What Is A Sewer Line Scope Inspection & Do I Need One?
One of the oldest mission-critical pieces of plumbing is your sewer line. It is also as old as your house (most likely) and used daily. Mission critical when it does not function, it means you know what. Home inspections while a prudent due diligence step in buying a property do not inspect buried sewer lines as part of a typical inspection. The inspection of sewer lines is a separate inspection and is commonly referred to as a Sewer Line Scope.
What Is A Sewer Scope?
A sewer line scope inspection, or plumbing scope inspection, uses a flexible borescope camera, which is run through the home’s main drainpipe aka sewer lines. The inspection as its name implies scopes the sewer line looking for cracks, damage, blockage, caves in, dips, or roots.
How is a Sewer Line Scope Performed?
The inspector will insert a flexible rod with a waterproof high-resolution camera into the sewer line from the house to your main sewer line. Many cameras are 100' long so that is a typical inspection distance. The camera provides real-time images of the sewer line. I'll be real it's not a riveting film for sure, but the real horror is when the cameras detect roots, debris, and failure of the sewer line. In short the inspection allows the inspector to determine the condition of the inside of the pipe and look for any problems.
Should I Get A Sewer Line Scope?
Fast answer yes, there is no reason not to, even on newer construction. We have seen the failure of lines on older homes and dips on sewer lines at new construction (likely from heavy equipment traversing the site and the trench of the line settling). The point is that if you don’t know 100% your sewer line is 100%, you need to know. You sewer line which is typically made of cast iron, PVC, less common or older homes terra-cotta, or Orangeburg. So you have a variety of pipe materials utilized, some better than others but all subject to age, wear, and tear. You might brag about a new patio or deck, you won’t about a $12,000 sewer line replacement. Yes, you read correctly, you can pay North of $10,000 to replace a sewer line. Knowing that you can see the advantage of inspecting the sewer line.
What will a sewer line inspection provide you? Sewer Inspection
Most sewer inspections are recorded so you can see where the deficiency in the line is located and if perhaps the line is failing in multiple locations. The point is you can actually see if the pipe is clear or not.
If you are buying a home a sewer line inspection is a wise inspection to perform. Many home inspectors perform sewer line scope and they should be your first point of contact for the performance of this inspection.
If you are a Home Inspector and perform this service, please leave a comment with your contact information and what areas you service.