Sewer Scope Inspection
Add-on Price starts at $135
No homeowner wants to discover a damaged or blocked sewer pipe, especially just after purchasing a home. Repairs to underground sewer drain pipes are expensive and can cost upwards of $10,000. A sewer scope inspection by our inspectors in Vancouver, WA can identify problems before a home purchase is finalized and before small drain issues become large ones.
What’s a sewer scope inspection?
Our borescope inspects sewer drain lines from the home out to the connection in the street. We use the highest quality RIGID, HD color, self-leveling camera system available and can inspect drains up to 200′ in length.
Our sewer inspectors verify the integrity of drain plumbing by viewing the interior of the pipe, noting damages caused over time. This sewer inspection is also helpful in finding blockages, broken pipes, root intrusions, and damage due to heavy construction equipment.
Sludge build-up is common in modern plumbing. Because cooking oils and fats are not water-soluble, grease tends to stick to the sidewalls of drainpipes. Grease can eventually lead to a plumbing blockage if not periodically cleaned. Other materials like sand from dog washing, paper products, or the occasional flushed children’s toy, traveling down the pipe can get caught up in these build-ups and inhibit the flow. A sewer scope will allow you to have the lines jetted and cleaned before blockage occurs.
Total pipe collapse is uncommon, but pipes can collapse entirely because of material failure or pressure from above. As a pipe collapses, the opening shrinks, and this will cause a blockage. Further, the leakage occurring into the ground from a broken pipe causes sinkholes, ground settlement, and other structural damages. A sewer scope in Vancouver and Camas, WA can determine exactly where a collapse is occurring to minimize repairs.
Low Areas (aka) Belly
When a drainpipe has improperly cupped and convex sections, water can pool or be held up in the pipe. These segments where a pipe goes negative are commonly referred to as a low point or a belly. Sediment and debris collect at low points and interferes with drainage. A belly in the sewer line is likely the result of settlement of the ground, poor trench gravel bed, sewer layout, or by some other event such as heavy vehicle traffic prior to concrete installation. A sewer scope can alert you to a belly so professional plumbers may determine best repairs.
Offset Pipe Union
An offset union is where two end sections of pipe meet but do not line up or connect properly. For example, settlement or steep angled unions can cause the pipes to shift independently on both sides of the connection. Sometimes the pipes were not fitted perfectly when installed. This issue causes a void on the outside of the pipe where water runs out and erodes. This is a likely root intrusion point. A sewer scope can find offset unions before secondary damage occurs.
During the homebuilding process and subsequent renovations, builders or construction crews may inadvertently damage the drain line. Heavy vehicles moving in and out prior to the concrete driveway being poured can may damage existing sewer lines: settlement, offset pipes, cracking, crushing, etc. Additions, decking, and landscaping installation can affect drain lines. A sewer scope can discover issues caused after initial installation.
Root intrusion is very common in older concrete, clay, and cast-iron sewer lines. When planting a tree, most people do not think about the sewer line location. Over time trees grow. Their root systems develop and mature below ground as well. This can crush a pipe or offset a pipe union deep below ground. Most commonly, we see roots entering a pipe union hub or a leaking drainpipe. Usually roots become a full root intrusion and blockage. Trees have strong survival instincts, and their roots will find any tiny space in a pipe where water and nutrients can be accessed. Tree roots are always moving closer to any available water source, including drainpipes. A sewer scope can prevent sewer pipe repairs after the home sale is closed.
Orangeburg fiber drain plumbing is an older, no longer used type of piping. Orangeburg plumbing was made from a mixture of wood pulp, hot pine pitch, and tar resin. Many homes built in the 1950’s, 60s, and 70s in Longview, Kelso, Ridgefield, and Downtown Vancouver were plumbed with this type of drain piping. Over time, Orangeburg piping absorbs moisture and becomes distorted. Orangeburg slowly compresses and changes shape from full round to a narrow oval. The piping delaminates. The piping develops blisters and bubbles on the interior sidewalls, closing off the pipe. Most homes still fitted with this type of drainage will need complete sewer line replacement. A sewer scope can verify the presence of Orangeburg fiber drain plumbing.
Sewer Scope BENEFITS
Why a Sewer Scope Inspection is Critical in Home Buying
Avoid costly repair once you take ownership.
Cost is a huge factor in why we recommend sewer scope. Sewer repair is very expensive, and it generally costs $8000 – $20,000, depending on the repair depth and the extent of the damages. Any repair below four feet will triple costs. In some cases, you are responsible for the sidewalk repair after the sewer line repair, which is another high cost on top of the already expensive sewer repair.
Peace of mind during your ownership and when you sell.
