Sewer Camera Inspection
A sewer inspection camera has become a very valuable and useful tool within the plumbing industry. Specially made camera’s that are waterproof and attached to a flexible cable can be inserted into a sewer line in a variety of ways in order to visually inspect the sewer lines and other underground piping. Each camera head transmits an image to a monitor where a professional and trained expert plumber can review the images attempting to spot a problem.
Guide to Sewer Camera Inspections
A sewer camera can be used to identify many types of problems within an underground or slab sewer line, such as roots growing into the line, pipe that is offset or not aligned properly, a belly or low spot in the sewer line, a back-falling issue (the pipe is falling the wrong direction), grease buildup, obstructions, etc. The camera can also be used to aid in the process of locating leaks within the sewer lines, however, it is important to note that a camera should never be used as a primary or only sewer leak location tool.
Don't Rely Just On A Sewer Camera Inspection
Many companies within our industry only use a sewer camera with video to look for and show you a leak under your slab. No matter what anyone says or you see yourself when looking at something on a camera monitor or video a company made for you, the truth is no sewer camera can see a leak under a slab. Cameras can only see what looks like a leak or break in a sewer line under a slab, the only way to know if what looks like a leak is actually leaking is to test that pipe hydrostatically by filling the pipe with water and observing that water for a period of time to see if it drops or holds. Just because something does not look good does not mean it is leaking or losing water and visa-versa.
It is important to understand that there are generally two main issues you could have with a sewer line. One would be a leak, a broken sewer line that is causing water to escape from the line when the sewer system is used and water runs through the broken pipe area, and the second would be that the system is not working as it is designed to work, or allowing water to flow freely downhill and out of the sewer system ultimately into the city sewer line and on to the waste treatment plant.
These really are two separate issues and should be treated as such in most cases. It is very possible you could have a leak in the system but the system would still be working as it is designed to work and you could have a problem in the line, such as an obstruction, offset, belly or back-falling issue that is not leaking. A sewer camera can and should be used to locate problems in the line causing the system not to work as it is designed, and a camera should be used to help in the process of locating leaks as a secondary tool only.
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