Sewer scoping inspections, Yes or No?

I am interested in adding in sewer inspections but I have a few questions looking for opinions, I am looking at spending almost $3000 on a 200’ video recording sewer scope, 1. Is there anything anybody would recommend for purchasing this tool about the accessories that are helpful 2. Is it nasty messy and not worth it? I realize I can clean up after myself but I would think no matter how much time I take to clean the tools I would probably miss something that could maybe cause a few sick days. 3. How long is the average time frame from pulling the tool out of the truck, recording, cleaning and then discussing it with everyone who wants to know how it went?

That was always an area I chose to leave to the plumbing contractors Greg. Each added service brings with it added time and added liabillity. Just my opinion partner I’m sure You will hear others…


I looked at it from that point of view at first and then I tried to do some research on it and I seen where others say “it’s on video so it is what it is and the video pretty much reports itself” I also reviewed InterNachi how home inspectors can offer sewer scope services, I’m not sure which way I am going with this yet, I appreciate your opinion

Also remember Greg, Im semi retired and You are just getting started so our goals should differ. I would recommend that You maybe talk to some plumbing contractors about the complexities of that service.

Thanks James I will take that advice


Here is something to consider

Greg, IMO as Jim said, best to leave to plumbing contractors.

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Hi Greg,

I’ve been doing sewer scopes for 3 years now. It’s a great way to make extra money. I would assess first how often buyers in your area are opting to have one performed. Where I’m at it’s ~60% of my inspections that have a sewer scope added.

The camera that will serve you well is probably not the $3000 one. We use the Ridgid setup which runs closer to $9000.

As for training before you begin, I took the SewerScan course (from Monroe I think?) it’s great basic info to make sure you’re identifying the right materials and defects.

Even with all the tools and training there are tons of tips and tricks that take time to develop, I carry an additional $1000 of different tools to assist me like different pipe wrenches, hammer and chisel for old cast iron & brass, wax rings if you have to pull a toilet.

If there’s demand in your market, I would definitely consider it, but if you’re noticing sewer scopes are few and far between, it’s not worth the cost. Radon equipment paid itself off much faster than the sewer scopes. For point of reference we charge $150 for radon and $150 for sewer. When you offer the most commonly recommended ancillary services you WILL get more business though.

If you wanna chat more HMU privately and I’ll give you more info if you want.

Good Luck.


That article just about scares me out of the thought, I was worried about diseases and carrying it home to my wife and son.

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I am planning on this year to start getting my Home Inspections business ready to hopefully take off in 2021. My goals this year is to be licensed for WDI and Radon inspections and then was debating on sewer scope inspections. The last 5 years or so I have just been letting the home inspections track me down, so I feel it’s time to get going on this business. I am not trying to steel your secrets but I would love to talk and see what I am overlooking, I don’t know, maybe it’s not for me

Greg, before you spend substantial money on tools for ancillary inspections you might inspect for a while first and get a better idea of the market for sewer scope in your area.


Are you a plumber or an inspector? We might think that running a camera down a sewer line is just another area of inspection. But it involves expensive specialized equipment and it involves making analysis and recommendations that will sound an awful lot like a plumber. Since I’m not a trained plumber, I don’t do sewer scopes. And the disease potential is an issue, too. I leave the sewer scopes to the specialist plumbers.

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My two cents…Scopes are a dangerous add-on business for home inspectors. Few home inspectors get the guidance, training, and experience for the many different issues that can be found in a sewer line. In Colorado, the number one complaint to the Division of Real Estate about home inspectors is home inspectors making mistakes on scopes. (HIs are not regulated in Colorado, but complaints still come in) Anyone doing scopes needs a high quality camera, circa $9-10K, and a lot of training…a lot of training.

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Well all I do right now is just a basic home inspection, no extras like WDI, radon, sewer or mold. I have yet to really invest in the time to start advertising for myself I have just been letting the inspections fall in place without seeking them out. I just wanted to I have my business goals set before I started advertising. Can a inspector pick up business just doing the basic home inspection? I realize that depends on the location and I am located in northern Ohio

Greg if you don’t have an active home inspection business, how do you get grandfathered?

I do have an active business but I have yet to attempt to get full time inspections

Over the last five years I have just taken them as they came to me I never really worked for the work yet

Then you are lucky. Why change your business model ? Sounds like what you are doing is paying off.

I have a plumber/contractor that I always recommend for these. The last 2 times he showed up to do the lateral when I was there, both times the cleanout could not be found and he ended up removing toilets to do the scope, there was also an upcharge for this extra work, also keep in mind that many times the cleanout has to be cut out and replaced because it hasn’t been removed in 50+ years.

Things to consider if you’re going to be doing this yourself.

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I just want to do home inspections, also thinking for when I get older I am 40, I should probably update my photo because that is early 30’s. Right now I just do home maintenance and repairs and Have been very busy with this for last 7 years, every day with work.