Results of Sewer Line Scope

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tk3000

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Hello Folks,

I am looking into buying a house. Among the inspections performed, was a scope of the sewer line. The scope inspection found quite a few issues: 1) “displaced pipe joist” which I believe is a typo and should be “displaced pipe joint”; 2) “possible displacement of pipes”; 3) a “major blockade”. It all sounds very concerning. Does the sewer line need to be replaced (or repaired, if at all possible) in this case?

Thanks for any input.
 
Is the dwelling presently occupied?

Generally, sewer inspection are accomplished by plumbing contractors, so, was an estimate offered by the inspection vendor?
 
Is the dwelling presently occupied?

Generally, sewer inspection are accomplished by plumbing contractors, so, was an estimate offered by the inspection vendor?
Yeah, it is currently occupied. But the owners are in the process of moving out.

Unfortunately, the house inspection is not supposed to give any estimate. They just do the inspection and provide the results. It probably would be better to have a plumbing company do it and then give a diagnose and estimates for repairs.
 
Thanks.
Is the sewer clay or PVC or ABS?
How detailed was the report in regards to the approx. feet too the separation and the blockage, as well as the likely cause of the blockage?
 
Thanks.
Is the sewer clay or PVC or ABS?
How detailed was the report in regards to the approx. feet too the separation and the blockage, as well as the likely cause of the blockage?

Looking at the pics, it seems to be cast iron. I guess that is due to the build-up that takes place over time. The report says that the sewer line is made of PVC.

The report mentions the gaps in numeric terms. I am attaching the most important parts and pics below:

INDIANA_INSPEC_SEWER_LINE_PICS.png


Thanks a lot!
 
Thanks.
While the periodic displacements are concerning, the blockage at 77' may be in the public rite of way, so, I'd visit the county and find the width of the public rite of way, and then measure from the location of the inspection access to ascertain at least an approx. location.

There are folks who sleeve sewer lines but you may need an actual cont. too scope it out, too determine if that is a logical alternative.

At any rate, you have a reasonable negotiating position, price wise, with the seller.
 
Hello Folks,

I am looking into buying a house. Among the inspections performed, was a scope of the sewer line. The scope inspection found quite a few issues: 1) “displaced pipe joist” which I believe is a typo and should be “displaced pipe joint”; 2) “possible displacement of pipes”; 3) a “major blockade”. It all sounds very concerning. Does the sewer line need to be replaced (or repaired, if at all possible) in this case?

Thanks for any input.
We had a sewer line scope when we sold our townhouse (built in 1928) in Washington, DC. The inspector found a major obstruction in the main sewer pipe under the basement floor near the foundation footing. The entire basement floor had been replaced in 2016 when we did a gut-rehab, lowered the basement floor and replaced all the plumbing in the entire townhouse including the sewer line out to the foundation perimeter. As part of the sewer replacement a main sewer backflow check valve was installed to minimize sewage back up and flooding as the city required. The inspector saw the check valve on his scope inspection and mistook it for a major obstruction. Once I pointed out the access to the check valve in the basement floor, that confusion was cleared up. Lesson: not all inspectors who own a scope know what they are looking at.
 
A "major blockage" should be concerning. Sewer repairs are never cheap.

But I agree with @dsteinhorn -- the big question is "does the inspector know how to interpret the images?"

In particular, I question his finding of "pipe displacement".

At the very least, I think you should pay a real plumber to come to your house and review those photos with you.
He will probably very quickly tell you that to be sure of anything, he really needs to scope it himself. And that is still an option -- tell the homeowner that your inspector found something potentially concerning and that you request a second inspection by your plumber.
 
Thanks.
While the periodic displacements are concerning, the blockage at 77' may be in the public rite of way, so, I'd visit the county and find the width of the public rite of way, and then measure from the location of the inspection access to ascertain at least an approx. location.

There are folks who sleeve sewer lines but you may need an actual cont. too scope it out, too determine if that is a logical alternative.

At any rate, you have a reasonable negotiating position, price wise, with the seller.


