Can an Inspector perform sewer scoping on the home you’re buying?

Well it’s about time that the Texas Real Estate Commission (TREC) has finally put their foot down to stop dishonest Inspectors from taking advantage of consumers.There has been a long standing problem with Home Inspectors trying to draw you into using their services by supposedly offering value added services.  One of the latest crazes has been trying to do the Plumber’s job with sewer scoping as an add on to their services.  Many have added this for “FREE” just to sucker you in!

Sewer scoping is the process of taking a specialized camera and running through the waste line system of the home to determine if any issues exist.  The home’s waste line system is comprised of three distinct parts.  The first are the individual drain line branches that accept the waste and water from fixtures such as tubs, showers, toilets, etc.  These are then connected to one main drain line under the home called the “Building Drain”.  You can liken this to the branches of a tree where the branch drains are as the name implies branches and the building drain is the tree trunk.  The building drain runs to just outside of the home and changes to the “Building Sewer” which is the line from the home to the City sewer system or septic system.  You can tell the demarcation point of the building drain and building sewer typically by two clean-out risers located near the exterior wall similar to this picture.  Some times there is only one riser pipe.

plumbing drain inspection

Demarcation point for building drain and building sewer

Properly scoping the drainage system not only takes knowledge and talent but it takes time!  Problems and leaks can occur anywhere from the branches all the way to the City sewer system.  If you ever have to call a Plumber you will also find out that this process is not cheap!  And yet many Inspectors who offer this service offer it for “FREE” or some ridiculously low add on fee.  You can be guaranteed that “FREE” & “CHEAP” mean only one thing and that is “SCAM”!

Inspectors would like you to think that the sewer scoping they are performing is a complete picture of the drainage system when in reality all they are scoping, if they are even scoping, is the straight run from the house to the City sewer system.  Even if they do hide the wording in their contract stating this then what about the rest of the drainage system under the house?  It is a lot easier to correct building sewer line issues (house to City sewer segment) than it is to correct drainage problems under the house.

sewer scoping Texas Real Estate Commission plumber

TREC statement regarding sewer scoping.

So how did TREC finally become motivated to do something about the problem?  Unfortunately we have been reading about these Inspectors lately after consumers have had major waste line problems that never should have been missed when that Inspector supposedly scoped the drainage lines.  This problem has caught the attention of the Texas State Board Of Plumbing Examiners (TSBPE) who have long ago determined that sewer scoping is a licensed activity that requires a plumbing license.  So TREC has issued an official statement to licensed Inspectors, and the public, agreeing with TSBPE and this statement can be found by clicking on the image.

So if your Inspector is offering to perform sewer scoping as part of the inspection, or separate from the inspection, ask to see their Plumber’s license!  If they don’t have one then pass them up entirely and drop a line to both TSBPE and TREC to help prevent other consumers from being taken advantage of.

=============================================

PS Inspection & Property Services LLC is a full service home inspection and light commercial inspection company servicing the entire Dallas and Fort Worth, Texas metroplex as well as all areas around them.  If you are located outside of these areas I can still help service your needs so call to see how.  I strive for the satisfaction of my clients in everything I do.  The services offerings include:

Buyer home inspections
New Home Warranty Inspections
New Home Draw Inspections
Home Maintenance Inspections
Home Remodeling Inspections
Investor Inspections
Infrared Thermal Imaging Inspections
Whole Inspections Or Inspections Customized To Your Needs

If you have an inspection need we can customize an inspection for it.  Please visit our main site at PS Inspection & Property Service LLC.

This entry was posted in Consumer Information & Protection, Inspection Rules, Laws, and Reporting, Technical Information. Bookmark the permalink.