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April 29, 2024 16 mins

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Welcome to another enlightening episode of the Standing Out in Ohio podcast, where we delve into the crucial, albeit less glamorous, aspects of property maintenance and inspection. Today, we focus on the vital role of sewer line inspections, a key but often underestimated component of property evaluations.

Join us as we discuss with industry experts the common goal of identifying major issues in sewer lines without the expectation of inspecting the entire line. Our experts explain why a thorough partial inspection is often more practical and beneficial than attempting to guarantee a complete passage through the sewer line. They share insights on the typical obstacles and blockages encountered during inspections, the technologies used to navigate these challenges, and why finding significant issues early—even just a few feet into the line—can save homeowners significant time, money, and hassle.

This episode is a must-listen for homeowners, real estate professionals, and anyone involved in property management or renovation in Ohio. Discover the importance of setting realistic expectations for sewer inspections and learn how these critical assessments can prevent future disasters. Tune in to gain a deeper understanding of what lies beneath the surface and how to effectively manage it.

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To learn more about Habitation Investigation, the Two-time Winner of the Best Home Inspection Company in the Midwest visit Home Inspection Columbus Ohio - Habitation Investigation (homeinspectionsinohio.com) Schedule online if you need a home inspection or related services.
If in need of a real estate agent definitely recommend checking the agents that have been guests on the podcast.

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For home buyers: What to expect from a home inspection. YT video for home buyers

Homebuyers, Help Protect Yourself When Going Commando (buying without the home inspection) – Habitation Investigation (homeinspectionsinohio.com)

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Episode Transcript

Available transcripts are automatically generated. Complete accuracy is not guaranteed.
Speaker 1 (00:02):
Welcome to the Standing Out in Ohio podcast,
where we discuss topics,upcoming events, news and
predictions with real estateprofessionals and entrepreneurs.
Listen and learn what makestheir companies and themselves
stand out and gain advantagesover the competition and gain
market share.
Subscribe for the latest newsand discussion on what it takes

(00:23):
to stand out from the crowd.
Now here's your host, jim.

Speaker 2 (00:30):
Hey everybody, welcome to the Standing Out and
Out Podcast.
This is Jim, and with me isLaura, the office goddess.

Speaker 3 (00:37):
Hello everyone.

Speaker 2 (00:38):
Alright, we're down here on the property relaxing.
We may do an episode next weekor maybe I'll do it.
We'll figure it out.
On relaxing we may do anepisode next week or maybe I'll
do it We'll figure it out.
On relaxing, yes, is that asuperpower?
And we'll go over that.
But right now, sewer scope.

Speaker 3 (00:57):
Expectations.

Speaker 2 (00:58):
What are the expectations for a sewer scope?
And then what if you only get,let's say, four feet in what
happens?
Then only get, let's say, fourfeet in what happens then.
But first let's listen to this.

Speaker 4 (01:10):
Habitation investigation is the way to go
For a home inspection in Ohio.
Trusted licensed homeinspectors for your needs.
From radon to mold towarranties For a great home
inspection, you really can't gowrong.

(01:31):
Visit homeinspectionsinohiocom.

Speaker 2 (01:35):
All right, laura.
So there's a situation theother day where we cut the sewer
scope.
The clean out the pipe was notopen, it was like concreted in.

Speaker 3 (01:48):
No, it was.
It was the cast iron copperfused together.

Speaker 2 (01:51):
The brass.
Okay, yeah, that stuff so veryhard to take off.
So we really couldn't get inthat.
We can't go around damaging thehouse and this it sounds like
it may have been fragile ordamaged something.
Damaging house and this itsounds like it may have been
fragile or it would have damagedsomething.
So what we did, in case youdon't know, sewer scopes have
it's kind of like a little skidaround the camera, a little

(02:13):
curved piece to kind of help getit over bumps, offsets.
It helps to scoot over unevensurfaces.
So anyway, there was a two-inchpipe that connected into the
main line into the clean outinto the, you know, bypassing
the clean out.
So what we did?
We had to take that skid offthe camera head.

