Having a sewer scope inspection performed on your property can unveil hidden issues that you may not be aware of. As a property owner, being proactive and having your sewer line regularly inspected can help prevent expensive and stressful problems down the road. In this blog post, we’ll take a closer look at sewer scope inspection in Atlanta, why they’re important, what’s involved, and how they can reveal concealed problems on your property.
What is a Sewer Scope Inspection?
A sewer scope inspection, also sometimes called a sewer camera inspection, involves physically inspecting the inside of your sewer line with a specialized camera. A trained professional will insert a flexible fiber-optic cable with a camera on the end into your sewer line. This allows them to get a close visual inspection of the entire length of pipe.
As the camera travels through the sewer line, it transmits a live video feed to a monitor at ground level. This video feed allows the technician performing the inspection to carefully examine the interior condition of the pipes. They can look for any cracks, leaks, blockages, root intrusion or other issues that may be lurking unseen beneath your property.
Why are Sewer Scope Inspections Important?
Sewer lines are something that are easily overlooked and often neglected. They’re out of sight and out of mind since they’re buried underground. However, your sewer line is one of the most important components on your property. It carries all of your household wastewater and sewage away to be treated.
Over time, sewer pipes endure a lot of wear and tear. Tree roots, ground shifting, corrosion and other factors can cause pipe damage. Cracks and leaks often worsen progressively if left unaddressed. A Sewer scope inspection in Atlanta allows a detailed examination of the interior condition of your pipes so any issues can be identified before they become emergency problems.
Performing periodic sewer scope inspections can help uncover issues early when they are less expensive and disruptive to repair. Catching problems before they lead to pipe collapses, sewage backups, clogs, overflows and other headaches can save you substantial time, money and stress down the road.
What are the Benefits of a Sewer Scope Inspection?
There are many valuable benefits that a sewer scope inspection can provide:
- Uncover hidden issues – The inside of your sewer line is impossible to examine yourself. An interior camera inspection can detect cracks, leaks, clogs and other defects that may be brewing out of sight.
- Early detection – Catching sewer line problems at an early stage allows repairs and maintenance to be performed conveniently and at lower cost, before an emergency occurs.
- Peace of mind – Knowing the true condition of your sewer line provides peace of mind and allows you to take proactive steps to protect one of your property’s most vital systems.
- Detailed documentation – The video recording from your inspection provides detailed documentation that can be revisited and used for before/after comparisons for future maintenance.
- Prevent sewer backups – Finding and addressing issues before they escalate can prevent raw sewage backups into your home, which are a health hazard, extremely disruptive and costly to remediate.
- Avoid landscape damage – Tree roots infiltrating cracked pipes are easily spotted during inspections. This allows tree root damage to be prevented through early repair.
- Support real estate transactions – An inspection can identify existing or potential issues with the sewer line before property sales and transfers, helping buyers and sellers make informed decisions.
What are Some Common Sewer Line Issues Found During Inspections?
There are a variety of issues that can be uncovered during a sewer scope inspection in Atlanta, including:
- Cracks and leaks – Cracks and leaks caused by root intrusion, shifting foundations and normal wear and tear are common. Small cracks can turn into large breaks over time if left unrepaired.
- Root intrusion – Tree roots near pipes will infiltrate cracks seeking water. Root masses clogging pipes restrict drainage and lead to sewage backups.
- Blockages – Buildups of debris, grease, minerals and other material can partially or fully block the pipe, impeding drainage.
- Pipe collapse – Sections of sewer pipe that have collapsed will need to be replaced. Collapses restrict sewage flow and can lead to backups.
- Corrosion – Corrosion from sewer gases or runoff can eat away pipe walls, leading them to weaken and fail over time.
- Foundation settling – If the foundation settles, it can shift pipes and cause joints to separate. Misalignments lead to leaks and blockages.
- Improper connections – Incorrectly connected downspouts, sump pumps and other drains entering the sewer system can overload sewer pipes.
How Often Should Sewer Scope Inspections be Performed?
Most sewer experts recommend having your sewer line scoped every 3-5 years. Higher risk systems, such as older pipes, may need to be inspected more frequently. Trees nearby pipes increase risk of root damage, warranting more frequent inspections.
Homeowners with pipes over 25 years old should consider having an inspection performed annually. Catching deterioration early provides more flexibility in repair options before emergency action is required. Periodic inspections also establish useful documentation of the progression of any pipe damage over time.
In addition to periodic inspections, it’s smart to get a scope done prior to home purchases or sales. This adequately informs buyers and sellers of the sewer line condition before property transfers. An inspection should also be done any time you experience sewer drainage problems to determine the cause.
What’s Involved in Performing a Sewer Scope Inspection?
The sewer scope inspection process typically follows these steps:
- The technician discusses your unique needs and inspection goals based on your property and pipes.
- The technician inserts a specialized fiber optic video camera on a flexible cable into your sewer access point (typically the cleanout by your home foundation).
- The camera is fed through your pipes, recording video as it travels through the entire underground sewer line on your property.
- Potential issues are noted and inspected closely. The technician may pause and rotate the camera to thoroughly inspect defects from all angles or repeat areas.
