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What Is A Sewer Camera Inspection?

SEWER & DRAIN

What Is A Sewer Camera Inspection

You’re going about your day when suddenly you smell a foul odor coming from the bathroom. You head there and see a bubbling mass of brown and gray liquid spewing from the toilet bowl. This is a plumbing emergency and one of the first things your plumber will do is a sewer camera inspection.

The location of the sewer problem is a major factor in how the plumber fixes it. In fact, there are several reasons why a sewer camera is used by plumbers. It’s one of the most valuable tools they have in their arsenal. Find out all about this tool and how it’s used by the plumber.

How Does a Sewer Camera Inspection Work?

A sewer line camera is a camera on the end of a long flexible cable. The plumber places the camera into the sewer line and pushes it down the line until they discover the problem.

The plumber sits at ground level with a portable monitor and examines the camera as it snakes through the pipe. As the pipes are dark, the camera has a light attached so the plumber can see everything through the murky pipes.

Sewer cameras can extend a long way down sewer pipes and can find the problem even if it is outside of the home.

Sewer Cameras Find Lines Outside of Homes

When there is a problem with the sewer line outside of the home, it can be difficult for a plumber to find it. Many times, repairs require digging up a specific area of the yard to get to the pipe.

Plumbers don’t want to dig random holes in your yard, hoping to find the sewer lines, so they use a camera. Actually, they use a homing beacon inside the camera.

They snake the camera through the pipe until it’s far enough down that it’s outside the house. They then use another tool to home in on the camera and locate the sewer pipe. They can mark the area and then dig.

This minimizes the damage done to your yard and lets them get to the problem right away without searching for it. Plumbers likely have an idea where the sewer lines run, but you don’t want a six-foot-wide hole dug if you don’t have to. The camera makes finding the sewer line a precision job.

Locate Clogs in the Sewer Line

If your toilet is slow or overflow, then you’ve got a clog in the sewer lines. Through the years, waste builds up in the line such as grease, dirt and other detritus. This can slow and eventually stop wastewater from flowing through the pipe.

Using a camera, the plumber can find exactly where the clog is and what’s causing it. In many cases, the problem can be solved without digging, but the plumber won’t know for sure until they see it.

It’s not just grease and dirt that can clog it either. Tree roots are culprits of many blockages as well as broken pipes. Only a sewer camera can determine the true cause and suggest a remedy.

Analyze Your Sewer System

Town sewer lines can be very old or new, but a plumber won’t know unless he sees how they look. A brand new home with new sewer connections could connect to a sewer system that’s more than a hundred years old or an older home can have rusty pipes.

A sewer inspection can determine what kind of pipe you have and where the connections are. They can view fittings and tees and determine if there are any issues. Without the camera, there is no way to know if there they’re dealing with an iron pipe or PVC.

A Sewer Line Camera Inspection Can’t Determine Leaks

While a sewer camera service is a valuable tool, it can’t definitively provide information about leaks. A leaky pipe can come from anywhere along the pipe and the crack can be very small. The easiest way to see a leak would be from outside the pipe, but the camera can only see inside.

Iron pipes can be several inches thick, so a camera can see a crack or hole, but it may not run all the way through the pipe. Instead, the camera can help see how the pipe looks, but unless it’s painfully obvious, they can’t determine the exact location of a leak.

The plumber looks at the pipe via a monitor, which doesn’t provide 4K HD quality visuals. When you add the murky and dirty water of the pipe, finding something as elusive as a leak is even more difficult.

Check Out the Pipes Before You Buy

When you’re buying a new home, an inspection is a common procedure. They’ll check everything from the roof to the basement and write down any issues they may find.

A sewer line inspection is a good investment before taking the plunge into home buying. Even though there may not be anything wrong with the line currently, the inspection can examine the pipe and any buildup inside it.

The plumber can surmise if the pipes are in good shape or if there’s going to be a major problem a few years down the road. The last thing you want is to purchase your dream home and find out you’ve got a major plumbing repair a couple of years after moving in.

People selling their homes might get a sewer line inspection to find issues and fix them before any buyers look at the house. It’s worth the cost.

They’ll appreciate the effort you took to fix any sewer problems. If it shows the pipes have a clean bill of health, you can mention that when people come to the house.

People love to hear when something works great and won’t be a worry if they buy the home.

Sewer Cameras are one of a Plumber’s Many Tools

It’s important to remember that while a sewer camera inspection is a valuable tool, it’s not the only one a plumber has. He may use the camera initially, but he may use drain snakes and countless other tools to further verify the issue or to fix it.

If you want to learn more about plumbing or sewer line inspections, explore our site today.

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