(02:36):
That way it can fit inside thistwo inch pipe, because normally
with the skid it's this there'snot enough room for the camera
to go in there, let alone makeany kind of corner.
So anyway, we go through thetwo-inch pipe, probably just a
few feet, then it's in the mainline.
But as we're going, we onlywere able to get about 12 feet,

(03:01):
and then happens to be that thepipe is basically damaged, gone
and the camera is separated thatmuch, the camera's now dipping
down, hitting dirt becausethere's no pipe in that section.

Speaker 3 (03:16):
Where sewage is also hitting, I might add.

Speaker 2 (03:20):
Well, yeah, because there's a huge separation.
So now that little section iskind of like a leach field.
Basically is what's acting like, but anyway, you don't you
don't want that in the city, youdon't want everybody's house
doing that.

Speaker 3 (03:29):
So anyway, we can only get 12 feet because and we
didn't have the skid on thecamera so it can't make it over
and go further out in the pipewe almost had it stuck, like the
inspector almost called us andsaid hey, this is stuck and
somehow he just miraculously wasable to pop it out just before

(03:50):
he called me even just thatmakes me think even with the
skid on, it still may not beable to make it through, if it's
that big of a dip yes butanyway, we only got like 12 feet
can, can't get any further.

Speaker 2 (04:03):
The pipe is damaged, which now here comes this
question.
The question which I alwaysthought was pretty solid in our
head.
The goal of the sewer scope isto look to determine if there
are any issues with the pipe,and I do know for us we try to

(04:31):
go all the way out as far as wecan.

Speaker 3 (04:34):
Yes, If we can, we do .

Speaker 2 (04:36):
Out to the city, but sometimes you cannot, because if
the pipe's collapsed, it'scollapsed.
If there's such an offset, youcan't jump it, that's far you go
, but we met the, the.
The goal is to find out ifthere's any significant issues
that need to be dealt with.

Speaker 3 (04:54):
And there's at minimum one huge one.

Speaker 2 (04:57):
And there's minimum that one 12 feet out.
The camera cannot go furtherpast that.
There's such an offset or a gapbetween the pipe sections that
you're hitting dirt and it'sjust going to erode.
It's going to cause a lot moreissues down the road, just going
on the road, going to get a lotmore issues down the road.
So the client for this housesomehow wanted a discount

(05:20):
because we did not go all theway out.
But it's never guaranteed orpromised that we will go all the
way out Because you just can'tdo it A lot, not all the time,
but sometimes you cannot,especially when there's damage
to the pipe like this.
If it's old cast iron, there's awhole bunch of turns to it.

(05:41):
That is rough.
So there's way too muchfriction for the push rod to
push that camera head all theway out there.
And I do know of an inspectorwho he instructs on how to do
sewer camp, sewer scopes out incalifornia.
As soon as he finds one issue,he's done.

(06:01):
He pulls the camera out andyou're done.
Oh, even if he can get past it,it doesn't matter.
He found the, found one issue.
Yeah, I'll magically get therest of scope, the rest of the
line scoped.

Speaker 3 (06:15):
That's it.

Speaker 2 (06:15):
He's done, we go.
Well, there's this issue andthis one, we go on.
As soon as we find an issue ifwe can get the camera through,
we keep going, but kind ofsurprised it doesn't happen.
Maybe only the second timereally ever we had somebody go.
Hey, you guys didn't go all,weren't able to go all the way

(06:36):
to the end.
Can you cut a discount on thisor give a refund?
Like no, that is not the goal.
I mean, that's not theguarantee that we're going to go
all the way through.
And if we are, I mean whatwe'll do?
Charge by the foot, and I don'tthink people want to do that,
because in that case, yeah, it's$ hundred dollars for six feet

(06:58):
and every foot after that isanother ten dollars.
I mean, no, nobody wants that.
No, then you got an unknown fee.
We do 250 currently flat rateflat rate and actually for this
guy who wanted a discount but hewants to come back out is like
listen, we always are willing tocome back out once you get that

(07:20):
cap off or whatever thesituation is.
You get it fixed before we getaccess to it.
We'll come back out and scopeit and further out as far as we
can, because there may be a lotmore issues further out in that
line which would be mysupposition, based on how bad it
was by the house.
Yeah, you never know, you neverknow.
But if it's an older house,yeah, there's a chance, there's

(07:43):
a chance.
So, anyway, we just want tomake sure everybody understood
that it is not a guarantee.
The fee is not based on how farwe go out.
Not a guarantee.
The fee is not based on how farwe go out.
The fee is are making theeffort to scope the line.
Now we get the house and wecannot scope anything.
We are not going to keep themoney, we're not.

