Sewer lines are one of those parts of a house that most people don’t think about until they stop doing their job. Out of site out of mind as the saying goes.
As a home ages, the potential for sewer problems increases. The home owner is responsible for the entire line from the house to the point where it connects to the main city line, at some homes this could be 50 or a 100 yards.
Most sewer inspections are done by video camera inspection.
What Is Sewer Video Inspection?
Video Pipe Inspection is a method of using video to visually inspect a utility line for cracks, infractions, blockages, and other imperfections in the line. The process involves navigating a video camera through a utility line, either manually or via a remote control, which provides a video feed of the pipe’s interior to an on site monitor for viewing.
How Does Video Pipe Inspection Work?
The first step to performing a CCTV pipe inspection is to find the access point where the camera can be lowered into the utility line. Once the camera is lowered into the line, it can give a very clear picture of the condition of the line and what the inside of the utility looks like. If any problems are identified they can be diagnosed and pinpointed for precise repair and minimal disruption to the house or yard.
Five Signs of Sewer Line Problems
Backup and Clogs. One sign that you need sewer repair is the appearance of clogs and backups, usually beginning in the lowest open drain. If you have started to notice frequent backups in your sinks or bathtubs when you try and put water down them, it could be a sign that the sewer line is damaged and a sewer line inspection is required to identify and resolve the problem. The issue could be stemming from tree root growth, cracked pipes, or even clogging in the sewer line itself. A professional will be able to inspect the pipes via camera and identify exactly what is causing the problem.
Sewer Odor in Your Home. If you’ve begun to smell sewer gas in your home there is definitely a problem. This is usually the telltale sign that a crack has occurred somewhere and compromised the otherwise good working sewer system. It’s important to have a professional inspect this problem and fix it as soon as possible, not just because the smell can be disgusting, but because sewer gas has the potential to make you sick if you’re exposed for too long. In this instance you might need sewer excavation to repair an old pipe that has become compromised; however, it may also be as minor as a cracked seal.
Indoor air quality issues and Mold. Yes, sewer line problems can even cause mold growth inside your home. This can be caused by a sewer line leaking behind one of your walls. If you’ve noticed sudden staining on a wall, coupled with the smell of sewer gas, it could be a sign that one of your drain pipes has broken. Line locating like this can be difficult to do on your own and can end up causing more damage than needed. While some plumbing problems can be DIY, this is not one of them.
Slow Drains. Slow drains, as with clogs and backups could be caused by an issue in the main sewer line. One symptom of this is foaming which will eventually turn into a full-blown backup. If your drains and toilets are draining slower than usual you could be experiencing issues with cracking or tree root intrusion in your mainline. It’s also important to note that whole chemical drain cleaners may be tempting to use, these can sit in pipes and damage the iron or PVC. If this happens you may end up needing new pipes instead of just a cleaning. Slow drains could be due to clogs in the P-traps bellow sinks or fixtures. This usually is much easier to clear by using a pipe cleaning “snake”, available for rent or purchase at hardware stores.
Pooling moisture in yard. While this may seem like an obvious problem, it’s important to note that pooling might not be obvious at first. If you’ve noticed spots of greener grass starting to form in your yard, especially around where your sewer line is located, you should call for an inspection as soon as possible. A leaking sewer pipe can be a great fertilizer for your lawn; however, if left untreated, pooling can occur and turn into one big nasty problem. While this issue will most likely call for sewer excavation and repair, it’s important to catch early to prevent any further damage.
Severely damaged and failed sewer line
Catching sewer problems early is one of the best ways to prevent them from causing thousands of dollars in damages. While regular inspections are advised, if you’ve noticed any abnormalities or issues with draining or backups, it’s important to call a plumbing company ASAP, this is especially important for older homes without updated plumbing. If you’re experiencing any of the above issues, don’t hesitate, call for a sewer line inspection to ensure you won’t be dealing with any nasty septic backups in your home.