How Much Does a Sewer Line Camera Inspection Cost?

Katy Willis
Written by Katy Willis
Updated January 24, 2022
Sewer line
Photo: Douglas Sacha / Moment / Getty Images

A sewer line camera inspection costs an average of $685, with a typical range of $250 to $1,175

Get quotes from up to 3 pros!
Enter a zip below and get matched to top-rated pros near you.

A video sewer line inspection can cost as little as $100 or, on the high end, up to $2,650. You'll typically pay between $250 and $1,175. Here’s a tip: you may also be able to negotiate a better rate if you bundle a pipe inspection with another service, such as sewer cleaning. 

Using a sewer scope, the plumbing pro can investigate the hundreds of feet of plumbing in your home to locate clogs, leaks, root or stone incursion, and other sewer line problems. If you notice skyrocketing water bills, slow draining sinks, or low water pressure, it's time to call a pro to inspect your plumbing.

How Much Does a Sewer Line Camera Inspection Cost?

While the drain camera inspection costs between $250 and $1,175, with a national average of $685, this does not include anything other than the sewer inspection cost. 

If the camera uncovers any problems that need addressing, whether it's a simple clog from your kids flushing their action figures or a more complex issue such as a tree that's turned into a behemoth and sunk it's super-roots into the pipes and caused a leak, you'll need to pay extra to get it fixed. A local plumber costs between $45 and $150 per hour, plus you'll have to factor in materials to complete the job.

How Much Does a Sewer Line Camera Inspection Cost Near Me?

CityTypical RangeAverage
Pittsburgh$520–$4,110$2,315
Seattle$430–$2,970$1,535
Orlando, FL$155–$515$315
New York City$260–$760$510
Houston$220–$655$420
Los Angeles$460–$2,745$1,600
Salt Lake City$335–$710$460
Hartford, CT$320–$440$380

How Much Does It Cost to Do a Video Sewer Inspection Yourself?

You can do a video sewer line inspection yourself, but the costs and limitations may make it a challenge. If you want to buy the equipment, you'll pay somewhere between $1,000 and $15,000. The higher cost includes professional-grade equipment with a long reach of 330 feet or more, along with high-resolution video, a locator, and maybe even a retrieval device. If you opt for the budget models, expect no frills, poor video quality, and very limited cable length.

You'll also need a hand-held screen, video output and/or a memory card, and a light source. These will most likely be included in the cost of the camera, but triple check before you buy. 

If you don't want to purchase costly equipment that you'll (hopefully) only use once a year, you can rent it by the day. Rental costs for sewer camera kits are, on average, $200 per day. However, you may pay extra for kits with higher-resolution video or longer cables, and you may struggle to find a rental unit with more than 2,000 feet of cable.

What Factors Influence the Cost of a Plumbing Inspection?

Plumbing camera inspection costs vary widely based on the average pricing in your area, whether you purchase the inspection as part of a service bundle, how accessible the sewer is, and the pipe’s length the camera has to explore.

Service Bundles

Service bundles are a great way to maintain your plumbing and maximize value. You'll generally pay more for an individual inspection, then you’ll have to hire a plumber to carry out separate repairs or cleaning. 

Some companies offer a video inspection as part of a cleaning and maintenance bundle and may also include some repairs or object retrieval in the price. While you'll pay more overall for a service package, you'll spend less per task than if you bought them individually.

Sewer Length

The sewer’s length, or at least how many feet of pipe the camera needs to travel, has an impact on cost. Obviously, the further the camera goes, the longer it takes. And because most people don't know how many feet of pipe their plumbing system has, the final price may be more than you were quoted, unless you've got a guaranteed cost estimate. 

Most standard sewer inspection services go up to 330 feet. If your home needs more than this, expect to pay more for specialist service. 

Sewer camera inspection
Photo: JasonDoiy / E+ / Getty Images

Accessibility

Your property likely has hundreds of feet of plumbing running through it. How accessible entry points for the camera are influences cost. If accessibility is challenging or limited, this complicates an otherwise simple job, adding time—and therefore labor costs—to the final bill.

Fixes and Upgrades Not Typically Included in the Original Inspection Cost

If you don't have a service package and have opted for an inspection only, you'll have to pay separately for any needed repairs or maintenance, which will influence the total cost of getting your sewer line back into shape.

Drain Cleaning

Simple drain cleaning costs between $100 and $275. More complex clogs that require unblocking toilets or hydro jetting can cost up to $400

A blocked toilet is really not a good way to start your day, and you need it fixed fast. So you may want to package a blockage like this with an inspection to get the job done quickly at the best price. 

Hydro jetting to get rid of greasy buildup that can impede water flow is another essential, but comparatively expensive, task usually more cost-effective when bundled with an inspection. If your drains only need snaking, it's usually fairly economical for a dual snaking and inspection package, and the work should be completed reasonably quickly.

Drain Line Breakage

If your sewer line has a break, you can expect an expensive, but essential, repair. Sewer line replacement or repair costs an average of $2,500, ranging from $1,100 to $4,100. The cost depends on accessibility and location, the extent of the damage, whether you’re repairing or replacing, and whether the camera inspection has a locator that makes pinpointing the damage easy.

Object Retrieval

Objects get lost down drains regularly, especially if you have kids who like to experiment and flush toys, your makeup, your tools, your jewelry—anything they can get their hands on. While not all lost items require a camera or a plumber to retrieve them, some do. And commonly, object retrieval with a camera is a single service.

Foreign Object Penetration

Rocks, tree roots, and other objects can cause damage to your main sewer line. A camera with a locator is the easiest way to pinpoint the affected area, just like with a drain line breakage. 

Removing the offending items and patching the damage costs $600 on average. Without a camera and locator, the job would require a lot of excavation and labor to manually dig up the yard section by section to find the damaged area—and would be much more expensive.

FAQs About Sewer Line Inspection Costs

How far will a drain camera go?

Most professional drain cameras run up to about 330 feet. If that's not enough, your plumber may move the camera to a different entrypoint or you may need more specialist equipment. An inspection usually runs from the chosen entrypoint until the professional finds the problem, or until the camera reaches the main sewer line.

What will I see on the sewer video inspection?

Even with a high-resolution camera, what you're looking at on the screen may not be recognizable to the untrained eye. Your plumber should be willing to walk you through the video and explain what they found. With high-res images, bright lighting, and self-leveling technology, you should get clear, steady views of the pipes that make up your plumbing system.

Can I rent a sewer camera for a DIY inspection?

Yes, but you have to consider whether DIYing the inspection is worth it. Renting the equipment costs up to $250 per day and the cable is usually only up to 200 feet long compared with the standard 330-foot cable professional-grade cameras are equipped with. Plus, you not only have to learn how to use the equipment, but how to make sense of and identify what you're seeing. 

Need professional help with your project?
Get quotes from top-rated pros.