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

Hello John,

Yes it would be nice if they defined “service” and there are many different definitions. For example, and since many people like to use Merriam-Webster for their definitions, another is as follows.

As it happens, just as with TREC, TSBPE will define it clearly when they send the offender a “cease and desist” notice.

Re your hydrostatic testing comment this was the TREC Advisor newsletter where they covered that back in 2016 https://www.trec.texas.gov/sites/default/files/AdvisorMay2016.pdf . Over the years I have heard that TREC will not pursue an Inspector just for starying into another licensed professions work. However over the years we have seen various cases where they will including the latest one not long ago where an Inspector was tagged for supposedly performing a gas line pressure test. All of these incidents where TREC pursued the Inspector appear to have been complaints from all sides of the RE transaction.

As for sewer scoping, and any of your other examples above, every Inspector needs to do their own due diligence before they act and provide services beyond what is required by the SOP/laws/rules. Part of that due diligence is becoming familiar with the laws of other licensed professions. Once they have done that they can then make their own decision if they want to take on any liabilities for those actions, including the liability of being called on the carpet by another licensing agency. In the end the Inspector only has themselves to blame for any issues they cause!

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The point is everyone tries to make rules for others. No different than guilds of 800 years ago. Forgot to mention sprinkler and ossf license. Lol what’s the difference between plugging in a receptacle tester and looking at a camera in a pipe . You can chew your fingernails if your using the outlet tester. The other day I combed my hair on a job and the board of cosmetology sent me a cease and desist. Occupational licensing is a horror show. Do you know why inspector training increased from four weeks to eleven? Because I told them it takes ten weeks to get a license to shampoo a dog. It’s true. :grinning:

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Comments in blue above.

I seem to be misunderstanding your posts. Are you advocating that Inspectors should do what they please without regard to established laws and enforced rules?

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That’s true, but I don’t recommend it if you do sewer scoping - sorry, I couldn’t resist. :wink:

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You are misunderstanding me. TREC crosses over into most other regulated trades. If you have differing opinions from agencies get a lawyer to get permission. I know an inspector who beat the plumbing board. I think HI is hard enough with adding more to it.

Manny,the advisor link you posted might be part of the story. I heard it was real estate agents that turned the inspector in to plumb board and asked TREC to create hydro form. They did not want the testing done. In was triggered in Amarillo

Yes our Inspector’s license provides many latitudes that are written into our rules/laws. One is your example above regarding your question to TDLR about the ability to “remove a panel box cover”. This is covered as you know in SOP 535.229(a)91)(G) which can not be performed completely without removing the dead front cover. Here TREC has provided us the “permission” to remove a dead front cover and if TDLR is not amenable with that they are free to deal with TREC directly.

The TREC rules may not be specific in many cases but that comes from being able to interpret what we are required to do. For example we are not required to open a plumbing clean-out and insert a scope to check the lines which is indirectly covered in the SOP under 535.231(a)(2)(D) and 535.227(a)(3). Therefore since we are not “required” to check the efficacy of the waste line system beyond simple testing, and we are not “required” to use advanced or specialized equipment, performing a sewer scoping can easily be considered as straying into another licensed profession/trade.

As for hiring an Attorney to “get permission” from a licensing agency why would any intelligent Inspector want to spend the money to “get permission” when we all know that “permission” would mean nothing if later the Inspector was called onto the carpet by the licensing agency anyhow when another in the licensing agency makes what is later determined to be the proper interpretation of the law/rule? In this case of sewer scoping the Director of Enforcement at TSBPE has already made a determination that an Inspector can not legally perform sewer scoping unless they are a licensed plumber as well. Until that Director capitulates to a higher authority or pressure I certainly can’t see him changing his interpretation of the law.

I can see that happening and can also see an Inspector getting shafted the same way for performing a sewer scoping and causing a deal to end as a result.

This is another real good example of Inspectors needing to use their head when they start offering all these ancillary services not required by our license laws/rules. In the case of sewer scoping I’ve seen Inspectors reporting no issues with waste lines when all they scoped was the main sewer drain and not the main house drain or drain branches. LOT of liability in doing that and a significant disservice to the clients. A failure to identify damaged plumbing under the house can lead to a very expensive foundation repair bill for the Inspector.

Just FYI, please see below link.

Can An Inspector Perform A Sewer Line Inspection? | TREC

Technically, I agree with Nicks interpretation. Realistically occupational licensing is protectionism and turf wars. Preventing sewer inspections allows homes with known sewer defects to be sold. TRECs article clearly says it’s not the inspector’s responsibility to say one word about it. Print that article for your lawyer.

Ironically, it is now the real estate agents job to explain hydrostatic testing to buyers because it’s on the contract. I foresee “the agent told me I did not need hydrostatic testing”.

I read the article that Roger links to. Seems the answer is a pretty definitive “No”, unless you are a licensed plumber.

It is definitely a No. currently under review again and time will tell us if this can be done without a TEXAS plumber license.


proebuck11

      [Paul Roebuck, CMI, TREC 3740 PI](https://forum.nachi.org/u/proebuck11)

      Certified Master Inspector




    January 20

It is definitely a No. currently under review again and time will tell us if this can be done without a TEXAS plumber license.


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wogletree

      [William B. Ogletree, TREC License #22530](https://forum.nachi.org/u/wogletree)

      InterNACHI®️ CPI




    August 19

I read the article that Roger links to. Seems the answer is a pretty definitive “No”, unless you are a licensed plumber.


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Yep. Currently sitting with the AG for his opinion.

March 18, 2020 update: TREC -vs- TSBPE

Texas Attorney General Opinion says they don’t think law prevents inspectors from offering sewer camera inspections. Nick was right on this last year. See Mike Boyett’s attachment.

Has TREC rescinded their earlier ruling?

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