What homeowners should know about sewer pipe cameras

November 7, 2014

Get the facts about the equipment, the process and the cost of using a video camera to inspect sewer lines and household piping.
Video camera sewer pipeline inspection is a non-destructive testing method. It allows a homeowner or contractor to visually inspect the interior of pipes and sewer lines underground. Even if they are in cement or beneath your home’s foundation. Checking the sewer pipe can help identify and locate damage, leaks or blockage. Camera inspections detect obstructions such as:

  • Tree roots
  • Broken tiles
  • Faulty mortar connections
  • Inline traps
  • Negative grade sloping
  • Pipe sagging
  • Offset joints
  • Pipe cracks
  • Buildups of sludge or grease
What homeowners should know about sewer pipe cameras

Say goodbye to guesswork

In the past, plumbers had to make their best guess where damage or an obstruction was located. Then, they would dig up that area, hoping for the best. Nowadays, radio transmitters attached to the video inspection camera record the depth and location of defects and obstructions to point out exactly where repairs or clearing should take place. Your sewer problems are addressed without delay and at a lower cost.

Can I perform a video inspection myself?

Short answer: No.

Sure, there are tons of online videos providing step-by-step directions on how to build your own functioning sewer pipe camera. The problem is, the instructions are difficult to understand and sometimes completely unintelligible. It's a very complex design and it's not likely you'll be able to get in up to par with a professional unit.

Professional quality video inspection camera devices can cost as much as $15,000 or more. They offer powerful lights and provide high resolution images. They have autofocus and recording capabilities. They are self-righting so the picture always stays upright. Most importantly, they have transmitters at the end that allow the operator to pinpoint exactly where in the line the problem is located.

How much does a video camera sewer pipe inspection cost?

Drain camera video inspection technology is a no-mess, easy and accurate way to identify problems in sewer lines and drains. The cost of a professional camera inspection can vary widely. It is usually within the price range of $100 to $300. The more expensive rates usually reflect newer, more advanced equipment.

Video camera inspections offer a more affordable way to ensure your sewer lines and pipes are clear. However, it's a task better left to the professionals.

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