Why Home Buyers Should Have the Sewer Line Inspected Before Purchase
Over time, the major systems of a home begin to show wear and tear and the sewer line is no different. Unlike other key systems like roofs, furnaces and water heaters however, we can’t do a quick visual-inspection on our own to determine the general age and condition of the sewer line without a professional’s help.
What many homeowners don’t realize is that they are responsible for the condition of their sewer line until it connects to the city main, and in some situations, that connection isn’t made until the end of your street or beyond. Repairs can be expensive, especially if the issue happens to be located in the portion of the line that runs under city streets.
That’s why we strongly advise our buyers to have a sewer scope conducted during the inspection period of their purchasing phase. The inspection takes about 30-45 minutes to complete and is conducted by a sewer specialist, not your general home inspector. The sewer inspector will feed a small camera down the main clean out of a home’s sewer line, giving you a clear view of the overall condition. He or she will be able to pinpoint any cracking, tree roots that may have started to crowd the pipe or, as seen in eastern Washington, some potentially unwanted house guests – check out footage at the 3 minute mark from this sewer inspection in Eastern Washington:
This information is incredibly useful considering the costs associated with repairing, or worse, having to replace the line completely.
Should your inspection highlight problem areas and you are still within the allotted time frame of your inspection contingency, you have the ability to proceed to closing as planned, ask the seller to remedy the situation (however they may not agree to do so or may choose to negotiate further on the issue), or you can terminate the transaction all together.
While you can’t anticipate every potential issue a home may encounter over its lifetime, a sewer scope is just one more way to ensure that you have as much information as possible to make the best decision for you.
If you have questions about sewer scopes in Seattle, general home inspections or they home buying process, please let us know. We’re more than happy to help.