How feasible is it to run a sewer line inspection business?

How feasible is it to run a business that just offers sewer line inspections or any of the other ancillary services? I read on here about one guy who runs a multi inspector firm who has an employee that does 5 to 7 sewer line inspections per day at 200 to 250 dollars each. That’s very good money. I could somehow market to people in old neighborhoods.

What do you guys think?

Your only competition is virtually every plumber out there. Go for it!


On the same thought, 99% of the homes I inspect are on a septic system. The septic inspections are always referred out to a septic company. Waste of money for the client and me to inspect lines, then have to call the septic company.

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Scopes are a super-regional thing. Some areas do them all the time while other areas aren’t even aware of the concept. They came around the Portland, OR area pretty early on about 20 years ago and we do a scope on about 75% of our inspections.

For price what you’ve been told might be a bit high. Going rate here is about $125-$150. If you can find and area that isn’t doing them and you want to beat the streets (or, more to the point, the real estate offices) you could be on to something. If your area is saturated already it’s a tough time as things are slowing a bit with home sales in most areas.

A good camera and locator setup is upwards of 10K and they do break so most guys have a backup of some type or can do some repairs themselves. Don’t be fooled by the $1500 cheap cameras. They would probably hold up on newer plastic lines but the old cast iron and concrete can be REALLY hard on the lenses and cables.

If/when you do get going, reaching out to inspectors is a good idea as a lot want to offer the service but don’t want to hassle with the details.


There’s a lot of competition, but I know a handful of guys that only do ancillary services and they do great. You get a good group of busy home inspectors and your set !! The company I use is an old master plumber that only does scopes, no repairs, no cleanings and he does 6-8 scopes a day just working for inspectors

A few others have replied.
However, I ain’t touching anything that has came out of someone sewer line. NOPE!
Don’t lick you fingers. :grinning:
There isn’t enough money in it for me!

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I do Sewer Scope inspections but the main problem is finding an available access point for the camera, especially on older homes that really could use that inspection. I would say that I have to defer to a plumbing contractor that can pull a toilet on about 50% of the homes I’ve scheduled for a sewer scope.


Yep, and even once you find them, getting the old cap off can be a major project. When buyers and agents complain when the scope guy is in/out in 10 minutes on a newer house I let them know it can take hours sometimes when things don’t go right. .

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Thanks. What’s your opinion on offering just sewer line inspections as a business?

There are a few guys in my area that only do scopes and a lot of agents like the fact that they don’t also do repairs so no conflict of interest. Offering radon too is a good opportunity to diversify but by far the biggest factor is the supply/demand and awareness of the service(s) in your area.

Offering radon and sewer line inspections sounds like a good business plan. Especially if I market to people who live in 30+ year old homes.

Go for it!

Like any other business including home inspection you’ll have to work at it to establish yourself and find your market niche. I’m sure the bigger plumbers offer this service but the smaller ones might not so you might be able to market them. Real estate agents and home buyers would be the other primary target as another tool to help avoid unwanted costly repairs after they move into the home, especially with older homes. You might also market your service to other home inspectors who want to offer the service but are not interested in purchasing the equipment and doing it.

As noted you’ll have to research your market to find out what others are offering and the average cost. A lot will also depend on your ability to market and promote the service. Again just like starting a home inspection business it can take anywhere from 1-3 years to get established, build a reputation and a solid referral base. If you’re a one person shop you’ll have to wear many hats and balance between doing the work and selling the service which can be a challenge.

Sewer scoping is a natural addition to a home inspection business. We have at least one or two multi inspector firms that have a dedicated person for their ancillary services (radon, pool, environmental, sewer scopes) and will sub out there services to other home inspectors. Diversity of services could be a natural extension.

A recent informal survey from a FB group

And along with that I may take 15-20 minutes (lierally beating the bushes) trying to look for an access point (Cleanout) or even try like heck to get the camera into a smaller cleanout (2-2.5 inch) only to find it wont go or you get 10 feet and don’t dare push any harder…And when that 30 minutes is wasted and you find you just can’t give the client a service (video) worth anything, If I can’t deliver…I don’t charge.

Get the training needed and if you have the ability to offer those extras, you will find some will pick you for The Home Inspection because you can perform those extras. I don’t push those extras like many will but I have the capability to be a one stop shop for most of that. Thermal Imaging just a few years ago was not offered by most HIs but I have a hard time believing any savvy client is going to not expect that service to be included with a standard home inspection. (And No, You do not need a $2,000 and up IR camera to do what we need during a standard home inspection)