Sewer line inspection - Would you get one?

9 Replies

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Account Closed, if it were me I would go ahead and get it done because it doesn't cost much in the scheme of things and could save you thousands. 

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Account Closed

The price I'm in contract will determine how deep I dive in with inspections.  If you are paying a premium for a property then I would inspect all the big ticket items like plumbing.


Frank

On older homes, I absolutely think scoping the sewer line is a good idea. Be a little wary though, some of them will always think you need to replace it. We found a plumber that specializes in scoping lines and doesn't replace them, so I feel like we get honest feedback from him and that's the best way to go if possible. But we've bought plenty of houses with shot sewer lines and it can be a budget buster (and make for angry tenants).

@Andrew Syrios

  when I was buying low end cash flow homes in the mid west... unless there was a PVC riser we replaced sewer line prophylactically. We get get them done for 1200 bucks or so when done in concert with rehab... Like you said its a disaster when it happens to a tenant and cost 3 times as much to do it after the fact.

we felt this one aspect was one of the largest maintenance issues with owning these homes and much of the time you will never know there is a problem until the unit gets occupied.. during home inspection you flush the toilet a few times and it works... once tenant gets in and it gets used daily and a lot well you know 

Older houses on slab foundation I would definitely recommend getting it scoped.  If line is PVC I would probably not get it scoped as there may be a crack in line but this is usually just a repair job and not replacement.  Pic shows us replacing approx. 15 feet of 4" cast iron drain line underneath a slab home which ended up costing the investor $1Ks extra and making holes in slab foundation after all rehab was completed. 

I have always thought that any home should have the sewer scoped when sold. Its not much in the scheme of things and can give you a pretty good idea of whats going on down there.

I have dug up plenty of sewer lines, and truth is an ounce of prevention can save thousands, but make sure you dont get a company just looking for the sale. That will take some vetting on your part.

For those of you that have scoped your possible purchases, what exactly are you scoping for. What is it that your looking to find. Cracked lines, obstructions?

I always get a sewer scope.  Costs about $200 and totally worth it for peace of mind.  Found out one house was going to need all the waste lines replaced - built in 1960s.

Found out one house had perfectly clean lines - built in 1980

Perfectly clean lines - 1912 

It's random, don't care about the year built.  

If it was built last year I'd still get it scoped.  Takes one tenant stuffing something strange down the line to cause a problem.  Or a nice tree root ruining the line.  

Looking for cracks, obstructions, age of the line... honestly, I don't know.  I look for a plumber I can trust, and then follow their advice.  Mostly I just don't want to have to worry about some horror flick scene popping up in my bathroom a day after closing.  Worth $200.  

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