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The Importance of Sewer Video Inspections

  • Categories: Plumbing
  • Date: April 14, 2015
The Importance of Sewer Video Inspections

You would not go to the hospital for surgery unless you had tests performed to identify exactly what the problem is.

The same holds true for your sewers. You should not excavate your sewer lines unless you know precisely what the problem is.

Fortunately, a sewer video inspection can identify whether you have a sewer problem, and what that problem is. Sewer video inspections are appropriate in the following circumstances:

  • You live in an older house and want an inspection for peace of mind that nothing is wrong
  • You have been experiencing sewer line backups
  • You have not had a problem, but there are tree roots by the sewer line
  • You are buying a home and want to make sure there are no problems (you might ask the seller to have a sewer line inspection for you)

Here is how it works

  • The system consists of three parts: a camera reel, a recording monitor and a locator. The camera head is attached to a fairly rigid push cable. The camera head is inserted into the sewer and pushed downline.
  • As the plumber pushes the camera head into the sewer, he can see the inside of the sewer through the monitor. The entire video can be recorded for later playback and review.
  • Some problems can be corrected immediately. For example, if the issue is an overgrowth of tree roots, the operator can use a rodding machine (which looks like a coiled spring cable with a cutter head attached to the end) to cut the roots, which will then be flushed out of the sewer. Alternatively, the operator can use special chemicals to take care of the roots.
  • Other problems, such as a shear or collapse in the pipe, will require excavation. If the sewer requires excavation, the plumber needs to locate the problem above ground so he knows where to dig. The camera head contains a transponder that sends out a signal. A locator is used to detect the transponder signal to locate the camera head above ground. More sophisticated locators can even tell the depth of the camera head.

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*Based on research conducted January - August 2016