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Dealing with a plumbing issue is a daunting task. Pipes run through the walls of your home and connect to sewer lines beneath the structure. From there your line connects to the city’s sewage system.
Getting to the root of a sewer problem may require more than running a plumbing snake through the drain. Difficult clogs require a plumbing camera to see what’s going on.
Although a drain camera can be rented, this is a service you will want to call in a plumber. A skilled plumber will know how to use the device and what to look for when the camera is in the sewer line. Detecting any issues, big or small, places the plumber at an advantage.
Backed up sinks are not the only reason to use a sewer camera. Keep reading for five times, you might need to do a sewer line inspection.
What is the Plumbing Camera?
A Plumbing camera is a device that looks similar to a drain snake. A lens is attached to a long flexible cable and is capable of sending real-time images back to the plumber. The camera is used for diagnostic purposes.
Modern technology allows the user to create a video recording that can be used to give an overall assessment of the sewage system. For commercial buildings and larger homes, the cameras save time in diagnosing problems. By showing the plumber exactly what’s going on and where the problem is they can provide full solutions.
If the plumber only runs a snake into the drain they miss issues further down the sewer line.
1. Home Inspection When Buying a House
Most potential homebuyers never think about doing a sewer inspection on a home before putting in an offer. A home inspector, when hired, detects issues with the physical structure. A home inspection also includes making sure there are no electrical or HVAC issues.
When it comes to plumbing, the inspector will allow the water to run, and flush toilets for pressure consistency. They are also checking to see if the hot water heater is functioning properly. These tests don’t always allow the water to run long enough to determine if there are problems in the sewer line.
Bringing in a plumbing inspection camera can detect issues, which can be addressed before finalizing the home purchase. The last thing you want is to get into a home, and six months down the line have to spend money fixing plumbing issues. In most cases, if detected before the closing, the seller has to pay for repairs.
2. Detect Leaks in the Foundation
Pipes do not run through concrete foundations. They are placed beneath the home. However, cracks in the lines underneath the home can cause damage to the foundation. If undetected, a home can sustain serious damage over time.
Plumbers have processes in place to determine if a pipe is leaking. This often includes placing rubber balls into the sewer line and then filling the line with water. If the water level drops it is a sign there is a leak in that area.
The sewer camera comes into play in helping to determine where to place the balls. The camera will show the direction of the pipes and where fittings are located for ball placement.
3. To See if Tree Roots is Impacting the Sewer Line
Large trees can damage sewer lines. It is a very common problem, especially if you have large trees with roots that grow out far from the tree. Homeowners planning on planting new trees need to make every effort not to plant near sewer lines.
Three things trees need is nutrients, oxygen, and water. If a sewer line is losing water due to a crack, it is natural for the roots to grow in that direction. It is easy for the roots to enter the pipes.
Once roots are in the line, they grow and eventually block the path for water and waste.
Using a sewer inspection camera, the plumber can easily detect the issue. Based on how much damage is done, a section of the sewer may need to be replaced.
4. Backed Up Drains
Most sewer problems begin with backed up drainage. When water begins to back up into the home, it can be hard to determine where the issue is. You can have a blockage in a bathroom on one side of the house, impact plumbing in the kitchen.
To determine where the blockage is located a plumber camera is run through the drainage system. The point of entry can be from the main sewer line at ground level or the stack vent which opens on the roof of a home.
5. Determine Structure of the Sewer System
Not all sewer line structures are the same. Plumbing is made up of different materials which include cast iron or PVC. The layout is mapped differently based on the design of the home or building.
A plumbing camera comes in handy when determining the direction of the drain lines when a blueprint of the building is not available. Remember, once the visible pipes disappear into the walls the plumbing makes its way into the sewer lines.
The camera will show if PVC tubing has replaced sections of cast iron. The plumber will be able to see where fittings and major sewer clean-out caps are located. Also, the sewer camera will show where the main drain line from the home meets the city or county’s sewer line.
In most places, the property owner is responsible for any plumbing issues on their property.
Do You Need a Plumbing Inspection?
Regardless of the reason for using a plumbing camera, you want a pro to see what’s going on in your drainage system. It’s easier, and you’ll get the full scope of what is going on. Plus, what you need to fix the problem.
If you’re looking for someone to do a sewer inspection, we can help. Our team provides 24/7 emergency services and we accept all major credit cards. Click here to request a free quote.