Sewer Scope

What is a Sewer Scope Inspection?

A sewer scope or sewer video inspection is a visual inspection of the inside of the main sewer line that connects your house to the city sewer system or to a septic tank. It is a relatively quick inspection but it is one of the most important inspections that you can have when buying a home! 

This inspection is performed by inserting a camera on a long push rod into the sewer line. The inspector will be able to see the inside of the sewer line on a monitor and will record the video so that it can be viewed again later. 

Why Should I Get a Sewer Scope Inspection?

There are several reasons that a sewer scope inspection should be performed any time you buy a home. No matter the age of the home, issues with the sewer line can and do happen. Unfortunately, most of these issues are very difficult to recognize before they are causing other problems in your home, such as sewage backing up into showers and tubs or even causing flooding inside the house! Not only is a sewage backup disgusting, it can also cause damage that will need to be repaired in addition to fixing the sewer line issues. Issues with a sewer line are no laughing matter at any time, but they are especially awful when they happen just a few weeks after moving into a newly purchased home! So, here are a few reasons to have a sewer scope inspection performed during the home buying process.

1. Sewer issues are not detectable during a typical home inspection!

While it is standard for most people to have a home inspection performed when buying a home, a standard home inspection is unable to detect issues with the sewer line. For one, the sewer line is generally several feet below ground and not visible to the inspector. Also, during a typical home inspection, the inspector will flush toilets and run water through the sinks, showers, and bathtubs. Unfortunately, while these things can detect some minor, localized leaks or clogged drains, they are unable to detect bigger issues with the main sewer line. The inspector only operates each fixture for a few minutes and only puts water down the drains. Even a full blockage or break in a main sewer line will not be detected by only running a small amount of water during the home inspection. However, when your family begins to use these fixtures on a daily basis and begin to send solid waste down the drains, sewer line issues may start to cause big problems! Solid wastes are more easily backed up by a break or blockage in the sewer line than water alone. Adding a sewer scope inspection to your home inspection will help the inspector identify potential problems before they get out of control.

2. The sewer line is the responsibility of the home owner!

When most people are buying a home, the sewer line is probably the last thing on their mind, if they think about it at all! Some people even assume that a sewer issue would be the responsibility of the local utility company. While that is true for the city sewer system, the sewer line that connects your home to the city main is the responsibility of the home owner. If settlement of the ground or a tree root causes damage to the sewer line, it is the home owner’s responsibility to fix the problem, which leads into the next reason.

3. Sewer repairs can be expensive!

There are several major components of a home that can be quite costly to repair. Most people know that a roof repair or replacement can be thousands of dollars, but sewer line repairs are much less familiar. The cost of a sewer repair will of course depend on whether the entire line is in need of replacement or if just a few feet need to be repaired. Sometimes the sewer line just needs to be cleaned to have some blockages removed, which may only be a few hundred dollars. However, if a plumbing company will need to dig up and replace a portion or the entire line, you can expect to see a hefty bill. The national average to replace a sewer line is about $8,000. Smaller issues can often cost $200 to $300 per foot of line that needs to be fixed. If the repair is on the larger side, you may need to make arrangements to stay at a hotel while the repair is taking place, which will only make the situation even more costly. If the sewer issue is under a slab or concrete driveway, the expenses can easily exceed $10,000! These are expenses that nobody wants to incur at any time, but they hurt even worse shortly after purchasing a home when savings accounts tend to be a lot smaller. 

When you consider the costs of repairing a sewer line issue, the small cost of having a sewer scope inspection performed is well worth it! To us, the best case scenario is that the sewer line will be in good shape and you can have the peace-of-mind that there isn’t a hidden, expensive problem waiting to reveal itself a few months after moving into your newly purchased home!

Call Collier’s Home Inspections today to schedule your home inspection and sewer scope inspection!