Sewer repair: it’s every homeowner’s worst nightmare. Not only is it one of the most intrusive home repair projects imaginable, it’s something you don’t have any control over. It’s not like you could stop an underground pipe from getting damaged! Even worse, there are all the other costs associated with sewer repair. Even pros don’t have any choice but to dig up your beautiful yard… or do they?
While “trenching” sewer repair used to be the only option for dependable sewer repair, we’re happy to report that’s no longer the case. 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
Sewer pipe inspection cameras are specifically designed to be inserted directly into the sewer itself. The fiber optic camera is about the size of smart phone cameras and attaches to a long, flexible metal cable. We feed this cable into the sewer opening camera-first, just like we would with a rooting machine or plumber’s snake. We remotely control the camera using small motors inside the cable. The cable unspools from a long coil as the camera pushes further through the sewer.
While the camera moves through the sewer, a professional technician monitors what it sees in real-time. Along with the motors to control movement and the power supply, the cable also contains electrical wiring connecting it to a portable, closed-circuit display. Powerful lights at the end of the cable device light up the sewer, so we can see what’s in the pipe from the display. The plumber threads the camera through the sewer, identifying any potential problems using the display.
When We Use It
You’d be surprised how often we can use camera inspection on the job. Whenever video inspection could help us avoid tearing up a lawn or busting up flooring, we’ll recommend it. All we really require is a pipe or sewer opening wide enough to spool the camera equipment through. We can even make that opening ourselves!
Technicians can visually identify most fractures, breaks, root damage, and corrosion using the equipment. What happens next depends on the nature of the problem. If we identify a clog caused by tree roots, corrosion, or another block, 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 would be to dig 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, after all, so we’d have to keep digging a trench until we find it.
With the camera, 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 to get at an obstruction, for example, 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 more complete idea of the overall 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 and/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 Ben Franklin Plumbing 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 exactly what we’re doing and why. We think you’ll be pleased with the results.