We know that more and more plumbers are relying on the use of sewer cameras these days to diagnose plumbing issues. While this is certainly an incredibly valuable tool, we do think that there are a few important things to note so that you better understand what this tool can and can’t do. For instance, there’s a common misconception that sewer cameras are used to find leaks. However, this is not the case. So, let’s take a look at what proper use of these cameras can do for you:
What Sewer Camera Inspections Can and Can’t Find
With the advancement in technology, sewer cameras have proven to be incredibly valuable tools that can help professionals better determine if there’s a problem with your home’s sewer system. Of course, as with any tool, there are things that they can do and things that they simply can’t. This is why it’s important to make sure that you know the facts before you call in an unfamiliar professional if you suspect a problem with your plumbing system. Otherwise, you might get ripped off, and your home system will be left with no resolution.
What Is a Sewer Camera Inspection?
A sewer camera inspection involves a special sewer video camera head that’s attached to the end of a flexible cable so that it can be snaked into the pipes under your house. On the other end, top-side, the camera is attached to a live monitor that the plumber is able to watch to see what’s going on inside of your pipes. Our team uses these sewer cameras to help determine what your underlying plumbing issues may be. However, unlike some of our competitors out there, we know that there are some problems a camera alone won’t be able to find.
Despite what many in our industry think, there are limitations to what a sewer camera can see inside of your sewer lines. And, there is one thing in particular that sewer cameras absolutely cannot see – leaks. That’s right. A sewer camera by itself cannot actually locate a leak. Cameras should be used as a secondary tool in a leak location test, not as the primary means to locate a leak for the following reasons:
- A leak is water escaping the pipe through a hole, break or crack. And, since the camera is inside of the pipe, it can only see what’s going on inside, not outside.
- The inside of your sewer pipes doesn’t paint a pretty or even clear picture, as you can imagine what all flows through over time. Gunk builds up making it nearly impossible to determine whether or not there is a crack. So, the plumber has to guess as best as possible at what they’re seeing through the monitor.
- Sewer pipes are made of thick-walled PVC or cast iron pipes. So, sometimes when a plumber thinks they see a crack, it may in fact be nothing serious because it may not go all the way through the pipe wall. In other words, no water is actually escaping the pipe, and so there is no leak.
- As already mentioned, with years of buildup on the walls of your pipes, it’s possible that what a plumber sees as a crack in the pipe wall is actually just a crack in the buildup.
What Can a Sewer Camera Inspection Actually Do?
Sewer camera inspections can locate lines, determine if your pipes are PVC or cast iron, and help locate drainage or stoppage issues. So, if a plumber uses a camera inspection as their primary means to locate a leak, then they may be working you over and doing unnecessary plumbing repairs on leaks that may not even exist. In this case, you could end up paying for repairs that you don’t need.
REMEMBER: A camera is only as good as the eyes and expertise on the other side.
So, call upon your trusted Tritan Plumbing team instead. We’re more than happy to come out and do a camera inspection for you, as well as the proper testing for your system to find and fix whatever plumbing issues you may be experiencing fast and with trusted, expert knowledge.