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What Local Homeowners Need to Know

If you live in Tacoma, WA, and you’re planning to schedule a home inspection, you should know about a recommendation from the city of Tacoma regarding your side sewer, or lateral sewer: the part of the sewer system that connects your private property to the public, city-maintained sanitary sewer main. In order for the city to better maintain its public sewers, it’s important for individual homeowners to do their part in ensuring that their property’s plumbing systems are in good condition. Read on to learn more about what this kind of inspection requires and how it can benefit homeowners.

What is a side sewer inspection?

A side sewer inspection is a detailed examination of a privately owned sewer pipe that sends wastewater away from a home’s toilets, laundry room, drains and sinks and into the city’s main sewer line that’s usually located in the street. This kind of inspection looks at a home’s drainage and plumbing system up to the point where it joins the public sewer. Some cities, like Tacoma, recommend that homeowners get a side sewer inspection to ensure that their private line doesn’t have any issues that will impact the home or the city’s main sewer line.

Why do I need a side sewer inspection?

If you want to make sure that your plumbing and sewer system is free of clogs, leaks, major debris, or other problems, you will need a side sewer inspection. Just like your HVAC, electric, or foundation, a sewage system is a major component of your home, so it needs a professional inspection. Side sewer repairs or replacements can cost $5,000 to $15,000, and the problems you may face before those repairs, like sewage backing up into your kitchen sink or shower, are equally difficult to stomach. As a property owner, you’re responsible for maintaining the side sewer from your home to the main sewer line and performing due diligence to prevent costly future repairs.

What is involved in a side sewer inspection?

During a side sewer inspection, an inspector extends a video camera on a flexible line into the sewer’s pipe’s interior. The real-time footage shows if there are clogs, cracks, debris or even roots growing into your side sewer. The inspector’s final sewer scope report includes video documentation and notes about any damages found.

How do I benefit from a side sewer inspection?

The ultimate benefit of a side sewer inspection is gaining important information about how your side sewer is functioning and whether it may cause problems down the road. The results of the inspection will prepare you for any repairs or replacements that need to be done before major issues occur.

How much does a side sewer inspection cost?

Side sewer inspection costs may vary across the Seattle area, and across inspection services, but the city of Tacoma offers loans for them side sewer inspections. Check if you are eligible for a low-interest loan before scheduling a side sewer inspection.

If you’re looking to get your side sewer inspected, or if you need a full home inspection before buying or selling a property, contact South Sound Inspections today.

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