The Needs For Sewer Inspection To Be Done

WHO SHOULD YOU CALL FOR YOUR SEWER OR SEPTIC LINE INSPECTION?

It’s important that you work with a full service company, especially if you have a septic system or are considering buying a home with a septic system. You should make sure the company can not only inspect your lines, but can follow through on repairs to your lines or septic system, either immediately or in the years to come. Finding the right company will ensure that the inspection and any necessary repairs are done by one company and not a group of sub contractors who may not take responsibility for their work. Be sure that your inspector is ATT (Alternative Treatment Technologies) and O&M (Operations and Maintenance) certified, and that they are part of a Preferred Plumber Program. Your real estate agent may be able to refer you to a full service company that provides comprehensive inspection, maintenance and repair services, and that has all of the necessary certifications.

WHAT IS INVOLVED IN SEWER LINE & SEPTIC SYSTEM INSPECTION?

When it comes to sewer and septic line inspection, the plumbing company inserts a snake attached to a small video camera into the clean-out and snakes the camera through the sewer. You can watch the image on a monitor, and even request a recording of the inspection in the event documentation is of value. Not only will the plumbing company find out if the sewer line is clean or clogged, but the inspection will disclose the condition of the sewer. Ask the contractor to tell you what kind of material was used to construct the sewer line and whether that type of material is considered good construction today. Some sewer lines are made up of different materials, from concrete to clay to cast iron.

 

How Often Should Sewer Lines Be Cleaned?

This is an excellent question. If your home is older, the likelihood that an immediate sewer line cleaning would benefit you is very high. As a solid preventative measure, sewer lines should be cleaned once every eighteen to twenty-two months. If your home has been experiencing frequent problems with your sewer lines, it is recommended that you contact a plumber and schedule a video inspection. There are many different systems in your home that require maintenance. HVAC system maintenance is incredibly important if you live in an older home with original ductwork.

How Do You Dissolve Toilet Paper in a Sewer Line?

While toilet paper is specifically manufactured to dissolve and break up in water, if too much toilet paper has been stuffed in a tight space, such as in a pipeline, it can become a gummy mess. Most specialists recommend a closet auger to help dissolve the toilet paper in the drain. Augers are known as long pieces of wire or thinly shaped metal that is inserted into the toilet drain. These mechanisms have small hooks or barbs on the end that are designed to break up clogs and help separate the paper.

Does Toilet Paper Clog Sewer Lines?

With regard to whether or not toilet paper can clog a sewer line, homeowners should exercise caution. Any kind of debris, including toilet paper, can clog a sewer line. Over time, toilet paper, sanitary napkins, facial tissues, feminine hygiene products and more can clog the sewer line, causing a dramatic loss in the function of your plumbing. That’s why it’s crucial for homeowners to secure an appointment for sewer drain cleaning particularly if they have an older home and haven’t secured the service in recent memory.

 

What Is a Belly in a Sewer Pipe?

Sewer line bellies are sags or low spots in sewer lines. A normal sewer lateral (seen below) has a slope that uses gravity to help regulate the flow. A bellied sewer line interferes with the normal flow of waste water through the pipe, leading to backups and other problems because the water and sediment collects in the belly.

What Causes Sewer Bellies?

Poor planning and bad installations are often the root cause of sewer line bellies, as proper bedding compaction, good materials and correct slope are the most important factors needed to prevent the problem. However, natural occurrences like major tree roots, earthquakes, sun or heat, rain, and even cold weather fluctuations can lead to the shifts in the soil that eventually cause bellies.

How Can You Diagnose the Problem?

Sewer pipe bellies should be diagnosed by plumbers using the most accurate video inspecting technology. A professional sewer camera inspection will allow the service technician to push a video camera through the pipe, giving you a close look at the entire sewer lateral and allowing the plumbing team to accurately identify the issue. Even slope issues can be detected at this preliminary stage of the process.

