How often should sewer video inspections be performed?

Sewer video inspections, also known as sewer line inspections or sewer camera inspections, are essential for maintaining the health and functionality of a property’s sewer system. These inspections involve inserting a specialized video camera into the sewer line to assess its condition and identify any issues such as blockages, cracks, root intrusions, or other potential problems. Given the importance of sewer systems in maintaining hygiene and property values, it is crucial to understand how often sewer video inspections should be performed. In this blog post, Modern Day Plumbing Service helps to explore the recommended frequency of sewer video inspections, the factors that influence inspection intervals, the benefits of regular inspections, and the signs indicating the need for immediate inspection.

Importance of Sewer Video Inspections

Sewer video inspections are a proactive approach to maintaining a property’s sewer system. They help prevent costly repairs and extensive damage by identifying problems early on. By providing a detailed view of the interior of the sewer line, these inspections allow homeowners and professionals to detect issues such as cracks, corrosion, leaks, and root intrusions before they escalate. Early detection and repair can save significant amounts of money and prevent inconvenience caused by sewer backups or system failures.

Sewer video inspections are crucial for accurately assessing the condition of sewer lines. They allow technicians to identify blockages, cracks, root intrusions, and other issues without invasive excavation. This non-destructive method saves time and money, providing precise information for targeted repairs. Regular inspections can prevent costly emergencies by detecting problems early. Additionally, video inspections help homeowners and businesses maintain their plumbing systems and comply with local regulations.

Recommended Frequency of Sewer Video Inspections

The frequency of sewer video inspections varies based on several factors, including the age of the sewer line, the materials used in its construction, and the property’s history of sewer issues. Generally, it is recommended to conduct sewer video inspections every 3 to 5 years for most properties. This timeframe allows for the identification and resolution of potential issues before they become major problems. However, older properties or those with known issues may benefit from more frequent inspections, such as every 1 to 2 years.

The recommended frequency of sewer video inspections varies depending on the age and condition of your sewer system. For newer systems with no known issues, an inspection every few years may suffice. For older systems or those with recurring problems, annual inspections are advisable. Additionally, if you’re purchasing a new home, a sewer inspection can reveal potential issues that could be costly down the line.

Regular sewer video inspections help maintain the integrity of your sewer lines, preventing major issues and saving money in the long run. By scheduling routine inspections with a professional sewer video inspection service, you can ensure your plumbing system stays in optimal condition.

Factors Influencing Inspection Intervals

Inspection intervals for sewer systems are influenced by several factors. The age of the system plays a significant role, as older pipes may be more prone to damage. Additionally, environmental factors like soil movement, tree root intrusion, and seasonal changes can affect sewer health. Property usage, such as heavy water consumption, and previous issues like blockages or leaks also determine inspection frequency.

Several factors influence how often sewer video inspections should be performed:

  • Age of the Sewer Line: Older sewer lines are more prone to wear and tear, corrosion, and root intrusion. Properties with aging sewer systems should consider more frequent inspections to monitor the line’s condition and catch problems early.
  • Material of the Sewer Line: The type of material used in the sewer line affects its durability and susceptibility to damage. For example, clay and cast iron pipes may degrade faster than modern PVC or ABS pipes. Knowing the type of sewer line material can help determine the appropriate inspection interval.
  • Property History: Properties with a history of sewer problems, such as frequent backups or root intrusions, may require more frequent inspections. This can help identify recurring issues and guide targeted maintenance efforts.
  • Environmental Factors: The surrounding environment can impact the sewer line’s condition. For instance, properties with large trees or shrubs near the sewer line may experience root intrusion, which can necessitate more frequent inspections.
  • Usage and Household Size: Larger households or properties with high usage may experience more strain on the sewer line, potentially leading to quicker wear and tear. In such cases, inspections may need to be more frequent.

Benefits of Regular Sewer Video Inspections

Regular sewer video inspections offer numerous benefits for homeowners and businesses. They enable early detection of issues such as blockages, cracks, or root intrusions, preventing costly emergency repairs. By identifying problems promptly, these inspections help maintain the efficiency and longevity of sewer lines.

Furthermore, routine inspections are crucial for compliance with local plumbing codes and regulations. This is particularly important when paired with backflow device testing and inspection services. Ensuring both sewer lines and backflow devices are functioning correctly protects water quality and public health. Together, these inspections contribute to a safe, efficient, and reliable plumbing system.

Regular sewer video inspections offer several benefits that make them a valuable part of property maintenance:

  • Prevent Costly Repairs: By identifying issues early, inspections can prevent costly repairs caused by major blockages, leaks, or structural damage to the sewer line.
  • Extend the Lifespan of the Sewer Line: Routine inspections help maintain the sewer line’s condition, potentially extending its lifespan and postponing the need for replacement.
  • Enhance Property Value: A well-maintained sewer system adds value to a property and assures potential buyers that the plumbing infrastructure is in good condition.
  • Improve Hygiene and Safety: Sewer line problems can lead to foul odors, unsanitary conditions, and even health hazards. Regular inspections help maintain a clean and safe living environment.
  • Ensure Compliance with Local Regulations: Some areas have regulations requiring regular sewer inspections, particularly for older properties. Compliance with these regulations is essential for avoiding fines or penalties.

