A sewer is one of the most used parts of the home, yet it is located underground out of sight. Problems can be occurring underground and they will not be discovered until they can be noticed above ground. Unfortunately, the water we see or the odor we smell gives us little or no indication of what may actually be causing the problem underneath.
Why Video Inspection Is Essential
There are so many reasons for sewer backup that the importance of sewer video inspections can be easily understood. Something may become lodged in a sewer line because of user carelessness or vandalism. It may be lodged in a bend of the pipe where it is a challenge to remove. Overgrown tree roots may be blocking the line.
In the case of an older home, the structure of the sewer itself may be breaking down because of age. The cause of a sewer blockage may also be external, such as in a flooding rainstorm or as a result of a construction accident. It is nearly impossible to know the extent and type of repairs needed unless the correct cause is known.
How Video Inspection Works
A fiber optic cable with a camera on the end of it is fed into the sewer. A robotic device moves through the pipe, sending information and footage to a monitor above ground. The monitor is read by the professional, and when an obstruction is detected, the operator stops the camera to get a better look at the obstruction size and structure.
There is also an electronic footage counter that helps the technician to find out exactly where the obstruction is occurring. By using video inspection, a professional can determine the length of the pipe and its diameter, where lateral pipes originate, the cause of the obstruction, and the extent of damage.
How Video Inspection Benefits You
You should have a video inspection of your sewer line at any of the following times:
• Before you buy a home
• When you notice signs of a sewer blockage
• Before you do a home renovation that will affect sewer flow
• If you accidentally drop something of value down a drain
• If you plan to sell an old home
Having a sewer inspection can also help you if you think someone else may be at fault for your sewer problem. Since sewer inspectors are required to document their findings, these findings can be used in court. All camera footage of a video inspection is recorded onto DVD’s or CD’s and archived for later use.
Even if you are the one at fault, if you have sewer line coverage on your home insurance plan, your insurance company will require proof of the nature of the problem and the amount of repairs or replacement needed.
A video inspection can save you money by warning you of impending problems in a home you wish to buy. It can also save you money in your own home, by giving you early detection of a developing problem that will cost you more later.
The small fee required for video inspection of a sewer line is well worth the money, and can save you big headaches in the future.