 

Sewer Line Channeling Repair

If after reviewing this article you find that your sewer line is channeled and not bellied, then you may be a candidate for trenchless pipelining. Since a channeled pipe does not necessarily have an issue with slope, pipelining may be the solution you are looking for. Pipelining is a non-destructive, cost-effective, and environmentally friendly method of repairing a damaged pipe from the inside by means of inserting an epoxy saturated felt liner into the pipe and letting it cure in place. What that means for you is no digging up your floors or destruction inside your home to repair your sanitary drainage pipes. You won’t even need to leave your home during repairs. The result is a brand new, PVC quality pipe within the old one with a manufacturer’s 50 year life use expectancy.

Sewer Line Belly vs. Channeling – Why the confusion?

The issue lies with the company performing the video inspection. At first glance, both conditions may have the same symptom – the camera going underwater during a sewer video inspection. However, only after thorough investigation with a jetter can the problem be properly diagnosed.

In conclusion, a belly in a sewer line and channeling are easily confused. We have found that when our customers mention they have a belly in their sewer line, 99% of the time the line is channeled instead. Since a sewer line belly is accompanied by an issue with the pipe’s slope, conventional replacement is the only repair option.  However, channeling differs in that the pipe’s slope (in most cases) remains functional. This means that channeling may be repaired by trenchless pipelining, saving you time, money, headaches and the mess associated with conventional replacement.

 

Sewer Inspection Problem  – Tree Roots

When your sewer system was installed, chances are the vegetation wasn’t mature and no one suspected that your system could be compromised by a tree root. Roots are relentless and powerful and can crush a pipe or offset it, creating all kinds of problems with the flow of your system.

Unfortunately, most people do not think about their sewer line location when planting a tree. Often we see trees planted directly above a sewer line in front yards.

Root intrusion is very common in older clay and cast iron sewer lines. Newer PVC lines have a lower chance of having root issues.

There are several ways to handle this issue, including replacing the old line with a more structurally sound one like plastic. You can treat the line with a poison that will make the roots retreat. You can also rent a power auger which will clean out the line and will need to be done on a routine basis.

There are also hundreds of rooter companies that will come out and run a power auger down your sewer line for a low fee. We recommend that you do this often if you have a clay line.

Getting The Decent Toilet Installation For Your Bathroom

TIPS TO HELP YOU CHOOSE A TOILET

Toilet designs have come a long way. And when it comes to style, comfort and water efficiency, Mondella has you covered. But before you make a choice, there are a few things you need to consider. We’ve put together a few tips to help you choose the toilet that’s right for your bathroom.

Check the plumbing

Your existing bathroom will have plumbing that’s set up for your specific layout. This and the size of your space will narrow down which toilets you can use. However, if you want to change the plumbing to suit the toilet you really want, talk to a plumber so you can assess if the additional cost is worth it

Determine your pan type

Australia has three common pan types: S-trap, P-trap and Skew trap. The trap is the bend in the toilet pipe that expels the waste.

Measure the set-out

Before you choose a toilet, it’s important to first establish the ‘set-out’ you need. This is the distance from the wall to the centre of the waste outlet for an S-trap, and the floor to the outlet for a P-trap.

Water efficiency

The Australian Government has introduced a WELS scheme to help reduce the water consumption in homes. Based on a star rating system, it measures the amount of water per flush. A 3 STAR rating uses 6L for a full flush and 3L for a half flush. While a 4 STAR rating uses 4.5L for a full flush and 3L for a half flush.

 

Toilet Buying Guide

Toilet Rough-In Measurements and Standards

Make sure the new toilet will fit your space. To do this, measure the rough-in size. This is the distance between the wall behind the toilet and the center of the drainpipe or the bolts that hold the toilet to the floor. It’s best to perform this measurement before you remove the old toilet.

Toilet Models: One Piece or Two?

Toilets are made in one- or two-piece models. Most toilets are two-piece, meaning that the bowl is bolted to the tank. Two-piece toilets are generally less expensive than a one-piece. Both function comparably, though a one-piece toilet may be easier to clean. If they’re not included, make sure you purchase all of the installation parts required: a toilet seat, wax ring with sleeve, closet bolts and bolt caps.

