Camera Line Inspection: What’s Wrong With Your Sewer Line

You might be wondering, “When is a camera line inspection necessary?” It all starts with your sewer line. The sewer line (also called the main line or main sewer line) is the plumbing that channels waste — from your toilets, tubs, and sinks — to the main sewer under the street in front of your home.

These sewer lines connect to your city’s plumbing system, where wastewater is sent and treated. Consequently, as a homeowner, you are responsible for repairing the line if a blockage or break occurs.

So, it’s vital that if you have such a problem, you need to contact a professional plumber with expertise in camera line inspection (or video camera inspection) of sewer lines. Here’s what you need to know.

Warning Signs of Sewer Line Problems

Firstly, the warning signs that point to an issue with your main sewer line can be obvious and irritating. Some symptoms of a broken sewer line include:

You may hear multiple opinions on what could possibly be wrong, but the best and only way to be sure of what’s truly wrong is to do a camera line inspection.

How Does a Camera Line Inspection Work?

Plumbers and drain technicians carry a special camera on their trucks to do sewer line inspections. Before using a cable snake or hydro-jet, your plumber can perform a ‘camera locate’ to figure out exactly what’s causing the sewer line issue.

They also need to know where the clog or leak is so they can compare before and after images. Getting an accurate measurement of depth and location allows the drain technician to diagnose the problem and give you an accurate, cost-effective estimate.

camera line inspection - view inside sewer line
View inside a sewer main line from the camera line inspection.

Where is the Camera Located?

The sewer camera is located at the end of a long, flexible cable that travels through the sewer. This high-definition camera transmits a video signal to an HDTV monitor so the entire pipe’s length is viewable. More so, an LED light allows any cracks, roots, or structural issues within the sewer line to be seen. From above ground using a location device, the camera’s transmitter allows the plumber to find exactly where the pipe is broken.

camera line inspection equipment
The camera is located on the end of the cable (or snake). Professional models also come with a locator device. This allows you know located exactly where the end of the camera snake is located when it finds a problem. With this information, you can determine exactly where the problem is and begin excavation if needed.

What are the Most Common Problems?

Once the camera line inspection is complete, and we discover the source of the problem, we then proceed to clean, clear, or replace the sewer line. This is all done at the homeowner’s discretion. Each sewer line problem can vary, but the most commonly found problems include:

In conclusion, after the sewer line has been properly treated, a final sewer line camera inspection is performed to verify that it has been cleaned and cleared. The only exception for not performing a final camera line inspection is if water is in the line. Therefore, running a cable through the line first would be necessary to open it.

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Clay pipe broken by tree roots.

Final Thoughts

In conclusion, a camera line inspection can tell you exactly what’s going on and what need to be done. Being able to identify and diagnose an issue with your sewer line will allow you to more quickly contact your plumber for help. In addition, how fast you call your plumber and how fast they respond can be the difference between hundreds and thousands of dollars in drain repairs.

Call 1-Tom-Plumber

Above all, don’t hesitate to contact us here or call us at 1-Tom-Plumber (1-866-758-6237) if you’d like help with your sewer line repair or replacement.

We will immediately handle any emergency plumbingdrain, and water damage problem, including excavation of underground water lines and sewer main lines.

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