Recently, we were asked to go to court as an expert witness in a case involving a home purchase where the sewer line assessment was done by a non-certified company. There are currently no regulations for home purchases to have their sewer lines inspected, nor are there regulations as to what (if any) certifications someone needs to have to conduct sewer line inspections.
The home buyer in this case took initiative to employ a company to do a pre-purchase sewer line inspection and purchased the house based on their report. Unfortunately, this non-certified company made an incorrect assessment and led to the home purchaser moving in, only to find out afterwards, that their sewer line was significantly damaged. Due to this improper sewer line assessment they ended up with a very expensive bill to get the sewer line replaced.
One of the major problems we see today is inspection and plumbing companies trying to be all things to everyone. As with any profession, this generalization often causes an eroded skill set and lack of expertise. Trying to be the “knowers of all” can quickly make you the “masters of nothing”, compromising the integrity of our industry. Typical home inspectors or plumbers are certified in their specific fields, however this usually does not include being a certified sewer pipe inspector.
Purchasing a sewer inspection camera and pushing it down a sewer without understanding the dynamics, functionality and structural integrity of a sewer line system is not acceptable and can place a purchaser in a financially difficult situation.
If you are looking to hire a sewer line inspector we suggest looking for one that is certified by the National Association of Sewer Service Companies (NASSCO Certified). These specialists are highly trained to do a proper sewer line analysis for you by taking an in-depth look at functionality and structural integrity issues that are common with your type of pipes. These issues become very important to understand as they can determine what current condition of your sewer line system is and what may have to be done to fix any problems. Understanding the current condition of your sewer line will help you make informed purchasing decisions and could be the difference between moving in without any issues and experiencing a catastrophic failure.
Protect yourself and your investment by choosing a certified sewer line specialist to conduct your pre-purchase or preventative sewer line inspection.