Toilet Bowls

Toilet bowls are available in round and elongated (oval) shapes. Elongated bowls are usually 2 inches longer than round bowls and offer additional comfort. Round bowls are generally less expensive and work well in small spaces. As with rough-in standards, make sure your space will accommodate an elongated bowl before you buy.

Toilet Tanks and Flushing Systems

Almost all toilets have a similar tank capacity. When choosing a tank, you’ll have flush valve size and flush lever positioning to consider, as well as the flushing system.

The pressure-assisted and gravity-flush systems are the two standard flushing systems available:

Pressure-Assisted Flush System: Pressurized air forces water into the bowl when flushed, reducing the chance for clogs. This system is noisy, expensive and may require costly maintenance.

Gravity-Flush System: The most common and simplest system, it uses the water weight to generate flushing pressure. The pressure forces everything from the tank into the bowl and through the S-shaped trapway. A siphoning action completes the flush. This flushing system is quieter and requires less maintenance than a pressure-assisted flushing system.

Additional toilet technology includes:

Dual Flush: This is a relatively new system for saving water without sacrificing efficiency. There are two flushing options for a full or partial flush (1.6 gallons per flush and 1.1 gallons per flush).

Waterless Toilets: Where water or plumbing isn’t available or when portability is required, a self-contained waterless unit is an option.

 

Toilet Replacement or Repair? Here’s How to Choose Which Option Is Best for You

If an old toilet is giving you trouble, you may assume that it needs to be replaced. While installing a new toilet may be the best option, if the fixture is giving you difficulties, it may not be the best solution for the current problem. Understanding how to complete a few repairs will help you solve small issues and avoid buying a new toilet.

Signs You Need to Replace an Old Toilet In Your Ottawa Home

If you don’t have any experience in plumbing, it can be challenging to understand when your toilet isn’t working the way it should be. If you think that it might be time for you to replace your toilet, here are the warning signs that you should keep an eye out for.

Consistently Clogging

It’s normal for a toilet to clog now and then. A weakened flush can cause a clogged toilet and impact the cleanliness of the drain pipes.

The Bowl or Tank Are Cracked

The tank and the bowl of your toilet are made of porcelain, mainly because it’s durable, waterproof, and sanitary. Porcelain isn’t the perfect product to use for toilets and can crack, causing a disastrous leak. Even if you’ve noticed a hairline fracture in your bowl or tank, it can grow over time and weaken the structure of your toilet.

You’ve Noticed a Spike in Your Water Bill

If you notice an increase in your water bill, the cause of the spike may be a damaged toilet

 

How to Choose the Right Toilet for Me?

You can look at it any way that you want to, but when you ask your self the question: ‘how to choose a toilet that is a good fit for my home‘, you will find out that there are some very specific things you want because good toilets have better features. Because there are also blanks with some of your questions, the best way to answer them is to get it all out in the open so that you understand the basics of toilets. There is nothing confusing in this guide, and it rather focuses on providing an outlet for you to put your ideas on one page to make a better decision. There is no wrong choice if you get all the features you want, and once you go through this short guide you’ll have a better understanding of what it is that makes sense for the home installation. As an added bonus any new age toilet chosen is easy to install and lacks the headaches of older models.

Size

Depending on where the installation is taking place, customers may want to redo the measurements. This includes the rough in size and the height from the bottom of the toilet to the toilet seat. Little things like toilet seat height could turn a purchase that looks good on paper to an uncomfortable mess once installed. This includes if you are installing a toilet meant solely for a small kid’s bathroom and they are uncomfortable on elongated toilets. Or what if you purchase a toilet that sits a little higher than what they’re comfortable with? Then it is back to the drawing board and possible money down the drain. Checking and rechecking the measurements will help a lot, and if you are installing it into a bathroom with limited space, then make note of whether the new toilet will be bigger than the current toilet. It’s a small gesture that will go a long way in giving you the most worry free install experience possible.

