When people think of technology, they often think of the latest smart phone, or tablet, or the next generation of gaming consoles, etc. Technology is ever evolving in many other areas as well, and the plumbing industry is no exception. In this article we will be looking at a great example of that – sewer video inspection.
While sewer cameras have been around for a number of years now, the technology has gotten more and more impressive. Here is how it works…
What is a Sewer Video Inspection?
Basically, a sewer camera is optical video lens with LED lights that is
fitted to the end of a long, fiber optic rod. The rod is strong enough to be able to push the camera head quite a long way down the sewer pipe, and flexible enough to be able to make it through gradual bends in the pipes. The wiring is run inside the rod, so that it can be connected to a video monitor, and everything can be viewed in real time.
Many cameras also have a device build into them that emit frequency waves. These frequency waves can be picked up with a receiver that uses sonar to locate exactly where the camera head is at any given time. This is so, when you spot a problem inside the pipe, you can use the “locator” to pin-point the location of the problem.
At that point, the inspector has much of the information he
needs to be able to determine the best course of action for repairs (if needed). The footage can also be saved for playback at a later date, if needed.
Benefits and Drawbacks
As with anything, there are pros and cons to sewer video inspection. We will briefly cover some of them here.
The most obvious benefit to having a camera inspection done is that it usually answers a lot of questions that are not otherwise easy to answer. If you have a sewer main blockage (for example), and the plumber pulls roots out of your line, you may safely assume you have a roots problem. What you will not know is how bad it is, exactly where it is, and how badly the roots have damaged your line. Seeing it with a video camera can answer those
Unfortunately, however, the camera can only see the inside of the pipe. Not the outside. That is why it takes a professional to view the camera feed and extrapolate the potential pipe damage based on the visual evidence.
One real downside to camera inspection is that the cameras cannot really see under water very well, especially if the water is really murky (as is usually the case with sewage). This means that the line must be flowing for an effective inspection. For this reason, a camera should always follow a line cabling, or even a water jetting treatment to offer the best possible imaging.
Proper access is also a must with cameras. There is a fine balance between making the pushrod strong enough to push the camera a long distance, and flexible enough to make bends in the pipes. Trying to navigate too many bends can lead to not being able to push the camera any further. For that reason, it is recommended to always use a cleanout to access the line. A “few, gradual bends” is the key here.
Remember, although sewer cameras are the best technology out there for diagnosing problem areas in your sewer line, they only show what they see. It takes a skilled professional to be able to take that information and put it into the perfect plan for restoring your sewer line to full health again.
To schedule your sewer scope, call (219)595-9580 or schedule online!
Sewer video scopes are performed in all of our Northwest Indiana service area including: Valparaiso, Chesterton, Kouts, Portage, Crown Point, Merrillville, St John, Schererville, Gary, Highland, Griffith, Hobart, East Chicago, Munster, Cedar Lake, Whiting, Hebron, Demotte, Wheatfield, and Rensselaer.