Do I Need A Sewer Inspection Before Buying A Home?

Would you buy a home before checking out the interior or walking around the yard? Probably not. Most prospective buyers look at a house from top to bottom, hiring an inspector to go over the property with a fine-tooth comb. But despite all the scrutiny, sewer lines are seldom examined.


A lot of thought and care goes into finding the right home, so you want to make sure the home you choose is ready for move-in as soon as you are. Older neighborhoods sometimes have clay or concrete pipes and sewers made from these materials are particularly vulnerable to damage by tree roots. Roots are drawn to moisture that seeps from leaking or cracked pipes.

The roots grow into the cracks, and over time the roots grow and the cracks get larger. Eventually, a mass of roots along with attendant debris, fills the line. The sewer backs up. Tree roots cause significant damage to pipes. Excavation is sometimes required to repair this damage. When damage is extensive, expenses quickly add up.


Historic homes in southeast Portland and other areas predate city sewers. In these homes, cesspools were often used. When neighborhoods connected to sewer lines, the cesspools were sometimes connected to the sewer line.

Some of these septic systems were never decommissioned. They can potentially collapse and cause other problems. A sewer inspection can uncover some of these problems. The City of Portland published this guide to help locate old cesspools.


It’s not just century-old homes that can have problems, though. It’s a good idea to have a sewer inspection in a home that’s over 20 years old. Two decades is ample time for tree roots to grow and problems to develop.


A qualified plumbing company can do a sewer inspection. When Apollo inspects a sewer, we attach a small video camera to a snake. The snake is inserted into the pipes. A plumber views a monitor that shows the progress of the camera through the sewer.

The inspection shows the condition of the pipes, and whether there are cracks, tree roots or clogs. Our experienced plumbers will be able to identify the pipe material. If repairs are needed, the plumber can estimate the extent and cost of the work.


Inspections don’t always turn up bad news. Sometimes you may discover an old home has a new sewer line. Repairing a sewer line may be easier than anticipated. Apollo uses CIPP, an excavation-free technique to repair pipes. Whatever the case, it’s better to know ahead of time what you’re getting into. Get in touch with Apollo Plumbing, Heating and Air Conditioning and speak with an experienced technician to ensure your new home is up-to-par and ready for move-in.

Our Guarantees

    Honest & Accurate Pricing

    We provide upfront pricing before work gets started. We never have any hidden fees or charges.

    Convenient 24-7 Service

    Apollo’s 24-hour service quickly responds to after-hours plumbing emergencies. Our technicians are on call 24-7.

    Part of The Community

    Apollo employees are your neighbors and part of Oregon’s community. Apollo thanks you for your business.

    Dedicated to Our Core Values

    Apollo is built on our core values of caring, integrity and hard work. Let us show you why we’re the best!

See Why Your Neighbors Choose Us

4.8 Stars | 1,000+ Google Reviews
4.8 Stars | 1,000+ Google Reviews

    Apollo jetted the basement drain line in our old 1927 Portland house. The line has been backing up thru the floor drain for a while. The technician cleared out the line with the hydro-jet, and it’s running great now. On-time and professional!


    - Tim T., Google Review


    Apollo Plumbing, Heating and Air Conditioning was on time, professional, and very knowledgeable. He took the time to inspect our rain drain to our dry well and do everything he could to alleviate the issue. I would highly recommend Apollo, they were informative and straight forward. Honesty is obviously a value they uphold for their customers.


    - Forrest W., Google Review


    I can’t begin to tell you how pleased we were with the service we received today from Anthony. He was incredibly personable and friendly. He went above and beyond and made the service call painless. Anthony took care of our clogged train in no time. Apollo and Anthony are the best! We highly recommend them.


    - Jennifer T., Google Review

Read Reviews