Signs Indicating the Need for Immediate Inspection

Immediate sewer inspection is necessary if you notice certain warning signs. Slow drains or frequent clogs indicate potential blockages or damage in your sewer line. Unpleasant odors emanating from drains could point to leaks or sewer backups. Gurgling noises in pipes might signal trapped air or obstructions. Additionally, water backing up in sinks, tubs, or toilets is a clear sign of severe issues.

These symptoms often require sewer cleaning and complete re-pipes service for effective resolution. Prompt inspections help prevent costly repairs and ensure smooth operation of your plumbing system.

While routine inspections are important, there are certain signs that may indicate the need for immediate sewer video inspection:

  • Slow Drains: Persistent slow drains in multiple fixtures could indicate a blockage or other issue in the sewer line.
  • Foul Odors: Strong, unpleasant odors coming from drains or around the property may suggest a problem in the sewer line.
  • Frequent Backups: Regular sewer backups, particularly in different areas of the property, signal a potential issue that needs prompt investigation.
  • Lush Patches in the Yard: Areas of the yard that appear unusually lush or green could be a sign of a leaking sewer line providing excess water and nutrients to the soil.
  • Cracks or Shifts in the Foundation: Sewer line problems can sometimes cause shifts or cracks in the property’s foundation. These structural issues may require immediate attention.
  • Pest Infestations: Rats or insects entering the property through the sewer line can indicate a breach or opening that requires inspection and repair.

The Sewer Video Inspection Process

Understanding the sewer video inspection process can provide insight into its effectiveness and importance. Typically, the process involves the following steps:

  • Preparation: The inspection starts with preparing the area around the sewer access point. This includes clearing any obstacles and ensuring the path is safe and accessible.
  • Camera Insertion: A specialized video camera attached to a flexible rod is inserted into the sewer line through an access point such as a cleanout.
  • Video Recording: As the camera moves through the sewer line, it records real-time footage, capturing the interior condition of the pipe.
  • Analysis: The video footage is analyzed by the inspector or a professional team. They look for signs of damage, blockages, root intrusions, corrosion, or other issues.
  • Reporting: After the inspection, a detailed report is provided, often with accompanying video footage and images. The report outlines any problems found and recommends potential solutions.
  • Follow-Up: Based on the inspection findings, follow-up actions may be necessary, such as repairs, cleaning, or further inspections.

How to Choose a Professional Sewer Inspection Service

When choosing a professional sewer inspection service, consider a few key factors. Look for a company with experienced, licensed technicians who use advanced technology, such as high-resolution cameras, for accurate assessments. Check for positive reviews and recommendations from previous clients to gauge reliability and quality of service. Transparent pricing and detailed inspection reports are also important.

A reputable sewer inspection service can identify issues like blockages, cracks, or tree root intrusions. By linking with clogged drains service, they can provide comprehensive solutions to keep your plumbing system clear and efficient.

When selecting a professional sewer inspection service, consider the following factors:

  • Experience and Expertise: Choose a service with experienced professionals who are knowledgeable about different types of sewer lines and potential issues.
  • Quality of Equipment: Ensure the service uses modern, high-quality camera equipment for clear and accurate footage.
  • Reputation and Reviews: Look for services with positive reviews and recommendations from previous clients.
  • Comprehensive Reporting: A thorough report with clear explanations and actionable recommendations is essential.
  • Fair Pricing: Compare prices from different services and choose one that offers fair and transparent pricing without hidden fees.


How often should a sewer line be cleaned?

The general recommendation is to have your sewer lines cleaned every 18 to 22 months. So, if it’s been over two years since your last sewer cleanout, you’re overdue for this service. Regular cleaning ensures you stay ahead of potential clogs or backups, saving you time, stress, and money in the long run.

What is pipe video inspection?

Video pipe inspection or VPI is a safe and non-destructive method to locate utilities and detect leaks, cracks, and blocks. VPI is effective because it allows for a pipe to be inspected remotely. Excavating and checking lines to locate a blockage, a crack, or a leak can cost a lot of time and money.

How often should drains be inspected?

While you should get a professional drain survey every year, you should also clean your drains yourself once a week to ensure things aren’t building up in your pipes.

What is a video inspection?

A video inspection is a highly useful diagnostic tool for underground services. In addition to being utilized to find holes, leaks, and obstructions, a video pipe inspection could effectively identify : Tree roots that have worked their way into joints in the piping.

What is a pipe camera inspection?

In a nutshell, a CCTV pipe inspection is when a camera is inserted into a pipe through the drain to look for any blockages or pipe damage that’s causing your plumbing headaches. These CCTV cameras give us a look at all those buried pipes that we simply don’t have access to.


In summary, the frequency of sewer video inspections varies depending on your property’s specific circumstances. As a general rule, having an inspection every three to five years is a good practice for most homes to keep the sewer system healthy and catch potential issues early. If your property has older pipes, a history of sewer problems, or environmental factors like tree roots nearby, you may benefit from more frequent checks. Regular inspections save you money in the long run by preventing costly repairs and ensuring your sewer system operates smoothly for years to come.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Scroll to Top