Understand How Video Drain Inspection Works


May 24, 2017

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Spotting the problem: Understanding how video drain inspection works

You don’t need video drain inspection to know that one of the most common problems in any homeowner’s bathroom is drain blockage. It’s very frustrating when you’re experiencing slowly draining water from a sink or bathtub or — even worse — standing water that doesn’t seem to be going anyplace at all. Your life slows down to a trickle while you wait for that dirty water to disappear.

There are some common remedies you can try. You can get out the plunger and try working the problem out. There are home snaking kits that can sometimes help. There are a million DIY solutions online, some of which may work and others that probably won’t help at all. You can even try the caustic chemicals that you can buy at a hardware store — but do you really want those around your kids, pets or pipes?

Sometimes, you simply need a plumber near you. When these household remedies fail to cut through the grime or clear the blockage, a video drain inspection could be the next best step.

What is video drain inspection?

 Video drain inspection is used to diagnose and solve deeper drain issues than just some wadded-up paper towels or a particularly resilient hairball. Video drain inspection technology allows you to physically see exactly what’s going on inside your plumbing system — like when tree roots are invading your drainage lines.

Often times, video drain inspection is the only way to get a reliable answer, rather than a plumber’s best guess during a clogged drain inspection.

Putting your house on the market? Some homeowners may also be beneficial to complete a video drain inspection before selling a house to verify the sewer is in good condition.

Our video drain inspection equipment

Video drain inspection works through a small video camera at the end of the sewer cable. The camera contains a radio transmitter, which uses infrared light to illuminate the inside of the pipe.

While the technician operates the cable, another technician watches the live video feed on a monitor to determine what’s causing the issue – whether it’s a broken sewer pipe, an invading tree root or a buildup of densely packed grime.

What can you expect during video drain inspection?

You can sit right next to our technician as we explain what you’re seeing on camera. Once we identify the exact location of the break or clog, we’ll also gather more specific details about the condition of drainage system. We’ll also assess how significant the damage is, and provide you an estimate of what needs to be fixed.

How you can avoid damaging clogs.

We’ve seen all kinds of drain clogs before, but by far the most common clogs are also the most preventable. Here are some tips to help you keep your drains clean and clear:

  • Catch loose hair: Use a drain catcher to collect hair, and then transfer it to the trash can after every shower.
  • Remove toiletry deposits and oils (toothpaste, soap, creams, etc.): These substances can create a build up over time, but an occasional boiling water rinse can help clear any remaining matter.
  • Keep everything else out of your drains: Any metal, paper or fabric can cause serious clogs if unintentionally left in the drain. Investing in a good, well-fitted drain catcher can save you the headache from plugged systems, and keep your wedding ring where it belongs.

Video drain inspection from CroppMetcalfe

Before you try to clear your next drainage issue yourself, remember that it’s surprisingly easy to cause extensive damage to your plumbing system when you aren’t completely sure what you’re doing. No offense!

Trust the experts. Cropp Metcalfe five-star technicians can provide thorough video drain inspections for your home in the greater Maryland, Virginia and Washington D.C. areas. We have the tools and expertise to resolve any drain issue, big or small.

Need help? No problem.  Request a service appointment now.