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  • Sewer Camera

    How does a sewer camera improve sewer inspections?

    The easiest way to discover sewer problems like leaks and obstructions is through the use of a sewer camera. Because sewer and plumbing systems are so complex, it can be challenging to identify the cause of damage without specialized plumbing tools. The design of sewer cameras and video inspection devices enables them to locate problems in a non-invasive way.

    What Is a Sewer Camera?

    A sewer camera is a special, water-proofed camera that a trained plumbing technician feeds down a sewer pipe. Sewer cameras have lights attached to them and send a video feed to the technician who is controlling it.

    The technician is then able to identify whether there are any clogs, root issues, or other related problems. Sewer cameras are high resolution cameras that can reveal even small issues like minor cracks. Plumbers are able to extend the cameras far into the pipes and then retrieve them with ease.

    What Are the Advantages of a Sewer Camera?

    The alternative to a sewer camera is either working on the pipe without knowing what the problem is (and potentially making it worse) or digging up the pipe to manually inspect it. While a technician can auger out a pipe without looking to see what the problem is, this could cause damage if the problems are worse than initially thought. Digging up a pipe is always an expensive process and may not even be necessary with the use of a sewer camera.

    Sewer cameras are non-invasive and they make no permanent changes to the pipe itself. Consequently, a sewer pipe line inspection is almost always advised before attempting to repair or replace a pipe.

    When Should You Use a Sewer Camera?
    • When you suspect a leak
      Sewer leaks can become expensive quickly. Technicians can use sewer cameras to diagnose the cause of the leak, which will also show the plumber from where the leak originated. Issues that cause a leak could include tree roots or cracks in the system, which will be visible on the screen. Sometime the pipes themselves may shift, especially after something volatile like an earthquake.
    • When sewers are backing up
      If your sewer system is backing up, it’s likely a clog has occurred somewhere in the pipe. However, you’ll need to be able to diagnose that clog to know how the technician must treat it. For example, if the clog is grease, the technician will need to remove it differently than if the clog involves tree roots. Whatever the issue is, if you neglect it, obviously the clog will continue happening until you solve the root issue (no pun intended).
    • When damage has occurred
      After an earthquake or other potentially damaging event, a plumber can use a sewer camera to determine whether damage has occurred to the pipes and whether it’s in need of repair. Pipes can also bow or bend over time, as the ground settles; often this may be visible from the ground.
    • When pipes are old
      When purchasing for or caring for an older home, a sewer line inspection may be a necessary first step to determine whether or not you should replace the pipes. Pipe inspections can be instrumental in determining whether you should include the cost of a pipe replacement in the sale of the home.
    Are There Things a Sewer Camera Can’t Do?

    Because a sewer camera only takes a picture or video of the inside of the pipe system, there are certain issues it may not catch. For example, if there are leaks due to things that aren’t visible inside of the pipe, such as a joint that is leaking to the outside, detection will need to occur from the outside.

    Sewer cameras are able to detect leaks using evidence from inside the pipe. If a sewer camera sees tree roots, for instance, it’s obvious tree roots have broken through the exterior. If the sewer camera sees nothing at all, that doesn’t mean a leak hasn’t occurred; it means that there aren’t any visible signs of a leak from the inside.

    For that reason, a professional plumber may need to do additional work if they suspect a leak but the sewer camera cannot locate any potential sources.

    Do you have plumbing issues? Is it time to get a proper sewer inspection for your property? A sewer line inspection is a fast, easy process that can help you diagnose your plumbing issues. Contact our expert team at Morningside Plumbing today to make an appointment with a sewer camera.

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