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Don’t let the biggest pipe in your home be a drain on your wallet

The cost of a drain line repair can get expensive quickly. The cost and inconvenience of these repairs can escalate if driveways, landscaping or even sidewalks have to be torn out and replaced. Problems exist in new and old homes alike. Older homes can have issues due to the age of pipes and root systems.  During new construction if the drain line trench was not properly back filled then run over with heavy equipment damage can occur.

Every buyer should consider a sewer scope to be an integral part of their due diligence. Without question, main drain line inspections should be performed on every house.

Why Should I Check the Sewer Line?

Roots in Sewer

During a home inspection, we visually inspect the exterior of the accessible drain lines. Unfortunately, most of the main drain line is not visible.   Knowing the condition of your drain lines is important because damage can cause issues that can be expensive to repair.

A sewer scope is a long cable with a camera that is sent into the drain line to observe the condition of the pipe. We access the drain line through a readily accessible clean out. The inspector will determine the best access point, and the report will outline where the line was entered. The camera inspection does not scope every drain line in the home or all the drain lines running underneath the house.

The intent is to inspect the line that runs from the house to the final service point and to inspect this buried line for defects. This information can be used to make decisions about when to re-pipe and consider costs for such work, which is great to know before purchasing a home.

Sewer Camera Shot

This is a recent picture from a sewer line that was installed 8 years ago in an established neighborhood during an extensive remodel. The tree roots had lifted the drain line causing a separation.

Many property owners are not aware that they are responsible for the sewer line from the house to the city main. Broken, flat, bellied, offset, or root-infested sewer lines can cause sewage to back up into a house leading to property damage. Insurance companies may pay for cleanup and restoration, but repair or replacement of the line is typically excluded, which can cost thousands of dollars to repair.

Our inspection includes:

  • Video scan of the main drain line or “lateral”

  • Accessing the main drain line from a standard cleanout

  • A written report including the findings

  • Pictures and videos, when needed to show detected issues

We do not include:

  • Removing plumbing fixtures such as a toilet to access the drain

  • Climbing on the roof to access drains

  • Adding cleanouts to the drain or forcing or cutting off old cleanouts.

  • Researching the issuance of permits

  • Determining the adequacy of the drain

  • Any repairs whatsoever

  • Providing any quotations for repair

  • Accessing, evaluating or operating sewer ejector pumps

  • All other Limitations, Exceptions, Exclusions as set forth in the Inspection Agreement

Don’t risk a sewer back up in your home. Our inspectors will scope your lines and present you with an UNBIASED review of your system.

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