Even if you have a well maintained home, drain clogs, and pipe leaks can be common problems. Many minor issues can be fixed with a simple cup plunger, but others are harder to fix or could be hard to detect until they become worse. In many cases, you will need to contact a local plumber for urgent help. But, you don’t have to wait; you can arrange an inspection and carry out some preventative maintenance. The best way to do this is to contact your plumber and ask about a camera inspection for your plumbing system.
How Does a Plumbing Inspection Camera Work?
These types of cameras are very specialized pieces of equipment. They are waterproof and attached to a cable to relay the images in real time to a monitor. The camera is inserted into the drain and gently moved through the pipes. This allows the plumber to take a detailed look inside the plumbing pipes without disturbing anything. This is an ideal way to find any potential problems that could be lurking anywhere in your plumbing system. Early detection is always preferable because it is easier and cheaper to fix a minor issue before it can develop into a major problem. Let’s face it; nobody wants to deal with backed up sewage or a busted pipe. With a camera inspection, you may not have to, which can save you a lot of money, time, and hassle.
3 Main Benefits of Camera Inspections
Let’s take a look at the three main benefits of a sewer camera inspection.
The accuracy of a camera inspection is probably the most useful aspect. In the past, a plumber would have to take apart pipes to take a look inside and make an assessment. Now, it’s possible to diagnose potential problems without the accompanying trial and error methods.
2. Labor Saving
A camera can be operated by a single trained and certified plumber with ease. There is no need for a team of plumbers to dig down in your yard to cut into your drain line. Most modern sewer inspections cameras are small enough to fit into and travel along even the narrowest drain lines.
3. Preventative Maintenance
A well performed camera inspection can detect many issues, including pipe cracks, slow leaks, stubborn clogs, pest infestations, and more. Dealing with these issues early is the key to saving money when it comes to preventative maintenance.
Does Your Plumbing System Need a Camera Inspection?
A modern plumbing system is complex, and ultimately everything is connected to the main sewer line. Certain issues can arise at the surface that you will notice, and in some cases, you may be able to fix them on your own. If you’re comfortable and confident with tools, you can clear simple clogs, clean clogged aerators, and fix a leaky faucet. But, if you’re not sure about plumbing tasks, it’s always a better idea to contact a local certified plumber for expert help. The real trick is understanding these six warning signs and knowing when to contact a plumber.
- Pest Infestations
If you have pests, bugs, rats, and other vermin in your home, they are never welcome guests. Many people don’t understand that these infestations can occur when there is a crack located somewhere along the length of the sewer line. A cockroach or even a rat can squeeze through smaller cracks and gain access to your home! If you notice a pest infestation, it’s a good idea to get your sewer line checked with a camera to discover if there is a crack. If you do find a crack or break in the line, it’s important to seal it up quickly.
2. Slow Drains
If your sink is draining slowly, it’s likely that there is a clog located in the plumbing system. This could be localized at that drain only, and it may be cleared manually with a plumbing augur. But, if there are multiple slow draining plumbing fixtures, the clog is probably located deep in the sewer line. Flushing each affected drain with baking soda and vinegar may solve the problem. But, if you cannot clear the sewer line yourself, you need expert help. Please avoid placing chemical drain cleaning products in your drains because they can damage your pipes.
3. Sewage Backup
The sewage needs to exit your home via the sewer drain line, but if there is a clog, it can back up into your home. If a sewage backup is isolated at a single drain, the clog is likely to be closer. If multiple fixtures are affected, the clog is probably located deeper in the drain line. This will require a camera inspection and manual clog removal to get the sewage flowing in the correct direction again.
4. Bad Odors
When your home plumbing system is working correctly, you shouldn’t be able to detect any foul odors. If you can smell sewage, it’s likely that you have a crack or break in your sewer drain line. These odors will not disappear without intervention; the crack must be located and repaired.
5. Greener Grass
The main sewer line runs out of your home under the yard and to the sewer pipes in the street. If you notice that your grass and other plant life is greener than usual, you may have a break. This is usually localized to a certain area above the break because the pipe is supplying extra manure to the plants.
6. Moldy Odors
If you can smell a musty and moldy odor, it’s likely that the cause is excessive moisture in your plumbing that is causing mold to grow. Mold is toxic; breathing it can harm your health, and the crack in the line must be repaired quickly.
Taking a Proactive Approach
Although it may seem less expensive to ignore your plumbing system, this is likely to cost more in the medium to long term. Adopting a proactive approach is better because you can save time and money by fixing minor issues before they get worse. This also reduces the amount of disruption in your home and limits the potential downtime when your plumbing system fails. Contact a local certified plumber and ask them about a camera inspection to evaluate the condition of your home plumbing system today.
By Giovanni Longo President Flood Brothers Plumbing
Giovanni Longo is a 3rd generation master plumber who has been practicing his craft and trade in the greater Los Angeles area for well over a decade and a half. A plumbing and hydraulics-engineering innovator, Giovanni’s particular world-class expertise focuses on dealing with challenging sewer system designs as well as resolving complex commercial and residential draining issues. As a certified Flood Mitigation expert, he is also well versed in a wide variety of water damage and remediation solution.