How Much Does a Plumbing Inspection Cost?

Typical Range:

$65 - $4,500

Find out how much your project will cost.

Cost data is based on research by HomeAdvisor.

Updated April 29, 2022

Reviewed by Jeff Botelho, Licensed Journeyman Plumber.

Written by HomeAdvisor.

A plumbing inspection can be a valuable tool in preventing small plumbing issues from becoming serious ones. Before booking an appointment, you must understand the types of available assessments and how much plumbing inspections cost. 

If you opt for a visual inspection, you could pay as little as $65 to have a pro look over your pipes and test your plumbing fixtures. If you require a more extensive sewer camera inspection, you’ll generally pay $700. However, your project could cost as much as $4,500, depending on the type of equipment the plumber needs to use.

Average Cost of a Plumbing Inspection

While most homeowners pay $200 on average for a plumbing inspection, your final budget will most likely fall between $180 and $225.

Average Cost $200
Low Cost $65
High Cost $4,500

Estimating Plumbing Inspection Costs

Why you need a plumbing inspection can give you the greatest insight into how much you may pay for this service. Emergencies will generally result in higher costs as you need to pay for immediate assistance, plus the cost of any necessary repairs.

Urgency

When estimating costs for a plumbing inspection, you need to factor in how quickly you need the service call. If you face an immediate problem, such as an overflowing toilet or an unknown water leak, you cannot wait for help. 

The cost of an emergency plumbing service call can result in an additional trip fee of $100 to $350. Some licensed plumbers may also double or triple their hourly rate when they come out in the evening, on a weekend, or during a holiday.

“Know that many plumbers have a minimum block of time for service calls. For instance, a company may charge a four-hour minimum for any service call, emergency or not. If their after-hours rate is double or triple their normal rate, you could incur some steep fees,” says Plumber and Expert Review Board member Jeff Botelho.

If you’re not in a rush for a plumbing inspection, such as when scheduling one as part of home maintenance or when you have time as you’re preparing to put a house on the market, you won’t have to worry about paying extra fees.

Repairs

Plumbing inspection costs include the inspection only, not the additional services you might need as a result of the assessment, such as cleaning or repairs. 

Here are the average costs to repair plumbing issues your inspection may uncover:

How Much Does It Cost to Inspect Plumbing Yourself?

Because it often takes a trained eye to spot problems, it’s best to contact a professional plumbing service to conduct an inspection rather than try to undertake the job yourself.

However, if you’re not experiencing any obvious plumbing issues, there are some things you can do yourself at no cost to check that your plumbing is in working order.

For starters, locate your water meter and become familiar with it. If you keep a monthly record of your water usage, you’ll be able to spot inconsistencies that may signal a leak.

Botelho recommends every homeowner should know how to turn off the water meter in case of an emergency. Knowing this simple task can prevent damaged property in the event of a major water leak.

Keep an eye on water pressure and temperature. You can check these by turning on the farthest faucet or shower from the main water line. If the stream of water isn’t as hot or powerful as you expect, this could mean that your water heater needs cleaning. The cost to flush a water heater is about $200, though this is also a job you can do yourself at no cost.

Other tasks you can complete yourself include visually inspecting pipes for leaks, testing toilets to ensure proper function, and looking for water damage around and under fixtures like sinks, toilets, washing machines, and water heaters.

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Cost to Inspect Plumbing Yourself vs. Hiring a Contractor 

For some tasks that you can perform yourself, such as testing plumbing fixtures and visually inspecting pipes, there are no costs involved—you’ll only spend some time and effort.

You may need to invest in some equipment for other tasks, such as snaking a pipe or conducting a sewer camera inspection. A drain snake from the hardware store may be sufficient for small clogs to clear the issue. You may need a more powerful auger for larger blockages, which can easily cost $250 or more.

