Although many home buyers are careful to inspect the roof and appliances of the residence they hope to buy, most do not consider inspecting the home’s sewer line to be necessary. Depending on where you live in the state, it may be the responsibility of the homeowner to maintain the side sewer line on their property up until the point where it attaches to the main city line.
Inspecting the home’s entire sewer line is usually done by a professional plumber who uses a small video camera attached to a long snake tool, which is inserted into the pipes. The plumber is then able to view the camera’s monitor to see the progress of the snake through the pipes and identify any problems. In the process, the plumber aims to determine the condition of the sewer line’s material, any breaks in it, and any repairs that have previously been done to it.
Here are several issues that we have found in the sewer pipelines of homes of varying ages:
Faulty Pipe Installation – Like any other type of building installation, there is a right way and a wrong way to install sewer piping in a home. Your inspection will be able to determine if the pipes in the home being inspected have been properly installed.
Pipe Setting – When sewer lines are improperly placed in trenches that cannot support them, they sink. This common problem causes sludge to slowly build up, ultimately resulting in a blocked line.
Pipes Made of Clay or Concrete – Homes in older neighborhoods tend to have sewer lines manufactured from these materials, which make them vulnerable to a variety of underground conditions.
Damage from Roots – Roots often grow into the cracks of faulty pipes because they are attracted to moisture. As they grow, they cause the pipe cracks to expand. Over time, the roots fill the pipeline which stops it from functioning. This becomes an expensive but necessary problem to fix.
Damage from Shifting Dirt – Storms, droughts or other unusual weather patterns can cause the earth around sewer pipes to shift. This can cause breakage, which results in sediment entering the pipe. Eventually, roots can grow into the pipe, clogging it.
Pipes Past Their Life Expectancy – Sewer pipelines typically have a 50-year lifespan. With many homes in Seattle quickly approaching that benchmark, they will likely have pipe issues that any prospective home buyer would need to consider.
Once you know the reality of the condition of the sewer pipes in the home you are considering purchasing, you will know if you need to negotiate any repairs into the purchase price or look elsewhere. And if the inspections yield good news, you have the comfort of knowing that you are moving into a home with a secure sewer line system.
FloHawks Can Help
FloHawks plumbing professionals can conduct your essential sewer line inspection with ease. We are experienced at inspecting sewer pipes and our technicians are equipped with the latest plumbing equipment including high-definition video cameras perfect for pipe inspections. We can handle pipe maintenance services for commercial and residential customers and our services are scheduled at your convenience.