When you see “video pipe inspection” as a way to inspect your home’s sewer lines, there are a number of questions that come to mind. Among them:
- What advantages are there to the CIPP Technology?
- How much does it cost?
- Who is qualified to perform the inspection?
- Do I need to have a video inspection?
A true plumbing story will help answer the last question.
A woman called a plumbing company to repair a clogged toilet. After running a snake into the toilet a first time, the second try came up with – a plastic fork. When everyone stopped laughing, no one knew (or admitted to) how the fork not only ended up in the toilet, but how it got stuck down there.
The moral of the story is that there are many things that enter your sewer line, including things you do not know about. And that is why having a qualified plumber come to your home to perform a video inspection not only makes sense, it also may be necessary.
Let’s describe the major advantages of video pipe inspection in Chicago.
- The most obvious reason is that we can see exactly what is going on inside the pipe. If there are any tree roots or objects that are obstructing the free flow of waste water through your sewer line, the video inspection will be able to show exactly what is going on.
- The next obvious reason is prevention. Homeowners sometimes experience “on again, off again” problems with their drainage. It only makes sense to have a video inspection done to see if there is a problem before it becomes a major problem.
- If the pipe is already damaged, it can determine where the damage is, how significant the damage is, and whether the damage can be repaired or if a new sewer line is required. This is a far superior way to identifying pipe breaks instead of digging up your yard to find the extent of the problem.
- It lets the plumbers know what kind of material the pipe is made of. In Chicago there are homes over 100 years old, and there are brand new constructions. Knowing the type of material the sewer pipe is made of serves as a guide to determine the best way to repair – or replace – the sewer line.
- The cost of the inspection generally will be in the range of $100 to $300 per inspection. Considering the potential cost of major plumbing repair, a video pipe inspection is more of an investment than an expense.
The professionals who come in to perform the video inspection are not just ordinary plumbers. They have specialized training and have to meet academic and training standards to have a NASSCO (National Association of Sewer Service Companies) PACP (Pipeline Assessment and Certification Program) certification. This certification expires at the end of 3 years, when plumbers are required to recertify.
The three basic steps to a video pipe inspection are:
1) A mechanical crawler is equipped with a video camera that is able to swivel and rotate to examine the areas of the pipe above and to each side of the crawler.
2) The crawler examines the entire length of the sewer pipe at a specific rate of speed and can be stopped if necessary. This is to ensure that every possible problem can be identified. The images recorded by the video camera are sent to the crawler operator and stored.
3) The complete video of the pipe is examined to determine what, if any, problems exist in the line. Then, a plan is designed to repair the problem or replace the sewer line.
Regulations require the video of the inspection is stored on a DVD or similar storage media and saved for the record.
The information here is an overview of video pipe inspection and its advantages. Every home is different in construction and use, so there is always more to learn. Technology has created a way to prevent problems from occurring and is able to specifically identify the source of the problem when it does occur. Taking advantage of this opportunity is really only common sense.