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How Much Does A Perc Test Cost?

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Perc tests, or percolation tests, are essential for determining whether a plot of land is suitable for a septic system. In this guide, we will discuss how much you can expect to pay for a perc test, what factors affect the cost, and address common questions surrounding perc tests.

Key Takeaways
Average cost for a hand-dug perc test: $200 – $1,500
Average cost for an excavator-dug perc test: $500 – $3,000+
More holes and deeper test holes increase the cost
Costs vary based on property size, hole depth, and labor

$200 – $1,500 For Hand-Dug Hole Perc Test

For hand-dug hole perc tests, the average cost ranges from $200 to $1,500. This method is more labor-intensive as it involves manually digging the holes to the required depth.

$500 – $3,000+ For Excavator-Dug Hole Perc Test

Excavator-dug hole perc tests, on the other hand, range from $500 to $3,000 or more. While more expensive, this method is time-efficient and suitable for larger properties or deeper holes.

Average Perc Test Cost

Average Cost of a Perc Test
Perc Test Type
Hand-dug hole test & report
Excavator-dug hole test & report

Perc Test Cost Factors

Several factors can influence the cost of a perc test. Let’s delve into each of these factors to understand how they might impact the cost of your testing.

Number Of Test Holes

The number of test holes required will depend on the size of the property and the local regulations.

Perc Test Cost by Property Size
Property Size (Acres)

Test Hole Depth

Deeper holes are typically more expensive as they require more labor and sophisticated equipment.

Perc Test Cost by Hole Depth
Hole Depth
Shallow test holes (18″ – 24″)
Moderate depth test holes (24″ – 36″)
Deep test holes (36″ – 72″)

Labor Cost

Labor cost is a significant factor in determining the overall expense of a perc test. The complexity of the job, the expertise of the tester, and the local market rates will influence labor costs.

Additional Cost Factors

Additional factors that can affect the cost of a perc test include:

  • Soil Type: Rocky or clay soils can be harder to dig and may increase costs.
  • Accessibility: Hard-to-reach areas may require more labor or specialized equipment.
  • Permits and Fees: Some regions have additional regulatory costs.

Perc Testing FAQs

What Is A Perc Test?

A perc test evaluates the soil’s absorption rate by observing how quickly water drains in a prepared hole. It’s crucial for designing an effective septic system.

Who Performs A Perc Test?

Licensed professionals, including civil engineers or septic system designers, usually carry out perc tests. Always check local regulations to ensure the tester is certified.

Who Pays For A Perc Test?

Typically, the responsibility for paying for the perc test falls on the property owner or buyer, depending on the agreement between the parties involved.

How Long Is A Perc Test Good For?

A perc test is generally valid for 2 to 5 years, but it may vary by jurisdiction. Always verify with local authorities.

What Should You Do If Your Land Fails A Perc Test?

If your land fails a perc test, it might be possible to appeal the decision, retest with improved methods, or look into advanced septic systems that can handle less-than-ideal soil conditions.

Getting Estimates From Septic System Designers

When getting estimates, ask for itemized quotes to understand what each test entails. Here are some suggested questions:

Questions To Ask A Perc Tester

  • What is included in the test cost?
  • How many holes will you need to dig?
  • What is the expected depth of the holes?
  • What equipment will be used?
  • Are there any additional fees not listed in the estimate?

Understanding all these factors and costs will ensure you are well-prepared for your perc test and can plan accordingly for your septic system needs.

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