Video Inspection and Exploration

Sending cameras down drains and plumbing to get a view inside pipes and lines

 Stubborn, persistent, or recurrent drain problems can be difficult to diagnose. Tracking down the exact location of damage or blockage once pipes leave the home can mean money, time, and property damage saved in the end.

One modern tool many rooter and drain services will use is a remote video camera, capable of inspecting the pipes from within and transmitting the image back to the camera operator.

Video inspection of plumbing, piping, and drains allows the homeowner and drain professional to know exactly which tools to bring in to solve the problem. Mineral build up from hard water, grease or oil build up around kitchen & bath drains, clogs in the traps, damage to the plumbing and fixtures, and intrusion or other obstruction by tree roots will all have different options available for remedying the problem.

There are many models of cameras, and differing methods for getting the camera to the problem spot for inspection. A typical setup, though, would have a special heavy-duty, high-resolution video camera and protected lens with some modern LED lamps to illuminate the surrounding area. Cameras will sometimes be extended via setups similar to motorized plumber’s snakes, where the cords providing power to the remote devices—and the fiber-optic brining the signal back—are embedded in a reinforced cable.

Camera operators will perform inspection on the spot using a live screen or monitor. Video can be recorded by some setups. With the powerful headlights showing the way, the camera will follow the plumbing until the drain specialist finds the exact location and cause of the slowed drainage.

Because the camera and trailing cable can sometimes be extended hundreds of feet around bending drain pipes, just seeing from inside what the problem is may not be enough without also knowing where the problem lies. Many drain issues can be solved be extending the proper tool to the site of the trouble in a similar manner to the snaking in of the camera. But if the inspection has found a problem somewhere in the underground service lateral running from the home to the mainline, knowing exactly where the damage or intrusion is located can save costly landscaping bills. For this reason, most modern remote video inspection setups not only send back a video signal, but any number of other parameters—for example, the current location and depth underground of the device.

Drain specialists are sometimes called in to do remote operated camera exploration in search of a valuable or treasured object dropped down a drain. If you do lose something down a drain that is precious, do not use any drain—sinks, showers, toilets, laundry, dishwashers, etc.—until it looked for. There is a chance a ring, key, or other item can be found and retrieved by video inspection, but only if the object is not flushed out of reach or out of view by any use of any drain in the building.

Miniature remote operated cameras are truly amazing. Modern technology has reduced the price of video inspection systems, as they take advantage of the most modern materials and streamlined manufacturing. Any drain servicing professional should have a system, but as a consumer, be sure to enquire before you hire that a business is indeed equipped.

Logo GraphicText Graphic