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Why Inspection Is Money Well Spent

Hydro Physics® Pipe Inspection Corp. has been featured both locally and nationally many times over the years for unbiased pipe inspections. However, this article from the Seattle Times "Ask The Expert" section says it better than we can. Take a moment to read it…you will find it very informative. Special thanks to Darrell Hay and the Seattle Times for the article, and Rick de la Mare, Hydro Physics®, WA.

Ask The Expert

Sewer pre-sale inspection is money very well spent

Darrell Hay

Special to The Seattle Times

Q: Someone suggested having the sewer "scoped" on a home I am purchasing, in addition to the many other fees and inspections I am paying for already, so I am hesitant. I have never heard of this. The house was built in the late '40s. Is this really necessary, and is it cost-effective?

A: This type of inspection is gaining in popularity for potential home buyers, but the vast majority of them still do not have this work done, many with the same reservations as yourself. Is it worth it? Personally, I think it is very cheap insurance.

Within the past few years, all homeowners-insurance carriers (except for one) have eliminated the sewer line from coverage, exposing owners and buyers to greater liabilities.

In a typical sewer, the building "owns" the sewer line all the way to the tap in the street. This means a repair can involve not only digging up the yard, , but also the sidewalk and half the street, along with the ensuing municipal permits and inspections. In some cases, municipal crews are the only ones able to perform the street or sidewalk repair, increasing expenses. A $20,000 repair is not unheard of, and costs can exceed this quite often.

Obviously, a home inspector cannot see the buried sewer line, and running the water and flushing the toilet do not test the line adequately. Technology has gotten to the point where many larger plumbing companies and independent contractors have bought cameras that can be submerged into the sewer for a complete inspection.

One of those is Rick Delamare, owner of Hydro Physics and an independent sewer inspector. He said a pre-sale inspection is generally $250, with the images depicted on a color television monitor. Videotape and a limited written analysis are included. Root growth is the most common problem Delamare finds, although broken, disconnected and crushed pipes are routinely encountered (the latter seen in newer homes built with plastic sewer lines).

A remote locator can find the exact spot where the pipe defect occurs, allowing offending plants to be identified and removed, or repair excavation to commence.