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Plumbing Repairs and Sewer Camera Inspections

Sewer Camera Inspections
Reading Time: 3 minutes

Cameras are valuable tools for plumbers to inspect lines and locate drainage issues. Many plumbers opt for cameras to assess hard to reach spaces. Camera inspections aren’t a new tool, but it’s important to know what cameras can and can’t do when it comes to surveying your drainage system. Our drainage technicians at Art, Rooter, Sewer & Drain Cleaning are here to give you a crash course on sewer camera inspections and Rooter Service.

Sewer Cameras

Cameras used in sewer inspections are waterproof devices attached to a flexible cable. The cable is inserted in the pipe to see the inside of the sewer. The images are later transmitted to a monitor where a technician with a trained eye looks for signs that may indicate any blockage or drainage problems.

When to Use A Sewer Camera

Although it seems plausible, sewer cameras cannot be used to find leaks. On the flip side, there are many situations where a camera alone is effective at solving another problem.

  • Identifying Lines

    Cameras used in sewer inspections have GPS devices that send out location information. With an above-ground receiver, plumbers can identify the exact placement of the camera underground. Some lines are part of intricate networks underground. A camera is useful for minimizing the guesswork in where an issue is coming from.

  • Stoppage and Drainage Problems

    It’s surprising what things end up being the source of stoppage and drainage issues. This is a straightforward problem that can be resolved by a camera. If there is something causing any blockage or malfunctions within your system, technicians can identify the source with a camera in almost all cases. Technicians tend to find mud, broken pipes, and roots as the cause of the drainage problems.

  • Determine the Type of System

    Not all pipes are built the same. Our technicians at Art Rooter can quickly figure out what type of system you have by running a camera through your drains. This is great as an initial assessment to determine how to appropriately handle a malfunction. It can also give us clues on why your drains are giving you problems. Homes tend to use either PVC or Cast-Iron Pipes. The two have different properties when it comes to durability and withstanding flames.

  • Sewer Networks

    Sewer cameras allow us to see where pipes turn and intersect. We can identify different connections, such as tees and fittings. Being able to see where water flows to and from gives us more legroom to solve a drainage issue. Often repairs may require temporarily disabling one drainage source to effectively test and fix another. Sewer networks can be complex so it’s important that your technician avoids causing another issue by trying to fix an existing problem.

Why Sewer Cameras Can’t Find Leaks

You may be surprised to learn that sewer cameras can’t identify leaks. Here are the reasons why camera inspections shouldn’t be used to assess potential leaks.

  • The Camera Sees Inside the Pipe

    A leak is water falling through a cracked pipe or hole. Since the camera is inside the pipe it can’t see anything that happens on the outside. This means that you can’t be certain if the water is leaking outside the pipe just from a camera inspection.

  • Your Technician Would Have to Guess

    A technician uses a monitor to identify what the camera sees. As a result, the plumber has to make assumptions for minor visual irregularities within the pipe. Something as visually small as a leak would be near impossible to accurately identify on a monitor. With all the gunk that’s captured within pipes, it’s easy for a technician to misidentify a leak.

  • Most Pipes are Thick

    Common pipes such as PVC and cast-iron, have thick walls. A hole or small crack may suggest a leak, but there is no guarantee that the hole makes it through to the outside.

Unfortunately, some technicians mistakenly use the wrong methods when attempting to identify an issue. Depending on your situation, a sewer camera may not be adequate enough to figure out if there’s a leak or some other problem.

For immediate assistance with all your drainage needs give us a call at 1-888-773-1524 or schedule a service. Art Rooter, Sewer & Drain Cleaning uses the right methods to solve your problems. Remember, Art can fix it!


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