Ask any real estate broker around, if you are in escrow on a single-family home in Los Angeles and the house is connected to city sewer (some properties in LA are septic), you should absolutely get a sewer line inspection as part of your Los Angeles home inspection.
Why is it important to get a sewer line inspection?
Because you as the homeowner are responsible for the city sewer line all the way up to the connection at the city tap in the middle of the street- you want to know what is going on in there.
In the past this was impossible because the 4-inch diameter pipe was inaccessible, with the advent of modern cameras, plumbing companies like us at Mr Speedy Plumbing can get a sewer line inspection done quickly!
The average time on a video camera inspection is 1 hour.
We will walk the property and locate the sewer line cleanout. If there isn’t a cleanout we will recommend to have one installed because that is important if you need to service your sewer line. If we must we can remove a toilet and get into the sewer line that way or go through a plumbing vent on the roof, but expect an additional charge for the inspection if this required.
One cool feature of la sewer video inspections is that if we find any problems while inspecting your sewer line, we can make you a video and write an inspection report, so you can share it with the seller.
One of the common problems we run into a lot is root intrusions in the sewer line. I always look around the property for big trees near the sewer lines. Roots look for water and will try to pry their way into your sewer line pipes. If they get in there the root will block the pathway and that can lead to plumbing backups.
Fortunately, if a root is blocking your sewer line we can Hydro jet the root and remove the blockage. Only hire a professional licensed plumber like Mr Speedy Plumbing to do this job, if you turn the pressure too high up on the pressure washer you could break or damage the sewer line (mainly for clay but cast iron too).
We are looking for any breakage or leakages in the pipe as we travel down the run. I always say not to watch a sewer line video while eating lunch… If the pipe is broken that may be a $5,000 repair.
If the pipe is broken in the roadway that price can go up to $10,000. The cost of sewer video line inspection is a small price to pay to know the home your buying doesn’t have a major plumbing problem.
We can help repair or replace a cracked sewer line with trenchless pipe bursting or digging out the pipe by hand an installing brand new ABS Plastic. One advantage of ABS over both cast iron and clay piping is it has no joints which makes root intrusion virtually impossible. A
nother advantage of ABS is that it is flexible so during an earthquake it is less likely to break. ABS has a black color and is very hard. It is related to PVC- the white plastic tubes that are usually penny size opening, that are used for sprinkler systems, but they are different.
New construction buildings now must install ABS as part of the building codes. The City of LA recently made plumbers add grey water lines for some buildings but that is a whole different article!
I’d just like to mention one other trick we have up our sleeve with Los Angeles sewer line video inspections- we have a GPS Locator that can sense where the camera is in the sewer line above ground.
We can use that to mark the location of a blockage or pipe break (we usually spray paint a circle or stick a flag in the grass). Call Mr Speedy Plumbing the next time you need a Los Angeles home sewer line inspection!