What is a sewer scope?

July 8, 2022

Purchasing a new home is one of the biggest milestones in life; however, before you dot all the i’s and cross the t’s, you need to ensure everything is in good working order – especially your sewer system. One of the best ways to do this is by getting a sewer scope inspection, which will find any deficiencies.

The average cost to repair sewer lines hovers around $3,800, though it’s not uncommon to go as high as $30,000 for a total system replacement. Many buyers cannot afford such a steep expense on top of the down payment, moving costs and their mortgage. But, it’s hard to live comfortably in a home without a functioning sewer system. The sewer scope inspection will determine if your potential home is really worth the money you’re about to pay. And if you book the sewer scope through Inspectify, we include repair cost estimates for any deficiencies the inspector finds, so you’ll know exactly how much cash you need to sink into sewer repairs.

What is a sewer scope?

A sewer scope requires a home inspector to take a small, specialized camera and run it through your (potential) home’s sewer to look at the lines. The inspector will view a monitor while moving the camera throughout the lines, looking for cracks, obstructions, broken lines or issues with the septic tank (if your home has one). Properties with lots of trees are particularly vulnerable to sewer issues because the tree roots can damage the underground pipes. Depending on the home, the inspection usually takes around an hour but it can save you thousands of dollars if it finds an issue.

Why should you get a sewer scope?

Besides saving you money, there are a couple of reasons you should consider getting a sewer scope inspection, including:

  • Cast Iron Pipes – Cast iron pipes were used in homes up until about 1975. While these pipes can last up to 100 years (in a really dry environment with proper maintenance), the lifespan of the average pipe hovers between 50-70 years (wet environments see these pipes fail around 40 years). Insurance companies know these drains are beginning to fail, and they’ll do everything they can to avoid replacing them. While some homeowners have had success in lawsuits, litigation can take years and cost thousands of dollars. A home inspector will look for cast iron pipes and its state to see if the home needs a whole new sewer system.
  • Avoid Damages and Health Issues – A backed up system not only racks up bills; it also can damage your belongings. Flooding isn’t the only concern though. With damages or backed up systems, you have the very real risk of health and safety issues from contaminated water in the home. If raw sewage backs up through your pipes and begins flooding your home, it could be made completely unfit for human habitation in a matter of minutes.
  • New Construction – While you’re not going to run into cast iron piping with a new home, new homes can have drain line issues as well from construction debris erroneously left behind or buried. Instead of leaving it to chance, get a sewer scope inspection to ensure your new home also has new, clean lines.

When should you get a sewer scope inspection?

Now you know why to get a sewer scope inspection, so when should you get one? A sewer scope inspection can be completed during the home inspection process, but it is often not included in standard home inspections. Most inspectors offer sewer scopes as an add-on to their standard inspection, which may incur additional charges. But a small charge now could save you thousands of dollars later, not to mention the headache of dealing with a bad sewer system.

A sewer scope inspection gives you peace of mind while allowing you to make an educated decision on purchasing a new home. The inspector will be able to check your drains to ensure you won’t run into any unexpected issues that could result in costly repairs or (every homeowner’s nightmare) a raw sewage backup.

How to pick the right inspector

With a ton of home inspectors offering their services, it can feel overwhelming to find the right inspector for your home. Luckily, Inspectify is here to help. With thousands of qualified inspectors across the nation, Inspectify lets you choose the right inspector for your needs, letting you compare inspector reviews, prices and availability. With Inspectify, you’ll know you’re getting a top-rated inspector who will thoroughly examine your home to ensure it’s fit for moving in. The best part? Inspectify provides customers with an easy-to-read inspection report detailing issues found in the home as well as free repair cost estimates – a feature most independent inspectors would charge upwards of $100 to provide.

Scheduling made easy with Inspectify

Since we are partnered with inspectors all over the country, booking an inspection with Inspectify is as easy as 1-2-3. Select an inspector available in your area, pick a time and book! Our team will take care of the logistics and communication with the inspector. And since our inspectors perform the inspection in our app, you’re guaranteed a readable, consistent report that can be sent to you right after the inspection is completed. Book with Inspectify now to have peace of mind later.