What Is a Video Sewer Inspection?

Video Camera Inspection of Sewer Line

Video Camera Inspections Get to Heart of Problem

Plumbing is a wonderful thing we all take for granted. Water comes out, wastewater and matter drain down, and we go about our lives. All is fine … until it isn’t! When there is a clog in the bathroom or kitchen sink, we get the plunger and try to push the clog on through. But sometimes, the plunger isn’t enough, and the problem isn’t visible from ‘here’. This is when you need a video camera inspection

Yesteryear, to find where your sewer line was clogged, the plumber would have to estimate where your sewer line was and then dig, dig, and dig. This resulted in destroyed landscaping and more damage was to follow as they cleared the clog or replaced the pipe. 

Are there any special tools needed for a video camera sewer inspection?

Yes, today, plumbers have video camera inspection capabilities to find those blockages and clogs, and broken sewer lines. This is a rather new technology that plumbers have latched on to at the appreciation of their customer base. 

What type of equipment is used for a video camera inspection? 

This technology uses a fiber optic video camera that is connected to a flexible pole on one end and to a computer on the other end. As the plumber lowers the camera and cable down the sewer line cleanout, it takes a video of what the inside of the pipe looks like. It sends that video back up to a computer where the plumber can see what the camera sees. 

How much does a video camera sewer inspection typically cost? 

It isn’t possible to put a dollar figure on a video camera inspection job. The complexities and variables of the job can have an impact on the job. The complexities and variables can be anywhere from the difficulty of finding the sewer cleanout where the camera and cable go to how far the equipment has to travel before finding the problem.

How long does a video camera sewer inspection take to complete? 

Like the cost can vary based on complexities and variables, so does the time it takes to complete the video camera inspection. This type of inspection is done from manhole to manhole, which in most cases is around 300 feet. One manhole can take up to 30 minutes and the next one could take up to an hour or longer.

What types of issues can a video camera sewer inspection detect?

A video camera inspection is able to identify most sewer line problems. The most common problems that are found are: 

  • Root Penetration:

This is a common problem in older homes that video camera inspections find where the sewer pipes are cast iron, clay, or some type of porous material. The plant and tree roots spread out underground in search of water. Because these materials are porous, the roots find that moisture and then seek a crack or burst through the sewer pipe so they can soak in the water. As these roots intrude and build up, they create a clog and sometimes break the sewer line. 

  • Broken, Collapsed, Damaged Pipes: 

As we just described, the video camera inspection will find where there are any broken, collapsed, or damaged pipes from the tree roots, or maybe the pipes are old and the shifting ground broke them. The video camera inspection process gives the plumber a clear view of what the problem is and what caused it. 

  • Major Blockage:

While the drainpipes may be in proper working order, over time, if you keep pouring things into the drain that shouldn’t be, it will cause a buildup blockage. These are things like FOG (fat, oil, grease) poured into the kitchen drain. In the bathroom, these blockages are caused by flushing things that shouldn’t be flushed like disposable diapers, wipes, feminine products, or small toys. 

  • Billowed, Sagging Lines: 

As pipes age and the ground shifts, it isn’t uncommon for sewer lines to bow or sag. When that happens, waste gets caught in that area and because it can’t flow through, it builds up and creates a blockage or clogs. 

How often should a video camera inspection be conducted? 

They may be out of sight, but they shouldn’t ever be out of your thought process! Yes, we’re talking about the sewer lines and the many moving parts that are critical to their operation. Sewer lines are responsible for expelling the dirty, waste and wastewater that a home has. Every dish you wash, every shower you take, and every toilet that is flushed heads to the sewer lines. 

Professional plumbers will recommend having a video camera inspection annually, especially in older homes. If you’re purchasing a pre-existing, pre-occupied house, having a video camera inspection is recommended because the unknown could be expensive! 

A Plumber Prepares a Video Camera Inspection.

Are You A DIY Homeowner? 

Today, many homeowners are DIY people. Whether it is because of all the home improvement shows on television today or because we think we can save money, even doing a video camera inspection is something some may want to attempt. And you can, there is equipment available for rent (purchasing it outright is expensive!). But, you won’t have the thorough training that has led to extensive experience. You may not go far enough into the sewer line, you could get the camera stuck, the flexible cable may break, and an assortment of other problems that can quickly become a catastrophe. Hire a pro for video camera inspection in Fort Pierce and Port St. Lucie, Fl and let them get the job done right! Schedule an appointment with KRK Enterprises, Inc. by calling 800-330-7686.