Should I have my sewer line video inspected?
If you have ever asked yourself this question, or have been offered this service by a local plumber, this article might be for you.
(This video is of a sewer camera video inspection performed in Canandaigua, NY)
As a plumber who specializes in repairing underground pipes, my cameras are the most valuable tool I have ever purchased. They literally take all of the unknowns and guesswork out of sewer and drain issues. Even if the line is collapsed, filled with cloudy sewer water, and you can't see a thing, it still can be worth it to have it televised. The reason being, if your plumber has a good camera, with a good locator, he or she will be able to pinpoint the exact location of the issue. All good sewer and drain cameras have a sonde which you can locate above ground with locating equipment. You will be able to determine the exact area and depth of your problem, knowing exactly where to excavate.
Another benefit of having your sewer line video inspected is that you will know the condition of your sewer line. Imagine that two weeks from now your sewer line would back up and flood your basement with hundreds of gallons of sewage. A video inspection would have foretold signs of a backup and given you ample time to choose a course of action. It's the best diagnostic tool ever created for troubleshooting drains.
Here is a small list I put together that can be used to find a good plumber to use for televising:
- They need to have a camera with a self leveling head. This will help you understand what you are looking at on the footage.
- Inform the plumber you will want a recording of the footage. This is valuable incase you end up hiring a different contractor to perform repairs.
- Make sure the sewer camera equipment has locating capabilities, and make sure the plumber has a locator. This is crucial to pinpointing the area you might need to excavate.
- Please let the plumber know if there is a whole house trap. These generally do not allow a camera to pass through them, and it may require gaining access to another cleanout beyond it, or removing the entire trap.
That about sums it up. I hope it helped someone reading this. Now go and get your sewer line inspected, and have a nice day!
Written by Matt Porretta of Underground Pipe Co.
Rochester's Sewer Lining Specialists