What You Should Know: Sewer Line Inspection and Repair

Sewer lines need to be inspected periodically to insure that major damage caused by clogging or blockages never become an issue. If you are a homeowner, renting or leasing, you need to know the warning signs of issues which often become major concerns. We will give you some tips here which will help you to stay on top of your particular situation and prevent you from experiencing any sewer and drain pipe issues which may possibly cost you a lot of money.

When to Inspect

You should actually inspect every day. Inspection begins with your physical senses. Foul odors are often a sign of sewer problems. Raw backed up sewage is a definite indicator of a problem. There are cases in which you may have an odor, but not a major problem. If this happens it will occur with drains which are seldom used. The odor will be the result of the disintegration of the seals deeper in the system. This problem will allow odor to escape from the drain and can be remedied by pouring water into the drain.

If you experience this problem, or odors from any other source you need to have a professional check out your sewer system and lines.

You can delay potential problems by being prudent in the way that you use your drain system, and by not disposing of items or materials which will cause clogs. Periodically filling your sinks, tubs, and basins and allowing them to drain forces water down the pipes. This helps to remove accumulated sludge.

You should hire a liquid waste hauler to pump out your septic tank at periodic intervals. This is probably the single most important action that you can take to prevent future problems. The hauler will pump out the sludge which has accumulated in the tank thus freeing it up for better collection and more efficient operation. Septic blockage is more common than blockages in your pipes and can cause raw sewage to flush out into your yard or home. This is a hassle at the very least and can become a major distraction.

The Best Available Technology (BAT) septic unit requires a contract for annual inspections and periodic pump outs.

If the drains inside your house are moving slowly, making sounds, emitting a foul odor, standing, or bubbling, you will need to have a technician come out to check for problems.

If you are purchasing a property an inspection is highly recommended before you buy, especially if the property is more than twenty years old. The money spent on an inspection may well save you much more in the long run.

Inspection Techniques

The best sewer line video inspection technique is the use of a small camera attached to a line which is run into your sewer system. The camera records the image of the inside of the pipe and sends a picture back to the operator. This information allows the technician to determine the exact nature of the blockage and it’s location.

The first approach to clearing a clogged drain will be to use a mechanical snake or flexible metal rod to break up the clog. If this is ineffective, power rodding, or hydro jetting may be used.

Power rodding involves inserting a rod with a powered attachment containing razor sharp cutting blades into the drain pipe. These blades will scour the pipes by cutting away the sludge and other materials which block it. This technique will even cut away tree roots which may have become embedded in the pipe.

Hydro jetting is the latest and most state of the art technique for cleaning clogged pipes. During this process powerful streams of water are sprayed into the pipes from different directions to cut away sludge. This method also requires the insertion of a metal snake into the pipe.

The video camera inspection will show the actual cause of the blockage giving the most accurate possible depiction of the problem. Tree roots, hair, sludge, paper products, foreign objects, and grease are the most common culprits. Blockages can also be caused by damage to the pipe or misalignment.

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