In-House Plumbing uses a sewer camera to see inside the pipes and to help us put the test balls where we need them to be as well as locate where our test balls are and what we are testing. 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 to you 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. Camera’s 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 an under slab leak is actually leaking is to test that pipe hydro-statically 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. A crack might be only a surface crack that does not go all the way through the pipe, something that looks like a separated pipe might be a rubber adapter that is still sealed and not leaking on either connections or sides of the pipe. Something that looks like roots could be hair or something else and there are ton of other possibilities and things we have seen with our years of experience.
Hydrostatic Sewer Leak Isolation
Another thing you need to understand is that there are several parts of an under slab sewer line that a camera cannot get into, so it makes it impossible using only a camera to locate leaks to check all of the lines, which means you could still have a leak somewhere the camera is unable to detect. The only proper way to locate leaks within an under slab sewer system is to perform a hydrostatic sewer leak isolation with test balls and camera’s to help put the test balls where they need to be.
Cast Iron Pipe Sewer Systems
It is important to note that as of late 2015 we do not recommend leak isolation be performed on cast iron pipe sewer systems. More and more we are seeing major problems with cast iron pipe under slab homes. Many of the residential homes we deal with have already had repairs done in the past or have multiple leaks when we locate it.
The truth is cast iron pipe was designed to last 50 years and the last pipe for residential homes in north Texas was installed over 30 years ago. Any repairs that are done to cast iron pipe will have to be redone or abandoned at some point in the likely near future when the pipe is ultimately replaced.
With this in mind, In-House Plumbing Company has decided not to locate or spot repair cast iron pipe any longer. Should you have questions or concerns about this we would be more than happy to talk with you about your specific situation and try to help you make the best decision for you. Feel free to contact us today!