drain blockages

How Can Drain Camera Inspections Help Identify Drain Blockages

When it comes to drain unclogging services, rapid advances in technology have made it much easier for plumbers and drain repair services to act efficiently and quickly when it comes to fixing common plumbing problems, whether it be overflowing drains or tree roots stuck in 


One tool that has revolutionised the world of plumbing has been the invention of the digital camera; plumbers can now benefit from visual access to the interior of any water system, resulting in more efficient, precise and cost-effective solutions.

So, what is a drain camera inspection, and how can it help to identify blockages in your plumbing system? Let’s take a look.

What is a drain camera?

A drain camera is a small, waterproof video camera that is inserted into drains to provide a visual inspection of the inside of the pipes. This allows plumbers and drain repair services to inspect the condition of the pipe system and identify any blockages or other plumbing issues.

How does drain camera inspection work?
The camera is connected to a monitor which displays a live feed of the camera. The plumber can then accurately assess the blockage and determine its cause and location, allowing them to prescribe the best – and safest – course of action for removing the blockage.
When are drain cameras used?
While drain cameras aren’t always used systematically, here are a few instances where a drain camera inspection can come in handy:
To identify drain blockages
Sometimes, plumbers might be unwilling to take a course of action on a drain blockage if they’re unsure where the blockage actually is – doing so could end up damaging the pipe further, or simply end up being a waste of time. This is where drain cameras come in handy. By inserting a drain camera into a plumbing system, the plumber will have visual access to the interior structure, and be able to determine the most appropriate course of action to deal with a clogged pipe or drain.
Quality inspection
As you may already know, not all drains and pipes are suitable for all types of drain unclogging procedures. For example, if your pipes are old and damaged, water jetting can risk damaging the pipes’ structure further, and potentially causing leaks within a property, or even causing a burst pipe. Again, this is where a drain camera comes in useful; the camera will be able to give plumbers an idea of the state and condition of your pipes, and inspect their structural integrity more closely. This will help them rule out any methods of drain clearing that might be too risky for the pipes in question.

What are the benefits of drain camera inspections? 

Before digital cameras were used, it could be difficult for plumbers to be able to identify the source of a blockage problem, resulting in an endless cycle of guessing and deliberating on the best course of action. In some cases, pipes would have to be taken apart in order to locate the issue, which would be time-consuming, costly, and a major inconvenience for those living in residential properties. Now with the help of cameras, professionals are able to see directly where blockages are coming from and take the best course of action, without having to dismantle the pipes themselves.
Safe solutions
As we already mentioned, not all drain unblocking methods are safe for all pipes; fragile, old, damaged or weakened pipes could end up becoming damaged further if subject to invasive clearing methods, such as hydro jetting. Similarly, if using a drain snake, it’s important to know exactly where the blockage is located; this can help to prevent any perforations in the pipe that can occur if plumbers are playing a guessing game when it comes to a blockage. By using cameras to determine the condition of the pipes as well as the location of the blockage, the risk of unintended pipe damage is considerably lower.
Signs you need a drain camera inspection
So, how can you determine whether or not a camera inspection could be beneficial for your plumbing system? Here’s what to look out for:
Slow draining pipes
If you’ve been noticing slow drains in your sinks or showers, then chances are there may be a blockage somewhere in your system. If a plunger and drain snake have been unable to unblock the pipe, then it might be time to call in the professionals for an inspection with a camera.
Pipes gurgling
Hearing your pipes gurgling is often a sign of air trapped in the system, which could be caused by tree roots invading sewer pipes or blockages, or other common blockages, such as a build up of grease or fat. A drain camera can help detect where the problems are and allow plumbers to take the appropriate action.
Strange smells

If you’ve been noticing strange odours coming from your drains but not sure which one in your plumbing system is causing the problem, this could be a sign of a blockage, meaning that your plumbing system isn’t able to evacuate dirt water correctly. In such cases, it’s usually best to call in the experts for an inspection – chances are that a camera will be able to locate where the blockage is coming from.

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