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How Sewer Inspection Cameras Work

Sewer repair: it’s every homeowner’s worst nightmare. It’s intrusive, it’s expensive, it takes forever, and you don’t have any control over it. And as if all that wasn’t bad enough, there are all the other costs associated with sewer repair. You’re not just paying for repair, you’re also paying for everything associated with it, too. Including the part where they dig up your beautiful yard. And you don’t have any choice! …or do you?

“Trenching” (digging) sewer repair was the only option for sewer repair once, but that’s not the case any more. Thanks to modern technology, professional technicians have the sewer inspection camera. This camera, along with a suite of other plumbing equipment, makes it possible to fix sewer damage without digging! Here’s everything you should know about camera inspection and trenchless sewer repair.

How It Works

First, the technician inserts a specialized sewer pipe inspection camera down your pipes and into the sewer. The fiber optic camera is about the size of smartphone cameras and attaches to a long, flexible metal cable. The technician feeds this cable into the sewer opening camera-first snake. They manipulate the camera remotely using small motors installed inside the cable. The cable unspools from a long coil as the camera pushes further through the sewer.

Along with the motors that control the camera’s movement, the cable also connects it to a portable, closed-circuit display. Powerful lights on the camera light up the sewer, so we can see what’s in the pipe from the display. The lights and closed-circuit display allow your technician to see everything in your sewer in real-time. As they thread the camera through the sewer, they’ll be able to see anything and everything in it.

When We Use It

You’d be surprised how often we can use camera inspection on the job. We recommend video inspection whenever it could help us avoid tearing up a lawn or busting up flooring. Camera inspection is also applicable in a surprising number of homes and situations. After all, it’s easy to use! All we really need is a pipe or sewer opening wide enough to spool the camera equipment through. We can even make a temporary opening ourselves!   

Using the equipment, technicians can visually identify most fractures, breaks, root damage, and corrosion. Once we know what the problem is, we’ll know how to fix it in the most efficient way possible. If we find a clog caused by tree roots, we’ll usually use rooting machines or hydro-jetting cleaners to blast it away. We use a resin-based Cured-In-Place-Pipe (CIPP) substance to re-seal leaks and fractures. Larger pipe breaks may require pipe bursting technology. Whatever the problem is, camera inspection can help us positively identify it so we know how to proceed.

Why It’s Effective

Without video inspection, the only way to figure out what’s wrong with your sewer pipes is digging down to them directly. Not only is this process slow, costly, and destructive, it also requires a fair amount of trial-and-error. We don’t know exactly where the problem is, so we’d have to keep digging until we find it. In the process, we may end up digging up a lot of your yard.

With the camera’s help, however, we can figure out exactly where and what the problem is. Once we know, we can solve it with minimal disruption to your life. Instead of cutting through a long section of pipe, for instance, we can go straight to the source. Even better, camera inspection can locate every problem your sewer pipes have, not just the most pressing ones. Often, camera inspections can even help us figure out the underlying cause behind repeated problems. Ultimately, camera inspections help you get a much better idea of the functionality and health of your sewer pipes.

Camera inspection and trenchless sewer repair may not be the right choice for every repair job. Sometimes, pipe placement or the nature of the problem may necessitate a more conventional approach. In most cases, however, camera inspection technology can help make sewer repair a much easier and less painful experience. Plus, it’s pretty cool. How often do you get to see the inside of your pipes?

No matter what kind of sewer or pipe problem you have, you can rely on Benjamin Franklin Plumbing® of Dallas to find the best possible way to handle it. Whether that’s video inspection, rooting, hydro-jetting, or something else, we’ll make sure you know what we’re doing and why. We think you’ll be pleased with the results.