For diagnosing problem areas with sewer main lines, there is really no method for figuring out what is going on that is more efficient than a sewer camera video inspection. In this article we will go into the ideal times to have a camera inspection performed, and how having one done can help.
When to Get a Sewer Camera Video Inspection
When deciding whether or not you should get a camera inspection done, there are really two thing to consider.
The first consideration is whether or not there is a potential problem with the sewer line. If you have only had a single back up, that was easily cleared (meaning a full sized cutting blade easily cleared the blockage), it may have been a one-time incident and not a sign that you need a sewer line repair.
If you consider the fact that sewer main lines are quite large, and designed to resist clogging, it is easy to understand that this situation is actually pretty rare. Still, it does happen from time to time. It is far more likely that one backup will lead to more, since they are usually caused by some flaw (or “problem”) with the pipe itself.
The most common problem is roots getting into the pipe, growing inside it and creating a blockage. Others can include the line settling, creating a “belly” (loss of grade), broken pipes, etc. These are all conditions that require a repair to be made to the pipe to completely restore functionality.
If you have had two or more sewer main backups, or even just one that was difficult to clear, it is safe to say that a camera survey is a good idea. If left unchecked, the problem will always get worse over time, causing an even bigger headache, and costing you more money.
The second consideration is timing. A sewer camera has a lens, just like any other camera. Like other cameras, that lens needs to be clean to be able to see anything. The best time to do a camera survey, is right after getting your line cleared – before more debris gets a chance to accumulate in the pipe, possible obscuring the camera’s view.
Once the line is cleared, the plumber should flush the line with clear water, and immediately put the camera in. In cases where this is not possible, the line should be cleared again, just prior to the inspection. In some cases, a hydro-jetter may even need to be used to remove sludge or stubborn debris.
How a Sewer Camera Video Inspection Can Help
The main purpose behind getting a camera service done is to find out exactly what the problem is, and where. This lets you know how severe the problem is, how urgent the repair is, and whether a repair will solve your problem, or if you need a new sewer line.
Since the cameras have electronic locators built into them, it is pretty easy to find the exact location of the problem area(s), in most cases.
Many people have had someone come and clear their sewer line and told that they have roots in their line, and need to replace it. While that may be the case in some instances, it is always better to run a camera down the line to make sure. More often than not, only a repair is needed. In those cases, having a camera inspection will save you a LOT of money.
Even if you are fairly certain that you need an entire new line, it never hurts to run a camera down the line anyway. Even if the inspection shows a new line is needed, running a camera can map out the line for a more accurate quote, and less of a chance of a “surprise” during the job.
Not to mention, if you have Columbus Plumbing do the job, we will credit the camera inspection towards the replacement, anyway, so you basically got it done for free! That sounds like a win/win.
If you feel like you could benefit from a camera inspection, give Columbus Plumbing a call. We will arrive promptly, with the equipment on hand (in most cases), and give you a free no obligation estimate for your sewer camera video inspection.