One of the most beneficial inspections a home buyer can perform is a sewer scope, especially if the home or sewer lines are older than 50 years.
The guys at Hyrdo-physics have got great posts on everything from tree roots to understanding negative slope drains. Because Hyrdo Physics only does the inspection of sewer scope they have a great reputation among local REALTORS and they are my often go-to guys for the job of scoping a line.
The sewer scope is in addition to the whole house inspection although some inspectors have the tools do to both types of inspections. Commonly sewer scopes are only done on older homes, there is no harm in having them done on any house. In addition to older homes, I strongly recommend sewer scopes on bank owned, distressed homes or any home that has been vacant for a long period of time.
Because sewer line problems are so common on older sewer lines, I also recommend sellers have a scope done as soon as a future sale is conceivable. Having to tear up the ground to fix a broken sewer line in the middle of trying to sell your home is a sure recipe for a level of stress that is better avoided if possible.
Homes with on-site systems such as septic will usually be required by the local health department to have an inspection on the entire system, although beware the “entire system” doesn’t usually include the line from the house to the system.
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