Jump to content
Sign in to follow this  
John Dirks Jr

recommending sewer line scopes

Recommended Posts

What triggers you to make a recommendation to have the sewer lines scoped?

Is there a specific age that you begin to lean in that direction? What other things push you to prompt it?

I get my fair share of older houses in my area. I havn't recommended sewer line scoping very often. I'm wondering if I should do it more often.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

What triggers you to make a recommendation to have the sewer lines scoped?

Is there a specific age that you begin to lean in that direction? What other things push you to prompt it?

I get my fair share of older houses in my area. I havn't recommended sewer line scoping very often. I'm wondering if I should do it more often.

Had a 60 year old vacant home a couple years ago. I did my inspection w/o a problem however a couple weeks after client moved in, toilets backed up. Sewer line to road was filled with roots, cost them a bunch because evidently a break was in line also....

Also, had a home with deteriorated copper waste line under basement slab, plugged up, copper drainline was rotted/deteriorated and they had to cut slab, etc to replace...

So my criteria is vacant home and/or a home over 40 years.... may be overkill but CYA

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

One could make the argument to recommend one for any home.

Around here, a scope costs less than $200. They have found significant bellies/sags on newer sewer lines. Theories for the sags are poor workmanship, leaks at the joints, improper backfill, or some combination of all three.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Harsh reality is it's a good idea on any home. I've found 20 year old houses where some moron didn't fit the bell and hub joint in the tile, and it separated, causing major backup and damage.

Me? If there's trees in the front yard, I tell people they ought to scope the sewer.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I don't have to worry about recommending it anymore. 90% of the time, my customers schedule the scope guy to be there during the inspection.

The going price here is $125. At that price, who wouldn't want to have it done?

- Jim Katen, Oregon

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Are there any circumstances which the scope guy and the inspector clash if they're there at the same time. What might be some complications?

Also, do you anticipate by using property information and let the client know in advance that you might be recommending the extra service or do you wait until you see the conditions at the property?

Do you know of any good educational links I could put in an email to show what sewer scopes are and what they can do?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

One complication could be if the inspector is an idiot and thinks they should be the center of attention during the entire inspection.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

One complication could be if the inspector is an idiot and thinks they should be the center of attention during the entire inspection.

I always defer prima donna status to the sewer scope guy. His stuff is much more interesting what with a TV and all. Sometimes I even take a few minutes and watch.

Conflict? Only if I need to use the loo and he's got his camera down the sewer line. That doesn't happen very often.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Sometimes I even take a few minutes and watch.

I always watch the whole thing. It's one of the most important things; I want to know what's going on.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I've never had a conflict with the line scope guy. He sees home inspectors all the time; he understands us and we understand him. I often stop what I'm doing for a few minutes to check out his video once he's had his camera deployed for a while. The guy's job is just as important as mine; more important sometimes, and he's a pro and good at what he does. I'm not afraid to recommend folks to him and he's remembered and referred a few back to me.

ONE TEAM - ONE FIGHT!!!

Mike

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

What triggers me to recommend the scope are:

*Home is over 40 years of age.

*Has cast iron waist lines

*I can see trench lines in the yard to the street on neighborhood homes.

*Just have a gut feeling....

They cost about $200 in my neck of the woods.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I'd suggest that a good rapport between all professionals and tradesman that may be onsite at the time of the inspection that are holding the client's best interests at heart is healthy for all involved.

Just my opinion.

Marc

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I regret not warning my clients sooner in my career.

7 or 8 years ago, a client of mine woke up in her ground floor 1970's condo a year after I had done her inspection to a couple of inches of sewage compliments of a tree clogged sewer and the units above her. It came right up her laundry room floor drain.

She was beside herself with anger and nausea and was strongly considering suing me for not recommending a scope. I did not get sued but I really wish I would have thrown the possibility out there for her to consider. No one should have to go through that.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I regret not warning my clients sooner in my career.

7 or 8 years ago, a client of mine woke up in her ground floor 1970's condo a year after I had done her inspection to a couple of inches of sewage compliments of a tree clogged sewer and the units above her. It came right up her laundry room floor drain.

