Determining If There Is A Problem With A Sewer Line Without Digging Up The Yard

by Diane Barnes

Sewer line problems can be frustrating and hard to diagnose because the line runs underground. Most sewer lines have a cleanout that the plumber can open to access the line, but in order to see what is happening inside the line, a special camera is required.

Benefits Of Video Inspection

Sewer lines can be affected by many different things, but determining what is blocking the line typically means getting inside the line and doing a camera sewer line inspection. The inspection will help determine if there is damage to the line, roots growing in it, or if the line has collapsed somewhere along the way. 

Inspecting the line this way will not stop you from digging it up if there is damage, but it will ensure that you need to dig the line up before it happens. If the camera inspection does not find damage, it can mean the problem is somewhere else in the system, and further diagnosis is required.

Inspecting The Line

A plumber trained to do a video sewer inspection will use a camera on the end of a long cable to do the inspection. The camera is typically inserted at the cleanout on the line and slowly advanced through the pipe, allowing the plumber operating it to check the line. 

If an area in the line is damaged or looks concerning, the inspector will mark it. If necessary, they will dig up the line in that area to do a physical inspection of it. It is not uncommon for video sewer inspections to find something like an old clay pipe that has collapsed or roots closing off the line and not allowing materials to flow through the line. 

In rare cases, small animals are found in the line. Often they become lodged and block the line to that the sewer from the house. The only way to fix this kind of obstruction is to remove the animal from the line. 

Targeted Digging

Having a video sewer inspection allows the contractor working on the line to determine where the problem is, allowing them to pinpoint the issue and fix it without tearing up the entire lawn. The contractor can gig up the area above the blockage, pull out a small section of pipe, and replace it with a new pipe.

If the blockage is at the connection to the city line, the contractor will have to get permission from the city to dig up the line. Often a city employee will need to assist with the work on the line to ensure the work is done correctly.

Contact a local video sewer inspection service to learn more.

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