10 Reasons to Get a Sewer Line Inspection before Purchasing a Home

Sewer cleaning. A plumber uses a sewer snake to clean blockage i

When was the last time you heard someone who was about to buy a new home exclaim, “We should really have the sewer line inspected!”. Chances are good it was never. That’s an unfortunate reality and one that needs to change.

Of course, there’s a lot to consider when buying a home, particularly if it’s an existing one and not brand new. You want to make sure that the roof is up to par, that the foundation’s not cracked, and that there aren’t any problems lurking within the walls. Here’s the thing – skipping the sewer line inspection could mean paying out tens of thousands of dollars.

How can a sewer line inspection save you that much money? Why should you ensure that you have one of these inspections conducted before purchasing a home? Below, we’ll cover 10 reasons.

1. Catch Problems Early On

The key to avoiding major expenses is to catch those problems early. With a sewer line inspection, you can identify issues before they become costly burdens. Not only does that save you time and money, but it also ensures that you’re able to enjoy a healthier home. Some sewer-related problems can allow sewage to leak out of the pipe into the surrounding soil, where it often rises to the surface right in your front yard.

2. Prevent Root-Related Damage

One of the most common types of damage to a home’s sewer line is from tree roots. Roots grow down and into the sewer line, cracking it open and blocking it up. The results can range from slow drains to frequent backups and everything in between. It can be incredibly challenging to diagnose this issue without a sewer line inspection. By spotting root-related problems early, you can take action before they become serious issues.

3. Identify Damage

Sewer lines, particularly older ones, are subject to damage from many different sources. Tree and shrub roots cause their fair share of issues, but sewer lines can also be damaged by pressure and other forces. Lines can crack and break, allowing sewage to seep into the surrounding soil, and debris can slow the flow of sewage through the line, leading to backups. By spotting damage, you’re able to make repairs quickly and with less expense.

4. Accurately Diagnose a Problem

Most plumbing problems are diagnosed with educated guesses. After all, if your kitchen sink is draining slowly, the most likely cause is debris in the plumbing. However, you might use a drain snake or liquid drain opener all to no avail. This can lead to testing and trying many other solutions, all yielding a similar lack of results. Each attempted fix takes time and costs money. With a sewer line inspection, you’re able to accurately diagnose the problem and skip the hassle and expense of trial and error.

5. Prevent Problems in the Home

What happens when your sewer backs up? If yours is like most homes, it leads to flooding in the interior. While the walls and flooring can probably handle a little wetting, repeated flooding events will eventually damage sheetrock and even damage your flooring and subflooring. Those will take even more time and money to repair.

6. Prevent Problems in the First Place

What’s the best way to fix a problem? Not to experience it in the first place. One of the most important benefits of having a sewer line inspection is the ability to take preventative action. Your plumber will be able to identify areas that might be subject to problems down the line and take corrective action now. You’ll also be able to use preventative maintenance to keep your sewer line in good condition.

7. Real-Time Video

It’s often difficult to really understand the problem when a plumber is describing it to you. In some cases, you might not believe that the problem is as severe as your plumber claims. With a sewer line inspection, that’s not an issue. You’ll have a real-time video that shows you exactly what the problem is and how it is affecting your sewer system.

8. You Can Save Time

You’re pressed for time, and your plumber charges by the hour. Having an accurate diagnosis of the problem quickly helps you save time (and money). In turn, that minimizes the disruption to your household and gets things back to normal as quickly as possible.

9. Consider Different Materials

Sewer lines come in many different materials. Without knowing how they perform over time, it’s hard to make the right decision if you need to replace a section or install a new sewer line. With a sewer line inspection, you can see how well the material in question has held up over time and decide whether you want to use that again or consider something different.

10. Make a Smart Buying Decision

Finally, the single most important reason to have a sewer line inspection before purchasing a home is that it enables you to make a smart buying decision. Is the sewer line mostly blocked up? You know that it’ll take a lot of time and money to fix the problem. Is the sewer line cracked? Are there tree roots growing into it? You might want to think twice before even buying the home in question.

In Conclusion

There you have them – 10 reasons that you need to get a sewer line inspection before purchasing a home. We would also recommend that sellers consider having their lines inspected to reduce the chance of experiencing a nasty surprise during the sale process and to give them a stronger footing for negotiations.


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You’re making one of the most significant investments a person can make in their lifetime, and you need to know that it’s a good one.

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