(08:06):
Oh, yeah, well, we will offerto refund that money.
If they're paid, we'll refundthat fee and then we don't do
the scope at all.
Or here's what I prefer to do,because it's important to get
the same scope and go hey, askthe seller to open that up, and
then, once it's open or we haveaccess to it, we will come back
and scope it and we do notcharge for that second trip out

(08:28):
there.

Speaker 3 (08:29):
No, and a lot of companies would A lot of
companies would.

Speaker 2 (08:32):
So let's say I don't want to charge for every single
time I come in, especially whenwe couldn't go out the first
time.
And there are people who chargelike well, it's $250.
I brought the camera out.
If I have to come back out thistime with access, it's another
$250.
Like no, that's ridiculous.
We do not charge that secondtrip out, but we do encourage

(08:52):
that, yes, it be opened up andknow that we have access to it,
just like a list agent says,yeah, the gas is on going out,
there's no gas.
We will come back out, finishthat inspection.
We'll do all the inspections wecan, but we'll come back out
and finish up and do the gasappliances Right.

(09:13):
But man, if we come back outthere for the second time and
the gas is still not on, I'vesent invoices before.
The listing agent is justwasting our time and everybody
else's time.
So there should be a charge forwasting our time, because that
time slot could easily have goneto somebody else who actually
has their shit together and isorganized and knows what's going

(09:36):
on at their house.
they're just assumingeverything's on right so I think
anything else, laura, regardingthe whole sewer scope, well, we
had one a while back sewerscope where tons of blockage
there was.
We only got a few feet out, youcouldn't get further, and then
we I tried to go back out andthen David went back out.

(09:56):
Later on, when we went back outas a follow-up, the seller
wasn't no, the renter, thetenant, was not there to let us
in Right.
But third, total trip out thereto scope this thing.
You're still going to get thatway through Because there's more
issues further back and I don'tknow if they even really

(10:19):
cleaned it up.
They just pushed everythingdown.
But yeah, somebody wanted todiscount that.
I'm like no, there's no waywe're giving you a discount when
we're telling you multipletimes that there is an issue
that you need to haveprofessionally dealt with and
not go.
Yeah, yeah.
The seller says they fixed itand that has not happened and we

(10:42):
have seen that we did a scope.
About a month later the buyergoes hey, they said what, what
was it?

Speaker 3 (10:55):
they fixed it all they.

Speaker 2 (10:56):
They said they, they looked at it and there was no
issues at all.
The pipe and he wanted hismoney back.
I'm like that doesn't makesense.
Yeah, it's not fishy.
What did they say they theyclean.
Yeah, they said they scope, canthey clean the pipe out.
And it all looked good.
This is the same house wherethey switched the thermostat on

(11:21):
the buyer.
Okay, before he moved in, theychanged the thermostat to a
cheap one.
I remember that one Let me comeback on and scope this for you.

Speaker 3 (11:27):
Yeah, something's not sounding right.

Speaker 2 (11:28):
He's like all right, so we went out there.

Speaker 3 (11:30):
I remember this because I was with you when we
did it.

Speaker 2 (11:32):
I remember this because I was with you when we
did it.
I didn't want to give moneyback when we legitimately did
our job.
So we go out there and the pipedid not change at all.

Speaker 3 (11:40):
They never cleaned anything out, never took it off.

