Why Inspect Sewer Lines?
A sewer line video inspection, often called a sewer scope, is performed to assess the condition of the main sewer line from the home to the destination. The destination is the city connection or the septic tank. It is a sometimes overlooked aspect of home inspections. If folks ask what we recommend, we always recommend a sewer line inspection because repairs, if needed, can cost thousands. Repair cost depends on the location of the repair and the depth. If under concrete or a city street, the cost goes up. The deeper the line where it needs repair, the higher the cost due to safety and shoring requirements. As a rule of thumb, if repairs are under the city street, the repair cost starts at $10,000 and up. A sewer line inspection pays for itself in peace of mind if no issues are found.
We use an industry leading camera system to inspect the main sewer line from the home to the destination (public city sewer connection or septic tank). We inspect the main sewer line only, not every lateral in the system. The entry point is typically a cleanout or riser outside the home, in the basement, or by using a plumbing vent on the roof in some cases. Along the way, we look for issues such as tree roots, bellies or low points in the line, standing water, debris, breaks, offsets in the piping, and more.
We deliver a separate sewer inspection report along with the home inspection, and a video to accompany the report. Having the sewer line inspected before purchasing a property is a smart investment. If you are experiencing issues with drainage or backups, a sewer line inspection can possibly determine the cause and the location of the issue.
During sewer line inspections, we insert an industry leading camera into the main sewer line taking photos and videos of the sewer line as we inspect it. Knowing the condition of the sewer line is valuable information. If if's in great condition, then sleep easy at night. If you are buying a home and we find issues, it's great to know up front so it can be taken care of prior to purchasing the home. Depending on where the issue is, it can potentially cost many thousands of dollars to repair.
We usually do sewer scope inspection alongside the residential home inspection, but we can also do a sewer line inspection as an individual service.
If we find issues in the sewer line, we will try and pinpoint the location and the depth to assist you on obtaining repair cost estimates from a licensed plumber. A very good recommendation is to do a sewer inspection if you are puchasing an older home that has cast iron or clay sewer drain lines. While we find issues with newer homes as well, a high percentage of older homes have sewer line issues such as roots, broken pipes, old Orangeburg piping that is deteriorating, standing water / sloping issues, and more. We inspect the line and deliver a written report along with a link to view the sewer line inspection video.
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