The Value of a Sewer Camera Inspection in a New Home Purchase

gavin-van_compressedThere are three main reasons Garvin’s Sewer Service thinks are valid for sewer scope (aka sewer snake, aka sewer camera) inspections. We frankly get frustrated when we hear other companies do these on a regular basis because we see homeowners being sold something they don’t need based on the infrequency, and therefore lack of education, about what a sewer camera inspection is designed for: home purchase, known sewer problems and homeowner preference.

First, a sewer camera is an expensive piece of equipment. The repairs are costly and most damage is caused on the camera head. This damage is limited by proper use by a trained technician. As with every other business, the costs of the equipment and repairs are passed onto the customer. This is why Garvin’s Sewer Service keeps their prices low by not running the camera at every job site.

Reason One: A New Home Purchase

The first main reason to consider a sewer scope inspection is due to a home purchase. In the transaction of Real Estate, a typical home inspection does not include a sewer camera inspection. And, because a sewer repair or replacement can range from $3500 to tens of thousands of dollars, paying around $200 for the peace of mind of knowing the condition of the sewer is important. We also highly recommend in the home purchase transaction that the home BUYER pay for the inspection and not the home SELLER.

If, as a home seller, you recently had a sewer scope inspection done and know the following, then you can provide a copy of the DVD to the buyer showing:

  1. The line is in good condition
  2. The home has been occupied since the inspection
  3. No sewer line back-ups or ground shifts have occurred since the sewer camera inspection was performed

Remember, there are laws about disclosing information about a property and it is illegal to provide inaccurate information in the home purchase transaction. It is for this reason Garvin’s Sewer Service suggests the buyer request and perform the inspection.

Reason Two: A Known Sewer Line Problem

The second reason to get a sewer camera inspection is when the sewer line has been cleaned and is very problematic. There is no value in cleaning a sewer line that is still backed up, as you won’t be able to see anything. Additionally, you want to know what is causing the blockage before you determine if the sewer line needs a repair or replacement.

If the sewer line is blocked by concrete, falling apart or completely sealed and compacted with waste, a section of the line may need to be removed. However, if the line is simply blocked by roots and common non-flushables, you can simply have a sewer cleaing and the added expense of a sewer camera inspection isn’t needed.

Garvin’s Sewer Service has seen some companies charge several hundred dollars to clean a sewer line and then perform a sewer camera inspection to “show you it was cleaned sufficiently”. What we have found to be true is that these companies charge the extra money to put in their pockets (the line better be cleaned sufficiently if they are professionals, and if you don’t trust them to clean it well, why did you hire them to begin with?), and they use the opportunity to use the homeowners lack of knowledge to sell an unnecessary sewer line repair.

Reason Three: Homeowner Preference

If you just have a general curiosity and don’t mind spending the money to get a good look at your sewer line, then do. Garvin’ Sewer Service simply wants you to make an educated choice rather than being subject to sales pitches for less than helpful reasons. When you do get the sewer scope inspection done, we would love to be the providers of that service. And if not, we do offer free second looks at the DVD to help you interpret what you are seeing. You can also check out this BLOG for more info on what you are seeing and can expect to see in a sewer camera inspection.

As always, feel free to contact Garvin’s Sewer Service at 303-571-5114 with any questions or comments on your new home purchase and the sewer camera inspection.

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