Pipe cameras are an amazing tool that can save a great deal of money, effort, and guesswork when plumbing problems are suspected. Also known as sewer cameras, these visual aids are used to perform inspections inside piple lines. Let’s go over how pipe cameras are used, and why they are so effective for keeping future plumbing problems at bay.
Why Should I Get a Pipe Camera Inspection?
Camera inspections allow a clear view into plumbing lines from afar. Plumbers don’t need to directly access the piping themselves, which often requires removing drywall, flooring, or soil first. Therefore, pipe camera inspections are the most efficient and least-damaging option for investigating possible plumbing problems.
They also give a head start on identifying issues before disaster makes them impossible to miss. It is possible for pipe cameras to detect signs of issues early, before water damage or other consequences can arise (or worsen).
When to Bring in a Pipe Camera
This method of inspection is particularly useful in a few common scenarios:
- You Have an Old Plumbing System Older homes will often have fragile plumbing systems that have degraded a lot over time. In many cases, they are on the verge of serious issues, whether due to rusting out or becoming blocked by mineral buildup. Sending a camera through old pipes will allow a plumber to see if any such damage is present.
- You Don’t Know What Type of Pipes You Have, or Where They Are Another issue with older homes is that the documentation for plumbing lines can be lost, or may have never existed in the first place. Because pipe cameras are outfitted with location sensors, they make it easy to completely trace your line locations, and see what type of piping you have.
- You’re Noticing Signs of Sewer Backup If you’ve noticed some differences in the functionality of your plumbing, a camera inspection can help you diagnose the issue before it worsens – becoming a bigger, more costly problem. Signs can include: blockages or slow draining in more than one drain, toilet bubbling when other plumbing fixtures are drained, or difficulty flushing toilets.
- There are Large Trees Growing Near Your Home
Tree roots are a big threat to pipes, as they can grow directly through them. When this happens, your pipes may start leaking, draining more slowly, or become wholly blocked. Thanks to their inside view, camera inspections are great for spotting where roots have penetrated your piping.
Take Note: Pipe Cameras Aren’t Foolproof Leak Detectors
Unless a crack in the plumbing is wide and deep enough to be an obvious leak source, having a view from a sewer camera won’t be enough to definitively tell that a leak is present. Since cameras are not able to see the exterior of the pipe, they can't verify that water is leaking out to the other side.
Now, you may be thinking: if any crack is visible, doesn’t that mean my plumbing is broken? Unfortunately, it’s not so simple. Since sewer lines are continually flushed with waste and water, they develop a buildup of sludge and minerals over time. It’s completely possible for cracks to form in this layer of buildup, while the actual plumbing beneath is perfectly intact.
This is why camera inspections are only the first step in diagnosing a leak. They are useful for detecting indications of a leak, which must then be checked further. An honest plumber won’t insist on a complete tearout and replacement without first using other means to confirm that there is indeed a leak.
Schedule Your Expert Camera Inspection
If you suspect your plumbing may have trouble brewing, getting a pipe camera inspection is the best way to get ahead of the problem. Hamm and Sons Plumbing can help you get a clear view of your lines and evaluate what’s going on inside. Our specialists use the most reliable tools in the industry to perform camera inspections, ensuring you get the highest quality analysis before moving forward.