Price

The prices for toilets will vary depending on the type you are getting and from what company. There are very few low priced quality toilets available, so be wary on going too cheap with the price as that just means it is an inferior product. Some companies even offer package deals by selling two toilets as one and shaving off some of the price. Not all companies offer this, but in a case where a buyer needs more than one toilet it could potentially save them a lot of money. Be wary of features you don’t need so that overpaying isn’t even an option. It may be tempting to want to buy a toilet with a nightlight, but if you know that you aren’t going to use that feature then why pay extra for it? There is a lot of competition in the toilet market, so for every toilet that has that 1 extra feature you don’t need there is another toilet with the same specs, and lacking that unneeded feature. Shop smart toilets and only target features that mean something to you like water efficiency or power of the flush.

Water Usage

With the industry standard being set at 1.6 gallons per flush, buyers are safe in that all the new toilets won’t surpass that threshold. But smart shoppers shouldn’t settle for the industry standard if their main goal is to save money with their water bill. Dual flush toilets are the new craze, and it has two buttons to give you a flush that uses a small amount or water or a power flush that uses the full 1.6 amount. These toilets can get a little high in price, so for other customers the alternative is to settle for a toilet that is either high powered or water efficient. This can create a dilemma, since no one wants to make the wrong decision and have to send the toilet back. The easiest decision is to purchase the dual flush, but if that is out of your price range, then it is a safe bet to go with toilets that use as little as 1.28 gallons per flush. These are Watersense certified toilets and it is a safe middle ground between saving water resources and giving you the power you need to get a good flush. Variety is pretty good with the 1.28 models so customers are sure to come away with something that they love. If you are looking for the best rated flushing toilets see this guide

Summary

A combination of size, water usage information and price should be all a customer needs to make an educated decision on the perfect toilet for their home. Things don’t really get complicated, but they sure do get exciting with all of the options that are pushed in your face. Since everyone has different tastes, there is no telling what you may end up taking home. As long as you do your homework, you’ll do your new bathroom addition justice.

 

Toilet buying guide

In recent years the humble toilet has undergone a style makeover. Sleek new designs, hidden cisterns and water efficiency are just some of the features you need to consider when choosing a toilet for your home

Start with style

Toilet designs include back to wall, close coupled, wall faced and wall hung. Consider your budget and check with your plumber to find out which one will work best with your existing bathroom’s setup. But if you’re building from scratch, you can choose your toilet first and tailor your plumbing accordingly.

The difference between each style

Back to wall toilet cisterns are attached directly to the bathroom wall, which allows the pipes to be hidden.

Pick a toilet pan

Once you’ve chosen a toilet style, you’ll need to choose a toilet pan. There are three common pan types: S-trap, P-trap and skew trap.

Take measurements

Before you commit to a toilet style and pan, you’ll need to make sure the measurements work and decide what “set-out” you’ll need in your bathroom. This is the distance from the wall to the centre of the waste outlet for an S-trap, and the floor to the outlet for a P-trap. Set-outs vary, so make sure you take those measurements with you when selecting a toilet.

How To Repair The Broken Pipes And Valves Of Your Sprinkler System

EMERGENCY PLUMBING – MANAGING WATER LEAK AND BROKEN PIPE

The first step to becoming a successful homeowner or renter is knowing basic emergency plumbing tips. It is no longer news that the joy of owning a home vanishes when emergencies strike. The frustration of an emergency plumbing problem is even more intense if house occupants are totally ignorant of how their plumbing system works or where the control valves are located. I agree that not everyone is gifted with plumbing skills and we all cannot be plumbers. However, it does not hurt to know the basics of your home plumbing system, just in case your water line chooses to burst and flood your house when you cannot get a hold of a plumber immediately.

A broken water pipe is not the only emergency plumbing problem to watch out for. Clogged drains, frozen pipes and sewer backup are some of the other common emergency plumbing issues. A clogged drain slows or stops water from flowing in the drainage system and in a worst case scenario, the whole plumbing system blocks to a halt and occupants cannot use water anywhere in the house without having an overflow situation. The key to averting the ugly situation described above is knowing the basics about your plumbing systems and ultimately having an idea of what to do in plumbing emergencies.

