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Why is a Camera the Preferred Inspection Method for Pipes?

In the bad old days of plumbing, it was very difficult to inspect pipes running to and from the home. Many lawns were ripped up and concrete slabs lifted, and trenches were dug just to find a simple root intrusion. A sewer line camera is less intrusive, it’s faster to deploy, and you can get a diagnosis in a few minutes. Let’s take a closer look at how a sewer camera works and how it’s used by a professional plumber.

What is a Sewer Line Inspection Camera?

If you’ve never seen an inspection camera, it’s a flexible length of narrow diameter tubing with a small camera and light at the business end. The camera can be fed into a drain, gently pushed further into the pipes, and the camera feed can be monitored in real time. This allows the plumber to take a really good look in the sewer line, and they can pause at any time to take a closer look at something which may cause a problem. The footage of the inspection can be kept for further review, and you can view it at any time. A professional plumber will be happy to interpret the footage for you if you’re not sure what you’re looking at.

What Happens During a Camera Inspection?

First, it’s pretty quick; if you want to watch, you need to let the plumber know, or it could be over before you know it. A typical camera inspection may take a few minutes, but if the plumber wants a detailed look at something, it may take a little longer. Before the inspection begins, the plumber may ask you where the main sewer line cleanout is located. Once this is found, the plumber will open up the cap and insert the drain line camera in the pipe. The flexible cable is easy to maneuver around curves and tight bends throughout the length of the drain line. You will see the images relayed back to a small screen, and if you ever lost something down the drain you may see it!

Do You Need a Camera Inspection?

This may seem like a strange question, but there are a number of signs that will tell you that an inspection is necessary if you know what to look for; they are:

  1. A Sewage Odor: If you can smell sewage in one drain, it’s likely that the issue is going to be specific to that drain line. But, if you can smell sewage at more than one drain in your home, it’s more likely to be a break in the main sewer line.
  2. Green Grass Patches: If you have very green patches of lush grass or a muddy area on the surface of your yard, it’s time for a camera inspection. The cause is probably a broken sewer line where the extra water and nutrients are leaking into the soil above.
  3. Multiple Slow Draining Sinks: If a single drain is clogged, there is a blockage isolated in that drain only. But, if you have multiple sinks clogged at the same time, there are problems deeper in the main sewer line.

If you need to schedule a camera inspection, contact your local professional plumber today.