The Importance of Sewer Line Inspections

We were recently hired to manage a home for a client once their sale recorded. Everything went smoothly with the hand off. We marketed the property for rent, and had a tenant in place within a couple of weeks. Easy peasy… right?

Well, a week in to the tenancy, we got a maintenance request stating that the shower drain was backing up into the bathroom. Naturally, we had a plumber out, same day, to snake the drain. However, the drain would not clear. We asked our clients’ buyer agent if they had a sewer line camera inspection conducted as part of the due diligence inspection for the purchase. Unfortunately, no sewer inspection was conducted during the sale. With that, the plumber ran his camera through the sewer line and found that the entire 75 foot stretch of sewer that ran along the side of the house had been infiltrated by palm roots. There were also several “Bellies” along the line. Bellies are sections of a drain pipe that sink below grade and allow water to pool rather than flow.

And so, what we had hoped would be a simple snaking, turned into a full excavation and replacement of the sewer line. $45,000 later, the home now had a fully functioning sewer system.

In summary, what can we take away from this lesson?

  • ALWAYS conduct a sewer line camera inspection when purchasing a single family home.
  • Whenever possible, DO NOT plant trees with invasive roots near plumbing/drainage systems.
  • The more “Clean-outs” you have in your sewer line, the easier it can be to resolve clogs and investigate issues.

When you elect Hawaii Sands Realty to represent you in the purchase of a home or investment property, you can rest assured that we will use our experience and attention to detail to ensure expenses like the one above can be avoided.