Buying an Older Home? 4 Reasons to Get a Sewer Line Inspection First

Buying an Older Home? 4 Reasons to Get a Sewer Line Inspection First

Buying an Older Home? 4 Reasons to Get a Sewer Line Inspection First

24 August 2021
, Blog

Older homes were built with character and craftsmanship and that charm is appealing to many homebuyers looking for something cozy and lived-in. However, older homes often have lurking problems with major systems including plumbing. That's why it's important to do your due diligence. If you're about to purchase an older home, here are four reasons you should invest in a sewer line inspection before you commit to buy.  

Tree Roots

Tall and mature shade trees are a huge appeal and one of the major reasons why some home buyers want to buy older homes in historic neighborhoods. But old trees have old root systems and those roots can sometimes penetrate the sewer lines in the ground around the home. Problems typically arise not from a single root but from a network of root systems that can infiltrate the pipe and form a net of fibers, causing severe blockages in the sewer line. Roots can also cause old pipes to crack. A sewer line inspector uses a tiny camera attached to a snake-like line and feeds it into the pipe to get a look at the situation at hand. They can tell in real time if any tree roots are obstructing the pipes before you buy.  

Cast Iron Pipe

Homes built before the 1970s often had cast iron sewer lines rather than the PVC lines used today. Why is this a problem? Cast iron rusts. When corrosive materials flow through cast iron pipes, they can develop rust that eats away at the iron. Eventually, given enough time, cracks and holes can develop, or worst case scenario--the pipe might crumble away entirely. Replacing cast iron lines is expensive. Fortunately, a sewer inspector can check for cast iron pipe before you buy the home.  

Orangeburg Pipe

Orangeburg was a type of sewage pipe made from bituminized fiber that was sometimes used as sewer pipe between the 1860s and 1970s. It was made from wood pulp fiber that was bound by adhesive and then soaked in tar pitch. Unfortunately, Orangeburg piping tends to delaminate and fail in time and so it was replaced by the use of PVC pipe. If the old home you're thinking of buying has Orangeburg, a sewer line inspector can quickly find out.  


Even if the home has updated sewer pipes, it's a good idea to have a sewer line inspector check for unwanted debris. Not all homeowners are careful about what they flush down the sink or toilet. You can save future plumbing headaches by hiring a sewer line inspector to check for any unexpected debris in the sewer line from the previous homeowner.

To learn more, contact services like Mesquite Plumbing Inc.

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The Mind of a Plumber

Have you ever wished you could venture into the mind of a plumber and see how they think? We certainly have. We are always amazed how plumbers can design a system of pipes to fit a space and then have everything work so perfectly. They have a true talent — one that we have always sought to understand on a deeper level. That's actually why we created this blog. We are hoping to post articles here that give you a peek into the world of a plumber. And we know we will gain additional insight as we write about plumbers, too.