Few first-time homebuyers consider sewer inspections before buying homes. Yet this is one of the most important inspections a buyer of older homes should conduct because it can turn up numerous problems that can be seriously expensive to fix. It’s always a good idea to get a sewer inspection before you buy a home, not after the fact.
Reasons to Inspect the Sewer Line
All buyers should obtain a sewer inspection. 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.
If the home has a septic system, a septic inspection is necessary. If the home is newer, there is a potential from problems but they are less likely.
How to Inspect a Sewer Line
Simply call a plumbing company or your real estate agent might be able to refer several companies to you. Sewer line inspection is done by a camera attached to a snake line. The video camera records the state of the sewer, revealing any cracks, tree roots, collapsed lines, clogs and other problems inside the sewer.
The Costs of Sewer Line Inspection
Sewer inspections can vary a lot in cost depending on the area, the plumber and the sewer, however, a typical price may be between $250 and $500. If you pay for a sewer inspection and line clearing or other work at the same time, you may be able to get a better deal on the inspection.
Many of these sewer inspections can literally be accomplished in five minutes, not including setup time. The process can obviously take longer if there's a problem.