Every homeowner's worst home maintenance nightmare is a problem arising with the sewer system. Sewage problems are messy, smelly, hazardous, and often difficult to fix because the sewage line is typically installed under the foundation of your home. Fortunately, a costly and time-consuming excavation of the sewage line is no longer the only way to diagnose the problem. Video drain inspection can provide many answers without the mess of digging. To get a visualization of the problem, a plumber who does video inspections for drains will use a flexible cable with a high-resolution camera attached. They can then feed the cable through the pipe and see what's going wrong. But not every problem can be solved this way. Here are a few problems this method can and cannot solve.
Locate Sewage Lines
Most video drain inspection cables aren't just equipped with cameras; they also have highly sensitive GPS locators. Using a specialized receiver, your plumber can pinpoint the exact location of the camera underground. This will enable your plumber to find the location of the sewage line without any digging or mess.
Locate Tree Roots
A common cause of sewage line problems is intrusion into the line by tree roots. Tree roots may not seem menacing, but over time, a root can bore its way through a metal pipe and create blockages and backups. In the past, the only solution was to excavate the pipe and manually dig out the root, even cutting into the home's foundation on occasion. However, thanks to video drain inspection and other tools like hydrojetting, this problem can often be fixed without digging.
Other obstructions besides tree roots can cause sewer blockage. A few common obstructions include the buildup of oil or grease and foreign objects like diapers, tampons, or cat litter that are flushed down the toilet. A video drain inspection allows your plumber to not only locate the clog but also determine the nature of the clog so they know how to properly remove it.
While a video drain inspection provides many benefits, it can't work miracles. If you have a leak in your sewer line, the video inspection may not be able to locate the leak due to the literally microscopic nature of some cracks and the buildup that occurs on sewage pipes that can obscure the problem. Also, the camera can only reveal what's inside the pipe, not outside.