Sewer Line from House to Street: Having This Home Inspection What to Expect

Every home has some type of a main sewer line. If a house has a septic tank, it’s a little bit different than what I’m going to be talking about today, but in general, we’re going to be talking about sewer lines that go from the house all the way to the street, to the public utility.

Some people refer to it as the main line.

This is the plumbing that channels all the waste water from the house from the toilet, from the sink, from the dishwasher, from the washer, from the shower… All your waste water goes through that and goes out to the public utility. The Public Utility where the sewer, the giant sewer line comes through is typically halfway from the curb into the street and its way down deep. Residential main lines are usually made of plastic PVC or ABS, cast iron, and sometimes clay pipe.

The inspection of that main line is typically done by the buyers. They hire a plumber or someone who’s an expert at scoping the main line to determine if everything is okay with the line or if it’s got some damage and may need repairs or replaced. The person who is the expert of scoping these main lines will bring some machinery. It has a camera the camera is at the end of what they call a snake, it’s a long line and it has a camera at the end of it. And what they do is they put it down into the main line somehow, typically there’s a clean out where they can open that up and they can access the main line. Sometimes, and this is the worst-case scenario, they actually have to pull the toilet and scope down through the pipe that comes up to the toilet. They don’t actually go down through the toilet itself they have to pull the toilet put it aside and then there’s an opening there that they can scope through. Now, this snake with the camera on the end, it actually goes through the whole main line, and they’re taking a video at the same time. My experience is they’re typically talking, the person that’s doing the scoping is typically talking, about what they are discovering as they go through certain parts of the piping.

Like I said, the buyers usually take care of this, they pay for someone to come out and prudent buyers and good real estate agents that are being prudent for their buyers will pay about 200 to have this scope completed. A few years back, a buyer chose to do a main line scope of a property that was probably built around 1940, and it was discovered that there had been clay pipe. At some point there must have been trees in the front yard of the property, and actually the roots had intruded and scooted the pipes, so they weren’t lined up perfectly. So, this turned into a situation where the buyer asked the seller to have that either repaired or replaced. The less expensive way to do it was we hired someone to come in and replace portions of that clay pipe, and the transaction went through as planned.

Now, regardless of the type of material that’s use for that main line tree roots can get in their (teeny, tiny tree roots) get into the main line. As they get the water out of there the roots get bigger and bigger, and that’s what can cause damage to the main line. They also can clog up a main line because the roots get in there, and they just keep growing, and the next thing you know you’ve got a big clog. The reason they do this is roots are searching for water, and what’s in a main line? All your waste water!

The cost is expensive to replace a main line, it can be typically between $5000 and $10000. If a buyer should discover that there’s a problem with the main line that they can prove they’re going to be requesting that be corrected as part of purchasing the house, in most cases.

Now, repairs are somewhere around $3000… remember the story I told you about the clay pipe? It was around $3000 that the seller had to pay to have that main line be functional for the new buyers. Once the inspection has been completed, the inspector will give the buyers and sometimes the agents either a flash drive or an SD card that will have the entire inspection on that device.

That way you can watch it at your leisure at a later time, to see where the problems are, and that’s the way that buyers can present to a seller that there is something wrong with the main line that needs to be corrected. And If the buyers, and buyer’s agent, and the seller’s representative is there the inspector will explain what they’re recording on that camera, during the actual inspection. Again, you have the flash drive or the other card for later to be able to look through it again and really verify what’s wrong with the main line.

Hope you enjoyed this hope you find it a value.


Find us on:

.Facebook . Instagram . Twitter