Drain line inspection??

I recently received a call from a lady that is moving to my area from Arizona. She asked me if the waste lines going to the septic system were internally inspected. Of course I replied no, I don’t have anyway to look at the inside. She proceeded to tell me that she got burned on a home inspection one time and how it cost her over 5,000 dollars for repairs due to that not being looked at. I explained to her that is actually something that is out of scope for the inspector. She replied that she found a home inspector in Arizona that did such inspection. I was wondering if anyone here has ever felt with this and is there equipment for general home inspectors to use that doesn’t cost a fortune? I personally believe this is something best left for a plumbing contractor. Any input would be helpful.

I did plumbing work many years ago when I was going to school. I believe that it’s work that should be done by an investigative plumber (and I tell this to the client when there is discussion of it). I had a plumber get their camera caught in a line a few years ago and break it off. They had to come back, cut it out and replace a section of pipe. The plumber has the resources and license to do that. If it happens to a home inspector, he’s looking at a big bill to a plumber. When someone has a need for it or I recommend it, I do have someone to refer to the buyer rather than leave them to their own devices.

Thanks for your reply, I was thinking the same thing.

Check your State’s plumbing licensing laws. In Texas scoping any drain line is considered a maintenance activity and only a licensed Plumber can perform maintenance on a plumbing system for a fee.

Good point, thanks for bringing that to my attention.

I think perhaps some inspectors are getting around this by not charging a fee. I’m pretty sure I lost a job to such an inspector, as I was told they included a video inspection of the drain line “free of charge”.

I explained to the client that A) A video examination can’t access the entirety of the sanitary line system, so is not a definitive test for leaks and B), a video examination does not evaluate the fresh water lines at all.

So, at best she got an incomplete inspection of half of the plumbing system. Free, and worth every penny!

Sh*t runs down hill…
Just sayin’…

Doesn’t work that way. If the Inspector is charging a fee for their inspection and the inspection includes this service then they are in fact charging a fee to perform licensed plumbing work regardless whether they try to label it as “Free” or not.

These Inspectors who are ripping off consumers, with no doubt some harm done, do get caught! If you review the TREC disciplinary actions for the past few months there was an Inspector nailed for claiming to perform gas line pressure tests which are another licensed plumbing function. Unfortunately not enough of these Inspectors are being caught and again no doubt consumers are unknowingly harmed by them.

If the video scanning is performed properly and completely it can access the entirety of the sub-slab waste line system. But that means time to scan the house main drain as well as all drain line branches from it. Obviously that takes time and even for a good Plumber performing this on a typical home with at least 4 first floor plumbing groups, and the main sewer drain (house to city sewer), they will take a considerable amount of time and that is why they charge so much for the service.

Your last statement is so spot on!!

Many inspectors struggle with understanding inspection items which can be readily observed let alone items which are underground and out of view… that being said the next concern is how much liability will you expose your company to by operating outside established standards of practice and are you being adequately compensated for that risk? When you know the answer to those questions you’ll be in the ballpark.

To me the risk is too great to even consider.

Very good point, think I will stick with the SOP for my state and leave the plumbing stuff etc to people that specialize in it.