A licensed inspector will insert a mini video camera into the sewer line through the sewer cleanout. Inspectors are not allowed to remove and replace toilets, so a cleanout must be accessible for use.
If no obstructions are encountered, the inspector will inspect the main lateral line from the cleanout to the city main sewer and directly back under the house.
A functioning sewer line may have problems that do not currently affect the performance of the line. However, certain conditions may cause a future sewer backup, leading to an unexpected emergency line repair or replacement.
The function of a sewer lateral camera inspection is to find out if there are any concerns with the main sewer lateral line of a home or building.
The main lateral sewer service line is the waste pipe that extends from the building, under or through the foundation wall or an exterior wall, to the sewer main, sewer easement or private drain.
Sewer lateral inspections are performed using a fiber optic waterproof camera that is pushed through the sewer laterally. The inspector will provide a written report with color photos of the inspected line(s), as seen from the camera.
Tree roots - root infiltration can cause damage quickly
Broken, collapsed, cracked, or misaligned pipes - shifting soil
Blockage - grease or some other object is restricting proper water flow
Pipe corrosion or deterioration - older drainpipes risk rust or scaling, leading to leaks or collapse
Bellied pipe - standing water and converged waste from sunken lines or improper slope
Leaking joints - allows sewage to escape and create adverse and/or unsanitary conditions
A sewer camera inspection is an attempt to gain a better understanding of the general condition, integrity, and functionality of the main drain laterals.
It is not an exhaustive inspection to pinpoint every drain line deficiency. The inspection looks for visible defects, including obstructions, offsets, bellies, breaks, rust and scaling, and other visible conditions.
Future performance cannot be predicted or guaranteed. Further investigation and testing by a licensed plumber may be necessary to identify the presence and/or severity of certain conditions.
The sewer camera inspection is limited to the accessible areas of the main drain laterals, specifically to the street or septic system and directly under the house. Branch lines and vents cannot be accessed with the camera. Drain cleanout configurations/defects can limit access and will be noted as a defect, if present.
Certain defects and conditions are not observable with a sewer camera inspection, such as pipe wall thickness and leaks. Further investigation and testing by a licensed plumber may be necessary to identify the presence and/or severity of certain conditions.
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Why does an inspector pull an electrical panel off?
Why does an inspector pull a furnace cover off?
Performing a sewer camera inspection is similar to each of those. It is removing a readily accessible cover (cleanout cap) and placing a camera inside to observe conditions.
One of the most overlooked parts of a home is the drains
The sewer line is a Big Ticket Item, like the foundation, roof and HVAC
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