Plumbing Inspections of Buildings

Posted by & filed under Commercial Building Inspections, Residential Home Inspections.

When inspecting a building’s plumbing, including the sewer, drain and clean out, a video inspection may be recommended because of the age of the building or the following factors:

  • If the building has cast iron DWV (Drain Waste Vent) piping
  • If there has been or is a restaurant tenant. (Restaurant floor cleaning uses harsh chemicals that can cause serious damage to cast iron piping.)
  • If tree roots are close to the sewer line
  • If a blockage has been reported or discovered during the inspection

It is important to understand that the building drain and building sewer are defined in the California Plumbing Code. The building drain piping is under and inside the building, and the sewer piping starts two feet outside of the building’s foundation line. At the two-foot demarcation point, a clean out is required.

Plumbing Inspection

When requesting a video inspection, it is important to clearly tell the video inspection company whether you want just the building drain and/or the building sewer. If you want the building drain, it will be necessary to determine if the clean out is a two-way clean out. If not, then an end-of-line clean out will need to be located for the inspector. Usually the inspector will know where to find the end-of-line clean out. If neither clean out allows access for his camera, then this is a code violation. A toilet may need to be removed to provide access to the main building drain line.

California Plumbing Code (CPC) can be found online here.

  • Building drain and building sewer are defined in CPC Chapter 2 section 204.0
  • Clean out requirements are covered in CPC Chapter 7 Section 707.0

If you have additional questions about the building drain, building sewer and clean out requirements under CPC, feel free to give us a call at 916-606-5457 or contact us.