Should I Get a Video Sewer Scope Inspection?

Sewer Scope Inspections are a great way to add peace of mind to your home purchase and can be performed on almost every home we inspect. Sewer line repairs can be very costly, damaging to your landscaping and ultimately an unsanitary situation if a back up occurs. According to the website, Home Advisor, the cost to do a simple dig and replace averages $50 to $250 per foot which can add up to thousands very quickly depending on how long the line extends. For this reason, a sewer scope inspection is one of our most common add on services that buyers choose to get alongside their home inspection. Our sewer scope specialists use a machine that has a camera head on the end of a very long line that can video the condition of the sewer line all the way from the home out to the sewer main that is typically under the street in front of your home. It covers the areas that would be your responsibility to repair as a homeowner. We do believe that getting a sewer scope done on any home can only be helpful, we have come across a sewer line on a new build home where the newly installed line was crushed due to the weight of the heavy construction equipment driving over it. Of course, that is a rare occurrence and in most cases in a newer, well maintained home you will have a lesser chance of having anything wrong with the line.

When considering whether to get a sewer line inspection or not, there are a few determining factors that can help you decide. 

  1. Age: The age of the home is a great way to make this decision, the older a home is the longer it has had a chance to develop root intrusion, build up from waste, cracks/breaks in the line, and deterioration. This also means that different materials may have been used in older homes that are not as hardy as the ones that are built today.
  2. Trees & Foliage: If your home has a large number of trees, bushes and plants in the front yard this will greatly increase the risk of root intrusion. Roots from trees (especially older well established ones) can be very invasive and damaging. Roots can crack/break the line and grow unchecked inside which will cause debris and waste to accumulate in the pipe causing sewer drainage to stall and back up into the home or to seep out of the damaged pipe into the yard.
  3. Well Maintained Home?: A homeowner/tenant has a lot to do with the condition of their sewer line because they aren’t aware of the problems they can cause. If there was a lot of debris flushed that shouldn’t have been (paper towels, baby wipes, sanitary products) or items put down the kitchen disposal that don’t degrade or cause build up (cooking grease, certain foods, etc) then it can increase the chance of a backup.

Overall, getting a sewer line inspection performed can give you peace of mind as the prospective homeowner and potentially save you thousands of dollars in repairs. The relatively small expense of getting the line scoped can far outweigh the cost to fix any issues. Our inspectors will make the recommendation in their reports based on what they are seeing at the inspection as well, however a great person to talk to and get an objective opinion is your realtor. They can be a great source of knowledge and share their experiences with sewer scopes done on homes they have listed or bought with previous buyers and sellers. As always, we are happy to answer any questions so let us know below or give us a call!