Managing Emergency Plumbing, Water leak or broken pipe

It is important to know the location of all of the shut-off valves controlling water supply to your utilities and appliances in the kitchen, bathroom, toilet, basement and yard. Carefully inspect your kitchen sink, toilet pipes, water heaters, heating systems, tubs and other appliances to locate the shutoff valve

feeding water into them. Another very important valve you must know the location is the main shutoff valve supplying water to your entire house. If you cannot find the stop valves for your systems or if you are not sure where to look, ask your plumber anytime you have him working at your house. Getting this information from a professional will help boost your confidence when you have to deal with an emergency water leak and broken pipe because then you know for sure what to turn off.

 

What is Considered a Plumbing Emergency?

There is a risk of flooding

Flooding due to a failed sump pump, burst pipe, sewer back up, or water shut off valve failure, are all examples of plumbing emergencies. Flood damage can cause significant damage to structures and is a safety concern, therefore should be addressed as soon as possible.

There is a sewer back up

When a sewer line backs up, sewage sits at its back up point, creating a health hazard. It prevents the ability to use the facilities or run water, which makes living difficult as well.

You are without water

Not having access to running water is also a safety concern because, like a sewer back up, prevents you from using the facilities, but also effects cooking and cleaning.

There is a risk of a burst pipe

Frozen pipes and/or spigots lend themselves to two of the above concerns: risk of flooding and no water. If a pipe is frozen, not only is water not able to pass through it, but it expands, causing it to crack, which means once it thaws, it presents the risk of flooding. It’s important to know where your water shut off valves are located and how they work. As your plumber during his or her preventative maintenance visit to show you, if you don’t already know.

 

10 Most Common Plumbing Emergencies

  1. Clogged sinks: You’re doing the dishes in the kitchen or brushing your teeth in the bathroom and the sink refuses to drain. A slow drain is annoying, but it’s not necessarily an emergency. However, if the clog becomes severe, water flow may stop completely, which could cause a serious slow down of your daily activities.
  2. Clogged toilets: Is your toilet clogged, making strange noises, leaking or refusing to flush? Since the toilet is the most used fixture in your home, any of these common plumbing emergencies are enough to ruin your day. Try some DIY tips for unclogging the toilet, but remember an unresolved problem can allow leaks to cause structural damage or raw sewage backups to present health hazards.
  3. Clogged bathtubs and shower drains: You’re taking a shower and the water starts rising to your ankles, or a strange gurgling sound comes from the drain. Soap scum and hair buildup are the most common reasons behind this plumbing emergency.
  4. Leaky faucets and toilets: The constant drip, drip, drip is enough to annoy anyone, but leaky faucets and toilets can also rack up your water bills, cause rust to form and facilitate mold growth.
  5. Leaking water heater: If you discover a leak or other problem interrupting your hot water supply, you could be wasting a lot of money on water heating. A leak can also cause property damage. A leaky water heater valve can be easily replaced, but if the water heater wall has completely rusted through, you need an entirely new water heater to overcome the problem.
  6. Leaky washing machine hoses: Washing machines are sturdy, durable appliances, but the water hoses are often the weakest link. If you discover a cracked or bulging hose behind the washer, don’t ignore it or mold and rust could become serious problems.
  7. Broken water lines: Tree roots, earthquakes and poorly aimed shovels can cause underground water lines to break. This can cause soggy areas in the yard, poor water quality and no or very low water pressure.
  8. Burst pipes: The freeze-thaw cycle can cause exposed pipes to burst. This problem could turn into a complete pipe replacement, which would need to be handled by professionals.
  9. No hot water: It’s what nightmares are made of: you hop into the shower and soap up with your favorite body wash when suddenly the water goes ice-cold. You could be experiencing a water heater malfunction, electrical issue or plumbing leak. Then again, it could be your utility company’s fault that you have no hot water.
  10. Sewer system backup: It’s another plumbing nightmare no one wants to experience. Sewer backups are messy, costly and inconvenient, to say the least. Signs of a sewer system backup include multiple drain clogs, bad sewage odors coming from the drains, gurgling toilets, and water pooling around the basement floor drain.

