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How Much Does A Sewer Camera Inspection Cost?

National Average Change Location | View National
$495
Typical Range
$229 - $763
Low End
$100
High End
$1,200

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Plumbing Camera Inspection Cost

A sewer video inspection costs between $229 and $763, or an average of $495. Certain circumstances could make the total between $100 and $1,200. Professionals usually charge a flat rate for this service. If you need additional work as a result, the rate to hire a plumber runs $45 to $150 per hour.
You have hundreds of feet of plumbing under your house that you cannot see. If something goes wrong, you must look inside the pipes. A sewer scope is an inspection. It involves a camera that goes through your drain line to give you a view of its condition. Homeowners often choose this service to find the cause of leaks or clogs, or as part of a real estate transaction. The project is complicated and paying $200 to rent equipment may not be cheaper than having a professional do it for you. In most cases, it is best to hire a pro.

Sewer Line Camera Inspection Costs

For an average cost of $229 and $763, the professional will do the following:
  1. Open the drain to run the camera through the line.
  2. Use the device to complete a visual check of the plumbing for possible problem.
  3. Put the drain back into position after the inspection.
  4. Create a report with the results.
  5. Provide a DVD or digital file of the recording, in many cases.

What's Not Included in the Cost of a Drain Camera Inspection

The camera inspection provides you with information, but not repairs. If a plumber offers to do the job for free, ask for a list of standard service prices. Plumbers who charge little or nothing for the scope may expect to charge more for related services, such as:
  • the cost to clean a drain: just over $200
  • the price of clearing a sewer line: $300
  • the expense of main sewer line repair: $2,500
  • sewer line replacement: $7,500
  • object removal (e.g. jewelry, mobile phone).
The quoted price for a scope alone may not cover the cost of a copy of the recording. You may need one if you want to hire a different pro to make repairs.
Get a Quote from a Sewer Scope Inspector
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Roto-Rooter Video Pipe Inspection Costs

Most plumbers do not publish the cost of this service but will give quotes on request. For example, Roto-Rooter offers:
  • free estimates from most service providers
  • flat-rate instead of hourly pricing
  • "No Hassle Guarantee" on repairs
  • coupons and discounts available, depending on the local service provider
Mr. Rooter and Rooter-Man are a few other companies that provide sewer camera inspection.

CCTV Sewer Camera Prices

If you want to buy your own sewer camera, the prices range from $1,000 to $15,000. The camera itself is a very small piece of equipment that attaches to a thin cable, but you'll need other parts to perform the inspection. These components are typically included in the total cost:
  • Hand-held screen
  • Color camera with lens
  • Cable
  • Light source
  • Video output or memory card
  • Carrying case
Less-expensive models may offer fewer features, with cables that could only extend 65 feet. Average units can run at least 200 to 330 feet. Bigger projects, such as a full sewer inspection or root damage far from the nearest drain, may require a system that costs more. Renting one costs about $200 per day and usually includes the same components, compared to $300 to $400 for a pro.
Consult with a Plumber for Your Sewer Scope Inspection
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Reasons for a Sewer Video Inspection

As part of regular service or repair, a sewer scope can minimize additional expenses. Once the plumber locates a blockage or source of damage, the pro can use a transmitter in the camera to identify its position on the property. This information limits the amount of excavating the plumber must do, making the repairs quicker and less damaging to your landscaping.

Clogged Drain Line

The cost to clear a drain runs about $130 to $290, depending on the depth of the clog. A sewer camera inspection may be necessary to locate the blockage, if plumbers cannot seem to resolve the clog by cleaning out the P-trap or running a snake down the line.

Broken or Damaged Pipes

A sewer camera inspection gives you the precise location of any cracked, broken or damaged parts. Older pipework is prone to breakage over time. Without obvious signs of a leak or blockage, you may not know that your plumbing needs repair.

Tree, Stone or Foreign Object Sewer Penetration

Repairing a drain line breakage costs about $600, but you must know where it is. Over time, tree roots, rocks or other objects can invade your pipework. Once a pipe cracks or becomes separated from the line, it needs prompt repair. The longer your plumbing sits, the higher the chance of disruption.

Object Retrieval

A sewer scope is often the most effective way to locate lost items in your pipes. Most of the time, objects that fall into your plumbing get stuck only a couple of feet down the drain. Precious items, like a ring, are easy to drop into a sink or flush down a toilet by accident. The camera allows a plumber to figure out where it is for faster retrieval.

Part of a Real Estate Home Inspection

Standard home inspections cost about $200 to $500 and usually do not include a check of the sewer line. Home buyers considering homes that are 20 to 25 years or older may want to request this additional service, since older plumbing is more likely to have problems. Ask your home inspector if they can perform this task or if you need to hire someone else.

Sewer Lateral Inspection vs. Main Line Scope

When you arrange for a camera inspection, it only runs through the plumbing on your property. You are responsible for the main line connecting your plumbing to the sewer lateral, which runs to the city's system. If you hire a pro to run a scope through your pipes and they do not find a problem with it, you should contact your region's sewer management organization.
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FAQs

How Much Does a Sewer Scope Cost?

As an inspection, a sewer scope costs $100 to $1,200. The price you pay depends on the length of your plumbing, the reason for the inspection and whether you have requested additional services from the plumber.

How Far Will the Drain Camera Inspection Go?

The camera can only go about 330 feet, even though you may have several hundred feet of plumbing under your property. The plumber will determine the best drain to use for the scope. Professionals run the device until they discover the source of the problem or reach the end of the private line connecting your home to the municipal sewer.

What Can I Expect to See from the Sewer Video Inspection?

Although the quality of the video could be high, you may not be able to identify what you see. Ask your plumber to walk you through the inspection and show you what they find. Modern equipment often contains bright lights and self-leveling technology, so that you can get an upright view of the pipes.

Can I Rent a Sewer Camera for a DIY Scope?

If you rent a sewer camera, you will pay $75 to $250 per day, about $200 on average. Many homeowners decide that the $300 to $400 to pay for a pro to do it is a better investment. Rental scopes typically run only 200 feet, compared to a maximum of 330 feet for specialist equipment. You will also have to figure out how to use the system on your own.

Hiring a Plumber or Inspector

Trying to DIY this task probably will not save you time or money, so hiring a pro is the best way to go. That way, you have someone who can help you fix whatever issues you find. Since the professional-grade sewer camera equipment costs as much as $15,000, not all plumbers offer this service. To find a pro for your scope:
Get a Quote from a Plumber for an Inspection
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