You might think of a pipe as a single, long tube running under the ground. In reality, though, pipes are installed in sections which can range from 2’ to 20’ and beyond. When the sections line up correctly, they might as well be one long tube because they’ll work almost seamlessly. However, if the sections don’t line up correctly, they are referred to as “off-set” pipes and they are an opportunity for problems to occur. Off-set pipes are another danger that we’ll look for when we carry out your Denver area sewer inspection.

Older sewer lines are especially vulnerable to off-set pipes because they tend to have a larger number of shorter sections rather than a smaller number of larger sections. This means there are more places for off-sets to occur. When they pipes were initially installed, they would have been sealed with a potential variety of sealants—and some pipes were never even sealed at all—but over time the sealants can erode and any shift in the surrounding soil can then cause pipes to become off-set.

Like low areas, off-sets are generally only a problem if they get particularly large. For instance, if an off-set gets to be around ¼” then many sewer camera systems won’t be able to pass over it to continue down the pipe. If the off-set is small, it probably won’t cause a problem and won’t be worth the resources required to excavate and fix the pipe.

You should be careful if using another company to do you sewer inspection. Technicians have been known to over-estimate the severity of pipe off-sets, forcing you to decide to ignore a potential problem, or save the money in hopes that the off-set isn’t as bad as they reported. Luckily, if you use Safe Investment Home Inspections, LLC, you know that you’ll be getting a trusted, honest opinion about the condition of your pipes. We will never recommend that you repair a pipe unless it is causing a real problem for you.