Pooling water in the kitchen sink or tub, clogged toilets, and leaking washroom faucets are easily noticeable with everyday use. But there’s more to your home’s plumbing system than what is indoors and easily visible. In fact, there’s a lot that goes on in underground pipes and drains that we don’t see aboveground — and go undetected until a plumbing emergency occurs.
Underground pipe leaks, collapsed or broken pipe joints, and encroaching tree roots are just some of the most common plumbing emergencies that require urgent repairs and preventative maintenance. Unfortunately, because they’re not readily visible, most homeowners don’t even notice them.
While a plumber can perform an emergency repair, wouldn’t it be better if they can help prevent these costly emergencies, to begin with? With a sewer camera, your plumber can easily detect leaks and clogged drains and recommend preventive repairs and replacements before causing a plumbing breakdown.
What is a Sewer Camera?
Sewer cameras are the number one tool that plumbers use to inspect your home’s plumbing system and perform preventive maintenance on old and worn out fixtures. Previously, it wasn’t possible to visualize the main sewer line and gutter pipes without digging massive trenches. Needless to say, plumbing inspections and repairs used to be disruptive, messy, and even damaging to your lawn or yard — and no homeowner needed, much less had time for this hassle.
Underground Visualization with a Sewer Camera
But with a sewer camera, plumbers can now easily see underground pipes and fixtures without causing a mess. Sewer cameras are small enough to attach to soft cables and lights, which can be lowered down the kitchen or bathroom drain to detect clogs and backups.
These high-resolution cameras produce clear, crisp images that allow plumbers and homeowners alike to see the cause and location of these clogs, such as waste items and chemical deposits from daily activities like cooking, cleaning, and showering.
Trenchless Repairs with a Sewer Camera
Aside from real-time navigation and visualization of underground plumbing fixtures, the transmitter in sewer cameras communicates feedback to the plumber aboveground. This feedback tells a plumber what they need to do — such as remove waste build-up in the drains — with the right equipment and signal location aboveground. This real-time transmission then allows a plumber to locate and repair damaged fixtures, especially when the repair is small enough that it can be completed using a trenchless method.
Types of Sewer Problems that a Sewer Camera can Find
Plumbers count on sewer cameras to regularly inspect underground plumbing fixtures and locate the source of clogs and back-ups. Because sewer cameras are small enough to lower into drains and pipes, they eliminate the hassle and mess of excavating an entire garden or taking apart a network of pipe joints to locate and repair a growing leak.
With a sewer camera, a plumber can detect these plumbing issues while remaining aboveground and plan for an emergency repair or parts replacement without disrupting your daily routine and your landscaping:
- Clogs in drain pipes
- Encroaching tree roots in underground pipes
- Broken, cracked, or collapsed sewer pipes
- Sagging pipes
- Rust and chemical corrosion in old and worn-out pipes, as well as those exposed to harsh chemicals due to improper waste disposal in sink and toilet drains
- Major blockages, such as fat, grease, oil, and other mineral deposits and waste items flushed down the drains.
Plumbers prefer using a high-resolution sewer camera to detect these issues because they are fast, accurate, and easy to maneuver. These plumbing problems are often too small and too far to detect aboveground until they result in massive leaks, clogs, and sewer back-ups. But with a sewer camera, your plumber can easily find them no matter where these blockages and damaged pipes are located underground and get ahead of both plumbing emergencies and a costly hike in monthly utilities.
Benefits of Installing A Sewer Camera
Cost and Time Savings
Sewer cameras have become a fixture in regular plumbing maintenance and repairs because they help homeowners and plumbers save valuable time and money. These factors used to discourage homeowners from booking routine maintenance because it used to cost a lot — time-wise in how long manual inspections took to complete, and money-wise in terms of the cost of cleaning up or repairing damaged landscaping.
Smart, Modern Plumbing
Sewer cameras also represent improvements in modern plumbing — with virtually everything going digital these days, it’s no surprise that plumbing tools are becoming smarter and faster too. These improvements allow plumbers to detect plumbing issues and complete repairs sooner, as well as minimize the labour and hardware costs of plumbing services.
Uses of a Sewer Camera
When was the last time you called a plumber to inspect your home’s plumbing system? By installing a sewer camera with real-time feedback, you can easily alert your plumber to plumbing issues and book a fast and effective repair. Here are some of the ways that a sewer camera can be used:
- Can be used in any part of a plumbing system, including underground pipes, to ensure a complete and thorough inspection every time
- Can accurately detect plumbing issues through clear and crisp feedback images
- Detect sewer line problems not visible aboveground
- Locate and help prevent blockages caused by improper waste disposal
- Easily locate leaks, especially those in underground pipes
- Reduce unnecessary and massive digging in outdoor landscaping
- Saves time and money in resolving plumbing issues.
Sewer Cameras for Preventative Maintenance
Sewer problems are frustrating and often surprising, especially because homeowners aren’t often aware of them until they result in an expensive plumbing emergency. But with a regular sewer camera inspection — or even a permanent installation — it’s easy to stay on top of your home’s plumbing needs and anticipate the need for a routine maintenance service or repair. Sewer cameras visualize the farthest and deepest of pipes and allow plumbers to locate signs of damage and fix it correctly the first time around.