What is a sewer scope and why is it important when buying a house?

What is a sewer scope and why is it important when buying a house? findwell agent Michael Schafer answers in this installment of Ask an Agent.

Q: What is a sewer scope and why is it important when buying a house?

A sewer scope is a type of inspection where you hire a sewer company to come out and run a scope which is a camera on the end of a hose all the way down the sewer line from the house out to the sewer main. It’s very important to do one because you obviously have no idea what is going on in that sewer line until there’s a problem. When buying a house it’s important to inspect that line in almost every scenario especially with older houses in Seattle where you’re responsible for the sewer line out to the main. But even in newer construction homes, where we’ve encountered heavy equipment crushing sewer lines when they’re building the house or a joint connection might be just disconnected enough where it could cause a problem over a period of time. For that reason, it’s important to do one in almost every scenario.

Q: What are the risks if I don’t do a sewer scope?

The risk of not doing a sewer scope is that you could have a ticking time bomb of a problem that could end up costing you tens of thousands of dollars. We’ve seen instances where sewer lines are 8 or 9 or 10 feet deep underneath the city streets and you’re responsible for that repair. And that could end up costing you a significant amount of money. Where you could’ve avoided that entire repair issue if you had just done a sewer scope upfront, which costs somewhere between $200 – $300.