SEWER SCOPE: What Is It & How Does It Work?


Sewer scope inspections are not usually included in a standard house inspection, but they are equally important. Checking a sewer pipe usually takes only a few minutes – and that’s what checking sounds like. 

A trained professional inspector will launch a specialized flexible borescope camera that transmits images and videos to the monitor.  This chamber is then passed through the drainage pipe of your home to check sewer lines and other underground pipes for defects, imperfections or serious problems.

What Is A Sewer Scope?

In essence, the sewer scope is an easy overview of the inside of the sewer lines of the house from the house itself to the connection to the highway. 

Surprisingly, this simple check is often thought out by buyers, but it is one of the most important information for people who buy a house that is more than 20 years old.

What Is Sewer Scope Inspection?

A sewer inspection uses video attached to a serpentine cable to investigate a sewer line in a house.  This private pipeline leads from the house to the main sewer line or septic tank, which is state-owned.  Sewer inspection can reveal pipe damage, clogging and other problems. 

It can also identify potential problem areas before they escalate into serious problems or dangers.  After the inspection, customers will receive a report with conclusions and recommendations.  This allows homeowners, homebuyers and homeowners to deal with serious damage, health problems or costly repairs.

How Does Sewer Scope Inspection Work?

When inspecting the sewer, the technician uses a specially designed camera on a long cable to inspect the inside of your drains.  Depending on the access available and the company, a technician can start work from your roof and enter the vent pipe on the opposite side where the sewer ends to gain access to the sewer. 

This gives the inspector the best chance of finding the damage, as the inspector can inspect the sewer from start to finish.

Some technicians and companies can only inspect sewers from the sewer to the street.  Sewer cleaning is usually located right next to the house.  Although this is a less holistic view of drainage pipes, it may be enough to see the general condition of the pipes.  Other technicians can clean the toilet to access the sewer, but this is rare.

How Long Does Sewer Scope Inspection Last?

The test usually takes about 30 minutes, and the entire test is usually recorded on camera.  The technician can then usually report the findings after the test.  However, the client must wait for the final report for photos and the final conclusions of the specialist to decide what to do next.

Who Do You Need A Sewer Scope Inspection?

If you are buying a home, it is good to check the sewer.  Even if you are not buying a home, a sewer inspection every few years is also a good idea to make sure your sewer pipe is in good condition.  Some signs that you may need to check your sewer pipe include:

  • Large trees grow near the sewer.  As tree roots grow, they can compress and crack sewer lines.  Sometimes they even make their way into the line itself.
  • You buy an old house or live in it.  Houses built in the 80’s may have clay sewer pipes that are easily damaged.  Old houses built in the 50’s have an Orangeburg pipe, which over time tends to fall apart and collapse.
  • You notice extremely lush areas of grass near the sewer.  This may indicate a pipe leak.  Pipes can leak if the connection or fitting is out of place or damaged.  Old metal pipes can corrode and break over time.
  • There’s water backing up inside the house.  There is probably a blockage in the pipe.

What Cause Sewer Line Issues?

  • Roots: It is the most common problem for sewer line blockage.  Fast-growing tree roots find their way through the smallest cracks fed water and nutrients in sewage pipes.  With regular inspection of sewerage sector action can help identify early signs of damage to the roots and save for more expensive repairs down the line.
  • Settling: Sewer line located in Nepodderzhyvaetsya or poorly constructed trenches may begin to sag over time.  This creates a place called stomach where waste water can accumulate and create blockages.
  • Ground Shifting: Natural phenomena such as excavator or seismic activity can cause the ground to shift.  This can cause confusion no sewer lines, no matter how good they were first laid.
  • Inferior pipe materials: You often clay pipes or concrete pipes in older homes.  These materials are much more susceptible to problems than plastic pipes used in new buildings.  Overview sewage areas may find lowest pipes and materials of concern for the future.
  • Poor installation: Unfortunately, sometimes bad sewer lines installed.  Incorrectly fitted compounds and heavy angles along the tube are among the most common problems.  If your home sewerage line is poorly installed, it is important to identify and make repairs as soon as possible.

