If you're having problems with your main sewer line and are not sure what it is, the good news is that there are cameras available that can help you spot exactly what the problem is as well as where it is. The following are three things these cameras can help you with.
Spotting the location of plant roots
If you have experienced one or more stoppages in your main line drain pipe due to the roots from trees or bushes, finding out which one is causing the problem can help determine your course of action. After clearing your drain pipe with a rooter machine, it will be clear if the obstruction was roots. There will likely be some attached tot he end of cable blade when you pull it out of the drain pipe. However, it is difficult to determine with drain cleaning equipment where in the drain line the roots are located, but with a sewer line camera, you can see exactly where the roots are coming through the pipe. This will give you an idea of which tree the roots are coming from, and you can then decide if you want to remove the tree.
Finding an obstruction in the line
Sometimes a drain line can stop up again soon after it has been cleared. When this happens, the problem may be an obstacle that has found its way into the sewer line. Although it may not be large enough to stop up the line, debris moving through your drain pipe collects around it and stops up the pipe. A rotor cable clears the line, but it only pushes the obstacle further down the line, and a new stoppage forms. Identifying the exact nature of this obstacle can help you decide whether you will need to dig up the pipe to remove it or attempt to push it through to the street sewer pipe. A camera can help yo with this latter option by showing you whether the obstacle is still your pipe or not.
Locating a leak
Often a sunken area of your lawn or a wet area of ground can indicate a leaking drain pipe. A sewer camera can help you find the exact location of the leak. This can save you a lot of money. It may only be a case of a seal problem, and you do not need to replace the pipe. On the other hand, if it is the pipe, you may only need to replace a particular section, and you will avoid doing a lot of digging because you know which section of the drain line needs replacing.
A drain pipe camera unit can be found at local equipment rental companies or sometimes at home improvement stores. They are easy to operate, and you can learn to use one quickly.