Replacing the main sewer line can potentially be the most expensive repair ever made to a home. Homebuyers should take this into consideration and ask themselves, “Do I need a main sewer line inspection?” when purchasing a home. They also need to be aware that inspecting the main sewer line (from the home to the city connection) is not included in a standard home inspection and often requires a sewer scope inspection. Learn more about what is a sewer inspection and what you should expect with this helpful guide.
Do I Need a Main Sewer Line Inspection?
Not every home needs a main sewer line inspection. At The BrickKicker, we call this service a “sewer scope”. What is a sewer scope? A sewer scope is a specialized service that sends a camera into your main sewer line to look for any blockages or causes for concern, such as cracks, clogs, or roots growing into the system. During a sewer scope inspection, the camera will slowly move through the system and record the journey, documenting any issues along the way.
A good candidate for a sewer scope is a home that is 20+ years old that has trees in the front yard and has a new cleanout cap. This is a good indication of a past sewer line problem and if the homeowner has not replaced the line problems may recur in short order. (In a newer home, evidence that the sewer line has settled may indicate a problem.)
If the home has a septic system, a septic inspection is necessary. If the home is newer, problems are less likely.
Sewer Line Inspection Cost
A main sewer line inspection is not always included in a home inspection for two main reasons:
- – First, inspecting the main sewer line requires expensive equipment that most home inspectors do not have and many can not afford. Main sewer line inspection cost is the bigger barrier, as it’s a no-brainer for a plumber to spend $7000 on a sewer camera because it will pay for itself in a year or two.
- – Second, many homes do not have accessible sewer cleanouts and a plumber may be necessary to inspect the sewer line. It may be necessary to install or replace a cleanout or remove and replace a toilet to complete the inspection.
Should I Do a Sewer Scope?
There are a few reasons why a homeowner may choose to do a sewer scope inspection:
- – Problems with the main sewer line: if you are experiencing significant clogging or backup issues with your system, a sewer scope inspection may be a straightforward solution to finding and remediating the problem.
- – Buying/selling a home: although a sewer scope is typically not included with standard home inspection, some buyers may opt for one anyway, just to ensure there won’t be any plumbing surprises down the road. Peace of mind is always a good investment!
How long does a sewer scope take? The average sewer scope inspection takes about 30 minutes, though your exact timeframe may vary depending on how easy it is to access your main sewer line and whether or not the camera can travel through the system at a reasonable pace.
Sewer Line Inspection Costs at The BrickKicker
At The BrickKicker, we are able to offer a sewer scope for an additional fee. With advance notice, we can often have the sewer camera available at the inspection. Frequently our inspectors will recommend the sewer scope based on conditions observed at the inspection. We can usually take care of the sewer scope within a day or two and if a plumber is going to be needed, we can advise you on local plumbers that perform this service.
Not every The BrickKicker location offers this service but those who do often charge $175 to $225.00 for a sewer scope. Prices from a licensed plumber vary, but the typical fee is $250 to $300. When you order a sewer scope inspection from The BrickKicker we will also provide photos of any issues uncovered and a video of the inside of the sewer line to aid in requesting and ordering repairs. You are also getting an unbiased opinion versus an opinion for a contractor who is looking to perform additional services.
Typical set up for sewer scope inspection
Sewer Line Inspection Services
Should you do a sewer scope? If you aren’t sure, our team can help! For more information on sewer scope inspections or if you would like to schedule one, please contact us today. We’re here to help you prepare for your home inspection and offer reliable, trustworthy advice — including plumbing tips — to guide your new home purchase!