Dealing with sewer line issues can be a terrible problem since most of them are buried underground for health and safety reasons. Thankfully, you can rely on a sewer camera inspection to check what is going on underneath the ground.
Typically, your sewer lines are not something that you think about often. Since they are out of your sight, they are also out of your mind. Besides, no one likes thinking about the sewer because it is a repository for all kinds of waste coming from your household.
However, neglecting your sewer system problems can result in major repercussions. It can lead to a complete clog that escalates to sewage spillage. Not only will repairs cost thousands to fix and clean, but sewer waste is toxic and hazardous for your family’s health. Look at how you can properly care for your sewer lines below by fixing existing problems before they get worse.
What is a Sewer Camera Inspection?
In the olden days, plumbers had no choice but to dig to see where the leaks and cracks are. Sadly, this created a lot of mess in your property with excavation in your yard. You may deal with broken driveways and basement floors. Apart from paying the plumber, you also must repair the collateral damage.
Lucky for everyone, technological advancements changed that. Modern plumbers can now leverage technology and insert a long, flexible probe to diagnose your sewer line issues more accurately. With modern equipment, a professional plumber will create a small hole in the ground.
These camera inspections can traverse your entire sewer line without ever making a mess. Best of all, it can identify the exact area of the piping problem. It could be a crack or loose joint. It will even reveal issues like sedimentation build-up, which you may otherwise have never known.
As a result, you can have a more tailored plan that saves time and equates to less downtime for your household. After all, there is nothing more uncomfortable than being unable to use modern plumbing because everyone needs to do their business throughout the day, every single day.
Tell-Tale Signs That Indicate a Sewer Camera Inspection is Necessary
With state-of-the-art sewer camera inspections, they can identify your problem and resolve them right away. This easy inspection can offer a detailed look inside your pipes. The camera will show your sewer pipes’ interiors on screen, so this is the most accurate diagnosis you will ever receive.
By choosing this diagnostic method, proper solutions will be suggested by your plumber. Consequently, you can expect swift results to restore your sewer lines’ optimal flow and proper function. Here are some tell-tale signs which you must watch out for. They suggest that you need to contact a sewer specialist right away for a camera inspection.
1. Foul Odor Permeating the Property
When you notice a foul stench permeating your property, you should be alarmed because this is not normal, so you and your family members should not suffer through this. It will certainly disrupt your normal life.
It is embarrassing when friends come over and unhygienic and unappetizing too. Call for a camera inspection immediately to see if you have a big clog causing noxious gases to escape from the sewer. The stench could be coming from the following:
- All the drain drains
- Outside your home
- Drifting into the rooms of the house
2. Sluggish Drains That Often Back Up
Slow-moving drains are a bane and annoyance for everyone. After a relaxing bubble bath, the last thing you want to deal with is dirty, standing water. If you constantly need to unclog your sink and tub drain or your toilet, then these are huge red flags.
Remember, a main sewer line clog does not happen overnight. First, you will see a local drain problem. When these branch drains begin acting up altogether, you need to call for an inspection right away because you have a bigger issue deep within your line.
Sewer water coming back up through toilets and drains can be unpleasant, unsanitary, and unsafe. With a pipe camera inspection, a trained technician will determine if you have:
- Tree root invasion
- Cracks in the pipes
- Loose joints
- Accumulated debris
- Old and outdated pipes that need complete relining
3. Weird Noises Coming from the Drain or Toilet
Do you hear persistent gurgling in your drains after you wash your hands or take a shower? The weird bubbling noises can also be coming from your toilet every time you flush. If you find yourself in this situation, then it is time for a camera inspection.
When you hear unusual sounds that were not there before, it means there is something in your drain that is making the pipes make weird vibrations. Hence the narrowing results in these noises, akin to a person plugging up a flute. If the sewer drain has a nasty clog, air bubbles could also occur, so you will hear them from your sink or tub.
A professional inspection can help you find out what is the exact cause. It could be a clog or tree root ingress. Calling for help assures that you can take care of any issues before severe damage occurs.
4. Sudden Increase in The Water Bill
As the one paying the monthly water bill, you have an idea of your average consumption. Should you observe a sudden surge in your most recent water bill, but your usage patterns have remained the same, you could be dealing with a leaking water pipe.
These camera inspections are not only for the sewer line, after all. Plumbers could use them for any other piping system in your home. Do not wait for a complete main water line rupture that will cause a flood. This will lead to even more extensive water damage and expensive property repairs.
5. Appearance of Mold, Mildew, and Water Damage
A leaking sewer line will leave water damage all over your property. You can spot them near your basement floors, baseboards, or even your garage. On top of that, moisture will lead to mold and mildew growth which is harmful to people’s health.
