What is a Sewer Scope Inspection?

Imagine this scenario – you’re in the process of buying your dream home, and everything seems perfect until the inspector raises concerns about the condition of the sewer system. Or perhaps you’re a homeowner who has noticed recurring backups or foul odors emanating from your drains. In both cases, a sewer scope inspection could be the solution you need to uncover the root cause of the problem and make an informed decision.

A sewer scope inspection, also known as a video pipe inspection, is a comprehensive evaluation of the underground sewer pipes (lateral sewer lines) on a property. This process involves the use of a specialized camera mounted on a flexible rod, which is inserted into the sewer line through an access point, such as a cleanout or main sewer trap.

Why Sewer Scope Inspections are Crucial

Sewer scope inspections are essential for several reasons:

  1. Identifying Potential Issues: The camera captures live video footage as it navigates through the pipes, allowing professionals to visually inspect the interior condition of the sewer system. This enables them to identify any defects, blockages, cracks, leaks, corrosion, or tree root intrusions that could impair the system’s functionality.
  2. Preventive Maintenance: Regular sewer scope inspections serve as preventive maintenance for homeowners, helping to identify issues early and extend the life of the sewer system. By addressing problems promptly, homeowners can avoid costly repairs and potential property damage caused by sewage backups or leaks.
  3. Home Buying Due Diligence: For prospective home buyers, a sewer scope inspection is a crucial step in the due diligence process. It provides valuable information about the condition of the sewer system, allowing buyers to negotiate repairs or adjust the purchase price accordingly, if necessary.

Common Issues Detected During Sewer Scope Inspections

During a sewer scope inspection, professionals are trained to identify a wide range of issues that can compromise the integrity of the sewer system. Some of the most common problems detected include:

Broken/Collapsed PipesPipes that have cracked, broken, or collapsed due to age, ground movement, or external factors.
Bellied PipesSections of pipes that have sagged or formed a belly, allowing debris and water to accumulate.
Offset JointsMisaligned pipe joints, often caused by ground settlement or improper installation.
Grease/Debris BuildupAccumulation of grease, soap, hair, and other debris that can cause blockages and backups.
Tree Root IntrusionTree roots that have penetrated the pipes, causing cracks and obstructions.
InfiltrationGroundwater or soil entering the sewer system through cracks or joints.

By identifying these issues early, homeowners and prospective buyers can take proactive measures to address them, preventing further damage and costly repairs down the line.

The Sewer Scope Inspection Process

A sewer scope inspection typically follows these steps:

  1. Access Point Identification: The professional locates an appropriate access point, such as a cleanout or main sewer trap, to insert the camera into the sewer line.
  2. Camera Insertion: The waterproof camera, mounted on a flexible rod, is carefully inserted into the sewer line through the access point.
  3. Video Recording: As the camera advances through the pipes, it captures live video footage of the interior condition of the sewer system.
  4. Inspection and Analysis: The professional carefully examine the video footage, noting any defects, blockages, or other issues that require attention.
  5. Reporting: After the inspection, a detailed report is provided, including a video recording and a comprehensive analysis of the sewer system’s condition. The report also includes recommendations for repairs or replacements, if necessary.

Benefits of Regular Sewer Scope Inspections

Investing in regular sewer scope inspections can provide numerous benefits for homeowners and prospective buyers:

  1. Early Detection: By identifying issues early, homeowners can address problems before they escalate, potentially saving thousands of dollars in repair costs.
  2. Preventive Maintenance: Regular inspections allow homeowners to stay ahead of potential issues, extending the lifespan of their sewer system and avoiding costly replacements.
  3. Informed Decision-Making: For home buyers, a sewer scope inspection provides valuable information to negotiate repairs or adjust the purchase price based on the condition of the sewer system.
  4. Peace of Mind: Knowing that your sewer system is in good condition can provide peace of mind and prevent unexpected surprises down the road.

Choosing a Professional Sewer Scope Inspection Service

When it comes to sewer scope inspections, it’s essential to choose a reputable and experienced professional service. Look for companies that:

  • Employ certified and trained technicians
  • Use state-of-the-art camera equipment
  • Provide detailed reports with video footage and recommendations
  • Offer competitive pricing and transparent pricing structures
  • Have a proven track record of customer satisfaction

By selecting a reliable sewer scope inspection service, you can ensure that the evaluation is conducted thoroughly and accurately, providing you with the information you need to make informed decisions about your sewer system.


In the world of home ownership and real estate transactions, a sewer scope inspection is an invaluable tool that should not be overlooked. By providing a comprehensive evaluation of the underground sewer pipes, this inspection process empowers homeowners and prospective buyers to make informed decisions, address potential issues proactively, and ensure the longevity of their sewer system.

Whether you’re a homeowner seeking preventive maintenance or a buyer conducting due diligence, investing in a sewer scope inspection can save you from costly surprises and provide peace of mind. Don’t hesitate to prioritize this crucial inspection – it could be the key to avoiding a potential sewer system nightmare.

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