Education February 25, 2019

Sewer Scope

What am I looking at?

Sewer Scope Brick-Lined Sewer

This is the view from a video camera during a recent sewer scope of a townhouse in Ballard. The camera went through over 100 feet of sewer line on the property before finally hitting the main sewer line out in the street. To our surprise, it was cavernous and brick-lined! Not a common sight. We suspect it was a large convergence in the intersection, under a manhole cover.

What is a sewer scope?

A sewer scope is an inspection that you have done by a professional before you buy a house. Basically, a wire is fed down the drain and into the sewer line of a house. The wire has a video camera on the end of it so you can see the condition of the sewer as you go down.

Why do I need a sewer scope?

This is part of you doing your due diligence in ensuring there are no major problems with the sewer line. The relatively low cost of the inspection is worth it, especially if big problems turn up. Even if there are no obvious signs of backups or leaks, it’s always a good idea to consider getting a sewer scope.

Here are some things the inspector will check for:

  • structural damage like cracks and breaks
  • root intrusions
  • grease or other buildups
  • dips in the pipe, which can cause pooling and backups

Some smaller problems can be solved by using a roto rooter. However, because sewer lines are buried and not easily accessible, bigger problems like replacing sewer lines can cost a lot of money, especially if the street has to be dug up.

Hopefully, no problems show up but it’s always a good idea to check!

Let me know if you have any questions or want to know more about sewer scopes.