 

Signs of a Leak in Your Water Main

Considering how difficult it is to identify leaks, there are a few signs that homeowners can pay attention to and rely on as indicators of a leaking pipe in the home.

Here is a list of the most common signs to look out for:

  • Water in the Street- This is perhaps one of the most common signs of a leaking main water lineWhen a pipe ruptures and the leaking water has nowhere to go, it will bubble up into the street. When homeowners notice bubbling water in the street, it is advisable to get plumbing services immediately.
  • Water in Your Yard- Other clear signs of a possible leak or leaks in the pipes are unexplained wet areas in the yard as well as sinkholes. Since these conditions can pose a significant danger to the children and animals in your compound, you should call for professional plumbing services from Beehive Plumbing once you notice the signs.
  • Puddles in Your Home- Water that accumulates in your home, especially under sinks or on the floor, could be an indicator of a leak in the pipes. While some of the problems may be easy to detect, those behind walls and ceilings will not be easily visible. Having an inspection of your plumbing system will help to reveal these problems.
  • Wet Spots- It is important to inspect the areas around sinkstoilets, and tubs. You should look out for discolored areas or wet spots, as these may reveal to you the leaks in your plumbing system.
  • Damp Drywall- Damp drywall and ceilings with wet rings are clear signs of water from a leaking pipe. If this problem is left without being addressed, it may cause great damage to your home structure. Homeowners should call qualified plumbers at Beehive Plumbing to repair the defects so that there is no further damage to the property.
  • Unexplained High Water Bills- When you have not had any unusual activity in your home but have unexplained high water bills, this could be a sign of a leaking pipe. When considering this as a possible sign, you should keep in mind other signs such as puddlesdamp drywallwet rings on the ceiling and wet areas. The physical indicators can also help you to detect plumbing problems.
  • Low Water Pressure- When you experience low water pressure but there is an assurance of water supply, this means that there is a problem in the water main or the pipes in your home. Disturbances in the line, including ruptured or clogged pipesmay reduce the pressure of the water that reaches your home.
  • Cracks in the Foundation of Your Home- Leaking water can seep into the foundation of your housecausing cracks to develop. When this goes on for a prolonged period, the leaking water will weaken the structural components of the home. This will manifest itself in the form of cracks in the walls and foundation.
  • Water Sounds- Bubbling noises from the toilet or sinkwhistling from the pipesbangingdripping and clanking may be signs that some of the pipes in your home are broken. You should always pay attention to any sounds coming from areas likely to experience water leaks.
  • Unpleasant Odor- When dirty water and sewage are not being channeled to the intended public sewer lines, there is bound to be an unpleasant odor in your home. This is a sign that the pipes may be backed up or blocked.

 

When It’s Time to Call a Plumber for a Clogged Drain

Questions to Ask Yourself

1st Question

When it comes to deciding when to call a plumber for a clogged drain, even those of us without plumbing experience can run through a decision tree in our minds, and fairly quickly, too. First question: Is there a mess that’s spreading? If yes, call the plumber. This is where “stitch in time” thinking works best. It may be a small mess that might at this point be kept in the sink. Or maybe you can contain it to an easily cleaned room. However, it could easily get out of hand without warning. The next thing you know, there’s a claim on homeowner’s or renter’s insurance for damaged furniture or carpeting. That can definitely add a lot of cost and inconvenience to the bill. And we won’t even go into what it would add to the cost if we have to go into a wall, ceiling, or floor.

2nd Question

Let’s go back to our decision tree. If the answer to the first question is no, then we move to the second point. Does the slowdown or blockage affect every drain in the house? If the answer is yes, the clog is in a main drain somewhere and needs to be taken care of by a professional. That means you should call a plumber. If the answer is no, then it’s a more localized issue. It could even be confined to one drain. Maybe not something that requires fast action.

