The Basics and Cost of Sewer Line Video Inspection

Having a problem with your sewer line and don’t know how to go about it? Well, an affordable video inspection in your sewer might be the solution you need.

In the past, digging points were more of informed guesswork. Today, there are advanced technologies for inspecting sewer lines such as using locating equipment and sewer line video cameras.

sewer line video inspection by a plumber

What does sewer line video inspection entail?

This is typically a sewer inspection process in which a plumbing expert runs a video camera through the waste pipes. While inspecting, the video line may extend to branch lines.

These are the pipes connecting the faucets and bathtubs to the main sewer line. The video line may also extend to the sewer line leading from your home to the local municipal line connecting your area.

As the video runs through the sewer, you’ll be seeing a real-time video footage on camera from the other end.

Is sewer video inspection necessary for plumbing remodel and renovation projects?

Video inspection is not necessary every time you’re doing a plumbing remodel. However, you may need the inspection in case you are planning to remodel your bathroom or kitchen, or when you need to add an extra bathroom.

Such projects involve a lot of wastewater. Thus, you should have the sewer line inspection to ensure it can safely handle the heavy load.

Generally, most property owners only call plumbing companies for video inspection when their sewer line is blocked and doesn’t get fixed through other sewer unblocking techniques such as liquid drain cleaning, drain augering and plunging.


Can you handle video inspection as a DIY job?

Yes, it is possible to do the work yourself. However, hiring a plumbing company is more effective in terms of cost.

Most video inspection units designed for homeowner-level inspections are not long enough to inspect a long line. They only cover some few feet. Also, such scopes often lack self-righting and auto-focus capabilities.

On the contrary, locator units and sewer video owned by most plumbing companies are quite expensive, but they have all the necessary features.

For instance, their lights are powerful and they have self-righting capabilities. Self-righting refers to a feature that allows the pictures to stay upright at all times.

Also, the video scopes have high-resolution and video recording capabilities. In addition, the cameras come with transmitters fixed on the end of the video line to assist the plumbing technician to locate the blocked points.

Nevertheless, you can rent an inspection camera and locator unit from your local rental yard. However, if you’ll be renting it for just a day, you would rather hire a plumbing company to save on money and time.

On the other hand, if you’ll be hiring the inspection kit for a week or more, then you may enjoy reduced rental fees, making it cost effective.


What’s the cost of a video inspection?

The cost varies widely, but may be anywhere between $99 and $300.

Going for cheaper inspections may lead to low quality images especially where the equipment used is old. Some cheap offers may also come with conditions such as purchasing drain augering tools to get an inexpensive inspection.

Most rental yards offer their inspection equipment with a limit of up to 200 feet of line in a day. Although this is cheaper than what more expensive plumbers charge, you may end up paying more in the end.


What’s the length covered by a video inspection line?

Inspection lines can go close to the branch lines in your property while others can even reach the local municipal line. The maximum length is around 330 ft.


What is usually seen in the inspection video?

In case you’re inspecting the entire line, you’ll be walked through the trap, sewer and all the way to the existing obstructions.

In case the video line goes through the existing blockage points, it may go further into the local municipal sewer line.

However, you shouldn’t expect to view a Hollywood scene. Although the resolution may be high, you may get a jerky view since the scope is manually pushed through the sewer lines.


How does this type of inspection assist in locating the dig point?

The inspection camera comes with a transmitter. Once a blockage point is located, the plumber or technician will stop there.

Next, the plumber will go on the ground and use a locator device to pick up the transmitted signal. Once the signals correspond, the exact block point will be marked with a spray paint. A trench will be dug at that point of the sewer line.


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By |2019-06-03T05:08:21+10:30October 15th, 2018|General Plumbing|1 Comment

One Comment

  1. Angel Bogart March 21, 2019 at 9:41 am - Reply

    I’m really glad that there are already sewer line video inspections available that use camera transmitters on the end of a video line to help plumbers find where exactly are the block points. Dad would surely appreciate this convenience because the septic tanks won’t have to be uncovered immediately causing so much fuss in the neighborhood. Not only will this save installers the trouble of manually looking for the clog points, but it would also save both Dad and the sewer line installers time and money in doing unnecessary work by getting right to the heart of the problem.

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