Three Blocked Drain Camera Inspection Techniques for Your Home

Posted on: 13 July 2017


Plumbers often use cameras to identify the exact point of damage or blockage in a drainpipe before attempting to clear that blockage. This article discusses some of the camera inspection techniques that your plumber may select from in order to devise the best solution for clearing a blockage in a drainpipe.

Push Camera Inspections

The push camera inspection technique involves pushing a cord into a drain. The cord has a camera at its end. That camera sends live pictures onto a monitor that is being watched by the plumber. This is the most basic way to use a camera to inspect a drainpipe. The plumber pulls the cord and camera out once he or she has identified the point at which a blockage was preventing the system from working.

Push cameras have a number of shortcomings. First, the camera can only move forward as the cord is pushed in. The camera cannot adjust its focus angle in order to give the plumber a closer look at a section of the drainpipe. The push camera is also unable to give the plumber a view of the state of branch lines in a drainage system.

Lateral Launch Camera Inspections

A lateral launch camera inspection involves putting a primary inspection camera into a drain that is suspected to be blocked. That main camera can then launch another camera to view what is inside a branch line. This system gives a measure of flexibility that a plumber may lack when he or she depends on a push camera while trying to identify the location and magnitude of a blockage in a drain.

Crawler Camera Inspections

A crawler camera is a camera that is mounted onto a motorised platform. The plumber controls the pace and direction that this inspection tool can move. For instance, the plumber may enter a command for the camera to reverse and zoom in on the top of a section of the pipe in order to confirm whether a tree root is penetrating the drain at that point. The capabilities of this type of camera give the plumber the greatest flexibility during an inspection.

Each of these cameras are best suited to a different set of circumstances. For instance, a push camera may be the best option if the blocked pipe is very narrow. You should therefore hire a plumber who has different cameras so that he or she can select the most appropriate one for dealing with the blocked drains on your property.