Does My House Need a Video Pipe Inspection? | APT

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Posted by APT Public Relations

A video inspection of your pipes is the process of using a specially made, waterproof, and high resolution camera to inspect your pipes – typically, your main sewer pipe. The main sewer pipe is what takes the waste from your home and delivers it to the main sewer.

The camera is mounted on a flexible rod for easily inserting it into the pipes or sewer system while video footage is streamed back to a technician. A video inspection could be recommended for a lot of reasons, but the biggest reason is to see what’s going on inside your plumbing system.

A video camera inspection also allows the homeowner to see for their own eyes through the video what is going on with their pipes. This way, the homeowner will know the condition of their pipes for themselves. If a pipe is starting to fail, the homeowner can trust that the technician is being straightforward with the client.


What Types of Problems Can a Video Pipe Inspection Address?

Video pipe inspections are a very useful tool for locating underground services, but its main purpose is to be used to find leaks and obstructions. When used to its full potential, it can:

  • Find grease buildup and clogs
  • Find leaks, corrosion, rust, and breakdowns in the system
  • Pinpoint the exact place where tree roots are protruding
  • Determine the layout of the plumbing and utilities before digging
  • Identify faults and weak points that should be repaired
  • Locate storm laterals
  • Detect what could be future problems

What Are The Advantages of a Video Pipe Inspections?

If you’re not yet convinced that video pipe inspection from Advanced Plumbing Technology is the best course of action for locating an underground pipe problem, here is a quick look at the advantages.


Video pipe inspections are not invasive and they make exploring pipes rather easy. Excavating and digging up the ground is time consuming, expensive, and usually, it creates a big mess.

Video inspections can reduce labor costs. It only takes one or two people to man a video camera for the inspection, but if you have to excavate just to see the sewer line, you’ll have to pay the labor costs for more than two people.

An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. If you spend money on a video inspection in order to find a potential problem, you can fix it before it becomes a big problem, which could cost you considerably more.

If an emergency situation should arise, it can be resolved quicker with a video inspection. Using a camera to find the source of the issue is faster than digging up the ground until you find the issue.

A video inspection will be useful before repairs are made because the layout of the pipes can be determined. Knowing where the pipes are makes any excavating that needs to be done much faster and more accurate.

Video inspections are a great way to find out if you need to clean out the pipes rather than repair anything. It would be a relief to a homeowner to know cleaning the pipes as opposed to a repair is an option.

The small camera can be used to locate small items that got washed down a drain such as a wedding ring or other important jewelry. It can also be used to find a small animal that might be trapped inside.

Using a camera to detect leaks can prevent any leak found from becoming an even bigger leak down the road. Finding it and repairing it now while it’s small can save you a lot of money.

How Are Video Pipe Inspections Performed?

These sewer camera inspections are performed using a high-resolution video camera connected to a scope. The camera is waterproof, so there is no need to worry about the camera getting damaged while doing tough, wet jobs. There is also an LED light at the end of it for the inspection, and the rod is flexible so it can follow around the curves of the pipes.

It is also fitted with a transmitter which allows the technician above to stop the camera wherever they spot something that could be a blockage or hole. Once these have been spotted, the recommendations for how to fix it can be made.

Technicians are standing by to watch the monitor as video is fed by the camera. The technician inspects the condition of the pipes and can find out the exact problem. The footage is stored as an MP4 file while on site and it can be given to the homeowner if they request it.


Is It Necessary?

If you plan on remodeling your kitchen or bathroom, there is a chance a video inspection will be recommended. This would be for the purpose of seeing if your current drain line or sewer line can handle the extra waste. When adding new fixtures to your home like a tub or shower, plumbing might need to be updated. A camera inspection will let a contractor or plumber know if this is the case.

Typically, though, most homeowners call in a sewer line video inspection only if there is a problem, such as a blockage or defect that cannot be fixed by plunging, liquid drain cleaners, or by using a sewer snake or drain auger.

Rather than digging up the entire length of a pipe to find and fix the problem, fiber optic video cameras are used to inspect inside the tubes or sewer line.

These special cameras are a really valuable tool for all plumbers and technicians since they can pinpoint damage or blockages even within cement or under the foundation. Video pipe inspection can reach the lines within a house and extend as far as the intersection of a sewer line to the municipal main.


Reasons for Sewer Lines to Fail

No matter what type of pipes you have and no matter what plumbing problems that may arise, reasons for pipe failure can be narrowed down to a few.

One of the most common reasons is corrosion. Even the most durable material can corrode over time. Copper, for example, can become pitted if hard water has been running through it for years. Acid in the soil can also eat away at the pipes, and drain cleaners can cause damage as well.

Cast iron pipes are known for corrosion issues after they’ve reached the 50 year mark and beyond. Corrosion leads to blockages, cracks, and tree root intrusion.

High pressure can also cause pipes to fail by placing stress on joints until they break. The vibrations from the high pressure are known as the “water hammer” effect every time water is shut off.

Tree roots are another culprit when it comes to blockages and breaks. Roots can make their way into the tiniest of holes (likely caused by corrosion) and expand until it becomes a big problem. As the roots grow, they cause bigger breaks and create blockages that need to be dealt with.

Another possible cause for pipe issues is ground failure such as an earthquake or ground work in an adjoining lot. Plumbing underground doesn’t have a lot of flexibility, so if the ground around it or the foundation shifts, the pipe could bend or break. Either way, your water flow will be disturbed.

Depending on the climate in which you live, freezing could be an issue. Freezing pipes can burst.

Costs Involved

A video camera inspection can cost anywhere from $250 to $1000, depending upon where you live. Depending on the exact reason for the inspection, the price could go even higher. With hundreds of feet of plumbing beneath the ground, a video pipe inspection service should be called to look inside to see what’s going on should there be an issue.  While the cost for the inspection seems rather high, it’s less money than paying for an excavation in places it’s not needed. It takes the guesswork out of the equation. The professionals at APT can give you a better idea of how much an inspection will be for you.


Pipe Repair and Replacement

Advanced Plumbing Technology can get your failed pipes restored and working again.  They can get it done with minimal disruption and expense. Pipes that are in good condition overall can be repaired, or the bad section can be replaced, which will save you money. If the entire line has failed, we can replace the entire drain pipe. But whenever it’s possible, we suggest trenchless techniques like pipe lining. This will minimize the disruption to your yard and home.


Advanced Plumbing Technology

The team at Advanced Plumbing Technology is in the business of helping people. Our business allows us to do that every day.  And even though the work we perform repairs and restores people’s homes and businesses, we know we are doing so much more than that. We are helping to restore and repair people’s lives.

We are available 24 hours a day 7 days a week to assist you with any problems or concerns you may have. Please, contact us for a free estimate or with any questions you have about your plumbing needs.