SEWER SCOPE INSPECTIONSDon’t under estimate the importance of having a sewer scope done as part of your home inspection. If the sewer line has major faults and must be replaced, inspecting it will allow you to avoid the cost of an expensive repair.
WHAT IS A SEWER SCOPE INSPECTION?
If you’re thinking about buying a home, you have a lot to think about – from putting in offers, to hiring home inspectors, negotiating the sale of your old home – we get it. There’s a lot on your plate.
But that doesn’t mean you should overlook one of the most commonly-ignored – yet most important – parts of inspecting a home that you’re interested in purchasing. A sewer scope inspection.
Sewer scope inspections are typically not included in a standard home inspection, but are just as important. Why? Let’s discuss the basics about sewer scope inspections and why they’re important now.
State Of The Art Equipment
THE SEWER SCOPE INSPECTION PROCESS
Having a sewer scope inspection performed usually only takes a few minutes – and the inspection is just what it sounds like. Our professional inspector will run a specialized, flexible borescope camera, which feeds images and video to a monitor through your home’s drainpipe, to examine the sewer line (lateral) for any flaws, imperfections, or serious problems.
The entire process usually takes no more than an hour, altogether. After this, our inspector will tell you about any findings, and issue a complete report with information about the condition of the sewer line within 24 hours of the inspection.
SEWER SCOPE INSPECTION COST
The cost of a sewer scope inspection will vary based on the area in which it’s performed, the specifics of the house, and a number of other variables. However, it’s quite affordable, in most cases. The cost will tend to vary from $125-$300.
If the cost seems a bit steep, consider this – the cost of repairing a broken sewer line may be in the $250-$300 range – per foot of repaired line. Repairing and replacing an entire sewer line or a line with major structural faults could easily run you thousands of dollars.
SHOULD I GET A SEWER SCOPE INSPECTION?
Absolutely. As touched upon above, a sewer line is often one of the most costly things to repair in a home. Getting a sewer scope inspection can help you avoid investing in a home that has serious issues with the sewer system or at least prepare you to budget for future upgrades.
You may even be able to save a bit of money on a sewer scope inspection when you have us schedule this service along with our standard home inspection services. Bundling these services usually will allow you to get a better deal.
– COMMON DEFECTS FOUND DURING INSPECTION –
COLLAPSED OR FAILED LINES
This is a common problem in older homes built in the 1950s or earlier that have Orangeburg Pipe, which is prone to disintegrate and collapse over time. However, pipes made of PVC, metal, or other materials can fail as well. This is a result of ground shifts which compresses the piping.
PIPE LEAKAGE OR CORROSION
Pipes can leak if a joint or fitting is out of place or damaged. Older metal pipes can corrode and break down over time. It is inevitable that sewer lines will get corroded over time, especially the metal ones, since they are constantly exposed to water. At the onset of corrosion, cracking will start to occur on the pipes. These cracks will get larger until the issue is remedied.
As tree roots grow, they can compress and crack sewer lines. Sometimes they even make their way into the line itself. Depending on the amount of damage, you may be able to just replace a single section of the pipe, or you might need to replace the entire line. Cracks in pipes often occur and over time as the pipes start to leak, root systems come into contact with the fault and enter into the pipe where they divide rapidly and become problematic.
Tree Root Penetration
Occasionally debris, grease or other items can become lodged in the sewer line, preventing the flow of waste through the pipe. Despite its large openings, clogging can still occur along the sewer lines. Many people focus on the fact that the sewage pipes are larger than the indoor pipes, that is why they let food, grease, and other debris go down the drain. What they don’t realize is that these will not quickly go down the sewers, but will likely settle along the drain pipes.
On some older piping, sections in the piping can separate, causing an offset in the piping to occur. Solid waste may not clear this offset, and waste water will seep into the surrounding soil, causing further settlement and eventual breakdown of the piping.
Also known as a “belly”, these low areas can collect water and solid waste, causing poor flow through the pipe and can lead to back-up and damage to the pipe as it sags further.
Low Area "Belly"
Built in the 1950s and earlier, homes may have Orangeburg pipe that was made out of wood pulp sealed with hot pitch and susceptible to deformation from pressure. Orangeburg has been known to fail in as little as 10 years and has been taken off the list of acceptable materials by most building codes.