Do I Need a Home Sewer Inspection? | Bill Howe

Do I Need a Home Sewer Inspection?


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Main sewer lines are something that gets used every day, but we often don’t spare them a second thought until something goes wrong.

Common Sewer Line Problems

The most common problem with many sewer lines is backups caused by roots. Roots are attracted to the rich nutrients found in main sewer pipe systems. Tree roots can grow into plumbing lines through even the smallest seam or crack and may continue to grow over time. They eventually lead to blockages, overflows, and in some cases heavily damaged lines.

Sewer lines can fail due to age, breaks caused by a natural shifting of the ground, and deterioration over time. When breaks do happen, backups are sure to follow.

When home and business owners notice bubbling toilets, leaking at the base of the toilet, or multiple drains backing up at once, a sewer line blockage is the likeliest cause.

What is a Sewer Pipe Inspection

A sewer pipeline camera inspection to view the condition of sewer and drain lines is a necessity if home or business owners have constant backups and blockage, root intrusion, or are purchasing a new home. Because most sewer lines are installed under the home and in the ground, there is no accurate way to determine the condition of the line and whether it requires replacement without the help of a professional contractor.

If there are objects in the line, roots, or heavy buildup, eventually the system will clog and could overflow into homes causing water damage, hence requiring expensive sewer cleanup services.

A sewer line camera inspection will provide not only an in-depth view of the line’s condition, but it also helps to trace the line. It can show how far below ground the pipe is installed, where it runs underneath landscaping, concrete, and the home, and if potential issues are in the line that may cause future blockages. The service will help diagnose whether it is necessary to replace the underground sewer line.

Sewer camera inspections will also pinpoint where property cleanouts are located, if they are visibly inaccessible, and can even show if problems are in the city sewer lines, or if they are the homeowner’s responsibility. In the case the damages are the homeowner’s responsibility, it is essential that he or she has homeowners insurance.

Licensed and trained plumbers should perform sewer camera inspections as they understand what they are looking at on the inspection video. If the problem is on the city’s responsibility side, a licensed plumber is the only one who can submit the proper plumber’s report to the city for repair of the public sewer line. An official permit is required for plumbing services to be performed on public property.

Performing a sewer scope inspection can be done through cleanouts, roof vents, and through the flange and toilet drain line by removing the toilet. Drain specialists may take camera inspection viewpoints from multiple access points as well to accurately determine and diagram the sewer line for home and business owners.

Do I Need a Home Sewer Inspection

The only way to accurately diagnose a sewer line problem is with a professional sewer camera inspection. A camera may show homeowners several important things that can help them to plan ahead and avoid further damage.

While performing a sewer camera inspection is a necessity when damage or roots have caused blockages, we recommend annual camera inspections to avoid major damage by catching potential problems.

Home Sewer Inspections are ideal for:

  • Frequent Drain Backups – For home and business owners experiencing frequent sewer line backups, a sewer camera is crucial. Drain lines back up when there are blockages such as root intrusion, hard scale buildup, objects in the line, or broken and damaged sewer pipes. Various causes of blockages can be found in newer homes, but are definitely an issue with older homes. As homes age, so do the pipes servicing the drains. Deterioration, breaks from shifting earth or roots, and objects in the line can be viewed only with a sewer camera inspection.
  • New Home Buyers – Since sewer lines cannot be visually assessed, it is important for new home buyers to add a sewer camera inspection to their home inspection list before putting the deposit down on real estate. Investing in a sewer camera can help homeowners plan for future expenses if there is damage in the line, or help them decide if the home is right for them. In many cases, even blocked sewer lines can be repaired cost effectively through hydro jetting or epoxy pipe lining. However, if the line is severely damaged or broken, it is only a matter of time before it will require replacement. Knowing the condition before signing up for a new mortgage can help the buyer avoid surprise repairs.
  • Prior to Sewer Line Repair – Before making any sewer repairs, such as hydro jetting or epoxy pipelining, a contractor will have to inspect the sewer line. Sometimes, the line will benefit from a simple repair, but if the condition is not suitable to hydro jetting, it is best to know before any services are performed.
  • Before Heavy Storms – Sewer camera inspections are also recommended for area or landscaping drains in yards or on patios. Because of dry southern California weather, often the area drains that handle heavy storms become clogged with debris, dirt, and other ground objects due to infrequent use. Every year, during heavy rains, properties in flood plains or with clogged area drains often experience heavy floods. Overflowing area drains can even flood into the home and cause water damage. By performing a camera inspection, drain experts are able to determine if the line is clear and can handle heavy rains.

Bill Howe Plumbing has one of the largest fleets of drain experts in San Diego ready to diagnose and repair common drain clogs and major sewer line repairs. We have expert sewer camera inspection specialists who can properly determine the best solutions to common problems and make recommendations for long term preventative maintenance to keep sewer lines clear and leak-free year round.

We also have a full epoxy relining department that has over 15 years of experience rehabilitating damaged sewer lines with trenchless and cost-effective options. Our team can handle small and large sewer line problems professionally and quickly, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

To learn more about sewer camera inspections, or to schedule service maintenance with one of our trained drain specialists, call 1-800 BILL HOWE (245-5469), contact us through Live Chat, or book your next service online today.

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