What is a Sewer Line Inspection?

Sewer line inspection also known as Sewer Scope Inspection, is a process of inspecting the proper functionality of sewer pipes from within the pipe and from the surface of the floor and walls where the pipes are laid on the basis of the plumbing blueprint to identify problems like clogs, leaks, or cracks and ensure the health of the sewer system. The sewer line inspection process evolved with the plumbers in the past using snaking, and visual inspection; largely relying on visual cues such as water pooling or foul odors and educated guesses. However, these methods were far from foolproof and effective leading to unnecessary digging and had low accuracy. At present, sewer line inspection is widely understood and referred interchangeably to as sewer camera inspection and even sewer scope inspection, the reason being its efficiency, accuracy, and visual inspection of the inside of pipes providing a live visual of pipes to encounter sewer line problems.

Sewer line inspection is crucial when it comes to maintaining and ensuring the functionality of the sewer system of a property. These underground networks of pipes transport wastewater away from your home into municipal sewers or septic tanks and should be an essential component of any building, yet many tend to overlook its significance until problems arise.

Sewer Scope Inspection entails inspecting the sewer lines, often using a specialized tool known as a sewer camera, to assess their condition, identify any issues, and ensure the proper functioning of the sewage system.

When is a Sewer Camera Inspection necessary?

Before Buying a House

roto rooter plumbing video sewer inspection services

One of the most critical times to consider a sewer line inspection or sewer scope inspection, is before purchasing a property. A sewer inspection can reveal hidden problems in the sewer system that may not be apparent during a standard home inspection. This can save buyers from potential future expenses and inconvenience.

Routine Inspection

Routine inspections are also vital to ensure the ongoing functionality of your sewer system. Regular sewer camera inspections can catch problems early, preventing costly sewer repairs down the road.

Frequent Drain Issues 

In cases where drain issues rise frequently and have slow drains, the cause may be embedded deep in sewer lines and being built over time. Sewer Camera Inspection can help a plumber identify the possible issues, cracks, or damages in the sewer line system.

How is Sewer Line Inspection Done?

Sewer line inspection can be performed using various methods, but one of the most efficient and commonly used techniques is sewer camera inspection. Here’s how it works:

Camera Insertion: A waterproof sewer camera is inserted into the sewer line through an access point, like a cleanout or drain.

Real-time Monitoring: The camera is equipped with high-resolution video capabilities and LED lighting. As it travels through the sewer line, it sends real-time footage to a monitor for inspection.

Assessment: Trained technicians analyze the footage to identify any issues, such as cracks, blockages, tree root intrusion, or damage to the sewer line.

Report: A detailed report is generated, documenting the condition of the sewer line and any necessary repairs or maintenance.

The time frame required for completing a sewer line inspection can vary depending on the size and complexity of the system. However, a comprehensive inspection typically takes a few hours to complete.

Signs You Need Sewer Line Inspection

While we’ve already discussed specific signs that should prompt a main sewer line inspection, let’s delve into each of these signs in more detail. Understanding what these signs mean and what might be causing them can help homeowners and property buyers make informed decisions regarding sewer inspections.

  1. Gas or Foul Odor Smell In Your Home
    • Sign A persistent, unpleasant odor resembling sewage or gas in your home.
    • Possible Causes Smell often indicates a sewer line issue, such as a leak or blockage. Sewage gasses can escape into your living space, leading to a foul odor. It’s essential to address this issue promptly to prevent further complications.
  2. Low Water Levels
    • Sign Consistently low or fluctuating water levels in your toilets and traps.
    • Possible Causes Low water levels can occur when there is not enough water in the system to maintain proper drainage. This can be due to a blockage or other issues within the sewer line. It’s important to investigate the cause of low water levels to prevent drainage problems.
  3. Noticeable Slow Draining
    • Sign Sinks, bathtubs, or showers that consistently drain slowly.
    • Possible Causes Slow-draining fixtures can result from localized clogs, such as hair or debris, but they can also indicate a more significant issue within the sewer line. If multiple fixtures in your home are affected, it’s a strong indicator of a sewer line problem that needs inspection.
  4. Sewage Backup and Blockage
    • Sign Sewage backing up into sinks, bathtubs, or toilets, often accompanied by gurgling sounds and water rising in fixtures.
    • Possible Causes Sewage backup is a clear sign of a blockage or obstruction in the sewer line. It can be caused by various factors, including tree root intrusion, debris buildup, or a collapsed pipe. Ignoring this sign can lead to severe damage and health hazards.
  5. Septic Tank Overflow in Yard
    • Sign Wastewater from your home surfacing in your yard, typically near the septic tank.
    • Possible Causes An overflow in your yard indicates that wastewater is not properly flowing into the septic tank. This can be due to a blockage or damage in the sewer line leading to the septic tank. It’s essential to address this issue promptly to prevent environmental contamination and further damage.

When any of these signs are observed, it’s a clear indication that a sewer line inspection is warranted to assess the extent of the problem and determine the necessary sewer line repairs or maintenance.

Benefits of Sewer Line Inspection

Sewer line inspection offers numerous benefits, making it a worthwhile investment for homeowners. Here are some of the key advantages:

  1. Affordable & Non-Invasive
    Sewer camera inspection is a cost-effective and non-invasive method for assessing the condition of your sewer system. It doesn’t require extensive digging or disruption to your property.
  2. Detect Sewer Line Issues
    By identifying potential issues early on, such as cracks, leaks, or blockages, you can address them before they lead to more extensive as well as expensive repairs.
  3. Locate Sewer Cracks
    Sewer inspection can pinpoint the exact location of cracks or damage in your sewer line, making repairs more targeted and efficient.
  4. Blockage Detection
    Blockages in the sewer line can result in sewage backups and other plumbing problems. Sewer inspection can identify blockages and their causes, allowing for timely removal.
  5. Detect Tree Root Intrusion
    Tree roots seeking moisture can infiltrate sewer lines, causing damage. Sewer camera inspection can detect root intrusion and help take preventive measures.

How Much Does A Sewer Line Inspection Cost?

The cost of a sewer line inspection can vary depending on several factors. Some of the factors that affect the cost include:

  • The length and complexity of the sewer line.
  • The location of access points and cleanouts.
  • The geographic location of the property.
  • Additional services, such as video documentation, are included.

On average, a sewer line inspection can cost anywhere from $100 to $500 or more. It’s important to obtain quotes from reputable plumbing professionals to get an accurate estimate for your specific situation. While the cost of an inspection may seem like an upfront expense, it can potentially save you thousands of dollars by identifying and addressing sewer issues before they become major problems.

Roto-Rooter proudly provides advanced sewer line inspection services using modern sewer cameras and equipment backed by certified professionals with the experience to thoroughly inspect your sewer system and ensure any potential sewer issues are accurately identified and dealt with.