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Sewer Scope Inspection Checklist: A Full Guide

Sewer Scope Inspection Checklist: A Full Guide

A sewer scope inspection is your window into the hidden world of your home's sewer lines. Conducted by professional home or sewer inspectors, this thorough examination involves inserting a specialized plumbing camera attached to a flexible cable inside your drainpipe. The camera streams live video to a connected monitor, allowing inspectors to meticulously inspect the system for blockages, damage, or other potential problems. Have you ever wondered about the complex system of pipes that ensures the smooth flow of wastewater beneath your house?

When striving for a well-functioning home, we often concentrate on outward appearances—the design, organization, and overly apparent processes. However, a crucial part of keeping your home's plumbing in good condition is the sewer line, which may be frequently overlooked. Sewer scope inspections, sometimes sewer camera inspections, have become increasingly crucial for adequately maintaining properties. A sewer inspection provides homeowners with an accurate assessment of their home's sewer and drain system and helps them prevent expensive and inconvenient plumbing problems. This post focuses at length on sewer scope inspection, its benefits, and more.

Importance of a Sewer Inspection

Like any other home inspection, a sewer scope inspection offers invaluable insights into your property's overall condition. Without it, you might unknowingly purchase a home with a faulty sewer system, setting the stage for costly and potentially dangerous issues. A compromised sewer system can lead to a range of problems. Here are some of them.

  • Structural Risks: Damage to the sewer lines can result in structural issues such as shifting or cracking in your home's foundation.
  • Flooding: A malfunctioning sewer system can cause water to back up, leading to indoor or outdoor flooding.
  • Mold Growth: Sewage leaks can create an environment conducive to mold growth, posing health risks to occupants.
  • Health Hazards: Damaged pipes can allow pests and harmful gases to enter your home, potentially exposing you to health risks and unpleasant odors.
  • Expensive Repairs: The cost of repairing a damaged sewer line can be substantial, with prices ranging from hundreds to thousands of dollars. In severe cases, flooding, foundation problems, or mold issues can escalate these costs significantly.
  • Lack of Access to Plumbing: Functional plumbing is vital for any household. A sewer line issue can disrupt the plumbing system, rendering showers, sinks, and toilets inoperable. Imagine moving into your dream home only to be forced out due to plumbing problems. It's a scenario no one wishes to experience, which is why knowing the condition of your sewer system is essential.

What to Expect During a Sewer Scope Inspection?

A sewer scope inspection typically lasts up to an hour, with the actual camera inspection taking only about 5-10 minutes. The process involves flushing water through the lines to clear debris and lubricate the pipes, ensuring a smooth flow. The inspector will locate your home's sewer access point, insert the camera, and examine it. Afterward, you'll receive a detailed report and guidance on the necessary next steps. Check for the following issues during the inspection.

  • Broken or damaged pipes
  • Severe blockages, clogs, or debris
  • Intrusion of tree roots into pipes
  • Signs of settling or sagging sewer lines
  • Inappropriate piping materials that may require replacement
  • Instances of improper installation
  • Leaking pipes

Sewer Scope Inspection Costs

A sewer camera inspection typically costs $125 to $350, depending on factors such as complexity and location. You might also find cost-effective bundle deals when working with home inspectors who offer sewer inspections alongside traditional home assessments.

Signs That You Need a Sewer Line Inspection

Before purchasing a home, be vigilant for signs of potential sewage problems, such as:

  • Lush green patches of grass can indicate sewage as fertilizer.
  • Large trees in the backyard as their roots may infiltrate sewer pipes.
  • Homes built over 20 years ago may have outdated and prone-to-damage piping materials.
  • Pest infestations in sewage tanks that may enter homes through plumbing.
  • Slow leaks from damaged sewer pipes cause mold growth.
  • Shifting or moving of the ground surrounding the house, potentially due to water or waste escaping the sewer system.

Even after moving into your new home, watch for signs of sewage issues. If you notice water drainage problems, frequent clogs, foul odors, or sewage backups, it's crucial to address them promptly.

DIY vs. Professional Sewer Line Camera Inspections: Weighing the Pros and Cons

  • Cost Savings: One of the most significant advantages of DIY sewer line camera inspections is cost savings. DIY kits are budget-friendly and accessible, making them an attractive option for homeowners on a tight budget.
  • Immediate Availability: DIY kits can be purchased and used immediately, allowing homeowners to conduct inspections promptly, especially in urgent situations.
  • Limited Expertise: DIY may need more expertise to interpret inspection findings accurately. Identifying subtle issues and understanding their implications can be challenging without professional training.
  • Risk of Missing Problems: Inexperienced DIY may risk overlooking or misinterpreting critical issues within the sewer lines. This can result in delayed interventions and potentially more extensive damages.
  • Equipment Limitations: DIY kits may offer a slightly lower level of sophistication than professional-grade equipment. This can lead to lower-quality images and less comprehensive inspections.

Benefits of Professional Sewer Line Camera Inspections

Here are some benefits of professional sewer line camera inspections.

  • Expertise and Experience: Professional sewer line inspectors bring knowledge and experience. Their expertise allows for a thorough examination, identifying potential issues DIY users might overlook.
  • Advanced Technology: Professionals use state-of-the-art equipment, providing high-resolution images and real-time insights. This advanced technology ensures a comprehensive inspection, enabling early detection of problems.
  • Reliable Recommendations: Professionals can offer reliable recommendations based on inspection findings. They can suggest appropriate solutions, whether preventive maintenance or targeted repairs, tailored to the property's needs.
  • Efficiency and Time Savings: Professional inspections are often more efficient, saving homeowners time and effort. Professionals can swiftly conduct checks with their expertise, allowing quicker decision-making and action.


A sewer scope inspection is not just another optional step in the home-buying process; it safeguards against potential disasters and unexpected expenses. By investing in this inspection, you gain peace of mind, knowing that your property's hidden infrastructure is in good shape. Consider what lies beneath your home's surface; a sewer inspection can reveal hidden issues and ensure a secure and comfortable living environment. If you are a professional sewer line inspector and require appropriate equipment, feel free to contact the team at Triplett via phone or email. Triplett is a reliable player offering all sorts or test equipment and tools.

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