What's the Typical Cost for Plumbing Camera Inspections

With over 6 years as a professional plumber, I'm often asked what plumbing camera inspections cost. There are several variables that impact the price charged for video inspecting drain lines and sewer pipes.

Why Use a Plumbing Camera

A plumbing camera allows visually assessing drain pipes without destroying walls or floors. Inserting a camera into the line provides a live video feed showing any issues like:
  • Blockages from grease, hair, roots, etc.
  • Cracked, deteriorated, or damaged pipes
  • Slow drains from bellies or improper slope
Catching small drain problems early with video inspection helps avoid major pipe failures and water damage down the road.
Key Factors Impacting Plumbing Camera Costs
As an experienced plumber, the main things that influence my prices for drain and sewer video inspection are:
  • Pipe length - Longer pipes take more time, cable, and work to inspect.
  • Pipe size - Larger pipes are easier for camera access than smaller pipes.
  • Pipe condition - Heavily damaged pipes require more careful maneuvering.
  • Access points - More cleanouts means faster inspections. Limited access increases costs.
  • Location - Labor rates are higher in cities versus rural areas.
  • Reports - Customers may request detailed written reports with images.
  • Emergency service - Same or next day rush inspections often cost more.
"A drain pipe camera allows identifying and addressing minor drain issues before they become major expensive problems."

Typical Plumbing Camera Inspection Cost Range

Typical costs range from:
  • Main sewer line - $250 to $400
  • Main drain line - $200 to $350
  • Basic visual inspection - $175 to $300
  • Inspection with full report - $300 to $500
I recommend homeowners budget $300 to $400 on average for a plumbing camera inspection. Complex drain systems or emergency service may cost more.
  • During pre-purchase home inspections.
  • After any drain clogs, backups, or overflows.
  • Before finishing a basement or renovations.
  • To confirm repairs corrected any issues.
  • Every 3-5 years as preventative maintenance.

When Plumbing Camera Inspections Are Recommended

As a professional plumber, I recommend video drain inspections:
The small upfront cost for a plumbing camera inspection can prevent much larger emergency drain repair expenses down the road. Identifying and addressing any pipe problems early is always the smart move for homeowners.