Plumbing Repair

The Importance of Regular Sewer Line Inspections


The Importance of Regular Sewer Line Inspections

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When you are facing a drainage problem in your home or business, one of the first steps to remedy this issue is through a sewer line inspection. Just as a doctor would not recommend surgery without first making a proper diagnosis, a professional sewer inspector will not recommend any invasive procedures without first determining the root of your problem. Without a proper inspection, you could end up investing in expensive and unnecessary repairs. Therefore, learning about the process of sewer line inspection is essential. This article will provide comprehensive yet detailed insight into the world of sewer line inspection.

Understanding Sewer Line Inspection

A sewer line inspection is a process that involves the use of high-tech cameras and other specialized equipment to inspect the inner workings of a sewer line. This comprehensive checkup identifies any potential issues, pinpoints their location, and provides a strategic plan to rectify them. This preventive approach can save a homeowner thousands of dollars which they would have spent on dealing with major damage.

Types of Sewer Line Issues to Look out For

There's a spectrum of potential issues that a sewer line inspection can identify. These include, but are not limited to:

  • Blockages caused by root intrusion or accumulating debris
  • Pipe corrosion or deterioration
  • Leaking joints where the seals between pipes have broken
  • Cracks or fractures in the sewer lines
  • Misaligned, collapsed, or sunken pipes due to shifting soil or frost

Signs That You Need a Sewer Line Inspection

Regular inspections are crucial for the upkeep of your sewer system. However, certain indicators warrant immediate attention:

  • Slow Draining: Water pooling or draining slowly in sinks, bathtubs, or showers can suggest a blockage in your sewer line.
  • Frequent Backups: Recurring sewage backups in your home are a clear sign of sewer line issues.
  • Unpleasant Odors: Persistent foul smells emanating from drains or your yard could indicate a break or blockage in the sewer line.
  • Lush Patches in Yard: Unusually green or lush areas in your lawn may be a sign of a sewage leak, providing extra nutrients to the soil.

If you observe any of these signs, it's advisable to arrange for a professional sewer line inspection promptly.

The Sewer Line Inspection Process

Conducting a sewer line inspection involves several key steps, which can vary based on the specific situation:


Before the inspection can begin, all drains need to be clear and accessible. Professionals often employ methods like power snaking or high-pressure water jets to remove obstructions, ensuring the camera can freely move through the pipes.

Inspection Phase

A waterproof camera, specially designed for sewer inspections, is introduced into the sewer line via a cleanout. As it travels through the line, it captures real-time video footage, offering a 360-degree view of the interior conditions of the pipes. This process helps in identifying any blockages, breaks, or other issues within the sewer line.

Review and Reporting

Following the inspection, the professional will analyze the video footage, identifying and documenting any problems found. The final report includes detailed descriptions of each issue, their specific locations, severity levels, and proposed solutions to rectify them. This comprehensive report serves as a guide for undertaking necessary repairs or maintenance.

Sewer Line Inspection Equipment

Professionals use state-of-the-art equipment to conduct sewer line inspections. Some critical pieces of equipment include:

  • High-definition waterproof cameras: provide clear visuals of the internal workings of your sewer lines.
  • Locators: help the professional pinpoint the exact location of the issues.
  • Recording devices: record the footage for later analysis.

Benefits of Regular Sewer Line Inspection

Regular sewer line inspections can help homeowners avert severe sewer line problems which can lead to costly repairs. Some key benefits include:

  • Identifying issues early on before they become major problems.
  • Preventing unexpected sewer backups which can cause significant damage to your property.
  • Saving money on extensive repairs or replacements.
  • Adding value to your home when it's time to sell by proving that your systems are in good working order.

Sewer line inspections are an integral part of maintaining the health and functionality of your sewer system. Regular inspections help detect issues early, save you money on repairs, and prevent extensive damages.

Frequently Asked Questions about Sewer Line Inspection

Why is sewer line inspection necessary?

An inspection of your property’s sewer line is important because it helps to identify any existing or potential issues in the pipe. Issues can range from blockages due to grease or tree roots, cracks or disjoints in the pipe, or even a completely collapsed pipe. Identifying these issues early on can help prevent costly and inconvenient emergency repairs down the line.

When should I get a sewer line inspection?

As a preventative measure, it is recommended to get your sewer line inspected every 18-22 months. However, if your property is older or has a history of sewer line problems, you might want to consider getting it inspected more frequently. Additionally, if you are experiencing problems like frequent drain backups or a foul smell around the property, it might be a sign that you need an immediate sewer line inspection.

What can I expect during a sewer line inspection?

A professional will use a high-resolution camera attached to a flexible rod to inspect your sewer line. The camera sends a live feed to a monitor, which the inspector uses to check the condition of the sewer line, spot any problems, and decide on the best solutions. The entire process is non-invasive and doesn't typically require any digging.

How long does a sewer line inspection take?

A typical sewer line inspection can take anywhere from one to two hours depending on the size of your property and the complexity of your sewer system. If the inspector finds a problem that needs to be addressed immediately, the process might take longer.

Is there anything I need to do to prepare for a sewer line inspection?

