Sewer Line Inspection Cameras And How They Work

Blocked and clogged pipes are one of the problems that many homeowners have that need constant attention.   Sewer line inspection is important if you want your pipes to be fully unclogged in order to know how to unclog a drain pipe. However, that can be a problem sometimes, especially if the pipes run deep.

That is why sewer line camera inspection has become a very common and useful plumbing solution for commercial and residential plumbing. It has eradicated guesswork in the plumbing industry and has made it easier to give accurate and effective solutions.

What is a Sewer Line Inspection Camera?

Sewer line inspection cameras are waterproof plumbing cameras specially designed to allow plumbers to see into pipes that are otherwise hard to access. They are pushed into the pipes to give the plumbers a clear visual of the pipes’ condition.

They are mostly used in underground pipes, pipes encased in concrete, pipes u8nder the house’s foundation and those behind walls. They are more time and cost-effective than digging up the pipes or guessing the problem.

How Does It Work?

Sewer line camera inspection requires a highly skilled and trained technician for it to be successful. The technician attaches a sewer line camera onto a flexible rod and inserts the rod into the pipes.

The flexible rod and camera can travel through the turns and twists of the sewer lines, making it possible for them to capture the pipes and the walls. They can be used for pipes with diameters between 2 and 36 inches.

The video footage captured by the sewer line camera is transmitted in real-time to the technician via an HDTV monitor, which can be made into a digital recording for future use. That allows the conditions of the sewer lines to be inspected immediately.

The sewer line cameras come with LED lights that are bright enough to illuminate the pipe and reveal any clog sources, cracks, and other structural problems.

They also have a radio transmitter for recording the exact physical location and underground depth of any problems detected in the pipes. Some cameras can push through the blockages and clogs.

In case of a serious blockage or other problems, the technician, using a locating device, will locate the signal and spray the area with the problem to help them know where to dig a trench when repairing the pipe.

Problems That Sewer Line Camera Inspection Identifies

Sewer line inspections are meant to identify any problems that your pipes may have, but sometimes with hard to access pipes, the problem identification is difficult. Sewer line cameras help identify all the problems that the regular sewer line inspection would have missed.

Some of those problems include;

  • Root Intrusion- Sometimes, roots may grow so deep and long that they grow into the pipes, causing blockages, cracks, and leaks.
  • Misaligned pipes- With time, pipes may shift and bend from their original position, increasing their cracking chances.
  • Corrosion and rust- Pipes made from metal are bound to rust over time, but it can be hard to identify the areas with severe rust unless you use the sewer inspection cameras.
  • Clogs and major blockages- Sewer inspection cameras will help identify the clog’s location, its cause, and how it can be fixed.
  • Cracked or broken pipes- Broken and cracked pipes can increase your bills and release unwanted waste into the environment. With a sewer inspection camera, you can know the crack’s size and if you need new pipes or if the existing ones can be repaired.
  • Sagging pipes- Sometimes, the water takes a long to drain or doesn’t drain at all because of a sagged pipe. Sagged pipes also make it easy for debris and dirt to collect into the pipe, causing repeat blockages.

A regular sewer line inspection can miss the sagged pipe, but a sewer line camera inspection will help identify the sagged pipe’s exact location and make it easier to fix.

A follow-up sewer line camera inspection is recommended to ensure that the problem is completely fixed.

When To Consider Sewer Line Camera Inspection

Sewer line camera inspection is not done often, but some problems require it to be properly fixed. It is often recommended when you experience constant clogs, slow drains, or sewer line backups.

You can also consider it if you want to buy a new house. It will help you identify and fix any present plumbing issues before you settle in.

If you are experiencing unexplainable high water bills, it is also important to conduct a sewer line camera inspection because there may be leaks in your pipes.

You can also consider it if you are thinking about adding or remodeling a bathroom or kitchen. It will help you identify if your pipes will handle the added waste and water transportation.

Advantages

  • Accurate diagnosis- The regular sewer line inspection will use guesswork to identify pipes or pipe sections problems they cannot reach. It also helps identify if the existing pipes can be repaired if they need to be replaced.

However, with sewer line camera inspection, the sewer line cameras capture the whole pipe and any problems it may have, no matter how deep it is.

  • Little or no digging- Once the spot with the problem has been identified and marked, and there is no need for the plumbers to dig up a large section to identify the problem.
  • Less labor cost- With the conventional sewer line inspection, there needs to be a big team that will try to inspect the pipes to identify the issue. With a sewer line camera inspection, there only needs to be one or two people.
  • Saves time- There will be no time wasted digging up and burring the entire yard to identify a small problem.
  • Effective- Sewer line camera inspection accurately locates the position and size of the damage, and video inspection is also done after the repair to ensure it was successful.
  • Purchasing decision- Sewer line camera inspection helps house buyers in making their purchase decisions.

When thinking about a sewer line camera inspection, ensure that you go for a reputable company. Also, consider their prices. Very low prices can be unreliable because they may produce low-quality videos.

You may also consider renting the sewer line cameras and inspecting yourself as that may be cheaper than calling a plumbing company. However, for the best services, you should call the experts.