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Before buying a home, you must carefully inspect all of your systems to uncover any hidden issues. One inspection that is often considered not that important but can reveal serious issues and save you from expensive problems is a sewer scope inspection. 


During a thorough sewer scope inspection, your inspectors will closely look at the underground sewer lines. That runs from your home to the main line under the street. The process involves literally sending a small camera on a flexible cable down your sewer lines. Your inspectors will look for any cracks, breaks, root intrusions, or other blockages. 


The experienced plumbers will review the video footage and your inspection report. Based on that, they will determine how to resolve the worrisome issues mentioned in your report.


Most people don't even think about getting their sewer lines inspected before buying a home. But skipping this step can, unfortunately, lead to unwelcome and messy surprises. A problem with your sewer line, such as a major clog or break, often requires emergency and hefty repairs.  


Safe House Property Inspections is here to guide you through what is sewer scope inspection. And what’s included in its process. We’ll also answer your queries regarding the reasons why you should consider sewer scope inspections in the first place.


So let’s get started with


What Is Sewer Scope Inspection?

A sewer scope inspection, sometimes called a sewer line camera inspection, uses a special camera to examine your sewer lines thoroughly. The inspectors will check the physical condition of the interior sewer pipes. They’ll also assess underground sewer pipes that connect a home to the main sewer line. 


The inspectors will insert a flexible fiber optic cable with a tiny waterproof camera attached to the end. They’ll instill it into the home’s cleanout pipe or straight into the sewer line itself – if a cleanout is not present. The camera is then fed through the pipes while recording video of the interior surfaces.


When the camera travels through the pipeline, your trained and professional inspectors will carefully analyze the live video and still images. They’ll look for any defects or abnormalities. 


Your sewer system will be assessed for pipe alignment, the presence of roots or invasive tree roots, offset joints, cracks, fractures, and blockages from grease or other debris. They’ll also look into any evidence of past or ongoing leaks.


Why Should I Get A Sewer Scope Inspection

Getting a sewer scope inspection is important to avoid potential health risks, identify any structural damages, assess overall condition and prevent future problems. Let’s discuss each of these reasons due to which you should consider a sewer scope inspection.

To Avoid Health Risks 


The inspectors will look for back-ups and blockages in sewer lines that allow wastewater to pool or back up into your indoor drains and plumbing. This can quickly lead to overflows, leakage and contact with disease-causing bacteria. 


If your home has improper sewer drainage, you can expect its association with various other diseases. Such as dysentery, hepatitis A, adenoviruses, parasitical infections, and gastrointestinal issues. 


These are not only unpleasant illnesses but can be life-threatening in some cases. Especially for those with compromised immune systems, like children and the elderly. A sewer inspection determines if your system has any flaws where leakage and overflow contamination could occur.


Identify Any Structural Damages 


Over time, underground sewer pipes have to endure immense pressures and corrosive conditions. That will frequently result in cracks, fractures, and partial collapse. 


A surprising number of pipe defects like misaligned joints, protruding laterals, bellies, and wall erosion go unseen because they happen below ground. Yet they can lead to further destabilization, leakage, clogs, or outright snapping of pipes. 


Assessing Overall Condition 


In addition to finding discrete flaws, sewer video cameras will allow the plumbers to categorize pipes by their overall remaining useful life. Based on material integrity and functionality. 


If your pipes are old, they may appear intact on the surface. But have years of internal corrosion or sediment buildup. That can hinder the proper flow. Sewer inspection reports determine if systems seem modern or dated. And to what extent their age has decreased performance. 


Preventing Future Problems 


During a sewer inspection, the inspectors will highlight any need for maintenance. Or point out the early warning signs of damages. Such as infiltration at joints, scaling, or excess root intrusion. Though you might not be noticing any dire issues currently. But there might be areas of concern that can turn into headaches in the long run.


Negotiating Power 


When you know your home's sewer system needs instant repair or full replacement, You can re-negotiate your price or terms with your seller. Mostly, sellers gave limited insights into the condition of their sewer pipes.


An inspection report from a sewer specialist will bring all the defects or short remaining life expectancies to your knowledge. And empower you to clear any speculation about the age and condition of the home's wastewater infrastructure. Or negotiate the price or simply walk away from the deal. 


A Typical Sewer Scope Inspection Process


The process of a typical sewer scope inspection starts from pre-inspection to camera insertion, finding defects, and then reporting the results. Let’s go through the process step by step:


Preparation 


Before the insertion of the camera, your inspectors will first prepare and ensure safe access to your home’s sewage system. 


This includes locating the main external cleanout port. And clearing all drain lines with a hydro jetting machine to remove any obstructions to the camera. 

Other necessary utilities like water and electricity will be identified and marked as needed.


Insertion Of Camera  


Once you have clear and prepared access points, you can use the flexible fiber optic camera cable. To manually insert through the external cleanout into your home's under-slab sewage pipeline. The camera itself is a waterproof module about two inches long attached to the end of a long cable. 


Inspection Process 


As the camera travels through the pipelines’ interior, the inspectors will monitor the live video feed. They will also capture still images for documentation of your system's condition. The tiny camera and its lighting will illuminate even in remote sections of pipework. That is inaccessible in any other non-destructive way. 


In A Nutshell


The sewer scope inspections are most important to conduct before you buy a home. It reveals any potential problems with your sewer system. To help you avoid costly repairs, assess overall condition and any structural damage. This way, you can ensure that your sewer system is working just as it should. 


Scroll through our blog section to learn more about inspections.


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