How Do Plumbing Video Inspections Work?

In the past, video pipeline inspections were expensive and very rare. Before this transmitter and video equipment was available, there was a lot of guesswork involved in fixing plumbing problems. Today, modern video cameras, transmitters and monitors are standard equipment that are commonly used by professional plumbers.

Sewer / Drain Inspection CameraA waterproof, small camera, at times called a PIG (short for pipeline inspection gauge), allows for a visual “non-destructive” inspection of the inside of your pipes. A high-resolution video camera is inserted by a professionally-trained technician into pipes that are 2 to 36 inch in diameter. It is basically a flexible rod that has a camera attached on the end of it. This flexible rod enables the camera to move through the pipe and then send images of the interior of the pipe from the beginning to the end.

A clear image of the interior of your pipes is transmitted by the camera back to the technician who is on the other end of the camera. This high-quality, real-time image shows where and what the problem is so that the appropriate replacement or repair can be done. Line tracing enables your plumber to know exactly where the camera is located as it is moving through the pipes.

The standard toolbox of today’s modern plumber includes video recording equipment as well as transmission devices. Pipeline videos are saved and stored at all times. After the video recording is completed by the plumbing technicians, the video pipeline inspection can be saved for your records.

Video Pipeline Inspection Basics

The first thing the plumber does is clean the sewer opening out, which is usually located just a few feet away from your house.
After the plumber cleans any visible material out, the camera is then inserted into the opening of the sewer.

As the camera is moving through the pipes, live images are produced on a monitor located close to the plumber. After the camera has moved through the sewer line it then inspects the exterior part of the line as well as the septic/sewer system.

After the camera has been retracted it moves towards your home in the opposite direction, to make sure it inspects your entire plumbing system.

The inspection is intended to detect both actual and potential problems, which includes clogs, separated or collapsed lines and damaged pipes. This process can even be used for finding long-lost valuable items such as jewelry.

Plumbing Camera Inspection Benefits

Guesswork Is Eliminated

On the camera there are radio transmitters that send location signals back to the receiver that the technician is holding, which eliminates all of the guesswork, so that your problems can be resolved effectively and quickly.

Problems Are Pinpointed

A majority of plumbing problems can easily and quickly be detected by sending a camera through the interior of the pipelines. This includes detecting problems that can be resolved before they become serious problems and expensive repairs. After all of the pipes are video-inspected, they can then be restored back to new-like conditions.

Before purchasing a new house, always have a video pipeline inspection conducted by a profession. A basic video inspection is inexpensive and will enable you to detect any plumbing problems before moving in. Never pay for anything you are not responsible for. Most homeowners are not aware that there are plumbing repairs that they will be responsible for that can cost tens of thousands of dollars.

The following are some of the main problems that a plumber might find when a video pipeline inspection is done:

  • Leaking pipes
  • Deteriorating or damaged pipes that need to be replaced or repaired
  • Misaligned, bellied or collapsed pipes
  • Blocked or clogged pipes that inhibit proper water flow
  • Intrusion of tree roots

Plumbing pipe root intrusion stages

Roots enter into the plumbing joints and as they are absorbing the water, the roots will expand and cause the pipes to collapse eventually.

Other Video Inspection Uses

Plumbing cameras can also be used to find lost valuables and jewelry. So don’t lose hope the next time you happen to lose your ring down the sink. Your ring can be saved by a video inspection.

We recommend that you have a plumbing maintenance inspection scheduled once a year, and be sure a video pipeline inspection is included. That enables you to be proactive so that expensive replacements and repairs can be avoided. If you suspect that there are problems with your pipes, get a video pipeline inspection scheduled as soon as you can.