What Can a Camera Inspection Tell You About Your Sewer?

What Can a Camera Inspection Tell You About Your Sewer?

Plumbers have been around for as long as plumbing has existed, making it one of the oldest professions in the modern world. Despite that, plumbing has a come a long way, especially in the last few years as technological advancements have helped make it easier than ever to detect any issues in hard-to-see locations such as your sewer line. Here at Garvin’s Sewer Service, we sometimes use sewer inspection cameras to locate sewer line problems, but only in certain situations.

If you’ve ever wondered in what contexts we may need to use these special cameras, the following explains how they work and what they can detect.

How Sewer Inspection Cameras Work

The device itself features a box with a screen attached a thin, snakelike hose that can be deposited into an open drain. Inside the hose are small lights and a fiber optic camera similar in size to those found in smartphones, and as the camera at the end of the cable extends down the pipe, images of what the camera sees shows up on the screen in real time. As the plumber threads the cable through the pipes, it observes any potential obstructions or leaks.

What These Cameras Can Show Us

Perhaps most importantly, these cameras have made it possible for us to detect problems that may be located in a sewer line, which is buried underground and often inaccessible for visual inspection from the outside. In a nutshell, these cameras can show our professionals most cracks, root damage, and corrosion, giving us an easy look at what needs to be fixed and how we could best approach fixing it.

For example, the camera could determine that root damage is what’s causing the issue, so we would know how to use the right kinds of tools to correct the issue. If there’s a clog, we know how to flush it out. There’s a good reason we use these so much at our jobs!

What Cameras Can’t Do

While a sewer camera inspection can catch many problems, there are some things it can’t do. With some old cast iron piping, the image can be hard to interpret sometimes, at which point we may have to use other diagnostic methods to figure out what’s going on.

At the end of the day, though, these cameras are very helpful in diagnosing what’s wrong with a sewer line. They help Garvin’s Sewer Service professionals do their job in a way that allows us to complete jobs quickly and efficiently. These types of modern plumbing tools are good for everybody involved, so don’t be surprised if you see one of our technicians using a sewer camera the next time you call them to your house to correct a sewer line issue.

How Do You Know It’s Time for a Sewer Replacement?

Thankfully, modern sewage disposal systems are designed to ensure that we never have to deal with waste the way our ancestors did, but because we’ve grown so used to our sewage systems working flawlessly, the moment a system incurs any sort of damage, we notice it. And it isn’t fun.

There are a few things to look for if you suspect sewer damage, so if you notice any of the following occurring in your home, please contact Garvin’s Sewer Service at your earliest convenience. We will be able to diagnose the issue and undertake whatever sewer replacement or repair may be necessary.

#1 Sewage Backups or Blockages

If your toilets are experiencing clogs or backflow of any sort on a consistent basis, there is a chance that the problem is with the sewer or drain rather than the commode itself. The same could be true for your sinks or bathtubs, so keep an eye out for apparent blockages, and call your plumber to have a closer look.

#2 Slow Drain

One sign of a blockage is slow drains, which could admittedly indicate something much less serious than a sewer issue, but if it’s all the drains and toilets in a house that seems to be draining slowly, the chances of the problem being sewer-related rise exponentially.

#3 Unpleasant Odors

If your sewer system is performing the way it should, you should not smell anything foul in or around your home. If you notice the smell of anything even remotely like a sewer inside or even outside of your home, there’s a chance there’s a problem somewhere you can’t see.

#4 Standing Water in Your Lawn

Even without the odor, standing water in your lawn could indicate a leak in a sewer line somewhere underneath the grass in your yard. There should not be soggy or raised patches of earth in your lawn. If there is, it’s possible the sewer line is the issue.

#5 Extra Green Grass

By the same token, extra water and the extra nutrients found in the surprise “fertilizer” working its way into your soil can help grass grow fuller, greener, and more lush—but only in patches. If you notice these patches in your yard where they haven’t been in the past, it’s worth calling your plumber to have a look at your sewer line.

#6 Septic Pooling

The worst symptom of potential sewer problems is septic pooling, which means it’s not standing water in your yard, but standing septic waste. That means a broken main line or septic tank, and on top of being disgusting, it also means you’ve got a big problem somewhere underground that only a professional plumber can fix.

When It’s Time to Contact a Professional

Garvin’s will give an honest assessment of your sewer line, cleaning it first to determine the severity of the issue, offering a camera service to pinpoint the problem area, and offering sewer repair/replacement in the cases where that is the best solution. Unlike other companies, sewer replacement isn’t our first step – in fact, we have saved Denver homeowners tens of thousands of dollars a year by cleaning and maintaining their sewer lines rather than replacing them.

Do I Need a Sewer Replacement?

Sewer Replacement is a complicated and expensive service, so knowing if you truly need one is important. Garvin’s Sewer Service in Englewood has been serving the Greater Denver and Boulder area’s sewer needs since 1940. What makes us unique in the sewer replacement business is that don’t do them.

Wait, a sewer company who doesn’t do sewer line replacements? That’s right. Let us explain why and how that benefits you as a home or business owner.

We Are Objective

Because we don’t sell sewer replacement services, we are able to be objective in our assessment of your sewers true condition. If it is broken, we will tell and even show you via a sewer scope inspection, if desired. If it is clogged and can be cleaned, our expert drain cleaners can clear the line for less – and at a fair price.

Hint: If in cleaning your line, tree roots are the primary culprit, you may NOT need a sewer replacement. Mud is a bad sign, however, and is a strong sign of requiring sewer repairs.

We Save You Money on Sewer Replacement

Often we discover a sewer or drain line just needs to be cleaned rather than replaced. This is HUGE for the homeowner who hears they will need their yard, kitchen or bathroom floor demolished to gain access for the repair, creating additional cost and inconvenience.

If you do need a sewer or drain line replacement, our 75 years experience in the industry ensures you will only do business with those who we have found to be trustworthy through our insider knowledge.

Hint: if you feel pressured to make a decision, are told the video scope inspection isn’t available, or the video isn’t shown and explained to you, you may NOT need a replacement. These are common techniques by some plumbing companies to use your lack of knowledge against you. You paid for the service and are entitled to see the video to confirm a break (a blockage is not a good reason to do a replacement in most cases, but a break is.)

What We Offer

We clean your sewer line to clear it of the clogs other companies want to replace your drains to fix. We also offer objective sewer scope services so you can know for sure what your sewer needs without worrying about being sold something you don’t need. And finally, we offer free second looks at sewer scope videos provided by other providers to give you another opinion so you make a decision with confidence and peace of mind.

Why Don’t We Do Sewer Replacement?

Honestly, at one point in our long history, we did. The cost of equipment, insurance, labor and more meant that for us, it was something that didn’t make good business sense. We chose to focus on specializing in drain cleaning and sewer scope and leave sewer replacements to others with the equipment to do the job well.

 

Ready for a fair, honest and reputable sewer company on your side? Call Garcia’s Sewer Service at 303-571-5114 today to get scheduled or to speak to a sewer replacement specialist.