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What Is a Sewer Scope Inspection?

Sep 24

The home inspection is a common part of buying a house. You might not be familiar with the sewer scope inspection. What is a sewer scope examination? It's basically when a technician takes a camera and runs it through your sewers in order to find damage or leaks.

A sewer scope inspection doesn't have to take place during a real-estate transaction. A client should also order sewer scope Portland OR inspections, which are not usually included in a typical home inspection.

Let's find out more about sewer scope inspections.

What is the Sewer Scope Inspection and Process Like?

A technician will use a camera with a long cable to inspect your sewers.

Depending on how easy it is to access your sewer, a technician may start by climbing on your roof. Then, they will enter the vent stack opposite your sewer line to reach the sewer. The inspector is able to see the entire sewer from beginning to end, giving him the best chance of finding damage.

Vent Stack

Technicians and companies may only see the sewer from the street. The location of the sewer clean-out is usually outside your home. Although this view is not as comprehensive, it will suffice to show the general condition.

However, other technicians may remove the toilet to reach the sewers. This is not common.

The inspection usually takes around 30 minutes. The entire process is recorded on the camera. After the inspection, the technician will usually give the results. The final report should be viewed by the client to see the photos and to get a sense of the conclusion.

What is the cost?

If a sewer scope inspection is done separately, it can cost up to $400.

Why you need a sewer scope inspection

There are many reasons why you might need to have a sewer scope inspection. This video will give you a quick overview. Then, check out the reasons below.

Health Risks

This can lead to many health problems. Below are some health risks that can be found in your sewers.

  • Bacterial Infections
  • Fungal Infections
  • Parasites
  • Viruses
  • Harmful Gases
  • Mold

If your sewer backs up or leaks under your house, health effects could occur.

Structural Foundation Questions

Structural Damage

Your home can be damaged if your sewer is damaged. If your sewer leaks under your home, your home may shift.

Additionally, settling drainpipes could be an indicator of home shifting and settling.

Finally, if tree roots have affected your sewage system, it is important to take immediate action to ensure that your foundation does not become damaged.

Signs That You Need a Sewer Scope

You may need to inspect your sewer scope if you own your home.

  • Water Backups - This could indicate damage to the sewer line or a major clog.
  • Large Trees and Roots - Roots growing around a sewer pipe is one of the leading causes of damage. Roots can grow around the pipe and cause it to burst, or even cause leaks.
  • Older Homes (Pre-1970). Older houses are more likely have damaged or degraded sewers.
  • Structural Movement If the soil surrounding a house appears to have moved, it could have been damaged. It could have been damaged or broken if it moved. This may need to be repaired.
  • Lush Patches of Grass – This is a sign of a septic system or sewer leak. Sewer water can be a powerful fertilizer and encourages plant growth, due to its content. You should be suspicious if you notice a healthy-looking area in your yard, particularly if it appears less lush or green.
  • Rodents and Pests- Both rodents and pests can live in sewers.

What if You're Buying a House?

If you're buying a home, we recommend that you have a sewer scope inspection. This is especially true if the home was constructed before 1970. Because homes older than 1970 could have Orangeburg drain lines or cast-iron drainpipes.

These drain lines are too outdated to be used in modern times and need replacement. These drain lines can be damaged by root damage, corrosion, or degrading, which could lead to backups and sewer smells.

  • Orangeburg Drain Lines
  • Cast Iron Drains
  • Roots growing into drainage pipes

Sewer Drainpipes Damaged

Sewer Scope Results

After the inspector has completed their inspection, you'll want to pay attention to the following:

  • Blockages or clogs
  • Cracks, damage, or imperfections in the line
  • Type of material used (clay concrete, plastic, orangeburg or cast iron)
  • The line is home to roots
  • Failure or separation of the line
  • The drain is a wastebasket

All of these items may need to be repaired or replaced. Each case is unique so make sure you listen to your inspector.

Is a Sewer Scope Inspection worth it?

The short answer to your question is yes. The average cost of replacing your sewer drains ranges from $3,000 to $30,000, to put it in perspective. It can all depend on the type and location of your replacement. If your drains are not in good condition, you may need to remove the flooring.

However, plumbers can now use technology to insert a liner in your drains. Unfortunately, there is no data yet on their reliability.

These inspections are recommended by most sewer scope companies for new construction homes. This is because the sewers have not been tested since they were installed. It is not unusual for drain lines in new construction to crack or be installed incorrectly.

The cost of possibly replacing your sewer drains is far more than the cost for a sewer scope inspection.

Final Thoughts

A sewer scope is a visual inspection of the drain lines in a home using a camera. If a home was constructed before 1970, the inspection will cost between $150 and $400. Homeowners and homebuyers alike should also consider a sewer scope inspection, even if the home is older.

Sewer Scope Portland conducts sewer scope inspections within the Portland, OR Region.

Comment below if you have any additional questions!

 

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