If you have a sewer drain you can't seem to clear with a drain snake, the next step is to rent a sewer camera so you can look inside the drain. Sewer clogs are not only caused by paper and tree roots; they can also be the result of a partially collapsed pipe. You need to know the cause of the problem because there is no way a drain snake will fix blockage caused by a collapsed drain. Here is a quick overview of how a sewer camera works and how to use it.
Renting The Sewer Camera
A sewer camera is expensive, so you'll want to rent one rather than buy it since you won't need to use it very often. The camera is mounted to a large reel that contains several feet of stiff cord. Double check that the reel of cord is long enough to reach all the way to the end of your sewer line. You will probably have more than enough unless you have an exceptionally large yard with a long sewer line. A small camera is attached to one end of the cord and a viewing monitor is attached to the top of the reel housing in a protective frame so you can see the image outdoors in sunlight. You'll want to double check that you have a properly grounded outlet available before you rent the camera, and plan to use it when there is no chance of rain and when the ground is dry. This reduces the risk of electrical shock. It is usually a quick procedure to use a sewer camera, so you should rent it for a small time frame if you want to save on rental cost.
Using The Sewer Camera
Start by inserting the camera into the drain in the opening closest to your house. As the camera goes in, you can watch its progress on the monitor as it advances down the drain. The camera may be self-leveling, which helps you get an excellent view of the inside of the pipe. If it doesn't level itself, you can adjust the image on the monitor as the camera moves. Continue to advance the camera by pushing cable from the reel into the drain. It's a good idea to have markers handy so you can mark spots on top of the lawn where you see trouble below and to mark the location of your drain every few feet. This is easy to do because the camera sends out a beacon signal. You'll be able to mark the exact location of the drain in your yard and note the clogged area in case you need to dig up the drain to fix your problem.
Cleaning The Camera
Once you're finished viewing the inside of your drain, it's time to clean the cord and the camera. It's easiest to do this as you wind the cord back on the reel. Have old rags ready and wipe the cord off as it comes back out of the pipe. You want to get rid of dirt and sewer line debris as best possible, but avoid using water because of the risk of electrical shock. Also, when the cord is completely wound and the reel is unplugged, don't use a hose or pressure washer to finish cleaning it or water could damage the monitor or camera. Just use old rags to clean debris off the cord and camera as best as you can unless the rental company gives you other cleaning instructions.
When you're all finished with the sewer camera, you should know the exact location of the clog and what is causing it. Then you can dig up the pipe if necessary or call a plumber to reline the pipe to correct a collapsed line.Share
27 February 2017
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