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. 

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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.CTA Banner


FAQ: Understanding Sewer Camera Inspection

1. What is a sewer camera inspection, and how does it work?

A sewer camera inspection involves using a specialized video camera mounted on a flexible cable to inspect sewer pipes for faults and cracks. As the camera travels through the pipes, a sewer specialist monitors the footage above ground, allowing for accurate detection of issues without the need for costly and invasive digging.

2. When should I consider getting a sewer camera inspection?

Sewer camera inspections are recommended in various situations, including for older homes with aging plumbing systems, properties undergoing renovations or remodeling, and when experiencing sewer backup issues. These inspections help identify potential problems early on, preventing costly repairs in the future.

3. What are the signs that indicate the need for a sewer camera inspection?

Signs such as slow-moving drains, gurgling sounds in toilets and sinks, foul odors from plumbing systems, sewage backups, septic waste pooling in the yard, and unusual patches of green grass growth can all signal the need for a sewer camera inspection to diagnose underlying issues accurately.

4. How does a sewer camera inspection benefit homeowners and property owners?

By providing a detailed visual assessment of sewer pipes, camera inspections help homeowners and property owners identify and address plumbing issues promptly. This proactive approach prevents extensive damage, minimizes repair costs, and ensures the efficient operation of sewer systems.

5. Can DIY methods effectively diagnose sewer pipe problems?

While some DIY methods may offer temporary solutions, they often fail to provide accurate diagnoses of sewer pipe problems. Professional sewer camera inspections conducted by experienced specialists offer comprehensive evaluations and reliable solutions tailored to specific needs.

6. What are the risks of ignoring sewer pipe issues?

Ignoring sewer pipe issues can lead to serious consequences such as extensive property damage, health hazards from sewage backups, and costly repairs. Regular sewer camera inspections help mitigate these risks by identifying and addressing problems early on.

7. How often should sewer pipes be inspected?

The frequency of sewer pipe inspections depends on various factors, including the age of the plumbing system, property usage, and environmental conditions. As a general guideline, homeowners and property owners should consider scheduling inspections at least once every few years to maintain optimal sewer system health.

8. What are the typical costs associated with sewer camera inspections?

The cost of a sewer camera inspection can vary depending on factors such as the size of the property, the extent of the inspection required, and the location of the sewer pipes. However, investing in regular inspections is a cost-effective way to prevent more significant expenses associated with untreated sewer pipe problems.

9. How can I find a reliable sewer and drain specialist for a camera inspection?

When choosing a sewer and drain specialist, look for a reputable company with extensive experience, positive customer reviews, and a commitment to quality service. Requesting references and comparing quotes from multiple providers can help ensure you find the right specialist for your needs.

10. What areas does N.W. Sewer & Drain service, and how can I schedule an inspection?

N.W. Sewer & Drain offers residential and commercial sewer camera inspection services in Seattle and surrounding areas, including Marysville, Everett, Bellevue, and Renton. To schedule an inspection or learn more about our services, contact us at 206-931-7728 today. Our experienced team is dedicated to helping you maintain a healthy sewer system for your property.

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