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Septic line scoping:

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.

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. A trained, professional inspector will run a specialized, flexible borescope camera, which feeds images and video to a monitor. Then, this camera is run through your home’s drainpipe, to examine the sewer lines and other underground pipes for any flaws, imperfections, or serious problems.

The entire process usually takes no more than an hour, altogether. After this, your inspector will tell you about their findings, and issue a report that’s given both to you and the home seller, with information about the condition of the sewer line.

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, the inspector you use, and a number of other variables. However, it’s quite affordable, in most cases. The cost will tend to vary from $125-$300.

This may seem steep. However, consider this – the cost of repairing a broken sewer line costs around $250-$300 – 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/septic system.

You may even be able to save a bit of money on a sewer scope inspection if you’re able to find a home inspector who offers this service along with other traditional home inspection services, such as lead and asbestos inspections. Bundling these services usually will allow you to get a better deal.

Signs You Should Get A Sewer Scope Inspection For Home Purchase

Cracked Sewer Line

Before you go looking for a home, it’s a good idea to know what to look for, and what signs may indicate that you must get a sewer scope inspection before making an offer on a house. Here is a short list of some of the most common signs that something may be wrong with the sewer system, or that it’s at risk of being damaged.

  • Water backing up inside the house or crawlspace – This could indicate damage or breakage to the sewer line, or a significant clog.

  • Large trees in the yard – One of the most common causes of sewer pipe damage is the growth of roots around the pipe. Roots can grow around and constrict the pipe, breaking it, or grow into small cracks in the pipe, clogging it or causing leaks.

  • The house was built more than 25 years ago – Homes built before 1984 may have clay sewer pipes, which can be easily crushed or damaged. These typically must be replaced, or at least inspected to ensure that they are in good condition.

  • You notice shifting or movement of the ground around the home – If the soil around a house seems to have shifted, the pipe may have been affected. If it has moved, it could have broken or become bent and damaged, which may require a costly repair. |

    To identify this, look at things like the sidewalk and driveway. Are the surface soils level with the driveway or walkway? Do they seem to have sunk, or become piled higher than these concrete surfaces?

  • Extra-green or lush patches of grass – This is a common sign of a septic or sewer leak. Given its contents, sewer water is actually a powerful fertilizer that can help encourage plant growth. If you see a suspiciously healthy-looking area of the yard, especially if the rest of the lawn seems to be less lush or green, you should be suspicious.

Even if you don’t see any of these above issues, we would still recommend a sewer scope inspection. More minor issues with the sewer line may have few or no symptoms at all – but still cost thousands to repair.

*** There are stipulations as to the different situations/location and access to the septic tank.

Please reach out to your inspector and he/she can discuss pricing and the limitations of the septic services.

Sewer Line Scoping:


Sewer Drain Scope Inspections can save you thousands of dollars in possible unseen and unknown repairs!

If you are buying a new home, or own a home that is over 20 years old, there are many inspections to consider. One you should not skip is a sewer drain scope inspection. International Association of Certified Home Inspectors recommends these inspections be done whenever you are buying a new home, or every few years for home owners.

Small issues with piping can cause costly fixes if not caught and corrected quickly. These issues can be identified by having a sewer drain scope inspection performed. This inspection is done using a specialized flexible camera to inspect the sewer piping. Common causes of issues and damage to sewer piping include:

  1. Forceful or invasive tree roots – You should get a sewer drain scope inspection if you have large trees near your sewer system. This inspection will ensure that the roots are not pushing on, or pushing into your pipes.

  2. Older materials in older houses – If your house is over 20 years old, it may have clay or Orangeburg Pipe sewer piping which are brittle and prone to breaking and disintegrating.

  3. Broken pipes or misaligned joints – If you have lush patches of grass or constant wet spots in your yard, this is a common sign that your pipes have issues. This could be a break in your sewer piping, or a shifting in the joints which will misalign the connection.

  4. Clogged pipes – If there is water backing up into your house, or foul smells coming from your sewer line, it is possible that you have a clogged pipe.

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