Do I Need a Sewer Camera Inspection After a Cleaning?

Some drain cleaning companies offer a sewer camera inspection service after cleaning your sewer line. The truth is that in order to be 100% sure the line is clear of all roots, only a sewer camera inspection can see inside the line and make that determination. This does add an additional expense however, and is often unneeded, unless there is a problem or recurring problem with the line. Typically, you know that the line is clear if the following conditions are met:


Right Size Blades

Blades are placed on the end of the drain cleaning machine and spin along the full circumference of the sewer line in order to clear it. If 3” blades are used on a 4” pipe, it is likely the roots won’t be fully cleaned out of the line.

Strong Cable

The drain cleaning machine uses a tightly wound cable fed through the line to push the blades through. If the cable is kinked or weak, it will likely miss spots of roots. The longer the cable is threaded through the sewer line, the more weak it becomes.

For example, it will be stronger at 70 feet than at 120 feet. Therefore if you have a long sewer line, it could benefit you to install a clean out mid-line which will allow the drain cleaning machine to reach further with more strength. This is also why a drain cleaner may choose to pull a toilet rather than use another access point- it may allow them to get closer to the clog or further down the line.

Observable Drainage

If the line drains, it means that the blockage has been resolved. Again, because the line isn’t visible without the sewer camera inspection, the main clog may have been pushed through, but can get caught further down the line, or the same problem area can build up again and re-clog.

Garvin’s warranties their work because we understand this happens at times. However, if you are experiencing ongoing problems, a sewer camera inspection may be the best option in determining the cause.

Good Pipe Condition

It is often we see older sewer pipes, or pipes in remodeled homes that aren’t in the best condition. This means they could transition from cast iron pipes to clay ones, have multiple bends or dips or even have damage. The pipe condition can cause roots to not be fully cleared in the line. Every bend and pipe material change can cause a problem for the cleaning machines.


If root regrowth in your sewer line is causing you trouble, contact us today to learn about sewer camera inspection options and to have your line 100% cleaned of roots by our experienced drain cleaning technicians. We pride ourselves on using the right blades, best cable, industry expert knowledge and tools to get you the best results, and we stand behind our work with our 90 day service guarantee (in most cases).

Ask for more information when you call. We look forward to serving your sewer camera inspection and drain cleaning needs!

Tales from the Depths: Interesting Stories and Questions About Drain Cleaning

Stories from the Plumbing Front Lines:

In my years of networking (talking to people) specifically in the world of plumbing, I have gotten some pretty interesting questions and stories.

Here are some of my favorites:

Plumbing Question 1:

Does ROCK SALT kill roots in the sewer line?


Roots grow in from the TOP of the pipe through the natural seams in the sewer line? They can also grow in because of a porous clay pipe or through a break. If you pour rock salt in your drain, it will dissolve, just like salt dissolves in a glass of water. It may pool in a high concentration in the pipe. If the roots are big enough to be touching the bottom of the pipe, it is likely that rock salt is not going to solve the problem.

Our suggestions:

  1. Get your sewer line cleaned of roots with a 4” double bladed sewer machine (referred to as Roto-Rooter® or equivalent). This does require a professional in most cases.
  2. For preventative maintenance, use a foaming root killer that will each roots in the entire circumference of the sewer pipe. We recommend RootX® for drain cleaning.

Plumbing Story 1:

I am house sitting and the only one there, and I hear a loud noise all of a sudden and trace it to the bathroom where the cold water is on full blast. I turned the faucet off and called my handyman who found no leaks, no malfunctions, nothing. What’s your opinion as a plumber?

Well, plumbing is not mechanical — it must be turned on or off either manually or with a timer. The only time it doesn’t follow this rule is when there is a leak, when it will run anywhere using the easiest path. Since a faucet knob needs to be manually adjusted to turn on, and it is very unlikely or even practical to have it on a timer, my best suggestion: Hire Ghost Busters!

 Plumbing Story 2:

I was at a County fair and overate, resulting in overuse of the toilet, and it clogged. I was so embarrassed, I didn’t want to call anyone. My plunger didn’t work and just kept making a mess as the water came up and over the toilet. Why didn’t my plunger work?

Gross. Ok, I’m sure we have all had the “Toilet Clog Scare,” so let me address it. Yes, toilet clogs can happen for a variety of reasons, but they all involve something being stuck in the toilet. A good plunger should always be in every bathroom that is being used. A homeowner and building owner or facilities manager, for that matter, may want to consider getting something called an Auger. An Auger is about a 7 foot cable with a handle on the end that you can insert into the toilet. It goes much deeper than the plunger, and unlike the plunger that is using pressure to force the blockage through, you can spin the cable in the line to loosen anything clogging the space.

These can be purchased at the hardware store and are great for people who have frequent toilet clogs. Note here, they don’t work on toys, brushes or cell phones that may have fallen in and clogged the line… for that, you may need a professional as it could include needing to pull the toilet up.

Do you have a question you would like clarified? A plumbing related story to share? Please do!