Running a specially made waterproof video camera through the household sewer pipes, usually from the house right up to the municipal line, can be used to determine the condition and type of underground pipes, and also to identify problems like broken or leaking joints, intruding tree roots, blockages, corrosion or even collapsed pipes.
Homeowners might opt to have a video inspection done to find the cause of sewer backups or other ongoing sewer problems, or when simply selling or buying an older house for the sake of due diligence.
When Should I Ask for A Drain Inspection?
How Do You Get Video of the Drain?
A camera on the end of a long flexible cable is fed through the sewer line and it transmits images that can be viewed on a monitor and may be recorded for later viewing. Sometimes water might be run through the pipes at the time of the video inspection to allow for easier navigation of the camera. This scope can fit into pipes that can range from as narrow as 2 inches to as wide as 36 inches in diameter.
The bendable rod permits the camera to travel through the pipe and around corners to see the pipe completely. The scope can travel up to around 330 feet maximum so you can monitor right up to the municipal sewer line. During the inspection, transmitters on the camera record the physical location and the depth from the top of any blockages or cracks so that the technician can correctly diagnose and fix any problems you may have in your drain lines.
Video drain inspections have also been used to find lost jewelry and other items that have accidentally been flushed down pipes, as well as pets and animals stuck in pipes.
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What Are the Cost to Getting a Drain Video Inspection?
A video sewer inspection can cost anywhere between $100-$800, but averages around $250-$500, depending upon the length of the pipes being inspected, local rates, if the inspection is being done in tandem with other work or as a job that is separate, and whether the images are just sent live to a monitor or are recorded to allow for later viewing.
Drain inspections are sometimes recommended for plumbing renovations that include adding a bathroom or remodeling an existing bathroom or kitchen to ensure your sewer line can handle the increased needs. Typically, drain inspections are only done when there is a problem in the line such as a hard to clear blockage.