In the United States, there are over one million miles of sewer lines.
This is a key part of the infrastructure and ensures that our waste doesn’t pollute our living spaces or the environment. Inspection of your sewer system with a sewer line camera inspection can find problems that you might not know about.
Functioning sewer lines are a cornerstone of an advanced society. For centuries, people have perfected and built sewers to the extent that they exist today. There are pipes and sewers that range from brand new to over a century old in use across the country and world.
Sewer Line Camera Inspection
An inspection of your sewer lines used to cost a lot and be difficult. It was necessary to dig up large trenches on the property they were buried in. That is no longer the case, and so you can have an inspection done without disruption to your home or property.
This is achieved by sending a camera down a sewer line in order to detect any problems. The video is then analyzed by the plumber, and you can see the results and inspection on video. This is not a new technology but can find many problems that a visual inspection could miss. Some problems can be cleared up with just a high-pressure jetting of the line, others can require further measures to fix.
1. Hairline Cracks in Pipes
Water pressure and debris being pushed down a pipe can cause damage to it. Over time this damage can manifest as a hairline crack. It’s not unusual for such a crack to develop and not leak any water. You wouldn’t know you had a fracture of the pipe this small if you didn’t use a sewer line camera inspection.
While such damage does not require immediate repair, it is a sign that repair will be needed. Often it is better to get a problem taken care of before it causes additional damage. If the damage increases, it could lead to more frequent clogs, as well as underground sewer leaks.
Damage like this is widespread in clay or iron pipes. As these pipes age, they can become brittle. Shifts and geological events like earthquakes, even minor ones, can cause this type of damage in a sewer line.
2. Sagging Pipes
As pipes age, their weight continues to push down on the ground they are laid in. This, combined with other geological factors, can cause pipes to develop a sag. This is when a section of the pipe sinks a bit further than the rest of the sewer pipe.
If you were to uncover the pipe, this kind of damage might not be visible. From inside the pipe, it will be much easier to see and notice. Putting stress on your sewer line will lead to more problems, and if the sag gets bad enough, it can even begin to trap debris and waste.
3. Pipe Joints and Shifting
A sewer line camera inspection will catch any place where pipe joints or the pipes have shifted. This can occur because of the movement of the ground, or even the swelling of groundwater. Age can also weaken pipes to the point where they won’t fit together like they should.
Any condition which causes a disruption to the smooth, sloped line of a sewer can cause major damage. Water and waste can leak and will continue to damage that area of the pipe. If the joint separates, then water and waste can spill out, and clogs can become common as debris gets wedged into the opening.
In many areas, the ground will swell and sink, based upon the temperature and motion of underground water. While pipes can tolerate this to a certain extent, it can wear them out over time. Joints are vulnerable because they are places where the line either shifts or connects.
4. Grease in the Line
Cooking grease and oil is a huge problem for sewer lines. As the grease cools, it thickens and can become caked onto the inside of the pipe. This will cause the water flow to constrict and lead to clogs, poor drainage and even complete blockage. A sewer line camera inspection can see the inside of the pipe and reveal it.
Oil and grease should be disposed of in the trash. There is never a time when pouring hot or cold grease into a drain is a good idea. This silent build-up can lead to a ton of issues later on, and the cost of finding it and cleaning the sewer pipe will pale compared to constant repairs.
5. Tree Roots
In addition to being beautiful additions to your yard, trees can cause you a headache. Tree roots grow very slow most of the time, and spread out from the tree itself. Even if a tree is not close to the sewer line, an old tree can still reach the line with its roots.
If this happens, the roots can constrict the pipe, leading to buckling or breaking of the pipe. The roots can then grow into the pipe. This can mimic the signs of a drain clog, but it will be impossible to fix with standard methods. This kind of damage requires replacement of the pipe.
This type of damage could also include the removal of the tree. The line will have to be moved, or the tree roots will have to be moved. No matter what the scope of the problem, the plumber you hire to do the sewer pipe camera inspection will be able to offer you advice.
Sewer and Drainage Pipe Inspection
Having your sewer lines inspected will catch a lot of problems before they become major issues. You can then take steps in order to fix them yourself, and in the case of real damage, the plumber can give you an estimate.
Sewer line camera inspections and repair work should be done by a trusted and experienced plumber. If you are in the Austin, Texas area and need a sewer line inspection, Mr. Rooter Plumbing is here to help.
Request a job estimate from us today.