DEAR BARRY: We bought our home two months ago, and this week our septic system backed up into the basement. When the septic contractor dug up the tank, it had no lid and was filled with dirt. If we had known about this, repairs could have been made before we bought the property. Shouldn’t this have been caught by our home inspector? –Whitney

DEAR WHITNEY: Home inspectors report defects that are visible and accessible. Conditions that are underground are exempt from that kind of inspection. The only clue your home inspector might have had would have been slow or congested drains at the sinks, tubs or showers. If those fixtures were draining properly on the day of the inspection, there is no way your home inspector could have known about the problem.

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