Unless you’re a sewer and drain specialist, it can be pretty challenging to know when to get a sewer camera inspection done on your plumbing system. From time to time, sewer systems develop issues, most of which typically require an immediate remedy. A sewer camera inspection is mainly recommended to detect a blockage in your property’s sewer and drain system.


With the many pipes buried underground, it can be hard to tell precisely where a sewer problem originates from. But with a sewer camera inspection handled by an expert, it will be easy to detect and fix any issue in your sewer pipes. In this post, we’ll hone in on the signs to look out for to determine whether you need a sewer camera inspection or not. But before we delve deeper into that, let’s throw some more light on what a sewer camera inspection is. 


So, What is Sewer Camera Inspection?


A sewer camera inspection is a process in which a special video camera mounted on the end of a flexible cable is passed through sewer pipes to determine faults and cracks in the lines. Note that sewer cameras are special cameras. As the camera is pushed through the pipeline, the sewer specialist observes the inside of the pipes on a camera monitor above the ground. 


When you need to free a sewer backup or fix a broken or old pipe, you’ll typically need to dig up the pipe. This process can be costly and time-consuming. In the end, it also messes up your lawn or yard. To avoid such issues, these cameras are used to find the problems in underground pipes, pipes encased in concrete, located behind walls, or beneath your home’s foundation. But access to the pipes needs to be established first before a sewer camera inspection can be carried out in your sewer pipes.

When to Use a Sewer Camera Inspection


Sewer camera inspections are a very quick and helpful way to determine the health of your plumbing systems and detect issues, such as slow-moving drains, clogs in your drain pipes, root intrusion, or sewer backups early before they degenerate into expensive repairs.


But generally, there are 3 main situations when sewer camera inspections are mostly used. 


Older Homes


Some houses are really old. Over the course of time, you may begin to experience consistent issues in your plumbing system. Homes built around the 1940s-1950s, before installing a city sewer line, for instance, may still be connected to a cesspool. Even if the piping in the building has been re-routed to the city sewer line, cesspools still pose a serious risk of sinking and collapsing.


In situations like these, a sewer camera inspection is a very good idea. Some old homes have sewer lines made of tar paper and pressed wood or Orangeburg pipes. Although these pipes were made to last for up to 50 years, depending on whether they are used under ideal conditions or not, it is ideal to check out with a sewer camera inspection before they become an expensive issue.


Renovation or Remodeling


If you are looking to remodel your home or planning to buy a new home, it is ideal to do a sewer camera inspection. This way, you ensure that the sewer system is up to code and eliminates future sewer problems and costly repairs.


Sewer Backup Issues


Sewer backup is a terrible situation you want to avoid in your plumbing system. If you suspect anything like this, taking swift action is highly recommended. You need to contact an experienced local sewer and drain specialist to take care of the situation.


Signs You Need Sewer Camera Inspection


Here are some pointers to help you determine whether a sewer camera inspection is needed in your plumbing system:


  1. Slow-moving drains: Slow-moving drains often indicate blockages or clogs in your drain pipes. With a sewer camera, the sewer and drain specialist can detect this. 
  2. Gurgling sounds in your toilet and sink: When you hear gurgling sounds from your toilet, it is a sign that something isn’t right in the drain pipes. It could be an unusual buildup of clogs or stubborn waste. 
  3. Terrible odors coming from your plumbing system: A common sign of a sewer drainage problem is a foul odor. You can tell that the drains are not flowing out as they should because the odor of the accumulated waste makes its way from the pipes into your living space.
  4. Sewage backups: When you start noticing sewer backups and standing water, you need to act fast. It can either be an issue with your own system or a problem arising from multiple properties in the neighborhood.
  5. Septic waste pooling in your yard: When soggy spots start appearing in your yard, it can be an indication of broken or leaking sewage pipe. Obviously, you can tell that this is a broken pipe or damaged pipe problem. This can also result from sewer backup, but with a sewer camera inspection, it will be easier to identify the exact issue.
  6. Unusual patches of green grass growing in your yard: You may, at a time, notice some unplanted patches of lush green grasses growing out in front or around the house. This could be due to the fertilization coming from the sewer leaking into the surrounding soil.


Residential & Commercial Sewer Camera Inspection from N.W. Sewer & Drain


At N.W. Sewer & Drain, we are a team of experienced sewer and drain specialists committed to helping all our clients fix all drainage issues in both residential and commercial buildings. We typically use a preliminary camera inspection to detect sewer line issues and advise our clients on the most appropriate remedies.


We currently service residential and commercial properties in Seattle, as well as Marysville, Everett, Lynnwood, Oak Harbor, Mount Vernon, Bellevue, Kirkland, Shoreline, Renton, Lake Forest Park, Mountlake Terrace, Auburn, etc. For nearly 20 years, we have maintained top-notch drain cleaning services. If you are on the lookout for an affordable and reliable sewer and drain service, feel free to contact us today at 206-931-7728 to schedule an inspection of your drain lines.


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