Thinking about buying a home?
Most people think about getting a home inspection but very few think about getting a sewer line inspection. However, the sewer line inspection is one of the most important inspections a buyer should do. The time to find out if a sewer is faulty or needs to be replaced is before buying a home, not after.
Reasons to Inspect the Sewer Line
A tree root growing into sewer lines is a common problem. Roots crawl into tiny openings and expand in the sewer line, latching on to other debris that typically causes backups such as grease or eggshell waste. Sometimes chemicals can kill the trees roots but if the roots reappear, the pipe may be damaged and require excavation to fix the problem.
How to Inspect a Sewer Line
Video cameras have become one of the most valuable tools in the plumbing business. Special cameras allow for a visual inspection of underground sewer lines to determine the condition of the inside of the pipe. A flexible rod with a high-resolution video camera on its tip is inserted into the pipe for inspection. Video images are transmitted to the camera operator and can be saved onto a videotape for a permanent record. Radio transmitters on the camera record the depth and physical location from the surface so that defects and obstructions can be corrected cost effectively.
We inspected a sewer line in a 6 year old house that was having severe blockages. After inspection we were able to determine that almost 30 feet of pipe was now sloping the wrong way due to settling of the house and landscaping. The only solution for this was to dig up the sewer line and re-install it with the proper slope. In hindsight the homeowner wished he had requested a sewer line inspection before purchasing the home.