Necessity of Sewer Line Inspection and Its Procedures
As homeowners, we’re all familiar with routine inspections and maintenance on various systems within the household. Routine maintenance for a plumbing system is especially crucial. And one residential system, the sewage line, must definitely be carefully inspected and maintained by a professional. You may know that the sewer line can be the costliest of home repair jobs. Well, that’s partially true. And you cannot rely on municipal services – the city won’t cover the expense. Sewer line inspection could save both your home and wallet.
Sewer Line Risks
The most significant risk to your sewer line is tree roots. Over time, trees and shrubbery may grow around sewer pipes or through the pipe walls, causing damage, rust, breakage or significant leaks. In doing this, the roots cause serious debris backup, sending sewage into your home or bursting the pipe outright.
These scenarios are problematic. The moment you notice the telltale signs of a tree root intrusion or sewer line backup, you’ll want to schedule a sewer line inspection. Using innovative technology, a professional plumber can locate the blockage or leak – and begin planning a solution.
The latest advancement in sewer line inspection comes in the form of camera inspections. A sewer line camera inspection is non-destructive. A camera inspection will gauge the overall health and strength of your pipes – without risking any further damage. Once a plumber locates the problem area, a proper plan for effective repairs may be formulated.
What a Sewer Camera Inspection Can Do
While a sewer camera cannot find leaks, there are certain situations where the camera alone is effective.
Sewer cameras have location devices that send out a signal. Using a special signal receiver above ground, our plumbers pinpoint where the camera is underground.
Drainage or Stoppage Issues
We call this your “sewer is not working as it is designed to work.” Sewer pipes work using the power of gravity. The pipes flow downhill so when something goes into the pipe—waste, debris, water—it flows or drains down through your piping system and ultimately ends up at your city’s waste treatment center or septic tank, depending on your particular situation. However, if something is causing your system to not work properly, in most cases we can use a sewer camera to determine what is causing it. Often in cases like these we find stoppages, blockages, roots, mud, broken pipe, etc.
PVC or Cast Iron Pipe
We determine what type of system you have by running a sewer camera inside the pipes.
Video Inspections Are The Best Guarantee!
A plumbing professional can provide a video inspection of your drains,
in addition to clearing any blockages. Should your drain unfortunately
be in need of additional repair, other options include
hydro jetting, relining or replacing the sewer.
Hydro jetting involves using high-pressure spray (up to 4,000 PSI) to remove
debris and other obstructions that may be causing the line to slow.
If relining the sewer is required, one advantage to this option is that
it doesn’t involve digging. The resin-soaked liner attaches to the
inside of the sewer as it hardens; resulting in a solid piece that won’t
shift or crack over time.
Although older style sewer pipes were cast iron or clay, modern sewer replacements
and repairs are PVC. Once the pipe is installed, the trench is re-filled,
and the lawn is seeded and covered with straw. Most of the time the end
result is better than the yard was in the beginning.
An Inspection Identifies Problems Before It Becomes An Expensive Fix
Dealing with sewers is something no one likes to think about until they
have a problem that can’t be ignored: a clogged bathroom or kitchen
drain, a child’s toy that is flushed down the toilet, or tree roots.
Having a plumber service perform a video inspection today will identify
any potential problems before they become emergencies and provide homeowners
with peace of mind.
The Various Methods Used in Pipe Inspection
When was the last time you physically examined your drain or sewer pipes? Probably not any time recently, right? Most people don’t make a habit of digging up their sewer system to make sure that it’s in good condition. That’s why pipe inspection is used. Pipe inspection is a vital part of keeping your drain and sewer system in good condition, because it allows you to identify problems with your pipes. Without it, your only feasible option for repairing issues would be to wait for them to manifest obvious symptoms before taking action. That would give the problems much more time to develop, which would mean more repair costs.
There are a wide range of different pipe inspection methods used across the country today, each of which is useful in a different set of circumstances. Which method is used is up to the plumber handling your system, of course, but it’s still a good idea to know a bit about how they work.
A pushcam inspection is the simplest, and most popular method for conducting a pipe inspection. The system consists of a camera attached to a long cord. The camera is pushed through the pipe that requires inspection, sending a live video feed back down the cord to the plumber operating it. This is a quick and easy way to get a good look at what’s going on in the pipe, though it’s not the best for every situation. Pushcams have no real way to maneuver in the pipe, so if there is a branch line that needs examination this method would not work.
Lateral Launch Cameras
A lateral launch camera is used when a problem is suspected in a branch line, or when the system needs to be more thoroughly inspected than by just viewing the mainline. A lateral launch camera is pushed through the main line, just like a pushcam, until it reaches the branch that needs inspecting. The system can then launch a second camera into the branch line in order to continue the inspection. This is a popular method for getting a clearer picture of the overall health of the pipe.
Solo Robot Cameras
The most recent method for conducting pipe inspections is solo robots. These machines are not physically manipulated by the operator during the inspection procedure. Instead, they are programmed with the desired parameters for the pipe they’re going to be used in, and then deployed to act out their orders on their own. Solo robots continually send video and other information back to the plumber, but the plumber doesn’t need to actively give it instructions for the duration of the inspection. Once the pipe inspection is complete, the robot wheels itself to the nearest location where it can be retrieved.
During the Sewer Camera Inspection
Upon arrival, the technician will have to look around to locate plumbing lines and access points so we ask that any pets on the property be restrained.
If any of the interested parties are present, they are welcome to view the video while in process. While making the sewer lateral inspection video, the technician will discuss what they are seeing in the line and if it is open and in serviceable condition.
There are times when the technician may not be able to see the entire sewer lateral due to a blockage or damage. Therefore, the sewer camera inspection will need to be rescheduled after the proper corrections, such as cabling or access to the stack, have been made.
Tape and flags may be placed on the ground surface to mark the location of damage or blockage found in the line. Please do not move these markers.