3rd Question

When diagnosing the issue, it also makes sense to consider how soon the drain needs to be used. Is the clogged drain that one sink in the guest bathroom, for example? It may be okay to wait a bit before calling the plumber. Unless, of course, great-aunt Bessie is arriving today for her annual visit and she always uses the guest bathroom. In that case, the need to clear out that particular drain has just become both urgent and important. If, however, it isn’t easy to figure out what’s causing the problem, calling in the plumber is probably the best possible move.

4th Question

Which brings us to our next question: Is the clogged drain in a critical area? For example, is it in the kitchen sink? Or in the main floor lavatory that everyone uses? Or maybe the clogged drain is in the only bathroom in the house? Yikes. Of course, what qualifies as a critical area depends on the situation. If the answer is yes, call in the plumber. If the answer is no, there’s time to take a deep breath.

The point when deciding to call a plumber for a blocked channel is when it first becomes the user’s attention (s) of a particular fixture. “A stitch saves nine times” are good words to go through, especially when it’s a blocked channel problem. Addressing the problem immediately can prevent bad things from happening. Do you have blocked or slow channels? Contact a professional plumber now to schedule your appointment with a professional plumber of certified.

Complement Your Inspection Business With Sewer Inspection

Questions to Consider When Choosing a Pipe Inspection System

Pipe Inspection and location systems represent a significant investment for most small businesses. In return, they offer unique diagnostic and marketing potential that can either save or earn a tremendous amount of money for your company.  Choosing the right system for your needs is a task that should be taken with serious attention to detail in order to avoid a costly mistake

What size pipes/drains/sewers are you likely to be inspecting?

The great divide in pipe inspection systems is between push rod and tractor pull style systems. Which style do you need? Tractor pull systems are generally for large, municipal style drain pipes (10 inch and larger) and pull themselves down the line. They tend to be controlled with a joystick and computer system by an operator sitting in a specially made truck or van. Prices begin in the high 30 thousands and go up from there. They are outfitted with additional lighting and swivel heads to look left, right, up and down. They are usually purchased by municipalities and larger companies.

Micro-systems, designed for 1 1/2 to 3-inch pipes. Due to the flexibility required for this size pipe, these push rods are very thin and weak. (Keep in mind that there is an inverse relationship between strength and flexibility.) If used in larger pipes, the probability of damage to the structure of the push rod is very high. They seldom have a built-in locator beacon, and may or may not have a built-in recording device.

Mini-systems, designed for 2 to 4-inch pipes. These systems are used for indoor work in the small and medium-sized pipes that connect bathrooms, sinks and toilets within a building. The push rod used in these units is stronger and less flexible than a micro unit, but the emphasis is still on flexibility, not strength. If used in larger pipes, these systems are at greater risk of kinking and damage. They usually have built-in locator beacons and often have the option of a built-in recording system.

Main line systems, designed for 3 to 12-inch lines. These systems are designed for use in outdoor pipes. While flexible enough to negotiate a house trap, the emphasis is on strength rather than flexibility. These systems generally have the same features as Mini-Systems.

 

Your Ultimate Guide to Choosing the Right Pipeline Inspection Services

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) estimates an average of 24,500 sewer overflows occur every year in the United States. Choosing the right pipeline inspection services may help prevent overflows in your city. It can also save you money by helping you keep a small problem from becoming a large one

Pipeline Size

The size of your pipelines plays an important role in finding the right inspection service. Sizes can vary from wide or narrow depending on your area’s system.

Certifications

When it comes to hiring pipeline inspection services, certifications matters. Certification is valid proof that a company went through a process to meet specific standards.

Types of Services

Choosing an inspection service that can perform several types of services will help you save time searching for different companies to cover various types of inspections.

Manhole Video inspection

The lifespan of manhole systems will depend on how often you inspect them and how well you maintain them. Environmental factors such as root trees, storms, and even earthquakes can damage the infrastructure.

 

Why Every Home Buyer Should Get a Sewer Inspection

Inspections are par for the course when buying a home, but there’s one important system that many potential buyers overlook: the sewer line

A typical home inspection doesn’t examine the sewer because it is buried underground. The only surefire way to have the system inspected is to hire someone to perform a sewer camera inspection. The cost of this inspection is worth it.

