Cost to Run a Camera Through Sewer Line

Running a camera through a sewer line, also known as sewer line video inspection or pipe inspection, can help identify blockages, breaks, root intrusion and other issues in underground sewer pipes. But how much does it cost to have this service done on your home's sewer line?

Average Cost to Video Inspect Sewer Line

The average cost to run a camera through a sewer line ranges from $175 to $600, with most homeowners paying between $200 to $350. Here are some of the main factors that influence the cost:
  • Accessibility - Easily accessible sewer lines that are close to cleanouts will be on the lower end. Difficult access through landscaping or under structures will cost more in labor.
  • Pipe Length - Longer sewer lines will take more time and equipment to inspect, increasing costs. Average residential lines are 60 to 100 feet.
  • Pipe Size - Larger 6-8 inch main lines are standard. Inspecting 3-4 inch branch lines costs slightly more.
  • Video Type - A basic cable video inspection camera costs less than a self-propelling robotic camera, though the latter provides better visualization.
  • Additional Services - sewer line repair done in conjunction with video inspection will raise the overall cost.
Why Run a Camera Through Your Sewer
There are several benefits to having your sewer line professionally inspected:
  • Identify problems - Video inspection can pinpoint the exact location and cause of sewer line blockages, breaks, root intrusion, offsets, and other issues.
  • Prevent backups - Catching defects early prevents major backups and overflows down the road, saving you money.
  • Confirm repairs - Video can confirm that sewer repairs were completed properly without defects.
  • Peace of mind - Inspection gives you the confidence that your underground sewer is in good working order.
"A drain pipe camera allows identifying and addressing minor drain issues before they become major expensive problems."

What Does Video Pipe Inspection Show

A sewer camera inspection provides a live video feed and recorded footage of the interior of your pipes. Trained plumbers can diagnose the following kinds of problems:

  • Clogs - Buildup of grease, waste, roots, or other debris blocking the line.
  • Fractures & holes - Cracks, breaks, collapsed sections, and other structural defects.
  • Root intrusion - Roots growing into joints or cracks, obstructing the pipe.
  • Infiltration - Groundwater leaking into pipes through cracks or loose joints.
  • Improper connections - Incorrect installation of pipes or joins.
  • Offset/sagging pipes - Misaligned or sagging pipes that disrupt flow.
The video inspection will pinpoint the location and severity of any issues. From there, plumbers can recommend the proper repairs.
Cons of DIY Inspection:
  • Cannot access lines beyond cleanouts
  • Lack of experience identifying issues
  • Potential to damage line or camera equipment
  • Limited visualization with basic cameras
Pros of Professional Inspection:
  • Better camera equipment reaches full sewer line
  • Trained specialists accurately diagnose issues
  • Vast experience with variety of pipe problems
  • Follow up with recommended repairs as needed
In most cases, hiring a professional plumber for sewer line video inspection is worth the cost. They have the right equipment, expertise, and ability to provide full diagnostics and follow-up repairs.

DIY vs Professional Video Inspection

Some homeowners try to save money by doing their own sewer line inspection using a small plumbing camera they rent or purchase. However, DIY video inspection has several downsides:

Find the Right Sewer Video Inspection Company

When hiring a plumbing company for sewer line video inspection, look for the following:
  • Experience - Ask how many years they have performed sewer inspections. Look for 5+ years in business.
  • Proper equipment - Ensure they use high-quality, modern video inspection cameras.
  • Licensed plumbers - Sewer scoping should be done by fully licensed, qualified plumbers.
  • Explains process & findings - They should thoroughly explain the inspection process and findings in clear terms.
  • Provides report & video footage - You should receive documentation with still images/video of any pipe defects found.
  • Fair pricing - Get an itemized quote upfront and avoid companies that charge excessively high fees.
Running a camera through your sewer line is the best way to evaluate the condition and functionality of your underground plumbing. While costs vary based on several factors, you can expect to pay $175 to $600 for professional video inspection. Investing in this preventative service can save you from much larger bills for emergency sewer repairs down the road.