The truth is that a sewer line can operate well even when it’s cracked. And that’s the main reason many people don’t do sewer scopes on a home they are buying. If it’s working, why fix it? We get it. But purchasing a home that has sewer line issues is like living with a ticking bomb. The problem often presents itself in the most inconvenient times like gatherings, holidays, or when you are on vacation.
We also ask our clients in Vancouver and Camas, WA to consider a situation where they would sell the house in five-ten years. You have a legal responsibility to disclose any defaults and issues on your home. The new buyer will likely make you take on the sewer repair anyways.
Ground markings and a detailed sewer scope video help you get repair estimates quickly & accurately.
Structural & health risks of damaged sewer lines or exposure.
Although very rare, sewer scope damages can cause structural issues like sinkholes in the land or pavement above, foundation issues, etc. Depending on the location of the leak, it can also cause biological hazards and create ideal conditions for mold to thrive.
Meet Owner and Lead Inspector Geoffrey Bennett, CMI!
The Best Home Inspector in Metro Vancouver & Camas
Geoff brings more than a decade of sewer inspection experience to his work. And people also rave about his professionalism and work quality, leaving hundreds of five-star reviews.
Unique Residential Construction Experience & Knowledge
Geoff has a solid background as a licensed general contractor and has remodeled and repaired homes throughout Western Washington. With his extensive knowledge, he can spot a lot of structural, plumbing, and electrical issues others might miss.
Vancouver, Washington is Home to Him and His Family
Geoffrey has lived and worked in Vancouver, Wa for more than twenty years. He knows what to look for when he is in Camas, Vancouver, all the way up to Longview.
Professional Demeanor & Meticulous Attention to Details
You will benefit from his professional demeanor, thorough investigation process, and clear, detailed reports.
A Friendly and Patient Ally Who Has Your Best Interest at Heart
Geoffrey is known for his friendly, patient style. He welcomes questions and is happy for clients to accompany him as he inspects.
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Our Sewer Scope Process
Sewer Scope Inspections Done Right
Locate Access Point
To begin, your sewer scope inspector will flush running water through the sewer lines. This ensures that the camera equipment has lubrication and reduces the risk of catching on any debris.
Next, your inspector will establish an access point and place drop cloths if needed.
The Scope Begins
We use an HD color camera to record the interior of the pipe during the entire sewer scope process up to 200 feet. We provide a voice-over and a brief written summary of the findings in our report.
On rare occasions of total pipe collapse or thick root intrusions preventing us from continuing the scope, we will mark the location with green paint on the ground surface, so you know exactly where the problem is. We are always available for sewer scope re-inspection. However, most companies will provide a new sewer scope once they’ve completed repairs.
When the inspection is complete, you will receive a private link to your downloadable video along with a written report of your sewer scope results. Our trained and certified inspectors will also provide suggestions for the next steps. They will be available after the inspection to answer additional questions and concerns you may have.
Trust is What We Believe In
Sewer Scope FAQ
Some Clients Have Asked
How long does it take to scope a sewer line?
A simple sewer scope takes about 15 mins. However, it can take up to 35 minutes to diagnose lines with more complex issues.
Sewer lines are filled with viruses and dangerous contamination. Our inspectors take steps to ensure the inspection site is clean and virus-free, with no cross-contamination.
How much does it cost to scope a drain?
Any property farther than 30 miles will be charged a distance fee.
Can a sewer scope cause damage?
Not when you work with a professional & experienced home inspector or sewer scope inspector. All care is taken not to damage any vegetation, pipe openings, and we will leave the area clean. We ensure the inspection site is clean and virus-free, with no cross-contamination.
How often should I scope my sewer line?
Not often. It’s a very stable environment, and we recommend an inspection once at purchase for sure. After that, every ten-15 years, depending on lifestyle and the number of people who reside at your home. For example, if you tend to use a lot of oil when cooking, there’s a greater chance of sludge building up in your sewer lines. It takes ten-15 years to have any kind of significant sludge or contaminant build-up.
What areas do you serve?
We offer home inspections and sewer scopes in Vancouver, Wa, and surrounding cities, including Camas, Washougal, Orchards, Battleground, Hockinson, Ridgefield, Salmon Creek, La Center, Yacolt, and Woodland. We work all over SW Washington in Clark County, Skamania County, and Cowlitz County. We go east up the Columbia River Gorge to Stevenson, White Salmon, and Bingen. We go west toward the coast to Cathlamet. We also serve the I-5 corridor into Kalama, Kelso, Silverlake, and Chehalis.
Do you operate in Oregon?
No. At this time we do not operate in Oregon.
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