Tips To Find The Best Sewer Inspection

Sewer Inspections for Older Homes

Reasons to Inspect the Sewer Line

All buyers should obtain a sewer inspection if the home in question is more than 20 years old. The line might be fairly new compared to homes built before 1950, but it’s fairly common for tree roots to clog it up over 20 years or so.

How to Inspect a Sewer Line

When you are setting up your home inspections before you close on a purchase, simply call a plumbing company and ask if the contractor can use a camera to inspect the sewer. Your real estate agent might be able to refer several companies to you.

The Costs of Sewer Line Inspection

It might cost anywhere from $300 to $800 to have the sewer line inspected by video, although this assumes that the plumber encounters no serious problems. It’s money well spent, however, when you consider the cost to replace a sewer line, which can be thousands of dollars or even more. Keep in mind that a property can sit atop hundreds of feet of plumbing.

A Few Scenarios

Two homes were subject to sewer inspections—and one was not. Put yourself into any one of these scenarios if you’re in the process of buying a property. The first home was built in 1930. The buyers had a sewer inspection performed and were pleasantly surprised to learn that the sewer line was brand new. They planned to have it inspected regularly, but enjoyed the peace of mind of knowing it probably would not be a problem for them any time soon.


Sewer Video Inspection

What Is a Sewer Video Inspection?

This is a process where you call in a plumbing company or a specialist to run a video line through your waste pipes. The video might extend down your branch lines (the pipes that lead from bathtubs and faucets to the house’s sewer line) or down the house’s sewer line (the larger pipe that leads from the house to the municipal sewer line on the street). At the end of the line is a camera that lets you see the line in close-up and real-time detail.

Is It Necessary?

While this would not be a frequent occurrence, but you might need a video inspection if you plan to add a bathroom or remodel your kitchen or a bathroom. Due to the greater quantities of wastewater involved, you may want to inspect your sewer line to make sure that it can handle the increased needs.

DIY Sewer Video

Yes, but it is more cost-effective to hire a company. Homeowner-level video inspection scopes are far too short to inspect more than the first few feet. Not only that, these scopes probably are not auto-focusing or self-righting.

Typical Costs

Inspection costs greatly vary, from $99 to $300. Cheaper video line inspections may produce lower-quality images due to older equipment. These offers also may be tied to purchases of more expensive services, for example, you may be required to purchase drain augering in return for the inexpensive video inspection.


If you are doing an entire sewer line video inspection, you will see a “walk-through,” leading from the trap, down through the sewer line, and up to any obstructions. If the camera can push through the blockage, it may continue through to the municipal line.


Home Improvement Tips & Advice

What We Look For During Sewer Camera Inspections

The plumbing and sewer systems under and within your home are essential for your day-to-day comfort. If something goes wrong, you could be looking at major damage to your home due to a leak, or an awful stench that does not seem to go away. In order to avoid big problems, routine inspections and maintenance are crucial. But how can you know about an issue with your sewer lines when they are hidden under the ground and in the walls


A leaking pipe is possibly the most common issue we find during our video camera inspections. A little crack or a loose end can start with a tiny leak, but build into a sizeable problem. We will want to act quickly if we spot one.


There are so many typical items that end up down drains and eventually cause a clog, from hair and hygiene products to grease and egg shells. Our video camera inspects are a great way to locate the exact location of the clog with ease

Pipe collapses

Old pipes, or new pipes installed incorrectly, can collapse under the weight of the soil above and around.

Tree roots

Did you know that the trees that make your yard so beautiful could also be the source of your sewer and drain problems? It is not uncommon for tree roots to intrude into pipes and damage them.


Why a Sewer Inspection Is Critical Before Buying a House

Most home buyers today wouldn’t think about closing their purchase without getting a general house inspection. That’s particularly so with older homes, but many also elect to have new buildings examined by an independent third party. Inspections are excellent insurance for discovering existing and potential problems. Unfortunately, most home inspectors fail to examine the sewer lines, which can turn out to be a critical and costly mistake.

