A sewer scope inspection is used to determine the condition of a property's sewer line.  A video camera is inserted into the sewer line, which is used to determine the location and depth of any obstructions or problem areas such as holes, root intrusions, cracks, or separated pipes. Regardless of the age of the home, a prudent home buyer will have the sewer line inspected before closing.

Obtaining a sewer scope inspection by one of our licensed inspectors can be a very cost-effective way to avoid being surprised by unplanned repairs and maintenance for purchases of existing, as well as new construction homes!

Sewer lines have an expected service life (as with any other system), and the optimal time to discover that a problem with the sewer line is before the close of your real estate transaction.

Sewer line repairs can be a costly endeavor, and if a problem is discovered, this will put you in a better position to negotiate with the seller prior to closing.

SIS inspectors are qualified by training and certification through the International Association of Certified Home Inspectors to perform this service.

This add-on service can uncover some facts about the home that the home owner was likely not even aware of, and will put you in a better position to negotiate if issues are uncovered through the process.

What are some defects typically seen during a sewer scope inspection?

There are any number of defects, or problems that can be discovered during a sewer scope inspection. Here is a list of some very common defects observed during a sewer scope inspection:

Corrosion - Pipes comprised of metal can be damaged by the corrosion process due to a breakdown of its protective coatings or linings. This will cause eventual failure of the pipe material, which can result in waste leaking out, or encourage other problems to develop inside of the pipe.

Exposed Aggregate - This condition is an internal erosion of concrete pipes. Exposure of the aggregate material is indicative that the pipe may be nearing the end of its service life, and may require replacement in the near future.

Root Intrusion - As tree roots will grow in search of water, any small crack, or failed/failing joint in a waste line that is left without repair will allow roots to grow into the sewer pipe. The waste that travels through the sewer drain line is rich in nutrients, and will promote root growth into the pipe, causing further damage and blockages.

Bellied Pipes - This condition is present where water collects in pools within the pipe. Pooling water means that waste is collecting and not able to properly drain. 

Channeling - This condition is common with cast iron piping. It occurs over time as the water cuts a course, or channel into the bottom of the sewer line, similar to that of a ravine, or gully. In many instances of this condition being observed, the bottom had become so severely eroded, that the bottom had been completely washed out. This provides easy access for tree roots and insects, as well as the washing away of subsoil.

Improper Reduction - This condition exists when the diameter of the pipe has been improperly reduced from a larger diameter, to a smaller diameter. 

Misalignment - This condition exists where pipe joints are not level. Misaligned pipes don’t automatically mean that you are in for costly repairs. As long as the pipe on the downstream end is lower than the pipe on the upstream end, then the sewer drain is able to properly drain to the main sewer connection.

Orangeburg - An uncommon, but potentially costly problem is with Orangeburg (bituminous fiber) pipe. Widely used prior to the 1970's, Orangeburg pipe was used as an alternative to pipes made with cast iron. Orangeburg is made using compressed wood fibers and pitch. Properly installed Orangeburg pipe was expected to have a 50+ year service life, but there are numerous failures observed in less than 10 years. Not all homes serviced by Orangeburg have had it replaced, and costly repairs are to be expected if your home is still being serviced by this product.

How long does it take to perform a sewer scope inspection?

Sewer scope inspections typically take approximately 30 minutes to complete, as long as there is an easily accessible sewer drain line cleanout, located on the property.

In the event that such a cleanout is not available, we may have to conduct the sewer scope through one of the vent stacks on the roof of the home.

This would mean additional time to perform the inspection would be required.

Are there cheaper alternatives to a sewer scope inspection?

Our pricing is comparable to what many sewer inspection, and home inspection companies in the area will charge. Some, however, may charge cut-rate sewer scope inspections, which are sometimes used to push unnecessary, and costly, repairs.

Be wary, diligent, and ask questions of contractors that offer low rates, as many companies do not price their sewer scopes in a way that covers their operating costs.

Be especially wary of such companies that offer sewer scope inspections, and are also in the business of replacing and repairing sewer lines, unscrupulous companies may be inclined to take advantage of unwitting clients who are less familiar with plumbing system inspections and repair.

SIS is not in the business of repairing and replacing sewer lines, so you can depend on a clean and unbiased opinion about what is being seen during your inspection.


Why should I hire SIS to perform my sewer scope inspection?

Our inspectors are qualified through training by the International Association of Certified Home Inspectors. Our employees are also licensed home inspectors in the state of Washington and Oregon. 

Since SIS and its employees have no conflicts of interest with you or your home, we are free to provide you with a complete understanding of your home's plumbing system without trying to push unnecessary repairs.

What happens to my inspection video once it's finished?

Once your sewer scope inspection is completed, we upload your video to YouTube, and flag it as an "unlisted video".

This retains your privacy, and means that your inspection video will not show up in any searches, and can only be accessed by anyone who has the URL link to the video.

Your specific URL link is provided in your report, which makes your inspection video available only to you (or anyone that you give the link, or report to), and viewable whenever and wherever you want!