Sewer Camera Inspection

By October 19, 2017Blog
Sewer Camera

Sewer Camera

A sewer camera inspection is often used to clear a sewer line blockage, or to determine if a building’s plumbing is functioning as it should be. In this type of inspection, a mini video camera attached to a cable and is inserted into a building’s sewer line to get a reliable view of what is happening in the pipes. If there is an obstruction in the sewer line, then the camera inspection can help locate the point of blockage and give insight on where the best place to dig to fix the pipe would be. 

Sewer Camera Inspection Video

The video camera inspection can extend all the way down plumbing branch lines, which are the labyrinth of pipes that lead from various water lines throughout the building, for example from bathtubs, toilets, and sinks as well as extending into the house’s main sewer line that leads from the house to the municipal sewer line. 

The camera will show video of the inside of the pipes close up and in real time, giving an accurate, high resolution image of their physical condition. Near the municipal line, the camera inspection can also show any damage to the insides of the pipes, perhaps caused by tree roots or general deterioration due to age. Depending on where the problem is occurring, the camera can go from the trap down through the line, before it reaches any obstruction, and sometimes even push through the obstruction to the main line. 

Why Do I Need A Sewer Camera Inspection?

A sewer camera inspection is often necessary when planning a bathroom remodeling project. This is because it is important to make sure the lines can handle the increase in waste water flow through the pipes. In real estate, a sewer camera inspection is a typical order of business when purchasing or selling a home, to make sure the plumbing lines are in good shape. Still, one of the main reasons a sewer camera inspection is prescribed is to fix a sewer blockage.

It is often the thing that is recommended by professional plumbers when all else fails, including plunging, augers, and drain cleaners. In the old days, plumbers would have to make an educated guess on where to dig in order to access the pipe that was blocked, but modern technology now allows for a focused inspection that will inform a professional plumber exactly where to dig to remedy the blockage. 

How Does It Work?

A sewer camera unit is fitted with a transmitter that sends a signal letting the plumber know where exactly in the line the blockage has occurred below ground. At ground level, a locating device is used to detect the transmitted signal. The plumber will then mark the spot with paint or a flag, and then they will dig the sewer trench at this location.

If you are trying to clear out a blockage, and only need one inspection, it’s much more cost effective to hire a professional plumber than to try and do it yourself. Renting the tools to do it is an option if you have a big job, but the issue is that you also have to learn the correct techniques for using this type of specialized equipment, which can take a lot of unnecessary time. 

Can I Do It Myself?

Purchasing the tools needed to do a sewer camera inspection can be upwards of $15,000, so that rarely a feasible option for most people. If you hire an experienced plumber then you only have to pay for the labor and any parts needed.

Plus, you won’t have to deal with the learning curve of executing a sewer line inspection which could just cause you more of a headache in the long run. 

How Much Does The Inspection Cost?

Depending where you are located, a sewer camera inspection usually costs between $125-300 per visit. It is a non-invasive and efficient way to get to the bottom of your plumbing problems. It can also help detect any future plumbing problems that might be on the horizon and give you a chance to attend to them before they potentially cause bigger issues down the line. Getting a sewer camera inspection can do more than just clear out a one time blockage.

It can give you insight into how you can keep your pipes in top shape for years to come.

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