Camera Inspections: What Every Homeowner Should Know

Ways to Protect Your Sewer System and When to Consider a Camera Inspection

Whether you are a new or existing homeowner, having a yearly camera inspection performed in your drain & sewer lines can help prevent major plumbing issues before they occur. There are many problems you can only easily identify with camera inspections, even if they’re not causing you problems yet. For example, you may discover that your pipelines are built using Terracotta, which is a porous, hardened clay, material that will freeze in the winter and expand in the summer.

 Many times this older, outdated, type of sewer pipe causes problems with cracking and leaking and will need to be repaired or replaced. However, you can’t tell what’s there until you’ve had your first inspection.

When you consider the yearly tasks necessary to keep up your pipes and plumbing, it’s a good idea to do this before winter comes, or early in the spring. Yearly video camera sewer line inspections should be a regular practice for your home or business so that there won’t be any surprises once it gets warm. 

Beyond the yearly inspection, here are some other things you’ll want to consider when it comes to your sewer lines and the possible need for a camera inspection:

Consider Your Landscaping

Trees are a great way to add curb appeal, improve home aesthetics and shade your patio, but if you’re thinking of adding some greenery to your landscape, there is one other thing you should keep in mind — your home’s plumbing.

While trees are a beautiful part of nature, tree roots are certainly not a sewer line’s best friend. Homeowners often don’t realize the danger tree roots can have on sewer lines until it’s too late.

Keeping tree roots out of your sewers can be tricky, however, we do have some tips for preventing these types of blockages.

Be mindful of where you plant your trees!

Many homeowners don’t realize that their sewer pipes are full of all of the things that your new plant life seeks out in order to grow — water, oxygen, and nutrients. If there is a crack in your sewer line, the roots will grow into your pipes, block the lines and cause a clog.

When planting trees, know where your sewer line is and plant a reasonable distance away. For extra security, consider a slow-release chemical barrier to prevent root growth past a certain area.

How do I know if there are roots in my sewer lines?

Video Camera Sewer Line Inspections:

At Barker & Sons Plumbing and Rooter, we use state-of-the-art video technology to diagnose and pinpoint the source of your plumbing problem. We use a flexible fiber optic cable with a high-resolution video camera on the tip to see inside of your sewer lines in real-time.

You don’t have to take our word for it — you can see the roots clogging your line for yourself!

Tips for Keeping Trees Without Harming Your Sewer

It’s only natural that tree roots grow towards sewer lines. This problem can affect your plumbing and your wallet – thousands of dollars! Here is how to prevent it:

Determine where sewer lines are located. Call your local public works department or 811 (the “Call Before You Dig” number) to locate underground utilities. It’s important to know where cables, pipes, and lines are buried before planting anything.

Create a barrier between trees and sewer lines. Several types are available to prevent roots from growing into sewer lines. Slow-release chemicals, like potassium hydroxide and copper sulfate, are commonly used in residential areas. Spread them near the sewer line to prevent root growth in that area.

Plant “Sewer-Safe” Trees and Shrubs. Be smart about how your landscape. This is possibly the best to avoid those unwanted repairs. Put a limit on how many plants you place closer to sewer lines and plant large trees far enough.

Know the Warning Signs

Infrequent drain clogs happen. Root damage leads to clogged, overflowing drains – sometimes creating strange noises. But if your drain clogs more often than not, you may be looking at a bigger problem.

When a tree’s root is looking for water or needs space to grow, it can make its way to your pipes in search of sustenance. From there, they grow, obstructing (and potentially stopping) the water flow and damaging your sewer pipes. Though signs are not always visible, here are four ways you can tell  you have a tree root obstruction in your yard: 

Gurgling in Your Toilet

If you have continuously snake your drains but are still hearing a gurgling noise with every flush, it’s often due to obstructed tree roots as it’s blocking water flow.

Slower Drains

The same situation goes for your drain. Roots will block your sewer pipes, making water pool in your tub and sink. This will often leave you with a drastically slower drain flow than average.

Unpleasant Odor

Since you will now have tree roots in your pipes, what usually goes down your drain, can’t as freely as it once did. This will lead to clogs and blockages, and the substances of those clogs and blockages can begin to put out some not so pleasant odors. If you’ve snaked your drains continuously, but still are finding the smell is persistent around the home, tree roots may be the cause.

Enhanced Tree Growth

If a sudden tree in your yard begins to flourish and grow faster than the rest, and it’s located near or around sewer pipes, along with the above issues, it could be invading your sewer line. The extra moisture it’s now getting has allowed it to grow and flourish as it should.

Contact The Professionals 

State of the art technology is part of what makes any service extra special. That’s why Barker and Son’s has Camera Inspection technology that can really help us to expertly diagnose and pinpoint your plumbing problem quickly and efficiently.

We’re able to see inside your sewer line as well as inside your walls. Our video camera pipe inspection allows for real-time visual inspection of underground sewer lines and other piping in order to determine the condition of your pipes or the cause of the obstruction. 

Our state-of-the-art technology uses a flexible fiber optic cable with a high-resolution video camera on the tip that transmits images to find the exact location. Our professionally trained technicians are able to pinpoint problems with broken, cracked, or collapsed drains or sewage lines that require repair or replacement.

Benefits of Video Camera Inspections:

  • Accuracy: Using a camera to dive deep into your sewer pipes takes the guesswork out of diagnosing a current or potential plumbing problem. Think of it as a realistic alternative to x-ray vision! By snaking a camera down into your pipes, we’re able to see exactly what’s going on to correct and prevent a variety of sewer line issues.
  • Safety: The days of digging up sewer lines and breaking through sheetrock just to diagnose a plumbing problem are over. With a minimally invasive camera inspection, figuring out what’s going on is not only safer, but a whole less messier.
  • Speed: Since we no longer have to do any demolition or trial-and-error to diagnose and fix a plumbing problem, we’ll be able to determine a solution faster. That means you’ll be able to get back to your daily business, using your water for cleaning, showering, and teeth brushing as needed!
  • Cost: Let’s say you have a clog in your sewer. Before camera inspections were a thing, drain technicians would only estimate where the clog was occurring. For this reason, they had to excavate the pipe and take it apart to find where the issue was. This process took a long time, and more time leads to higher costs for you!
  • Piece of Mind: Video camera inspections allow you, the customer, to view the repair work when it is finished – giving you confidence that it was properly completed.

Schedule a Video Camera Inspection Today! 

If you believe tree root obstruction could be taking over your plumbing, we can help! Often the first step is to consider a sewer line camera inspection. This will allow us to get to the root of the problem by seeing fully inside your pipes. At Barker and Sons, we are trained experts in a video camera. Family owned and operated; we have been serving Orange County for over 35 years. 

We offer upfront pricing and train our staff to the highest standards, so we make repairs right the first time — saving you time and money.

Call us at (714) 630-8766 or request service online today!