Imagine buying a home and finding out weeks later that there are problems with the sewer system. You’re dealing with messy backups in your home, and now you have to repair the problem.

Sewer repair is not cheap. On average, repairs can cost $5,000. If the problem is in the street, repairs can easily creep up to $20,000 or more.

Don’t assume that a newer home won’t have sewer issues. In one horror story, buyers purchased a home built in 2006. The builder decided it would be a good idea to reuse the clay sewer line from the early 1900s to save on costs. An inspection found that the line had several breaks that needed repair, despite the home being almost new.

 

Sewer Camera Inspection: What It Can and Can’t Find

A sewer camera is a valuable tool to help determine if there’s a problem with your home’s sewer system. Maybe you noticed a nasty sewer gas odor. Or maybe your water isn’t draining as fast as it use to. Or worse, you’ve got an overflowing toilet

What is a Sewer Camera Inspection?

First, let’s cover what a sewer camera inspection is. Typically sewer lines are installed under the foundation of your house. There’s the concrete slab which is about 4 or 5 five inches thick and then about 2 feet or so of dirt above the pipe.

What a Sewer Camera Inspection Can’t Do

Despite what many in the plumbing industry think, there are limitations to what a sewer camera sees inside your sewer lines. But there is one thing a sewer camera absolutely cannot see.

Locate Leaks

A sewer camera alone cannot determine if you have a leak or to locate a leak or leaks in your sewer lines. In fact, this is so important, it bears repeating

Reasons Why a Sewer Camera Can’t Locate a Leak

A leak is water escaping the pipe through a hole, break, or crack. Since the camera is inside the pipe, it cannot see the outside of the pipe. Meaning, it can’t see if something is leaking OUT of the pipe. It can only show what is going on INSIDE the pipe.

The plumber is looking at a monitor displaying what the camera “sees.” So the plumber has to interpret, or guess, what he’s seeing. He might think he see something that looks like a hole, break, or crack in the pipe. But keep in mind, this is your sewer system we’re talking about. This is where your waste flushes and runs through. Trust us when we say it does not look good. And all that gunk and waste makes it hard to tell if something is a leak based solely on what can be seen on the monitor.

Sewer pipes are usually one of two types: cast iron or PVC, both thick-walled pipes. So something very possibly might look like a hole or a crack or a break. But because the walls of the pipe are so thick, it’s possible what the plumber is seeing does not go all the way through the pipe so no water is leaking out at all. The result: no leak.

Particularly with cast iron, but this could also be true for PVC, there are years of buildup on the walls of the pipe. Calcium, soap scum, grease, debris… you name it, builds up on the walls of your sewer pipes. So any cracks or holes the plumber sees could very well be in the buildup and not the actual pipe.

 

Choosing the Best Inspection Camera for Your Business

Inspection cameras are one of the most valuable tools for any drain cleaner. Whether you’re checking a line to diagnose a problem before beginning a job or you need to locate a blockage to determine how to clear the line, the inspection camera is a must-have.

“The typical use for your everyday plumber for an inspection camera is to locate a blockage or a break in the line,” says Justin King, vice president at Amazing Machinery Inc. “They want to see the condition of the pipe, understanding if any service or repairs are needed to that line.”

Features and size

Cameras today offer a wide range of features and benefits to meet the demands of all types and sizes of pipelines. While some units may fit the needs of a large municipality with a regular inspection schedule and hundreds or thousands of miles of pipeline to maintain, it may not be suitable for a small drain cleaning company.

One such option is the easy-to-use Pan n’ Tilt push camera from Ratech Electronics. It is designed for pipes and drains as small as 3 inches in diameter and offers black-and-white, color, self-leveling, micro and pan n’ tilt camera options.

More advanced inspection camera systems include network communications options such as Wi-Fi to transmit to a nearby computer.  King notes the Wi-Fi feature is a great option for municipal applications, but a private contractor may not need it. “They’ll want the basic system, a get-your-job-done kind of camera, that’s where you’re going to find more of your affordable types of cameras that private companies can afford to invest in.”