If you have a sewer or pipe problem, but don’t know where to dig, it can be a frustrating situation. Now there’s a quick and easy solution. Video pipe inspection is a utility location tool and an efficient way to find leaks, cracks and blockages.
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 tube or sewer line. These special cameras are a really valuable tool for underground utility location because 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.
What is the Process for Video Pipe Inspection?
When a client has a sewer line leak, suspected pipe damage or an obstruction that can’t be located, that’s when our work begins. A professional utility locator can insert a video inspection rod into a pipe with a diameter ranging from 2 to 36 inches, accessing the line from a manhole drain, inlet or vault.
Video pipe inspection is performed using a high-resolution video camera connected to a flexible fiber optic scope. The camera is durable and waterproof so it can be used for even the toughest jobs. An LED light on the end of the inspection rod makes it possible to see along the inside of the pipe. Plus, the scope rod is able to bend and maneuver around curves and corners to reach any problem area.
Technicians above ground use a monitor to watch the live video feed as the camera travels the length of the pipe. The technician is able to inspect the condition of the pipes and conduits, seeing exactly what the problem is or even locate potential future problems. The video footage is collected and stored as an MP4 file while on site; this can be provided as a record for the homeowner.
The video pipe inspection tool is also fitted with a transmitter. This allows technicians to stop the rod at the point of blockage or hole, locate that point above ground and mark it. Once the point has been identified, the utility location technicians can better advise you on how the problem should be fixed.
What Types of Problems Can Video Pipe Inspection Address?
A video pipe inspection is a highly useful diagnostic tool for underground locating services. In addition to being utilized to find holes, leaks and obstructions, a video inspection could effectively:
- Pinpoint grease buildup and clogs;
- Find points of breakage, corrosion or punctures;
- See the position of root intrusion;
- Determine the layout, grade and depth of utility and sewer pipes;
- Identify laterals, vaults, points of misalignment and termination;
- Locate non-detectable sanitary and storm laterals;
- Verify if current conditions conform to regulations;
- Detect potential weak points or future problems.
The video pipe inspection can also be used following cleaning or repair services to ensure that work was executed properly.
When is Video Pipe Inspection Recommended?
Hard to Find Leaks or Blockages
When traditional utility locating and vacuum excavation methods won’t be able to reach the problem area, video pipe inspection is the best solution. If the blockage or leak may be located under a foundation or inside a concrete structure, for example, video pipe inspection is virtually the only way to locate it.
This technology eliminates the guesswork and the need to dig blindly, so it’s the preferred tool for finding unknown problems or undetectable lines.
Repeat Draining Problems or Backups
Technicians recommend video inspection for homeowners who have dealt with repeated clogs and backups. When sinks, drains and bathroom appliances frequently drain slowly or get backed up, the issue probably lies beyond your indoor plumbing. Rather than continuing to waste money and time having the pipe freed only to get obstructed again, it’s better to locate the blockage and fix the problem entirely.
Before Purchasing a Home
It can also be a good idea to have a video pipe inspection run before purchasing a home. This type of inspection can look the sewer lines over for signs of issues that would be difficult or expensive to repair in the future. It’s best to be cautious, especially when buying an older home, and underground pipes aren’t usually included in routine real estate inspections. Video inspection can prevent you from needing to deal with unforeseen headaches on your property caused by sewer lines or pipes.
What are the Advantages of Video Pipe Inspection?
If you’re not yet convinced that video pipe inspection is the best course of action for locating an underground pipe problem, here is a quick look at the advantages.
- It’s less expensive than exploratory excavating.
- Reduced labor and time are needed to repair the conduit.
- Repair interventions are cheaper and less intrusive.
- Emergency situations can be resolved quicker.
- Better planning is possible knowing the location, cause and size of the repair.
- Some problems can be prevented entirely.
- The need for maintenance or cleaning can be verified in advance.
- Leakage can be prevented before it becomes hazardous and difficult to fix.
- It can be used to find lost items like jewelry or animals that are trapped.
How Can SoftDig® Help You?
SoftDig® works throughout Pennsylvania, Maryland, Texas and other areas. Our trained technicians can perform video pipe and sewer line inspections to address a wide range of issues – from residential to industrial. Our durable video inspection scope can wind its way around different types of conduits and pipes in even the most challenging conditions.