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Checklist Inspections has been helping potential homeowners since 1998 to have peace of mind when purchasing their dream homes. We know the importance of being well informed by highly educated, experienced, and caring home inspectors. Our office staff are available 7 days a week to schedule your inspections. We do all that we can to ensure that the inspection process is one of the easiest and most informative steps in the purchasing process for you.

Home » Services » Sewer Scope

What Is a Sewer Scope Inspection?

Our trained inspector will scope the drain line during your inspection, equipped with a sewer line camera. They will find the sewer drainpipe and attempt to remove the cleanout cap; if the cap removes easily, they will scope between home and city main line. Or if needed, go from roof vent to the city main line. No sewer inspection can go through every drain line and though we try when able, may not go under the home. The majority of sewer waste line issues are from the home to the main, and this covers those.

If for any reason the cleanout cap or roof vent cannot be used, the inspector will let you know and explain your options, one of which is to remove a toilet and gain access to the drain from there. Since we cannot remove toilets, we will recommend a plumbing company for this service. 

Sewer line failures are among the costliest repairs a homeowner can face. Every home has a sewer line, and every sewer line can become blocked or damaged. Unfortunately, this high-cost component is entirely hidden from view. If you are interested in sewer scoping as part of your real estate purchase, be sure to speak to your Realtor® for all the information on what may or may not be applicable to your situation and permitted and/or negotiable per your real estate transaction contract.

Old and new homes alike have the potential for sewer line blockages and other issues. We have seen tree roots that have broken through the sewer drain and caused an obstruction, separated line, as well as deterioration of older materials—such as clay—used in older constructions. We have even seen brand new homes with cracked pipes and/or with “bellies”—areas where the pipe dips causing water to pool—because construction equipment was driven over the lawn of the home during construction.

Please Note: If you are not the current homeowner, you cannot give permission to have a toilet removed. In this rare circumstance, a plumber would need to get in contact with the seller or the seller’s agent to get permission. We will remove the fee if this rarity occurs..

Some signs that you may wish to have a sewer scope performed include:

  • Strange odors inside, or even out in the yard
  • Greener than usual vegetation in a certain area of your yard
  • Puddles in the yard, despite it not raining recently
  • Slow drains in the house
  • Large trees in the yard
  • Acting quickly when these signs are present may help prevent bigger, more costly problems down the road.


Does this have to be requested during the scheduling process, or can it be added at the inspection?

Though in many cases we can perform this at the inspection, due to time constraints it is not always possible. We strongly recommend to schedule sewer scoping ahead of time. 

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