If you’re set on inspecting your main sewer with a camera, you can rent one for $200 to $300 per day, which may be less than you’ll pay a professional plumber (assuming you can get the job done in one day). However, you’ll need to learn how to use the equipment and interpret the results you see, which may expose you to sewer gas and waste.

So while it’s likely that you’ll pay less to complete simpler plumbing inspection tasks, you’ll deprive yourself of professional knowledge and experience. Considering that one of the purposes of a plumbing inspection is to spot issues before they become bigger problems, it just makes sense to leave this type of job to the pros.

Botelho also notes that some plumbing companies will offer free plumbing and heating system inspections, but this often comes as part of a paid service contract. “These service contracts usually get you priority service and a discounted hourly rate,” says Botelho.

How Much Does a Plumbing Inspection Cost by Type?

When you request a plumbing inspection, you’ll choose from three different types.

Visual Inspection

With an average cost of $175, a visual inspection is the most affordable type of plumbing inspection. Here, a plumber will trace the plumbing throughout your home and visually inspect it for leaks, corrosion, and other issues. 

This inspection includes pipes and plumbing fixtures like bathtubs, dishwashers, outdoor spigots, showers, sinks, toilets, washing machines, and water heaters. In addition to ensuring no obvious issues, the inspector will also test your water pressure and make sure that your fixtures are correctly draining.

After the inspector finishes their review, they’ll generate a report summarizing their findings and any further action you may need to take, such as drain cleaning or fixture repairs.

Camera Inspection

The average cost of a sewer camera inspection is $700 and involves your plumber feeding a high-resolution camera through your plumbing pipes. As the camera moves through the pipes, the plumber receives real-time images. This allows them to spot problems like breaks and tree root intrusions, plus note exactly where they are to facilitate later repairs.

After the sewer line inspection, your local sewer camera inspector will generate a report detailing any issues they found. The plumber may also include a digital copy of the camera inspection for your review.

Combination Inspection

A combination inspection typically costs about $800 and involves a visual inspection of your interior pipes and plumbing and a camera inspection of the sewer line. 

Your plumber may recommend this service if you’re buying or selling a home, it’s been a long time since your last plumbing inspection, or you’re facing an unknown plumbing problem that needs in-depth investigation.

What Factors Influence the Cost of a Plumbing Inspection?

Two major factors influence the cost of a plumbing inspection: The size of your home and the type of inspection you choose.

Size of the Home

Larger homes have more plumbing than smaller homes. The longer it takes a licensed plumber to visually inspect your pipes and plumbing fixtures, the more you’ll pay.

Type of Inspection

You might choose a visual inspection over a camera inspection, or your plumbing service may recommend that you do both, depending on the reason for the inspection. A visual inspection is more affordable because it requires less time and effort.

FAQs About Plumbing Inspections

Why should I get a plumbing inspection?

Considering that the cost to clean up and repair water damage can cost thousands of dollars, it makes sense to get an inspection every year or two to make sure that your plumbing system is in good working order.

When should I get a plumbing inspection?

You should consider getting a plumbing inspection as part of preventative home maintenance, when you’re buying or selling a home, or if you’re concerned that you may be experiencing a plumbing issue.

What does a plumbing inspection’s cost include?

When you pay for a plumbing inspection, that’s all that you’re paying for. Visual inspection costs include a visual review of your pipes and plumbing fixtures and testing your water pressure. During a camera inspection, a local plumber will feed a high-resolution camera through your main sewer line and generate a report on what they found. No matter which inspection you choose, repair costs, if necessary, are not included.

How long does a plumbing inspection take?

How long a plumbing inspection will take depends on the size of your home, but you can generally expect an inspection to take about two hours.

How do I hire a professional to inspect my plumbing?

When you need to find and hire a plumber to perform a plumbing inspection, there are a few steps you should take:

  • Get recommendations by asking family, friends, and neighbors or checking out online reviews from previous customers

  • Verify that potential plumbing services are licensed and insured

  • Request estimates so you can compare costs

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