Sewer Scope Inspection

Precision Sewer Inspections

for Your Home

Sewer Condition Assessment

What Is A Sewer Scope Inspection?

When purchasing a home, you’re likely familiar with the home inspection. However, a sewer scope inspection might be less known. This inspection involves a technician running a camera through the sewer system to check for damages and leaks.

Although not exclusively required during real estate transactions, it is most commonly conducted in this context. It is not part of the standard home inspection and should be considered as an additional, separate inspection.


Specialized Inspection

The Sewer Scope Inspection and Its Process

While a regular home inspection covers many aspects of a property, including plumbing, it usually does not include a thorough inspection of the sewer lines. That’s why I often recommend a sewer scope inspection as an additional inspection, especially during a real estate transaction. It provides a more detailed assessment of the condition of the sewer system, helping buyers and sellers make informed decisions about the property.

Overall, a sewer scope inspection can be a valuable step in the home buying process, as it allows for early detection of potential sewer line problems and can help buyers negotiate repairs or plan for future maintenance.

In my sewer scope inspection, I use a specialized technique involving a small camera attached to a flexible rod or snake to inspect the condition of the sewer lines in your property.

As a trained technician, I insert the camera through an access entry point, such as a cleanout or roof vent into the sewer system. The camera then travels through the sewer lines, capturing real-time video footage of the interior of the pipes.

The aim of this inspection is to assess the condition of the sewer lines, identify any damage or blockages, and determine if there are any potential issues that need to be addressed. This inspection helps to identify problems such as tree root intrusion, cracks or breaks in the pipes, clogs, or other issues that could lead to sewer backups or leaks.

at a glance

The Benefits

The benefits of a sewer scope inspection are numerous and particularly important for property buyers and owners. Here are some of the key benefits:

Early Problem Detection

The inspection can detect damages or blockages in sewer lines early on. This is crucial as such issues are often underground and invisible without specialized equipment

Avoidance of Costly Repairs

Early identification of issues can prevent expensive repairs or emergency measures that might arise from overlooked damages.

Safety and Health

Leaking or damaged sewer lines can lead to health problems, especially if sewage seeps into the property. A sewer scope inspection helps to minimize such risks.

Negotiating Advantage in Real Estate Transactions

The findings from the inspection can serve as a negotiation tool in real estate transactions. It enables buyers to negotiate repairs or adjust the purchase price accordingly.

Long-term Planning

The inspection provides a clear overview of the condition of the sewer lines, which is helpful for long-term maintenance and repair planning.

Peace of Mind and Confidence

For property buyers and owners, the inspection offers an added level of security and confidence in the condition of the property.


Acquired through home inspector training from InterNACHI®

Sewer pipes made of Orangeburg or cast iron

Sewer Scope Inspection: Essential for Older Homes

When purchasing a home, a sewer scope inspection is a crucial step to avoid unexpected issues, especially with older properties. We particularly recommend this inspection for homes built before 1970. This is because such older homes are often equipped with Orangeburg or cast iron sewer lines, which no longer meet current standards.

These historic sewer lines can have various issues, such as root damage, corrosion, and general wear and tear, leading to backups or unpleasant odors in the house. An early inspection of these lines can help identify such problems and plan for necessary repairs or replacements in a timely manner. This can save you, as a prospective homeowner, from unexpected costs and inconveniences.

Why You Need A Sewer Scope Inspection


There are many reasons you need a sewer scope inspection. Watch this video for a quick overview and then check out the other reasons below.

Is a Sewer Scope Inspection Worth the Investment?

As your inspector, I want to assure you that a sewer scope inspection is definitely worth the investment. For perspective, the cost to replace your sewer lines can range from $3,000 to $30,000. These costs vary depending on location, size, and type of replacement. If your drains under the house are in poor condition, it might be necessary to tear up the flooring to access the lines.

There are technologies available that allow for a liner to be pumped into old drains, but reliable data on their effectiveness is still scarce. I also recommend this inspection for new constructions, as the sewer lines have just been installed and not yet tested. It’s not uncommon for sewer lines in new constructions to have cracks or to be improperly installed.

The potential costs of having to replace your sewer lines far outweigh the cost of a sewer scope inspection.
Sewer Scope Inspection Results

After completing my inspection, you should pay attention to the following:

– Clogs or blockages
– Cracks, damage, or imperfections in the line
– The type of material used for the line
– Roots growing through the line
– Separation or failure of the line
– Bellies in the drain

Each of these issues might require repairs or replacement. As your inspector, I will provide you with detailed advice on any problems identified.