If you've got a problem with your home's plumbing system but you're unsure as to what it is, chances are your plumber will most likely order a drain video inspection to be performed on your home. This little device looks like a long snake that has a camera and a light on the end of the tip, which they then insert into the drain to inspect the condition of your pipes. While this isn't necessarily a new technology, drain video inspections allow plumbers to see, in great detail, what's happening inside your pipes. But they can't see everything. Below are a few things that they can see, as well as one major thing that they can't.
If your sewer drain is backing up into your house, then you most likely have a clog. The question is, where is it exactly? Surface clogs are just a few inches below the sink are able to be dislodged by any one of a number of homemade and DIY solutions, but if it's beyond the P-trap, or even worse, it's in your sewer line, you'll need to ask your plumber about drain video inspection. Once they know exactly where the clog is, they'll know the actions they need to remove it.
If you've recently moved into a home, the type of plumbing that you have should be included with your home's documentation. If it's not and you're starting to have issues with your plumbing, you'll need to know what type of material your pipes are made of to ensure the best course of action. Old copper and PVC pipes are not able to withstand a service like hydro-jetting, for instance; if you don't know that, the plumber can cause a major issue unintentionally. Video inspections for drains will be able to determine what type of material your pipes are made of.
Running a camera line through your plumbing system will allow a plumber to see what type of fittings are needed in your home. This is especially important for any type of expansion that you want to do, such as a new faucet or an extra toilet. Moreover, knowing what type of connection point is there can go a long way in determining what type of repair needs to take place as well. If there's a leak, it may be coming from a corroded connection point.
All of the above three things are able to be determined by drain video inspections. One thing they can't be determined is whether or not there's a water leak. Drain video inspections are only able to determine what's on the inside of the pipe, not what's outside, and what looks like an incision or crack on the inside of the pipe may not go all the way through. What makes this situation even harder is the type of material that goes through your drain lines in the first place. What may appear to be a crack on the monitor may be nothing more than a piece of junk that is collected over time.
Reach out to a professional for a drain video inspection.