Speaker 2 (11:43):
There were still issues.
The seller was lying and thenI'm assuming the seller told the
listing agent who now thinksit's true, but it's not true,
but it's oh.
You know what they do not.
They would not give a receiptright, or the really shitty
receipt that's all like yeah,there was some red flags with

(12:04):
that.
so anyway, sewer scope is that'snot priced per foot.
That we go in is based on goingout there and the effort to get
it done, and then we do makesecond trips as need be.
But now, if we find an issue,that is the goal, or we don't

(12:26):
find an issue, which is betteryet that is better, yet that is
the goal, also to see what'sgoing on.
It's either completely good ordude.
You got some issues.
You need to have these takencare of because they're severe
enough that we can't get throughthe whole pipe.

Speaker 3 (12:40):
Now, first of all, when we charge for a sewer scope
, it's only $250.
If a plumbing company comes outand they do just the scope,
it's around 500, isn't it?
I have heard that yes so I'vehad people ask well, why should

(13:00):
I bother, getting a super scopewith you?
Well, for a couple reasons.
First of all, we're already outthere.
We have no vested interest inwhether anything is repairable
or damaged or anything.
What it is is what it is withus because we don't do repairs.
So if we come out and let's sayyou've purchased this property,

(13:23):
it's an as is because, let'sface it, most of them going on
right now are as is.
This gives you video evidenceof an issue in that line that
you can either use to negotiatemoney off of that contract.
You could just say screw it andwalk away.

(13:44):
If it's going to be like $20,000worth of repairs, if it's going
to be that bad.

Speaker 2 (13:46):
Well, here's another thing.
So you move in the house and assoon as you move in you got
sewer line backup in your house.
I don't think an insurancecompany or a homeowner is going
to cover that, because like dude, that is a pre-existing
condition.
Did you get a home inspection?
Yeah, did you get a scope?
No, sorry, you're on your own.

Speaker 3 (14:07):
Right.
So, and we're hearing a lotmore stories about warranty
companies and insurancecompanies, and I think they're
going to be asking for a lotmore things like that down the
road.
So, before they pay out, whatit's sounding like to me like we
had somebody the other day itwas a three-year roof and they

(14:32):
looked on Google Earth and saidthat they needed a new roof.
So you're going to have tostart taking care of stuff and
having written proof that thereis or isn't an issue.

Speaker 2 (14:44):
Yeah, church covers are getting weird, but that
could be another topic.

Speaker 3 (14:48):
Yeah, that could be another topic, but yeah, just
keep in mind that I think that'sabout it.

Speaker 2 (14:53):
Knowledge is power.

Speaker 3 (14:53):
Yeah, make sure you in mind that knowledge is power.

Speaker 2 (14:55):
Make sure you always get the home inspected and sewer
scoped or not per foot.
Can you imagine doing a homeinspection?
Yeah, how much you owe us isbased on how many issues we find
.
To me that's a horrible setup,because then you're going to
have a home have an old title.
I need extra money this week.

Speaker 4 (15:17):
let me get really picky here.

Speaker 2 (15:19):
yeah, we love to go do an inspection and there's no
major issues.
We love doing that.
We don't like finding issues.
Sometimes the house has a lotof issues and the house becomes
annoying to us.
We don't like a bunch of issues, but we know, no house is
perfect, so there's always goingto be something.
Stuff happens, yeah, butbecause the house is not perfect

(15:42):
does not mean you have toaccept it.
A really rough, messed up sewerline from a previous owner who
may have neglected it and thendoesn't want you to know about
it?
Right, and we charge $250,period Well, currently $250 to
go in there and take a look.
We try and go through the wholeline, but if we can't, we can't

(16:06):
.
If we can't do it, typicallythere's a reason, and that
reason is why you hired usBecause you want to know and not
be surprised three weeks afteryou move into the house.
All right, everybody.

Speaker 1 (16:18):
bye-bye, bye you've been listening to the standing
out in ohio podcast.
Be sure to subscribe on spotifyor google podcast to get new,
fresh episodes.
For more, please follow us oninstagram, twitter and facebook,
or visit the website of thebest Ohio home inspection
company athomeinspectionsinohiocom or

(16:41):
jimtroffcom.
That's J-I-M-T-R-O-T-H andclick on podcast.
Until next time, learn and godo stuff.
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