She was beside herself with anger and nausea and was strongly considering suing me for not recommending a scope. I did not get sued but I really wish I would have thrown the possibility out there for her to consider. No one should have to go through that.

Sadly, that's how most of us learn things like this. I never used to recommend it, either, till someone here posted a tale about an inspector AND a realtor getting sued because of a damaged waste line.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Oh yeah......

My on the job training occurred about 17 years ago.

That, and I ran a little database search in my report archives to see how many places had sewer problems.

18 1/2% of my customers have building sewer defects. Almost 1/5 of all houses.

Those two things got me on the case.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Does this boiler for sewer line scope recommendation look ok? The itlalics part is open for tweaking depending on the specifics of the place.

This general home inspection cannot fully verify the condition of the sewer lines. The conditions at this property including the age of the house, sewer line material, foundation conditions, soil conditions and large mature trees can have a negative affect on the condition of the sewer lines. Failure of the lines can interupt service and allow sewage to backflow into the house. Repair or replacement of the lines can be expensive. Because of these things, I recommend you hire a qualified contractor to scope the sewer lines to verify their condition. If things are found wrong, have them corrected.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Are there any circumstances which the scope guy and the inspector clash if they're there at the same time. What might be some complications?

Since I'm on a first-name basis with most of the sewer-scope guys in town, I try really hard to get along with them all. I try not to run any water while they're scoping. If I get there first and I happen to notice the location of the sewer cleanout, I'll tell them as soon as they arrive so they don't have to spend time looking for it. If one of them has a hard time finding the cleanout, I'll sometimes stop what I'm doing & help him. I don't watch the scope most of the time, but I always try to listen in on his narration. None of these things is a complication.

In return, these guys are always really nice to me. Several of them have referred business to me and I to them.

Also, do you anticipate by using property information and let the client know in advance that you might be recommending the extra service or do you wait until you see the conditions at the property?

No only do we anticipate it, we actually offer to schedule the sewer scope for them if they'd like us to. (Of course, there's no kickback or any other monetary incentive for us.)

Do you know of any good educational links I could put in an email to show what sewer scopes are and what they can do?

I don't know of any. I just say that tell people that a sewer scope guy can sent a camera on the end of a long snake into the sewer pipe and take a video of it. No one seems to have any questions or have the need for further "education" about it.

- Jim Katen, Oregon

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Does this boiler for sewer line scope recommendation look ok? The itlalics part is open for tweaking depending on the specifics of the place.

This general home inspection cannot fully verify the condition of the sewer lines. The conditions at this property including the age of the house, sewer line material, foundation conditions, soil conditions and large mature trees can have a negative affect on the condition of the sewer lines. Failure of the lines can interupt service and allow sewage to backflow into the house. Repair or replacement of the lines can be expensive. Because of these things, I recommend you hire a qualified contractor to scope the sewer lines to verify their condition. If things are found wrong, have them corrected.

Sewer Scope

I can’t tell you anything about the condition of the underground portion of the drain pipe or sewer pipe.

1. Have the interior of the sewer piping video recorded to learn about its condition.

Or

FYI – Sewer Scope

I can’t tell you anything about the condition of the underground portion of the drain pipe or sewer pipe. During the inspection, Joe Jones from Jones Scoping performed a sewer scope inspection. Please refer to his video report for information about the condition of the drain pipe & sewer pipe.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

If someone doesn't quite understand sewer scope means, I use the term "colonoscopy".

Folks get that.

I sense a trend to over-reliance on boilerplate to describe all things. You end up sounding like a robot and your reports will be twice as long, or longer, than they need to be.

Just tell folks old sewers often have problems that are expensive and disruptive to repair. Describe a few defects if you must. Tell folks the only way to know is to scope the sewer. Offer to schedule the scope. Tell them to call you at your office to discuss if they just can't get the idea in their head.

Then get out of the way and let the guy do his job.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

New houses are not without problems, they just have lower risk. I've been in 3 crawl spaces (well after they were cleaned up) where the sewer never got hooked up properly during construction.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

Sign in to follow this  

×
×
  • Create New...