Sewer Line Evaluation

Get at FREE 12 month warranty on your main sewer line with Step by Step’s Sewer Line Evaluation!

A sewer line problem can cost thousands to repair, not to mention the damage that a sewer back up can cause on the inside of your home.  The sewer line is not visible to our general home inspectors, so we cannot tell you if there is a failure or blockage inside of the sewer line.  This is why it is important to have our Sewer Line Evaluation completed prior to purchasing your new home.  A camera will be inserted into the sewer line and will uncover tree root intrusions, line failures and breaks, clogs, and sags.

Don’t let the sewer line in your new home be an “unknown”!  Once a clear Sewer Line Evaluation is completed with the home inspection, our 90 Day Main Sewer and Water Line Warranty becomes a 12 month warranty, for FREE!  A Sewer Line Evaluation is $250 if completed at the same time as the home inspection.

Sewer Line Evaluation Frequently Asked Questions

Why should a Sewer Line Evaluation be completed?

A general home inspection will not be able to determine the condition of the main sewer pipe. A Sewer Line Evaluation is the only way to determine if problems exist inside of this pipe. Problems inside of this pipe can be very costly to repair and a sewer back up can cause extensive damage inside of your home, so it is best to know the pipe condition prior to the purchase of the home.


Does the Sewer Line Evaluation include all drain pipes in the home?

No, only the main sewer line will be inspected from the clean out. The camera will run from the clean out to a maximum of 130ft, until it encounters an impassible issue, until it encounters the city’s sewer connection, or until it encounters the septic tank. Secondary drain lines and interior drain lines are not part of this inspection.


Is the septic tank included?

No part of the septic tank or septic system will be inspected. Only the drain line from the home to the septic tank will be inspected.


What are the most common problems found inside of the main sewer pipe?

Tree roots and vegetation, sagging, clogs, line breakage, and construction trash are commonly found inside of sewer pipes. Any of these problems can be the cause of a very expensive repair.


What are the most common problems found inside of the main sewer pipe?

Tree roots and vegetation, sagging, clogs, line breakage, and construction trash are commonly found inside of sewer pipes. Any of these problems can be the cause of a very expensive repair.


Where is the clean out for the main sewer pipe?

The clean out could be installed inside of the home, in the basement, in the crawl space, in the garage, or in the yard. We will find the clean out, remove the cap, and insert the camera.


Are there times when the Sewer Line Evaluation cannot be completed?

Yes, we cannot complete the service if there is no clean out, if the clean out is inaccessible, or if the clean out is not removable. If this is the case, we will return to complete the service once the appropriate repairs are made to provide access for our camera.


How does this service work? 

Our sewer line inspector will insert a camera into the clean out of the main sewer pipe. The camera will locate tree root intrusions, blockages, sags, breakages, etc. The approximate location of any problem inside of the pipe will be notated in the Sewer Line Evaluation Report.


I am buying a newer home, do I need this service? 

Yes, the condition of the main sewer pipe is a complete “unknown” when purchasing a home. There is always the possibility of tree root intrusion, improper installation, breakages, clogs, or sags in the sewer pipe, no matter the age of the home.


I am buying an older home, do I need this service?  

A Sewer Line Evaluation is highly recommended for older homes as the main sewer pipe can have numerous issues due to age. Many older homes have cast iron pipes. These pipes have an average life expectancy of 40-60 years.


When will I get my report?  

The report is guaranteed to be issued within 24 hours of the inspection. The report will include the inspection findings, approximate location of findings, and pictures.


What if there is a problem in the sewer pipe that the camera cannot pass? 

If there is an issue inside of the pipe, such as a large tree root intrusion or a blockage, the camera may not be able to pass this area. The inspection will stop at this area and further evaluation will be needed by a plumbing contractor. The camera cannot go beyond certain issues inside of the pipe as there is a high risk that the camera will not be able to be retrieved.


Can a Sewer Line Evaluation be completed if I have a septic tank? 

Yes, the camera will be inserted into the sewer pipe extending from the home up to the point of the septic connection. The septic tank is not part of the inspection. If you have concerns regarding the septic tank, a septic inspection company should be consulted.


Will the Sewer Line Evaluation include the entire main sewer pipe?  

The camera will be inserted into the line to a maximum of 130 feet, to the point of the city’s connection, or up to the point of an impassible problem. If the sewer pipe is longer than 130 feet, our inspector will use a secondary cleanout to inspect the remaining section of pipe. If a secondary cleanout does not exist for longer sewer pipes, we will recommend that a proper cleanout be installed.


What if there is not a cleanout on the main sewer line?  

If there is no cleanout present, if the cleanout cap cannot be removed, or if the cleanout is inaccessible, the Sewer Line Evaluation cannot be completed. We will recommend that a cleanout be installed or made accessible so that a proper inspection can be completed.


Is there a warranty with the Sewer Line Evaluation? 

The general home inspection comes with a 90 day warranty on the main sewer line. If a Sewer Line Evaluation is also completed, the 90 day warranty will be automatically extended to 12 months.


Will the Sewer Line Evaluation cause any damage to the sewer pipe?

No, we will only be running a small camera down the sewer pipe. The cleanout cap will be removed for this service, but it will be replaced and left in its original condition.


What if you find a problem inside of the sewer pipe? 

Our inspector will document the problem with pictures and verbiage in the report. We will also notate the approximate footage of the problem from the cleanout area. A plumbing contractor will then need to be consulted to determine the next steps. Our service only includes inspection, an additional repair contractor would be needed in the event of a problem inside of the pipe.