If you're having problems with your plumbing, such as a foul odor in your yard or drains that are clogged, your plumber might suggest having a video sewer inspection. This is often necessary since the sewer line is under the ground. Plus, it's often not possible to know what's going on with pipes above the ground when you can't see inside them. Here are a few things to know about having a video sewer inspection done.
The Professional Cameras Are Different From DIY Cameras
Professional sewer cameras cost thousands of dollars. They have longer cables than DIY cameras and provide better videos. They have strong lights, the ability to stay upright, and they have transmitters that allow the plumber to track the camera while it's underground.
A home camera is less expensive and it might be useful to have if you want to look in your sink drains, but when you have a serious plumbing issue, it's best to call a plumber so they can bring along heavy-duty equipment.
The Equipment May Stay Outside
Your plumber may not need to bring the equipment inside. The camera itself is small, but it's attached to a long cable that's wound on a reel and is pushed on wheels. In some cases, it might be necessary to bring the equipment indoors and send the camera through a sink drain, but when your plumber wants to view the sewer, pushing the camera through the cleanout opening outside is usually a better choice.
The Camera Locates Underground Pipes
If the camera shows a pipe is collapsed, the plumber won't have any idea where the collapsed area is without a transmitter on the camera. The camera sends a signal back as it moves so the plumber can mark the location of the pipe above the ground and can even mark the exact spot where digging should begin.
This could save your yard from being torn up, and it could also save on the cost of the repairs since the plumber wouldn't have to dig up the entire pipe just to see what's wrong with it.
The Camera Provides Proof Of The Damage
When the plumber shows you video or stills of the inside of the pipe, you can see the damage yourself and understand why the plumber is suggesting the type of repairs needed. You may even be able to compare before and after videos that show how the repairs were successful.
You don't always need a video sewer inspection when you have plumbing problems, but in some cases, an inspection is valuable and it can save you money by narrowing down the source of the problem.