Guides and Tips

How much does a sewer line camera inspection cost?

January 4, 2024
How much does a sewer line camera inspection cost

Maintaining a healthy home involves addressing various aspects of household maintenance, with sewer line problems sitting high on the priority list. One effective way to diagnose and resolve sewer line problems is through a camera inspection. 

Homeowners typically pay between $250 and $1,175 for a sewer line camera inspection. At the low end, it may focus on specific issues like blockages, while the high end may involve comprehensive assessments with advanced equipment.

To gain better insights into the expenses that come with sewer line camera inspection, let’s take a closer look at the influencing factors and any additional costs that may apply.

Factors That Affect the Cost of a Sewer Line Camera Inspection

Length of the Sewer

Length of the Sewer

The length of your sewer significantly influences the cost of a camera inspection. As the camera goes along more feet of pipe, the inspection takes longer which affects the overall price. 

Standard sewer inspection services usually cover up to 330 feet, and exceeding this length may require specialized services. This will incur additional costs. 

If you’re not sure of the exact length of your plumbing system, be prepared for potential adjustments in the final bill.

Accessibility

Accessibility

The accessibility of entry points for the camera to your sewer line is a very important factor that affects the cost of the inspection. If entry points are challenging to reach, it complicates the inspection process and therefore increases both time and labor costs. 

A cleanout which is a pipe that’s usually located in the yard, provides easy access to the sewer line. 

If there’s no cleanout, the professional will have to remove and replace the toilet. This, again, escalates the overall cost.

Labor

Labor

Plumbers often charge $45 to $150 per hour for fixes or upgrades during a sewer line camera inspection. 

Additional Costs That May Be Incurred

Repairs, Maintenance, or Upgrades

Repairs, Maintenance, or Upgrades

If you choose an inspection-only service, any necessary repairs, maintenance, or upgrades are billed separately. 

These additional costs can vary, covering anything from addressing a simple clog to managing a break in the sewer line. Being aware of potential fixes or upgrades and how much they may cost is crucial when budgeting for a sewer line inspection.

Here are some of the most common add-ons homeowners avail of when having a sewer line camera inspection:

Drain Cleaning

Drain Cleaning

Sewer line clogs may occur in low areas known as “bellies,” where pipes sag and collect debris. These are commonly caused by grease and hair buildup. 

Unclogging this costs between $100 and $275. Major clogs that require tasks like unblocking toilets may escalate costs up to $400.

Hydro jetting, which is an effective method for eliminating greasy buildup that impedes water flow, is another valuable but relatively expensive task.

Sewer Line Repair or Replacement

Sewer Line Repair or Replacement

Sewer line camera inspections can identify damage to the plumbing system, such as cracks, rust and corrosion, offset pipes, and pipe collapses, and these issues have to be addressed right away. 

Sewer line repair cost ranges from $60 to $250 per linear foot, while a complete sewer line replacement costs $50 to $250 per linear foot.

Object Retrieval

Object Retrieval

Sewer cameras efficiently locate lost items like jewelry or coins that have fallen down the drains. Retrieving such objects, even if they’re not valuable, is necessary to prevent problems in the pipe. 

Object retrieval with a camera is a standalone service, costing between $75 and $275, depending on the type of drain.

Removing Foreign Object

Removing Foreign Object

Objects like rocks or tree roots may damage the main sewer line. Removing these foreign objects and patching damage averages $600

Without a camera and locator, the alternative involves extensive excavation and manual labor which can significantly increase costs.

How much does DIY sewer line camera inspection cost?

How much does DIY sewer line camera inspection cost

Going for a DIY sewer line camera inspection is a viable option but comes with challenges due to associated costs and limitations. Purchasing the equipment can range from $1,000 to $15,000

On the lower end of the price range, there will be poor video quality and limited video length. On the higher end of that range, it includes professional-grade gear with a long reach of 330 feet, a locator, high-resolution video capabilities, and a retrieval device.

Additional necessary gear includes a video monitor and memory card. Opting for budget equipment might compromise results, especially since sewer lines are very dark. 

For those who really want to save costs, you may opt to rent a sewer inspection camera which ranges from $200 to $300 per day.

Despite potential cost savings, DIY inspections have drawbacks. An untrained eye might miss issues that can lead to significant damage, and exposure to sewer gas poses health risks. 

For safety reasons, hiring a plumbing professional for sewer line inspection is the best option.

Licensed plumbers have the expertise to swiftly identify specific problems. They can inspect yard or main sewer line issues because they are equipped with the necessary tools and can obtain city approval for accessing manholes.

Cost-Saving Tips

Cost-Saving Tips
  • Compare quotes: Ask for quotes from various plumbing and sewer companies to identify the most competitive prices for a sewer line camera inspection. 

Ensure each quote’s services are thoroughly compared to guarantee the best overall value. 

Look for professionals with the necessary expertise and equipment, and read online reviews for reliable and high-quality service providers.

  • Schedule during off-peak times or season: During periods of lower demand, companies may offer discounts. Check with local sewer companies about potential reduced rates during off-peak hours or specific days of the week. 
  • Bundle services: Bundle the sewer line camera inspection with other plumbing services you may require, such as drain cleaning or repairs. 

These services are billed separately if you only avail of sewer line camera inspection. However, you might be given a discount if you bundle these services.

  • Keep your service records: Some plumbing companies offer loyalty discounts to repeat customers, so be sure to keep all your records of previous sewer line inspections and repairs. 

When the time comes, this will be able to help you save a significant amount of money on sewer line camera inspection.

  • Take advantage of your home warranty: Check whether your home warranty covers sewer line inspections or repairs. 

Leveraging your home warranty can significantly reduce out-of-pocket expenses which makes it a valuable resource for cost savings in maintaining your plumbing system.

You Might Also Like