If you’re having any issues with your home’s plumbing and sewer system, a camera inspection is a great option to quickly identify the source of the problem and the best course of action to address it. A sewer line camera inspection can also provide critical information to new home buyers. A camera inspection can help ensure that the home’s sewer system is up to code, the sewer line isn’t leaking, and that there are no other issues.
If you don’t have a camera inspection performed and the sewer line is damaged, you could end up facing a huge repair bill to have the damaged sewer line dug up and replaced. If the camera inspection reveals any problems, you may have several options such as pipe relining or hydro jetting to fix the sewer line before the problem becomes more severe, forcing you to have the sewer line replaced. In other words, a sewer camera inspection can potentially save you a lot of money and hassle in the future, making it well worth the cost.
How a Sewer Line Camera Inspection Works
In most buildings, the sewer line runs underneath the building’s foundation and then extends out to the street where it meets the municipal sewer main. Sewer lines are typically buried about two feet underground, which means that there is no easy way to inspect or repair the line without some extensive digging. Camera inspections can be a huge help as they allow the entire length of the sewer line to be inspected without the need for any digging.
To inspect the sewer line, a plumber uses a special camera that is attached to a long, flexible cable. The camera is also connected to a monitor that enables the plumber to view the entire sewer line and check for issues like cracks, leaks, and tree roots growing inside the line. The camera is usually inserted into the sewer line via the building’s sewer cleanouts, which are located somewhere outside and allow easy access to the line.
If the building is older and still has its original sewer line, there is a chance that it does not have sewer cleanouts. Building code requires that all new buildings have sewer cleanouts as they make it much easier to both inspect the line and clear the pipe if it becomes clogged. If the home doesn’t have sewer cleanouts, the only real option is to access the sewer line by running the camera down through the plumbing vent stack on the roof. This makes the process much more difficult, which is one reason why we would always recommend installing cleanouts if your home doesn’t already have them.
How Camera Inspections Can Prevent Expensive Sewer Repairs
Sewer lines can often become cracked or otherwise damaged due to shifting soil, tree roots, or age. A small crack in your sewer line may not seem like a big deal even if it does mean that some sewage will constantly leak out into the surrounding soil. The problem is that the damage will worsen over time and could lead to a major leak that can flood your home or yard with sewage. Small cracks can also allow tree roots to penetrate the sewer line. When this happens, the water and waste flowing through your sewer system will nourish the roots, causing them to quickly grow bigger and overtake the entire pipe.
Camera inspections are the only real effective option for ensuring that the sewer line isn’t damaged. If the inspection does reveal that the line is damaged or leaking, you may have several options for fixing the sewer line before the problem becomes more serious and forces you to have the entire sewer line replaced.
Camera Inspection Can Pinpoint the Exact Location of the Problem
Camera inspections can save you quite a bit of money since they allow the plumber to quickly determine exactly what the problem is. Another major benefit of camera inspections is that they allow the plumber to precisely pinpoint where the problem is. An experienced plumber will usually be able to accurately determine the cause of most sewer issues without actually inspecting the sewer line. The only problem is that they still won’t be able to tell exactly which part of the sewer line is damaged or clogged. Before camera inspections, this meant that it was still typically necessary to dig up parts of the yard or even cut holes in the basement’s concrete floor.
Camera inspections can also be used to check the drain or sewer lines inside the home. This can be useful in situations such as if a drain line is leaking as it enables the plumber to pinpoint exactly where the leak is. Without a camera inspection, it is often necessary to cut holes in your walls or ceilings to find the leak and then repair or replace the pipe. In this situation, you will then need to also pay to have the holes fixed, the wall repainted, etc.
Camera Inspections Can Help to Retrieve Lost Valuables
Camera inspections can also be useful if you were to accidentally drop your wedding ring or any other expensive or sentimental item down the drain. In most cases, the item won’t immediately flow out through your sewer line into the municipal sewer system as long as you don’t flush it down with lots of water. This means that a plumber may be able to perform a camera inspection to find and retrieve your lost item before it does finally flow out into the city sewer system and is lost forever.
Options for Sewer Line Repair
Depending on the specific cause of the problem or the extent of the sewer line damage, you may have a few different options. Hydro jetting is a great solution for sewer lines that are clogged with tree roots. It involves inserting a nozzle and hose into the sewer line and then cleaning out the pipe with a high-pressure jet of water. The water is powerful enough that it can easily slice through even the largest tree roots without causing any damage to the pipe.
If the sewer line has only minor damage, pipe relining can fix the damage and ensure that the sewer line is free from leaks and continues functioning properly for years to come. When relining, an inflatable, epoxy-coated tube is inserted into the sewer line. The tube is then inflated so that it fills the pipe, and the epoxy is then allowed to harden. Once fully hardened, the epoxy will repair any damage and essentially create a brand-new pipe inside the existing sewer line.
If you need a sewer camera inspection performed or any other sewer or drain service, you can count on Wyman Plumbing & Mechanical. We specialize in all types of sewer, drain, and plumbing repairs, and we can assist if you’re dealing with a major clog or any other issue. We also offer a full range of other residential plumbing services for customers throughout the Phoenix area. For more information or to schedule a sewer camera inspection, contact us today.