What To Do Before A Sewer Scope Inspection

Before checking scope sewerage, home inspector should inform the landlord in writing of his / her intention areas in the sewer, as well as its review of the protocol, so that a property owner knows what to expect.

Notice to the seller describes the methods and procedures of the amount of sewage to be performed (ie, access request through clearing, the message that you / will not pull toilets, etc.).

Once you arrive at the property, you have to walk the grounds and find the hatch cover (s) to determine the direction of running side sewer line.  You should also determine the location of the access area (internal or external), and the tools that you need. 

Before the review, you must notify the owner / passengers not to run water (sinks, showers, bathtubs, washing machine, dishwasher or toilets) during the inspection of sewer scope. Camera equipment is used to see inside pipes

Sewer Scope Protocols

To validate the scope sewer smoothly and effectively, certain protocols must be followed.  To start, run water in all places, to get rid of sewer lines.  This ensures that your camera equipment and oil will not catch on any debris.  In addition, water will float chamber, which will allow it to be pushed through the line easier.

 If you have not already, be sure to set the location of the access point and check for leaks access / cleaning.  Before installing sewer lines in areas, there are some basic steps that should be taken:

  • A drop cloth should be placed in the working area to prevent dirtying property or pollute the soil.
  • All camera equipment should be installed near the site access.
  • Photos and / or video camera and jam location and installation should be taken.
  • Camera equipment should be checked for damage (loose head camera cracked components, etc).
  • Remove the cleaning and turn the camera counter reset, insert the USB drive and start recording.
  • Before installing cameras in line scanning the room or area.  It is important to verify and fix the location of the sewer line so that the property owner can be confident that their sewer lines fact (and there was no Mixup between videos, etc.).

What Is The Cost Of Sewer Scope Inspection?

A typical review of sewage volume ranges from $ 150 to $ 200 dollars and takes less than an hour to complete, depending on the building.  This small compared with the thousands of dollars you can spend your fixing lateral sewer line if you do not catch the problem at the time. 

The advantage of obtaining inspection scope sewage done with peace of mind knowing there is no problem with your main sewer line. 

The risk of having no one to do a financial burden it can carry a few months or years down the road, if something goes wrong suddenly.  If you get one, you could end up digging up your yard.  Better safe than sorry!


Why Your Lateral Sewer Line Could Have Problems?

The roots absorb water like tube wear-they are a small crack in the line and click your way through.  This may block the sewer line causing problems plumbing.  Staying one potential problem the scope of sanitation can find.  This occurs when the sewer line falls into the ground and accumulation occurs.

How Is A Sewer Scope Inspection Conducted?

Sewer scope inspection is simple and fast.  A qualified pro will insert the camera cable to the light at the end of your drain and down all the way through your pipes to connect to the city sewer.  Typically, the inspection also removed, allowing inspection pipes after physical examination included.  Before you get too dirty to search within your sewer pipes, lines are usually much cleaner than expected, and most of what you see is just inside of the pipe.

How Do I Know A Building Needs A Sewer Scope Inspection?

Before you go on buying a home, it is good idea to know what to look for and what symptoms may indicate that you should get a sewer inspection scope before making an offer on a house.  Here is a brief list of some of the most common signs that something may be wrong with the sewer system, or is at risk of damage.

  • Water lining inside the house or Crawlspace
  • Large tree in the yard
  • The house was built over 25 years ago


Sewage scope sounds like something that happens on your worst day as the owner of the house – very smelly, bad day.  But – in fact, the area of sanitation can help home owners avoid that terrible day when their sewer system can cause odors, damage and ultimately massive beak repairs.

As broken up drain line is often one of the most expensive things to repair the house.  Getting sewer inspection field of action can help you avoid the investment in a house that has serious problems with the system of sewage / septic.

You may even be able to save some money for sewer inspection scope, if you are able to find a home inspector who offers this service, along with other traditional home inspection services, such as lead and asbestos inspections.  Bundling these services usually will get a better deal.

REFERENCES – Sewer Scope Inspections for Home Inspectors – What Is A Sewer Scope Inspection? (Complete Guide)


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