Plumbing systems are installed with an out-of-sight-out-of-mind approach. No one wants to walk into a home and see a sewer line in the living room. Instead, they are installed underground and then covered up with a concrete slab. This is great for home aesthetics, but not so great when it’s time for a repair in your plumbing line.
Because plumbing lines are under your home, leaks can go undetected for a long time and continue to leak unrepaired for years. Sewer camera inspection is changing the game of plumbing in Louisville, KY and across the country.
This diagnostic sewer and drain tool gives the plumber and the homeowner a clear picture of what is happening inside a sewer line underneath the surface.
What is Water Line Leak Detection?
A sewer line camera is designed to be waterproof, shock proof, and fit into tiny spaces. The camera is well made to be flexible to allow it to go smoothly into the pipes or sewer. However, a sewer camera is more than a go pro on a rope, it must be used by a well-trained expert who knows what they are doing.
As the camera is carefully inserted in the appropriate pipes, the technician uses a connected monitor or screen to see a real-time stream of what is going on inside your pipes. These cameras are designed to access even the toughest places and corners.
As the technician uses the instruments to maneuver the camera around the pipes, he can identify any defects, faults, cracks or leaks in the pipeline. Once the problem is identified, the video can be recorded for future use.
What Can Video Pipe Inspections Detect
The purpose of a sewer line camera is to detect a plumbing problem without tearing up your home or yard. However, it’s not always a one-size-fits-all solution.
A sewer camera inspection can detect the following issues:
- Locate Lines
- Drainage or Stoppage Issues
- PVC or Cast-Iron Pipe cracks
- Sewer System Connections
- Root intrusion
- Debris blockage
- Bellied drain line
- Leaking pipe joints
- Cracked sewer lateral
- Separated lateral joint
- Deteriorated piping materials
Another great use for a sewer camera inspection is to use it to locate lost or missing items that may have been accidentally, or purposefully, dropped down a drain pipe. Missing a wedding ring anyone?
A sewer camera inspection keeps repair costs low by determining the exact location and cause of the leak. By having more information about what is going on beneath the surface, it makes it easier to make efficient decisions about how to care for your system.
What a Sewer Camera Inspection Can NOT Detect
A sewer camera alone cannot detect leaks, yet about 90% of plumbing companies are using cameras as their primary tool of leak inspection, so how does this work?
First, keep in mind that the camera only sees what is going on inside the pipe, if water is leaking outside, the camera can’t see that because it’s only looking at what is going on inside.
Second, the camera feed is always up for interpretation. Plumbing pipes are dark, gunky, and crowded. It is up to the plumber to interpret what he’s seeing. They might think they see something that looks like a hole, break, or crack when it could be a blockage, bend, or waste.
Most plumbing pipes in Louisville, KY are usually cast iron or PVC, both materials are very thick. It’s possible that even if the material has a clear crack, it doesn’t actually go all the way through the pipe. In this case, there would be no leak at all.
While it’s as useful as a secondary tool in a leak location test, a sewer camera by itself cannot be used to determine if you have a leak or to find a leak.
Common Sewer & Water Line Problems
Sewer lines are designed to stand up to a lot of wear, and stand the test of time, but sometimes they don’t. When you need a sewer line repair, it usually comes down to two issues: a break or a blockage. Determining the problem, the cause, and how to fix it is the tricky part. The most common problems to affect a sewer line include the following:
- Tree roots – The roots of trees can actually grow straight through sewer lines, which can cause big problems in a short amount of time.
- Broken, collapsed, cracked, or misaligned pipes – This is most commonly caused by shifting soil or frozen ground, which can sometimes happen in Louisville, KY, but can also be caused by poor installation during construction.
- Blockage – When a blockage is preventing proper water flow, it builds up pressure over time and can cause the pipe, crack, or burst. Most blockages are due to a buildup of grease, waste, or objects flushed into the pipes.
- Pipe corrosion or deterioration – Today’s pipes are made of either PVC or cast iron. If you have older pipes, they are likely at risk of deteriorating and collapsing.
- Bellied pipe – When one section of pipe starts to sink into the ground, it creates a belly that allows waste to converge and create a blockage.
- Leaking Joints – When the seals between the pipes have broken, it allows water to escape into the area surrounding the pipe and eventually can create a puddle in your front yard.
If you notice your water bill from the Louisville, KY water company increasing, your water pressure decreasing, a foul odor coming from your property, or puddling water in your lawn, it might be time to check your sewer line.
Keep Things Flowing with Tom Sondergeld Plumbing
Using a sewer camera inspection to diagnose sewer line issues takes out the guessing game. No longer are you left guessing what’s wrong and hoping for the best fix. Now you have a clear picture of exactly what and where the problem is. You don’t have to take the plumber’s word for it, hoping he’s not running up your bill unnecessarily. You can see the actual footage and view the problem first hand.
Sewer camera inspection allows you to keep your plumbing pipes out of sight, and still know exactly what’s going on beneath the surface. At Tom Sondergeld Plumbing in Louisville, KY, our approach to every situation is to locate, diagnose, and correct. If you feel you have one or more of the issues mentioned, call us today to schedule your sewer camera inspection.