13 July Drain camera inspection for a sewer line

7 Signs That You Need A Drain Camera Inspection

Posted by PlumbWize

A drain camera inspection is a vital first step when it comes to dealing with drain and sewer problems. Essentially, drains and sewer lines are part of the same system. They perform the critical function of channelling wastewater away from your home. Various issues can arise when either of these lines is blocked or broken. 

By scheduling a drain camera inspection, you will be able to accurately diagnose active plumbing problems—while also identifying small issues that could potentially cause problems later on. Aside from active problems when it comes to draining water, flushing, and the like, there are also other situations where drain camera inspection is highly useful. 

In this guide, we cover what a drain camera inspection is and the seven signs that you need this specific plumbing service. 

Let’s get started!

Close-up of a plunger trying to unclog a drain, a problem that might need a drain camera inspection

What Is a Sewer or Drain Camera Inspection? 

A drain camera inspection or sewer camera inspection is one of the techniques used by professional plumbers to accurately diagnose a drain or sewer problem. This plumbing service involves the use of a small waterproof camera that is affixed to a cable. The camera has its own light source so that the plumber has a clear view of a drain or sewer line.

The camera’s small size allows it to go deep into drain and sewer lines so that plumbers can find or ascertain problems such as the following: 

  • Cracked, worn, or leaking pipes
  • Sewer or drain pipe blockages (caused by accumulated grease, foreign objects, tree roots, etc.)
  • Dislodged or misaligned pipes

A drain camera inspection can be done on both residential and commercial properties. Aside from diagnosing active problems, this plumbing service can also find smaller issues that could get worse over time. 

7 Signs That You Need A Drain Camera Inspection 

1. Widespread or Persistently Clogged Drains or Toilets

A one-time clog with a sink or toilet can be classified as an isolated problem. However, if you encounter widespread and persistent clogs on a number of sinks, showers, and toilets in your home or establishment, it could mean that the problem is further down the system. Widespread clogging usually points to a blockage of the main sewer line

2. Recurrent Sewage Backups

A sewage backup is one of the most unpleasant plumbing issues to deal with. Sewage backups happen when wastewater gets pushed back up a sink, toilet, or drain, which releases foul smells and dangerous contaminants into the area where it occurs. 

One incident of a sewage backup does not automatically mean there is a problem with your sewer line. In fact, if the backup happens after heavy rainfall, it could be caused by an overloaded sewer system in your area.  

However, if a sewage backup is a recurrent problem you’re facing, it could mean that there are clogs, blockages, or breaks in your property’s sewer line. 

3. The Smell of Sewage In or Around Your Property

Sewage smells can come from toilets with loose wax rings, biofilm on dirty drains, or sinks with dirty overflow drains. This problem can also be caused by badly clogged drains, clogged sewage lines, or damaged sewage lines. 

If you are facing any of these issues, a professional plumber can give a long-lasting fix or drain cleaning if needed. With the help of drain camera inspection, any serious clogs or damage can be confirmed and repaired. 

4. Water Damage on the Walls or Floors

Drain lines are located on the floors and walls of properties. If any leaks occur within these lines, the issue could result in water damage or mould formation. A drain camera inspection will be very helpful in cases wherein leaks are hard to find within hard-to-access areas.

Water damage caused by a faulty drain line that needs immediate drain camera inspection

5. Water Damage to the Basement Foundation

Leaking drain lines can damage floors and walls. On the other hand, a broken sewer line may cause damage to your basement’s foundation. Though most sewer lines are located outside and underground, it’s common for sewer lines to connect with the property’s drain lines inside the basement. If the sewer line damage occurs at this part, it will eventually lead to basement water damage. 

6. Waterlogged Patches on the Yard

Because sewer lines are typically located outside and underground, sewer line leakage could result in a foul-smelling and waterlogged yard. As with all the items on this list, a drain camera inspection can help locate the problem so that it can be repaired with precision.

7. An Uncharacteristically Lush Yard

A damaged sewer line can also bring about other issues: uncharacteristically green patches or greener grass. 

In cases wherein there is a sewer line leakage and puddles are not accumulating, it might be because the leak is not yet severe. However, a small leak can grow over time, so it’s best to consult with a professional plumber as soon as possible.   

Other Situations That Call for A Drain Camera Inspection 

8. You Dropped or Lost Something Down the Drain

People lose items down the drain every now and then—whether it’s a ring, an earring, a critical bit of machinery, etc. In such cases, the only safe and sure way to get the item back is to stop using the drain and call a plumber ASAP to perform a drain camera inspection. 

9. You Want to Make Sure That You’re Buying a Good Property

A drain camera inspection is one of the best ways to assess an old home’s drain and sewer lines. So if you’re buying an old property and want to ensure that you won’t be surprised by sewage backups, clogged drains, slow toilets, and damaged sewer pipes that leak out into the yard, getting a drain camera inspection is the way to go!

 Close-up of a keychain holding the keys to a newly bought home that has undergone a drain camera inspection

Professional Drain Camera Inspection by PlumbWize 

If you are encountering any of the above signs or situations listed above, PlumbWize can help. Our team of plumbing professionals can diagnose such issues with accuracy and speed. There is no plumbing problem too big or too small for us to handle. 

Contact us today to learn more about our drain camera inspection services

You can also reach us 24/7 in case of plumbing emergencies.


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