Home Inspection Does not Include Underground Sewer Lines

Home Inspector with ACSI American Construction Specialists & Investigations


Scoping the sewer line is not part of a standard Home Inspection


I frequently suggest to my home inspection customers that they may wish to have the sewer line scoped to check for damage or debris in the line.Sewer not part of Phoenix Home Inspection


Some will ask me “Isn’t the sewer part of the home inspection?” The answer is yes and no.


During a home inspection I flush toilets, run faucets, tubs and showers. I estimate I run about 50 gallons of water during a normal home inspection. Water will flow through most any obstacle course, solids and debris do not.


I do not, lets say, “field test” the toilets. I simply can not bring enough bananas with me to flush to see how the drain lines handle debris. If I did, and the line clogged, you know I would be blamed.


Home Inspections are visual, sewer lines are not


Home inspectors conduct visual inspections of what can bee seen. Items concealed in walls or underground are not included. I do recommend you locate the main sewer line and see if you can determine where it runs. Look for plants (Like big mesquite trees) that have roots that search for any sign of moisture.


If you have any trees or plants by the sewer line, I recommend you have a plumbing company come out and run a video scope down the drain and inspect the condition.


If you are in an older part of Phoenix, Scottsdale, Chandler or Gilbert, it is now possible to replace the old clay lines without digging them up.


Remember if you do need  a home inspection, please give us a call.

Comments (4)

MaryBeth Mills Muldowney
TradeWinds Realty Group LLC - Braintree, MA
Massachusetts Broker Owner

In my area of Massachusetts, south of Boston and north of Cape Cod for the most part we have septic systems...again you cannot really test at a home inspection.  As you say the water is run, toilets are flushed etc but so very hard to determine whether a system is working properly.  We have a state chapter of law which must be relied upon for bringing septic systems into compliance.  This test and inspection is usually conducted outside of the home inspection and in our area it is also usually the cost of selling the home and born by the Sellers of the property.  Great post, thank you and Happy New Year.

Dec 19, 2011 07:58 AM
Bill Reddington
Re/max By The Sea - Destin, FL
Destin Florida Real Estate

We have septic and city sewers. The seller usually deals with a septic inspection required in some counties. If there is a septic I suggest it.

Dec 19, 2011 08:14 AM
Dawn A Fabiszak
Private Label Realty ( Denver metro area, Colorado - Aurora, CO
The Dawn of a New Real Estate Experience!

Scott ~ in Denver, many older homes seem to have problems with roots wrapping around the lines.

Dec 22, 2011 09:51 AM
Jonas Clark
US Trenchless, Inc. - Sacramento, CA
US Trenchless, Inc.


We are tryng to encourage Realtors® here is Sacramento to get behind the proactive side of sewer lateral qualification but for some reason they just don't want to rock the boat. Any thoughts on how we could get more interest in the subject up here? BTW - I'm an AZ transplant. Born in Prescott and grewup in Payson, AZ!! Native son missing my home state. We are makig the best of CA but it has it's challenges :)

Feb 23, 2014 03:14 AM

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