Video inspections can provide invaluable information about the state of a drainpipe’s interior. These inspections can help if you have a clogged drain inside your house or a problem with the main sewer line that leads from your home to the sewer hookup at the road.
Whether you’re having your sewer line inspected as routine maintenance or because it’s been acting up, you’ll want to know what to expect at inspection time. You’ll also need to know what you can reasonably expect to gain from the inspection.
Here are some of the basics of what you should know to prepare for your first sewer line video inspection.
What Is the Job Scope and Location?
A video inspection is typically a one-person job. For this job, your plumber will use a machine that sends the camera down the drain on a line. The plumber will need to access the sewer line, typically through your sewer clean out. This clean out may be indoors or outdoors and may even be buried, depending on your home’s plumbing design.
You can save time by ensuring the clean out is accessible when the plumber arrives. For example, if you have a buried clean out, you could dig it up in advance.
You may also want to know how long the inspection takes. After all, you have a schedule too, and you need to clear enough of it to stick around and hear the results. In addition, the length of time the plumber needs to complete a job may affect the cost, so you’ll be glad to hear that video line inspections are often relatively straightforward and won’t take too long.
However, the exact time it takes can vary based on the situation. A longer sewer line, or one with more suspicious areas to inspect, may take a bit more time.
How Do You Interpret Footage From the Camera?
One of the reasons you need a professional for this job is that the footage can be very difficult to interpret if you don’t have experience with video line inspections.
Plumbers know, for instance, that the top of the video doesn’t always represent the top of the pipe (as the camera can often be sideways or upside down). Your plumber can also look at the textures and colors displayed and match them to the problems they represent.
What Are Some Common Issues?
You may have heard that a sewer line camera isn’t the best tool for leak detection. However, these cameras can often find the cause of a leak. For example, if you already know you have a leak, the sewer line camera may find tree roots in the line that may be causing or exacerbating a leak.
The video inspection can also find major structural problems such as cracks, bellying, or buckling. In addition, your plumber can determine how much pipe corrosion has occurred and whether it’s likely to compromise the pipe’s function in the near future.
What Other Diagnostic Procedures Might You Need?
If complications arise, such as a collapsed area of the sewer that the video camera can’t get through, then your plumber may not be able to complete the inspection. In this instance, you’ll know that you need sewer line repair for the collapsed area. You may need another inspection after the repairs to check the rest of the line.
You may also need additional diagnostic procedures to find or rule out leaks, since leaks can be undetectable by camera. For instance, to check for a leak, your plumber may use a hydrostatic pressure test.
As you can see, a routine video line inspection can be relatively trouble-free. However, if you know your sewer line is aging or malfunctioning, you should expect the process to be a bit more complicated and perhaps include additional steps and procedures.
For more information about sewer line video inspections and similar diagnostic procedures, get in touch with Two Men and a Snake today. We can help you with drain problems large and small, including both your indoor drains and your sewer line.