InterNACHI members in Texas can do sewer scope inspections without a plumbers license

InterNACHI members in Texas can do sewer scope inspections without a plumbers license.

Regulated activities include: design, planning, installation, repair, changing, servicing and maintenance of plumbing.


Viewing, observing, and recording is not regulated.

Textbook example for the expression “Just because you can doesn’t mean you should”.

With all due respect to those who offer this service, I too often find that the average consumer thinks that having their sewer scoped will assure that they do not have any plumbing leaks. Of course, the fact is that scoping the sewer lines in no way addresses the integrity of the fresh water lines, and is not the definitive method for ensuring the sewer lines are free of leaks.

I suspect that many of those offering line scoping are not making sure their clients understand those facts.

Several of us Texas Inspectors had this conversation awhile back and I did inquire with TSBPE. Their response is quite different from your interpretation. See the attached email. Have you validated this claim directly with TSBPE? Note that the person who responded to my email, Mr. Davis, was the Director of Enforcement at that time.


Unfortunately I can’t open your PDF. Can you post the email as a screenshot?

Opens just fine for me.

Nothing like interpreting a state law and putting out an opinion without written proof from the State in question. Sure hope someone is going to pay the fine if someone followed this bad advice. :roll:

I just emailed it to FastReply.

Got it. He is incorrect. Sewer scoping is not “servicing” anything.

InterNACHI will indemnify its members should the Texas State Board of Plumbing Examiners attempt to take any action against an InterNACHI member performing an inspection using a sewer scope.


Will INACHI indemnify its members in Texas if the Texas Real Estate Commission, the home owner, or the Inspector’s client attempts to take any action against the Inspector as a result of performing a sewer scope without a Plumbers license?


Is this your personal opinion? Or an official legal opinion?

InterNACHI’s official position.

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Then it would make more sense that you, as a trade organization, clearly develop a position and “argue” it to the TSBPE and get their agreement before encouraging Texas inspectors to blindly go forth and trust you to get them out of serious hot water at a later date. Or, work with TPREIA to get that done.

Indemnify is an interesting term and the definition has different levels. So to reiterate InterNACHI’s official position, if a licensed Texas Home Inspector performs a sewer scope, without a plumbing license, and the State of Texas suspends their license so they cannot perform home inspections, INTERNACHI will be paying: A. Legal fees to defend the inspector. and B. Loss of the inspectors income until such time as their license is reinstated regardless of length of time. Is that correct?

If anything, I expect it would come in the form of a fine from the TSBPE for a plumbing license violation. Indemnification in that case IMO would mean defending in court and paying the fine if the case is lost.

The TSBPE does require a license to remove cleanouts and traps for the purpose of clearing obstructions. A sewer scope is not mentioned, but I think it’s more loophole than anything. It might be defensible once, but before I invested $$ for the equipment, I would want to know that they won’t just modify the regulation the first time they discover a non-licensee performing that function.

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Do any of you do these inspections?
Or are you’all speaking in generalities?
If so! I’d never want to shake hands with you!
The last thing I want to do is clean a sewer cam.
I wouldn’t want that sh*it of any kind in my truck…Really!

I did plumbing work about a hundred years ago when I was going to school. I have no desire to be that close to someone else’s ****.

He…ll no! I sub these out, a lot. The type of job (as you mentioned), equipment needed, time involved, Liability, it is not worth the money.

Like this one.

Client wants me to pay for sewer back up

  • I did not see a definition for “service” in the plumbing statute.
  • The dictionary defines service as repair or maintain
  • Texas Real Estate Commission contract requires written permission by seller for anyone to do a hydro-static test. Line 7A on this form
  • Texas Real Estate Commission just adopted a form where seller and buyer agree on who is responsible of something breaks. Its amazing the agency is creating contract agreements that define liability. See this form.
  • A long time ago I wrote the Texas Department of Licensing Regulation and asked if I could insert a thermometer into an air duct. They said no. If I could remove the cover on a furnace to observe operation. They said no. If I could use a few visual methods to look for a heat exchanger crack. They said no.
  • Long ago I asked the Electricians Board if I could remove a panel box cover. They said no.
  • The Pest Control Board says you cannot identify a termite or roach even if your sure about it unless you have a license.
  • Occasionally an engineer will challenge TREC on whether an inspector can render an opinion on foundation performance.
  • Once called an agent crazy. I got a letter from the Psychiatric Board asking if I was licensed.
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