A question for those performing waste line scoping

For those of you out there performing waste line scoping on homes with a slab foundation (no basements or crawls) are Y’all scoping under the main house drain and each branch drain under the home?

Under the house yes, through every branch drain, it’s pretty much impossible to scope every branch drain under a house, any house, regardless if it sits on a slab, has a basement or a crawl. I’m sure it could be done if someone wanted but in some cases scoping every drain line could take hours to do.

Gallons of water are drained through the system at every fixture to ensure adequate flow.

I have a Licensed Plumber who perform all my scopes.

Yes it can take time but the importance of scoping the branches as well in areas with high shrink/swell soils, or other high potential for settlement/movement, can not be overlooked. Plenty of homes in these areas have settlement and damage to waste lines is a high probability when excessive movement occurs.

Another factor is that one long main building drain (house main drain) is not a requirement and can be very short depending on the way waste lines were routed under the slab. That can result in branch drains being much longer than the building drain. Damage to the branch can appear as good flow but may be leaking as well.

Yes running large amounts of water can help ensure that at enough flow is present to allow what appears to be no issues are occurring. However unless the main sewer drain point is blocked and the system is flooded and then drained issues can be missed.

I ask because I recently had the opportunity to stop and watch a very talented Plumber run a scoping of a home’s waste lines. When he accessed the Building Drain clean-out point and went into the house he really knew his tricks to get a scope up the branch lines! It really was quite impressive to watch!! He did a one story, 2.5 Bath, laundry, kitchen, and garage sink area in less than 2 hours from time on site to time rolling out of the driveway. That included some backing up to ensure potential issues were either verified as not or are issues. He did almost all of that from the main building drain clean-out point and a short run from the garage sink point. He let me watch the video as he was doing it and explained a few things along the way.

Flow was not an issue in this home but the Plumber did see a need for hydro-jetting the lines due to build-up that was occurring. The build-up was to the point it slowed down his scoping and he expected it to only get worse in a short time.

We also spoke about his choice of equipment as his rig cost close to $10K. Not only does it record but its all in full color and fairly clear video so he can tell if it’s a turd or a broken piece of Johnny’s toy that got flushed and is clinging to the other debris. He identified improper but functioning pipe cuts (PVC), Pipes that were not deburred causing debris to cling, etc., etc.

I too recommend a Plumber for this function but it appears so many Inspectors are getting into it now. Just wondering what Inspectors have been scoping and to what detail they report to their clients?


It appears from the lack of responses that many if not all performing this scoping on slab homes are not scoping under the home? Any others out there willing to discuss this?