Are you wondering how to tell if your sewer lines are working right? How are underground pipes inspected? The answer to this question is a sewer inspection camera.
Sewage inspection cameras are specialty-built waterproof video cameras for sewer lines. These cameras are attached to sewage snakes that can push through pipelines and visually inspect pipes that are otherwise inaccessible. These video sewer inspections can be used underground, behind walls and in just about any pipe. Plumbers with these cameras can be confident in identifying the source of any problems rather than making an educated guess.
How Does a Sewer Inspection Camera Work?
These cameras are attached to the ends of cables which are much like sewage snakes. These cables are flexible and can twist and turn to push through bends and turns in your pipeline to reach a point where a clog or break exists. The cable also sends back a video signal to an HDTV monitor, which allows the plumber with the camera to inspect the entire pipeline in real time as the sewage camera runs through the pipes. They can also save a recording for future reference or further inspection.
Without the availability of a sewer inspection camera, the plumber would need to dig up your yard to inspect your sewer line. This could lead to property damage to find the source of the problem, even if the problem could have been fixed without doing so. However, a real-time inspection with a sewer inspection camera allows professionals to diagnose issues almost instantly. There is no need to wait for somebody to examine the footage and get back to you, and your sewer lines can be repaired on a shorter timeline.
What Can Sewer Inspection Cameras Find?
Sewer inspection cameras can be a big help as long as a plumber can identify the problem from seeing the inside of the pipes. However, cameras for pipes cannot detect all problems. Here are some common issues a sewer inspection camera can help identify:
Clogs are one of the most common problems with sewage lines that homeowners face. While some clogs are easy to remove with a sewage snake, other times, using a snake may just break a hole through the clog. When this happens, the pipe is likely to clog again since it was not completely removed the first time.
Sewer inspection cameras are useful when it comes to clogs because plumbers with these cameras can identify what is causing the clog. When the source of the clog is identified, it is easier to know how to fix it. Your plumber will then be able to use the right solution to fix your clog, ensuring that your pipes are preserved and the clog is completely removed.
2. Broken Pipes
Broken or cracked pipes are more noticeable with sewer inspection cameras. Plumbers with cameras for sewer lines can easily see if the pipe is broken or cracked. If your pipes are broken, plumbers can easily identify the location with a camera for pipes. A cracked or broken pipe can cause higher water bills. If your sewer is also leaking untreated waste, it can harm the environment. It’s best to find and fix these problems as fast as possible, which is easier with a sewer camera inspection.
3. Tree Roots
Tree roots often cause problems if your pipes are made out of cast iron, clay or other porous materials. Tree roots can grow through pipes and crack them when searching for water. These tree roots can continue to grow inside your pipeline if not treated quickly. Tree root infiltration can block your pipes and damage them. Since the sewer inspection cameras are flexible, they can travel through the pipelines to find any tree root infiltration and around smaller roots to see how severe the issue is.
What Sewer Inspection Cameras Can’t Find
Although sewer inspection cameras are great tools to help identify problems in your sewer line early in the inspection process, they cannot detect everything. The most common thing that a sewer camera can not locate by itself is a leak or leaks. It is a useful tool for determining if there is a leak, but it can not be the sole thing to determine if there is a leak.
Since a sewage camera is inside the pipes, it can only see what is going inside the pipe. If water is leaking out of the pipe, a sewage camera may not be able to spot the leak since it can’t see the outside of the pipe, and therefore can’t see the water leaving the pipe. A sewer inspection can spot the crack in a pipe, but even when a plumber has a high-quality screen, it can be difficult to determine if a crack is large enough to cause a leak. Pipes made of cast iron or PVC are thicker and may have visible cracks on the inside. However, because the pipe walls are so thick, the crack may not go all the way through to the outside, in which case there would not be a leak.
When to Request a Sewer Line Inspection
Now that you know what a sewer inspection camera is, how it works and when it works, how do you determine if you should request a sewer line inspection?
Requesting a sewer camera inspection is a good idea in several cases. You should get a sewer line inspection if you are buying a house. If you experience a problem with your sewer line and your sewage system is underground, request a sewer camera inspection. With underground sewage systems, you could be facing common problems like tree root infiltration or a severe clog. You want to have your sewer lines inspected before digging in your yard, which could cause more damage. It is also best to get to the source of the problem as fast as possible so it does not get worse.
Some signs that could indicate that your sewage line is not working properly include:
Slow or backed-up drains
Fluctuating or decreasing water pressure
A foundational leak
Request a Sewer Inspection in the Kansas City, Kansas, Area
If you are experiencing any issues with your sewer line, schedule a sewer inspection today! Contact your local Dick Ray Master Plumber plumbing professional online or by calling 913-888-0550.