Not long ago, it was impossible to definitively know what was going on inside a pipe without exposing and removing it, which had to be weighed against the cost and hassle of doing so. Rather than spend thousands of dollars and digging up an entire lawn, it often made sense to snake a sewer pipe repeatedly and hope for the best.
Fortunately, technology has come to the rescue in the form of plumbing cameras. Just like a plumbing snake, these devices can be fed into plumbing systems and flexed around corners with ease. But unlike a standard snake, plumbing cameras let you see the inside of a pipe in real time, showing the exact location and severity of clogs, leaks and other problems.
Here are just a few situations where a plumbing camera inspection can spare you time and hassle:
- When you need to know how big the problem is. Because most household plumbing is hidden, what begins as a small job can often develop into a major ordeal. A camera inspection won’t make a huge project more manageable, but it can let you know exactly what you’re getting into.
- When you’re buying a home. A thorough home inspection is a standard part of any home buying process, but not every home inspector is equipped with a plumbing camera. If you really want to be sure of what you’re buying, arrange for a plumber to seek out the visual evidence.
- When you can’t find a leak. Your water bill is too high, there’s a musty odor — all the telltale signs of a leak are present, but you still don’t know where it’s coming from. With a camera on the lookout, pinpointing the leak is just a matter of searching.
- When you’re remodeling. If your plans involve moving or installing a tub, toilet or sink, you’ll need to know exactly where your pipes are. When detailed blueprints are unavailable, a camera inspection can show the way.
- When something goes down the drain. If you’ve accidentally washed away a beloved piece of jewelry, there’s always a chance you can spot and retrieve it with the help of a plumbing camera.