How Does a Video Pipe Inspection Work?

When a drain snake or wrench just won't do the trick alone, plumbers turn to more high-tech solutions. One of the most useful tools is the video pipe inspection, in which plumbers thread a small camera down a pipe to see what's inside. Here's how it works, and why it comes in handy when traditional tools won't work.

Specially Designed Equipment

The video camera line or inspection scope is a flexible rod with a small camera attached to the end. The camera is waterproof and dirtproof and includes an LED light that shines down the pipe as it moves. Like a drain snake, the rod is flexible enough to maneuver around even sharp turns in the pipe. Professional versions can reach throughout a residential plumbing system to explore pipe problems far beyond the usual reach.

Using Inspection Scopes

When investigating trouble with pipes, the plumber first finds an entry point into the plumbing, preferably as close to the source of the problem as possible. Then, they slowly insert the camera. The feed transfers to a screen that shows the plumber the inside of the pipe in real time, and can record the video for review later. These cameras are designed to be self-correcting so they don't get trapped in odd angles.

Exploring Blocked Pipes

So, when is a video pipe inspection necessary? The most common scenario is a repeatedly clogged or slow-to-drain sink or shower. A video inspection can show problems like an accumulation of grease, a cracked or dislocated pipe, a tree root entering the pipe or heavy scale build-up. Each of these problems requires a different solution, so a clear view is very helpful in identifying the culprit.

Finding Valuables

Another reason video pipe inspections are used is to find things that have accidentally fallen down the drain. For example, sometimes people drop jewelry down the drain, and a video inspection can quickly show exactly where the item is located so it can be retrieved.

Has something of yours slipped down the drain, or do you have a stubborn clog? Let Ragsdale know and we can arrange an inspection to identify the issue and provide the best solution for your plumbing problem.

Photo source: BigStock

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