If you have someone who is asthmatic, it can cause a flare-up leading to hospitalization. Thus, you must watch out for persistent moisture and signs of water damage. If you notice a moldy, musty smell, call your plumber right away to do an inspection.
6. Wet Patches on the Yard
When there is a leak in your sewer line, you will notice wet patches all over your yard. At times, the patches will be dark green because wastewater acts like a fertilizer. Though it is harmful to humans, these are nutrient-dense for plants.
If you have soggy, wet patches all over your garden and lawn, you must call for a professional inspection right away. You want the problem fixed before more water pools across your property.
What Can Be Clogging the Main Sewer Pipes?
It is normal for homeowners to encounter an errant toilet clog or a slow tub drain. Though a single clog is a pain, you can fix it easily. For example, you can use a plunger to clear your toilet. Similarly, you can use a tub claw to get all the hair out that’s blocking the drain, or you can also use a chemical or homemade drain cleaner to improve the flow of the sink.
However, if all your drains suddenly act up simultaneously, it could indicate that you have a major problem in your primary sewer line. When normal drain cleaning and clearing no longer work, you may need to deal with a major sewer repair or even replace a section or the whole line itself. Here are the primary causes of problematic sewer lines:
1. Major Damage to the Sewer Lines
When the sewer pipes in your home break, your waste will not drain properly. As a result, you will encounter frequent backups. What is even worse is all your drains will give you a headache simultaneously. The most common causes of this damage are the following:
- Pipe rapture because of shifting or moving soil.
- Increased traffic on the ground above, such as the use of heavy construction equipment.
- Rusting of an old, outdated pipe at the end of its lifespan.
- Loose joints with broken seals connecting two pipes leading to sewage spillage and improper draining.
2. Noticeable Sagging Sewer Pipes
Sagging sewer lines will eventually happen with the passage of time. It is something that you have no control over because of wear and tear. The big “bellied” pipe can sink due to soil conditions. Because of this, the low spot will start collecting the following:
- Dead skin cells
- Soap scum
- Shampoo residue
Since the pipe is no longer straight, fluid will not flow properly. With the sedimentation building steadily on the recessed part, repetitive blockages are likely to occur.
3. Main Tree Root and Root Hairs Invasion
Aged pipes in older homes can sometimes be made of clay or other highly porous materials. On top of that, the joints connecting two pipe sections may not be as tight as the modern seals of today. As a result, there may be minor leaks in the joints. Even pinholes could be in the walls of the old pipes.
Unfortunately, tree and shrub roots along with their root hairs seek moisture as they grow. Sewer water is full of nutrients that plants need to thrive. Because of this, they will latch onto your old pipe and invade the walls to reach the water flowing inside. As the roots grow bigger over time, they can create a complete block or exert undue pressure on the walls, resulting in a complete line break.
4. Flushing A Lot of Debris and Gunk into the Commode
If you treat your commode like a trash bin, it will always clog up. Later, this can lead to problems. So, to protect the health of your main sewer line, it is important to be mindful of what you flush down.
As a rule of thumb: make sure only human waste and toilet paper are flushed in the toilet.
5. Improper Grease Disposal in Sink Drains
If you pour grease, cooking oils, butter, and other fats down the drain, you will experience frequent blocks in your sewers. You must never pour these fatty deposits down your drain.
Remember, when grease cools down, it will become a hard block that sticks to your piping walls. As a result, you will always run into a bevy of problems and lessen the life span of your sewer lines.
For best results, make it a point to pour leftover grease in an empty can or jar, then wait for it to solidify so you can throw it in the garbage can. During summertime, you can consider putting it in the fridge for a few minutes to hasten the process. Being mindful of your habits will extend the longevity of your pipes.
Call for Professional Help
If you encounter any of these red flags in your home, you must call our team at San Diego Plumbing & Pipe relining company. Our cutting-edge camera inspections will save you time and money. Our highly trained team can readily point out the exact problem area in your sewer lines.
In the past, dealing with piping repairs meant digging deep trenches in your property, resulting in a big mess and huge damages. With our efficient and swift camera inspections, we can give you a complete picture of your entire sewer line without creating havoc in your home.
Best of all, we can come up with the best solutions that fit your problem. Your pipes may only need cleaning or a patch reliner repair. We can also help you with a complete replacement with our certified trenchless pipe relining method.
Remember, only certified plumbers can perform these inspections and repairs. With our help, you can identify the exact services your plumbing system requires. Give us a call for a free consultation.