A specialized camera on a cable will be inserted into the sewer lateral from a clean-out located either in the basement or yard.
This camera, with its 100' cable and pan/tilt head allows us to record a video of the entire lateral while accurately capturing documentation of any issues we may encounter.
Your full video and any photos will be imbedded in your finished inspection report and a private YouTube link provided so your licensed plumber can quickly view and assess and issues!
One of the most common defects found in a sewer lateral is root intrusion from trees or shrubs planted above.
As the plants seek moisture and nutrients inside the pipes, even the smallest cracks or separations will allow the roots in. Check out this video of a complete blockage of the lateral caused by roots!
Another common defect we identify with a sewer scope is
How much does a sewer line replacement cost?
According to Home Guide, this cost averages between $3,000-$7,000! Depending on the extent of damages and if a municipality's Public Works Department has to be involved, costs can soar upwards of $30,000 for a full replacement. Drain damage or obstructions found under your home's foundation not only place you at risk for sewage backup into your home, but repairs are much more difficult to perform and are therefore more expensive.
Sewers are supposed to last a long time, right?
Yes, sewer lateral materials should last a long time...many manufacturers claim a lifespan of 50-100 years. Those pipes and fittings, however, are susceptible to the quality of installation, natural shifting of the ground over time, what materials have been flushed or rinsed down the drain in the home, or even trees and shrubs that were planted in the soil above. These factors can lead to clogging, cracking, joint separation, or sagging of sewer pipes.
What report will I receive?
If combined with your home inspection, you will receive a $50 discount on the sewer scope inspection! On the plumbing section of your home inspection report, you will receive a detailed analysis of your sewer lateral - complete with digital images - within 24 hours. Additionally, you will receive a private link to a video upload of your sewer inspection so you can review it in real time. Click here to see sample reports.
What is a sewer scope?
A sewer scope allows us the opportunity to insert a high-definition camera down the length of a sewer line, also known as a lateral, to assess the pipe's condition with photos and video documentation. We can locate with pinpoint accuracy any damage or clogging in the pipe that could lead to leaks, sewage backup into the home and yard, or costly repairs.
My house is attached to the city sewer. Isn't the municipality responsible for repairs?
The entire sewer lateral - where the drain pipe exits your home's foundation and slopes downhill to the main city sewer line - is the homeowner's responsibility. In some municipalities, this even includes the portion of the sewer lateral under the sidewalk or street.
Do I really need a sewer inspection?
Is your house - or the house you're considering purchasing - a bit older? If so, the sewer pipe materials were probably made of cast iron, vitrified clay, or a fiber conduit material called Orangeburg. Newer homes typically use plastic material like PVC or ABS for their sewer lateral. An older sewer lateral is not necessarily in poor condition - nor is a newer one guaranteed to be working properly. Many factors can impact the sewer pipe's draining capability. For instance, are trees or shrubs anywhere near the sewer line? Has ground settling occured over the years? Has a driveway been added that crosses the lateral? Have previous occupants flushed or rinsed material down a drain that should not have been disposed of there?