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Buying A Home? Have The Sewer Lines Inspected First

by Howard Barnett

Buying a home can feel like an all-encompassing process. Between applying for a loan, negotiating with the seller, and coordinating with your lawyer, you may not feel like you have time for anything else. But there is one more item you absolutely must take care of before you agree to buy a home: having the sewer lines inspected. By neglecting to do so now, you may save an hour or two -- but you may pay for it later in the form of sewer backups and water damage.

Here's a closer look at what a sewer line inspection entails and why it is so important.

Why is a sewer line inspection so important?

Every home that's connected to a public sewer system has a main line that carries all waste and wastewater to the below-street, public sewer lines. This main line is your responsibility to maintain. Sadly, many older sewer lines eventually become clogged with tree roots and other debris. You may think you would notice if the sewer line was clogged, but this is not always a case. Water can still flow normally down drains and toilets may flush normally if the line is only partially clogged. But one morning, you may wake up and find that the clog has grown, causing sewage to spew out on your floor.

The damage caused by a blocked sewer line is no laughing matter. Sewage carries dangerous bacteria, so cleaning up after a sewage spill is intense and costly. Plus, you have to pay to have the line dug up and cleared -- and you can't use your plumbing again until this work is done. Having the line inspected before you buy the home will ensure you don't end up in this situation any time soon. 

What does a sewer line inspection entail?

You may envision a sewer line inspection as being a big undertaking, but it's really a simple process thanks to modern innovations. Your sewer inspector will send a camera down into the sewer line, rendering video footage of the inside of the line. You can review the footage with the inspector. Based on the results, you can decide whether or not you still want to buy the home.

Keep in mind that you do not have to turn away from the sale if an obstruction is found in the sewer line. You can work with the homeowner to have the obstruction removed as a contingency of the sale. Contact a company like Rapid Rooter Inc for more information.