Generally, you don't need to do much to prepare for a sewer line inspection. However, it would be helpful if you could provide easy access to the sewer cleanout for the inspectors. The cleanout is typically a capped pipe located near the foundation of your home. Also, ensuring there’s no blockage in the pipe would also facilitate the inspection process. If you're not sure where the cleanout is or whether there’s a blockage, the sewer line inspector can help you locate and rectify it.

Are there any risks associated with sewer line inspection?

Under normal circumstances, a sewer line inspection is completely safe. The process is designed to be non-invasive and will not cause any damage to your property. If there’s any risk of damaging an old or brittle sewer line, an experienced inspector will take all necessary precautions to prevent it.

Who should I call for a sewer line inspection?

It's vital to hire a professional, experienced and licensed plumber or specialized sewer line inspection company to carry out the inspection. They have the right training and equipment to efficiently and accurately diagnose any issues in your sewer line. Always ensure to ask for proof of licensing and insurance before hiring anyone to perform a sewer line inspection.

What happens if a problem is found during the sewer line inspection?

If a problem, such as a blockage or a crack, is detected during the sewer line inspection, the inspector will discuss the issue with you and provide you with various options for addressing it. Depending on the severity and location of the problem, solutions might range from a simple drain cleaning to pipe relining or a complete sewer line replacement.

What does a sewer line inspection cost?

The cost of a sewer line inspection can vary based on several factors including the location of the property, the length and complexity of the sewer line, and the company you hire. On average though, you can expect to pay between $250 and $500 for a professional sewer line inspection.

Can I do a sewer line inspection myself?

While smaller DIY plumbing projects can be handled by homeowners, a sewer line inspection is a complex task that requires specialized equipment and training. There’s also risk involved if not performed correctly, so it’s best left to professionals. They will be able to identify and map the entire line, recognize issues and advice on the best solutions.

Pros and Cons of Sewer Line Inspection

Pros of Sewer Line Inspection

Preventive Maintenance

  • Proactive Identification of Problems: A sewer line inspection allows homeowners and professionals to proactively identify potential issues. Issues like cracks, dislocations, or blockages that could escalate into significant problems if left unchecked.
  • Early Detection: Early detection of issues can save homeowners significant costs in the long run. It can help prevent expensive repairs or replacements that could arise from undetected problems.

Integrity Verification

  • Structural Assessment: Sewer line inspections can assess the structural integrity of the line itself, ensuring that no unseen damage is slowly degrading the sewer system.
  • Life Expectancy Estimate: Regular inspections will also provide a better estimate of the sewer line's life expectancy, helping to manage expectations and planning for eventual replacement.

Property Valuation

  • Increased Property Value: Performing a sewer line inspection can contribute to retaining or increasing a home's value, particularly if the inspection results show the sewer Lines are in good condition.
  • Reassurance for Potential Buyers: If you're looking to sell your property, having a recent sewer line inspection on record can provide peace of mind to potential buyers about the house’s plumbing situation.

Cons of Sewer Line Inspection

Inspection Costs

  • Initial Expense: A sewer line inspection isn’t free. The cost is a significant consideration for homeowners, especially if there isn't a suspected problem to validate the need for an inspection.
  • Varied Pricing: The cost of a sewer line inspection can vary greatly depending on the provider, the current state of the sewer line, and the location of property.

Practical Concerns

  • Disruption: Depending on the method used, sewer line inspection may cause some disruptions to your daily routine. Although most inspections are non-destructive, situations where access is challenging or the pipes need work may result in significant disturbances.
  • False Positives or Negatives: As with any diagnostic tool, the risk of a false positive or negative exists. Environmental factors and equipment sensitivity may sometimes lead to unnecessary work or undiscovered issues.

Professional Dependence

  • Quality of Service: Since homeowners typically lack the knowledge and equipment necessary for a sewer line inspection, they have to rely on professionals. This dependence can mean that the quality of the inspection is dependent on the professionalism and skills of the hired technician.
  • Dishonest Traders: Sadly not all service providers are honest, therefore there is a risk of some trying to sell unnecessary services or exaggerating minor problems after the inspection.


Sewer line inspection is a crucial task that sleuths out problems before they become an expensive mess. It helps in early detection of blockages, breaks, or other issues that could lead to massive headaches down the line. Don't wait for an emergency to take action, scheduling regular inspections can help nip potential issues in the bud.

Also, it's not just about maintaining a problem-free sewer system. An efficient sewer line inspection can increase the value of your home, especially if you're planning to sell. Homebuyers usually appreciate knowing that such an important part of the house has been properly cared for and thoroughly reviewed.

Finally, the peace of mind provided by a sewer line inspection should not be underestimated. No one wants to deal with the aftermath of a sewer backup or a collapsed line. By choosing a proactive approach, and getting regular inspections, you're on the safe side. It's all about maintaining a healthy living environment in the long run.

About KYPD Plumbing

Welcome to KYPD Plumbing, the go-to plumbing specialists based in Nicholasville, KY! Our qualified team carries the experience and the drive to handle all types of residential and commercial plumbing projects-from stubborn leaks to full-scale system installations! We've proudly built a reputation for integrity, professionalism, and unmatched quality. To find out what keeps us at the top of the trade, why not take a trip over to our website right here?

Tags: sewer line inspection, plumbing maintenance, preventing sewer backups,