- After the inspection is complete, the technician will summarize their findings and explain the video footage at a level you understand. They will highlight any recommended steps based on the inspection results.
- You receive a detailed written report with images documenting the inspection and the pipe condition. A video recording is also included for reference.
The process causes no interruption to your plumbing or sewer service. Afterward, everything continues working normally. The inspection just provides valuable information to make informed maintenance decisions.
Are There Different Types of Sewer Scope Cameras?
There are a few common types of sewer cameras used during inspections:
- Mainline cameras – These basic, affordable cameras on a fiber optic cable are used to inspect main sewer pipes. They provide high quality video and images.
- Mini cameras – Smaller cameras allow inspection of tough to reach pipes, like tight bends and lateral connections. Useful for focused inspections.
- Pan and tilt cameras – These advanced cameras can pan and tilt for maximum visibility. Allows the technician to closely inspect defects and pipe joints.
- High-resolution cameras – Cutting edge HD cameras provide remarkably detailed, clear views inside pipes in tight focus. Helpful for precise documentation.
The technician will select the best sewer camera for your unique needs and pipes based on pipe size, configuration, access points and goals. Many inspections efficiently combine use of different camera models.
Are Any Other Tools Used During Inspections?
In addition to the fiber optic video camera, technicians have other helpful tools to gain useful information:
- A video pipe inspection push rod allows cameras to be fed through pipes and steered remotely. Gives great control maneuvering the camera.
- Locator sondes can pinpoint the position of pipes underground and confirm connections. Helps track the camera location.
- Pipe measurement tools confirm the dimensions of your pipes. Verifies proper sizing.
- Lighting wands provide illumination in dark pipes so the camera can see clearly.
- Digital video recorders save video and images to document inspection findings for later review.
How are Issues Found During Inspections Repaired?
Any damage, defects or other issues uncovered during the sewer scope inspection in Atlanta will need repaired or monitored:
- Spot repairs – Small holes, cracks and leaks can sometimes be sealed with pipe liners or other trenchless repair techniques without digging.
- Pipe replacement – Badly damaged sections may need replacement by digging and installing new pipe. Trenchless pipe relining is also sometimes possible.
- Root removal – Root intrusions can be removed using advanced techniques like hydro-jetting to scour the pipe interior without digging. Chemical root treatments may also help.
- Drain cleaning – Clogs and blockages can be cleared by mechanical drain cleaning. Hydro-jetting may also be used if needed.
- Continued inspections – Areas showing deterioration may merit increased inspection frequency to monitor their progression.
The specific sewer repair methods will depend on the type, severity and location of the damage uncovered. Your technician will explain repair options and help determine the ideal solution for your situation.
How Much Does a Sewer Scope Inspection Typically Cost?
Sewer scope inspection costs can range between $125 to $500 on average. Several factors influence the inspection cost, including:
- Number of pipelines – Inspecting additional sewer lines like a main line and lateral lines increases costs.
- Pipe length – Longer total pipe length takes more time, equipment and labor to inspect.
- Pipe diameter – Larger pipes over 6 inches in diameter may have a higher base fee.
- Access difficulty – Complicated access like deep pipes increases effort and costs.
- Optional add-ons – Additional services like leak testing, pipe locating and drain cleaning add to costs.
- Local rates – Pricing can vary by region and individual companies. Get multiple estimates.
While costs vary, sewer scope inspections deliver immense value for the investment compared to the costs of emergency sewer repairs. Preventative inspection and maintenance helps avoid much more expensive sewer crises down the road.
Why Choose a Professional for Your Inspection?
You could theoretically try to DIY your sewer scope inspection. However, there are several advantages to hiring a professional sewer and drain specialist:
- Proper experience – They perform inspections routinely and know how to thoroughly check your system. DIY attempts often miss issues.
- Industry expertise – They have extensive knowledge to accurately identify any problems and explain how to properly address them.
- Latest equipment – Professionals have high-quality cameras and tools to conduct a comprehensive inspection you likely don’t own.
- Protects your safety – Professionals are trained in safe practices, while DIY poses risks like exposure to dangerous gases.
- Saves you effort – Sewer line access often requires digging, climbing on your roof and other messy hassles you won’t have to deal with.
- Documentation and reporting – You’ll receive professional documentation like pipe video footage, images and detailed inspection reports.
- Peace of mind – Certified technicians ensure the inspection is done properly so problems don’t go unnoticed.
Leave sewer inspections to the professionals. Take advantage of their expertise, tools and experience handling hundreds of inspections. They’ll perform a complete inspection and provide you documentation to make well-informed maintenance decisions.
Schedule Timely Sewer Scope Inspections
As you can see, sewer scope inspections are an extremely useful preventative maintenance tool and a wise investment. They allow hidden issues in your underground pipes to come to light before catastrophic failures occur. By being proactive and getting periodic inspections, you can address any problems early, avoid major headaches down the road and keep your sewer line operating smoothly for years to come. Don’t wait until you have a sewage emergency on your hands – schedule a professional sewer scope inspection for your pipes today!