It is good to know that! Unfortunately, the house I am buying is far away from where I live now – live in Michigan and the house is in Indiana. The whole process of buying a house is extremely unfair and seems more like a mafia scheme set up by realtors (who I believe have no reason to exist to begin with, but due to the fact that they have a monopoly and a stronghold on the market).

First off, you have to make an offer not knowing exactly what you are getting into. Then, you have to pay them the earnest money. Subsequently, you have to pay for the appraisal and inspections (over $1300) just to be informed that the house has lots of problems. The result is that you wasted tons of money and there is the risk that you can loose your earnest money as well. One should know any relevant issue about the house before making any offer, so one could make an informed decision; instead, they put you in a trap. Sorry, I had to vent.

Thanks a lot for your insights!
 
We had a sewer line scope when we sold our townhouse (built in 1928) in Washington, DC. The inspector found a major obstruction in the main sewer pipe under the basement floor near the foundation footing. The entire basement floor had been replaced in 2016 when we did a gut-rehab, lowered the basement floor and replaced all the plumbing in the entire townhouse including the sewer line out to the foundation perimeter. As part of the sewer replacement a main sewer backflow check valve was installed to minimize sewage back up and flooding as the city required. The inspector saw the check valve on his scope inspection and mistook it for a major obstruction. Once I pointed out the access to the check valve in the basement floor, that confusion was cleared up. Lesson: not all inspectors who own a scope know what they are looking at.


I am fearful to buy a very old house for those reasons. Granted, the house I am looking into buying was built in 1976 (which is considerably old for me). There can be many issues, and also so many unknowns.

Yeah, there are always other possible causes and often we cannot rely on contractors (or inspectors)
 
A "major blockage" should be concerning. Sewer repairs are never cheap.

But I agree with @dsteinhorn -- the big question is "does the inspector know how to interpret the images?"

In particular, I question his finding of "pipe displacement".

At the very least, I think you should pay a real plumber to come to your house and review those photos with you.
He will probably very quickly tell you that to be sure of anything, he really needs to scope it himself. And that is still an option -- tell the homeowner that your inspector found something potentially concerning and that you request a second inspection by your plumber.


Yeah, “a major blockage” sounds very concerning.

The inspection company used is supposed to be a reputable one (with very good rates overall). But, yeah, you never know. I also found it strange his findings of “pipe displacement”, and the fact they refer to some pipe problem as “displaced pipe joists” (I assume that it was typo). It certainly worth taking another look by a plumber.

The seller said that he contracted with a plumber to look into it and get it fixed, but I would imagine that it could be a major undertaken that would take some time. I did request to get it done properly, pull a permit and have the city inspected it the repairs.
 
The seller said that he contracted with a plumber to look into it and get it fixed,

Stay tuned for more stress ..... when the seller comes back and says the real plumber looked at it and said everything is fine and nothing needs to be done.
 
I tried home shopping from a distance. I couldn't do it.

We lived in New Jersey and my daughter lives in Pittsburgh. When we decided to move out here, we would come out for a weekend and look at whatever houses were available. With available time being short and repeat visits being next to impossible, any decent house would slip away before we had a chance to consider. Eventually, we moved to an apartment in Pgh and took our time finding the right house.
 
You took the right approach. I simply could not do that, so I had to try to find a house that seemed a good fit for the right price and then make a quick decision (it is a sellers' market now in Fort Wayne, IN), with all the possible issues and downsides that it entails.
 
Did you buy the house? If so, please let the group know whether the first scope inspection was correct and what the remedy was.
 
Did you buy the house? If so, please let the group know whether the first scope inspection was correct and what the remedy was.
I am in the process of buying it, should close on the house at the end of next week.

The plumber hired by the seller scoped the line and wrote a short report that indicates that there is nothing wrong with the sewer line. Also, I did contact someone who knows more about that type of stuff than me, showed him the pics of the scope, and he indicated that the sewer line seems fine.

The so called blockade is in the city’s main sewer line. Maybe it is an elbow or T, in any case it is not part of house’s sewer line (or it extremely unlikely to be).

It is kind of nerve wracking not knowing for sure what you are getting into, especially in such a large investment. .
 
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