, 2023 10:09 PM
Jeff Masich-Scottsdale AZ Associate Broker,MBA,GRI
HomeSmart Real Estate - Scottsdale, AZ
Arizona Homes and Land Group/ Buy or Sell

Hi Ed Silva . Yes you are correct and concrete is the most common type of septic tank. Periodic pumping up the tank is always a good idea along with a camera line check.

Mar 30, 2023 10:11 PM
Jeff Masich-Scottsdale AZ Associate Broker,MBA,GRI
HomeSmart Real Estate - Scottsdale, AZ
Arizona Homes and Land Group/ Buy or Sell

For sure Dorie Dillard Austin TX inspections in Arizona are required to be completed by the Seller prior to close of escrow. Pumping of the tank every few years is a good idea also. 

Mar 30, 2023 10:13 PM
Roy Kelley
Retired - Gaithersburg, MD

Thank you very much, Jeff, for sharing this story. I had never heard of a situation like this one.

Mar 31, 2023 10:53 AM
Jan Green - Scottsdale, AZ
Value Added Service, 602-620-2699 - Scottsdale, AZ
HomeSmart Elite Group, REALTOR®, EcoBroker, GREEN

Wow!  I've never heard of a septic system imploding.  AND did not know you wrote this post on Septic before writing mine.  Touche'!

Mar 31, 2023 02:40 PM
Dr. Paula McDonald
Beam & Branch Realty - Granbury, TX
Granbury, TX 936-203-0279

That is crazy and very concerning. We have many septic tanks in our area. Lots of "crappy" septic topics these days. :)

Apr 01, 2023 04:36 PM
Jeff Masich-Scottsdale AZ Associate Broker,MBA,GRI
HomeSmart Real Estate - Scottsdale, AZ
Arizona Homes and Land Group/ Buy or Sell

Hi Roy Kelley and you know some stories in life are probably best UNTOLD and this may be one of them. Although for some strange reason the questions and comments are still floating to the top. Mmmmmmmh. Jeff

Apr 01, 2023 11:25 PM
Jeff Masich-Scottsdale AZ Associate Broker,MBA,GRI
HomeSmart Real Estate - Scottsdale, AZ
Arizona Homes and Land Group/ Buy or Sell

Great minds on stimulating topics like this really show their stuff Jan Green - Scottsdale, AZ. Now I cannot get it out of my mind. Jeff 😬

Apr 01, 2023 11:27 PM
Jan Green - Scottsdale, AZ

Too funny!  😂  i hear ya Jeff .  At least I didn't say "Smell ya later!"

Apr 03, 2023 10:55 AM
Jeff Masich-Scottsdale AZ Associate Broker,MBA,GRI
HomeSmart Real Estate - Scottsdale, AZ
Arizona Homes and Land Group/ Buy or Sell

Well Dr. Paula McDonald there probably have been tons of bad subjects on AR over the years. This one is probably right up there with the BEST of the WORST. Happy flushing. Jeff

Apr 01, 2023 11:29 PM