An old house can make a lovely home, offering lots of history and featuring unique architectural elements no longer common in modern buildings. However, older properties are also prone to plumbing issues and septic system problems. Here are a few complications to watch for if you're thinking of buying an older house.

3 Common Septic Problems in Older Properties

1. Cracked Septic Tank

The septic tank is usually underground in the yard, away from the house. If you're looking at an older property with large trees, their roots may jeopardize the tank's integrity. This issue is common in aged homes because the trees have had ample time to grow and deepen their root systems.

A cracked septic tank can permit hazardous wastewater to infiltrate the surrounding earth. To avoid this issue, you may need to replace the tank or hire an arborist to excavate the land and remove the roots.

2. Odors


The septic system disposes of the wastewater from the toilets, showers, sinks, and appliances. The refuse flows through the pipes to a tank where bacteria break down the organic matter, emitting gas as a metabolic byproduct.

To prevent the gas from reentering, modern plumbing systems have multiple traps in the drains. However, older homes may have worn drain traps from age, allowing the foul gas to enter the living spaces.

3. Collapsing Septic Tank

If a property is old, it may have been renovated, remodeled, and repaired. Outdoor additions, like swimming pools, patios, and driveways, can shift the earth when they're updated, placing pressure on the septic tank.

The weight may eventually cause the container to collapse. Old tanks are particularly prone to collapsing because they're often constructed of cinder blocks instead of concrete.


If you recently purchased an older home, turn to Chugach Sewer and Drain in Anchorage, AK. These professionals will inspect the plumbing lines and septic system to ensure they're up to date and functional. Get more information about their services online, or call (907) 929-5072 to schedule an inspection.