Why Inspectors Overlook Sewer Systems

Inspectors might overlook the sewer system for two reasons. One is that the vast majority of a sewer system is underground. It’s out of sight and out of mind. The second reason is that most home inspectors don’t have the specialized equipment or knowledge necessary to do a proper sewer line inspection.

Sewer Repairs Can Be Extremely Expensive

You might wonder, “Do I need a sewer line inspection before buying a house?” The answer is yes. A sewer inspection should be a mandatory part of your house inspection checklist. When considering what inspections to get when buying a house, do not overlook the sewer line. In fact, getting a sewer inspection is one of the most important home inspection tips for first-time buyers. Sewer line inspections are cheap, but sewer repairs can be extremely expensive. Why spend the money on a repair when you could have avoided with a simple inspection

The Worst-Case Sewer Line Scenario

Consider this worst-case scenario. After months of shopping, you’ve finally found the home of your dreams. It’s a heritage home and at the top end of your budget, but appears to be a good deal. You’ve done your due diligence and hired a home inspector. The report came back with a clean bill of health, and you happily move in. But, three months later, you have a problem.

Sewer Line Repair Options

This worst-case scenario is preventable. It’s hard to say how a court would view repair cost responsibility. There’s a “buyer-beware” and due diligence responsibility on you as a potential purchaser. And there’s no responsibility for a home seller to arrange for a sewer line inspection. Their only responsibility is to disclose potential or existing problems, but they may have had no clue about the trouble brewing under their yard



It’s usually not very difficult to figure out when there’s a problem with your sewage system, like if there’s a gurgling sound coming from the toilet or one of your drains. But it may be so bad (and horribly obvious) that there is raw, disgusting sewage coming back up the drains. While identifying that there is a problem in general can be fairly simple, figuring out the specific cause of the problem can be a much more painstaking process. Luckily, your Roto-Rooter professional is trained in all of the latest, most efficient ways to get your problem under control, as soon as possible.


Your plumbing professional or sewer solutions specialist will most likely recommend a camera sewer line inspection if you’ve experienced repeated backups in your sewer line or if he “feels” something odd while cleaning the line with a cable machine. But regardless if this is your first sewer problem or not, camera inspections can go a long way in identifying all types of pipe problems commonly found in your home or business. One of the more common issues is that a root mass has obstructed flow in your sewer system. But if a sewer pipe is damaged, a section is misaligned or it has begun to collapse due to old age, a camera sewer line inspection will reveal the issue.


The main two arguments for utilizing this advanced form of technology in plumbing both benefit the customer. The first reason is to save time in fixing a plumbing problem. When you have a problem in your pipes, especially in the sewage system, the last thing you want is to drag out the repair process. Not only can delays be inconvenient, but prolonged problems in plumbing can cause further damage to your house or to your business’s building. The second major argument for using a camera is to save you money on sewer line repair. Correctly identifying the problem will help your plumber come up with the most efficient (and cheapest) way to fix your sewer blockage and get your plumbing flowing properly again. Plus, by running a camera through your pipes, your professional plumber will be able to pinpoint the exact location of the issue, which prevents unnecessary excavation. If you’re about to purchase a new home, it’s a good idea to have a video sewer line inspection to check outthe plumbing before you close on the property. Why stick yourself with someone else’s expensive sewer fix?


Think of having a remote control snake with a camera on its head and lots of bright LED lights. That’s how we go about a camera line inspection. Our skilled technicians can get into pipes from 2 inches to 36 inches in diameter without a problem, all while having control of a camera attached to a snake-like rod. The material that the camera is attached to is very flexible, so bending around sharp corners or tricky bends is never a problem. Don’t worry, if you dropped a precious piece of jewelry or other valuable item down your drain, we may be able to successfully locate it and get it back to you if it hasn’t already washed into the municipal sewer system.