The Critical Benefits of an In-Line Sewer Camera Inspection

The Critical Benefits of an In-Line Sewer Camera Inspection

  • Plumbing
sewer camera inspection

Today’s technology has changed the home sewer inspection process tremendously. In many cases a full sewer line excavation is not necessary. Where there is intrusion and line repair needed, it’s now possible to isolate the problem or to repair it from the inside instead of a full excavation and new line installation. Much of this advancement has come about because of in-line plumbing camera technology.

In-line sewer video cameras offer multiple benefits for the trained technician. These include determination the nature of a line blockage (roots, line separations, artificial material blockages, material flow problems), integrity inspection of the sewer line, and extent of the damage to be repaired or replaced. Cameras also help plumbers prepare with the right equipment when salvaging an existing like with industrial equipment such as high pressure jet cleaning tools. The wrong tool could damage the pipe, but a camera will confirm the condition and proper pressure approach every time.

On the other hand, not using a camera can be extremely costly for a homeowner. For example, a misjudgment of the line problem could end up in charges for a far more extensive line repair that turns out not be necessary, including excavation. In addition, there could be problems with estimating the exactly location of the issue as well, which could make the problem worse and bigger repair. Again, accuracy in knowledge is a win-win for everyone involved.  

The main features of an in-line sewer camera are primarily based around the camera apparatus itself, the data feed cable which comes in the form of an insulated and sealed fiber optic cable for heavy duty applications, the LED lighting mechanism on the end of the camera to illuminate the details filmed, and the video monitor above ground which allows the technician to see the progress in real-time as well as record the findings for review and analysis.

Camera Head and Assembly

If there is a critical part in the entire in-line sewer camera system, it’s the camera head. This is the most expensive component in the setup and the part that captures the critical information. It is also extremely sensitive and easy to damage. An untrained technician or someone new to the job can do a lot of damage very quickly forcing the camera apparatus through a line and, in essence, making the camera head a luxury battering ram to a blockage. Not only does that ruin the whole purpose of the effort, it can also damage any information capture as well. While these industrial cameras are specifically designed and built for their environments, repeat use of jamming the camera through resistance simply destroys it over time. That’s why the best technicians use a very light approach, working slowly and methodically. It saves the equipment and produces crystal clear images with easy to analyze recordings of what’s going on inside the line.


Attached to the Camera rear is the fiber optic cabling, shielded in an industrial sheath wrapping so that the materials and moisture in a sewer line don’t damage the fiber itself. It’s also designed for easy cleaning so that the equipment be sanitized after the fact before packaging again for transport. This type of cabling doesn’t do well with extreme bending or folding. Instead, it is wound on a large wheel assembly for protected storage when not in use. The fiber optics allow for significant data transfer from the camera to the monitor, allowing for high detail with a closed circuit system. The cabling and camera are sent through the line with a push rod that gives the technician control and the ability to propel the camera through the line at distance.

LED Lighting

Attached to the top of the camera apparatus is a sealed LED lighting unit that provides a tight concentration of illumination. While it’s not going to light up a neighborhood, the LED unit provides more than enough light for the camera to pick up detail and show in clarity and even color what’s going on in front of it. With good practice, the lighting and image gives the technician enough information to see what’s happening as he sends the unit through, how to navigate issues, and when the line cannot be traveled any further.

The Monitor

Finally, the monitor is the display that the technician watches and records with as the camera inside the line does its job. Directly connected to the fiber optics cabling, the monitor will display in detail and real time what is happening in front of the unit in the line as well the time stamp. Some advanced units can also display various sensor data such a temperature and humidity as well, which is why this kind of equipment is also used by archaeologists and law enforcement/public safety for similar confined space visual examination.

As discussed above, modern plumbing technology is now light years from where it was only two decades ago. And in-line pipe inspections allow far better repair performance as well as saving consumers thousands of dollars from unnecessary repairs. In comparison to how things used to be done, it would be foolhardy to attempt any sewer line repair today without a camera inspection first.

Call MillTown today and get your sewer camera inspection!

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sewer camera inspection

By Milltown Plumbing

10 Warning Signs Your Drains or Sewers Need to Be Serviced

10 Warning Signs Your Drains or Sewers Need to Be Serviced

  • Plumbing
drain and sewer service

Maintaining the health of your sewers and drains is important because it eliminates foul odors and prevents water overflow issues, as well as prevents expensive home repairs and health problems. Read on to discover our 10 warning signs that your home needs drain and sewer service.

1.Multiple Clogged Fixtures

Multiple clogged fixtures are the most common sign of drain and sewer problems. Fixtures that frequently pose a threat include bathtubs, toilets, and showers. These clogs are caused by a buildup of debris, such as hair, excess paper, and non-flushable items.

2. Slowly Draining Fixtures

Common causes of slowly draining fixtures are soap scum build up and an accumulation of hair and other debris, including foreign objects.

3. Wet Spots on Landscapes

Wet spots on landscapes are eyesores, and they kill your home’s curb appeal. Wet spots are puddles of standing water that make your lawn look like it is flooded in different places. Standing water not only attracts mosquitos and suffices as a perfect breeding ground, but it also causes your grass and plants to become over-hydrated.

4. Unpleasant Odors

Unpleasant drain odors derive from venting problems, dry p-trap, and sewer line issues. Unpleasant odors that come from the drain due to sewer problems are an indication that there is a block or a break within the sewer line.

5. Gurgling Noises

Gurgling noises in your drains are the result of grease and dirt buildup. Due to this buildup, air bubbles cannot flow freely through the pipes. This causes water to drain slowly and creates a gurgling noise.

6. Frequent Drain Clogs

Kitchen sinks clog more than any other drain in the home. Common causes of frequent drain clogs include food, grease, hair, and small objects. Items that should not be placed down the kitchen drain include paper towels, egg shells, coffee grinds, produce stickers, and corrosive substances.

7. Overflowing Toilets

Overflowing toilets are more common than many people think, especially in a home with three or more people living there. Toilets overflow because of a blockage within the pipes.

8. Leaking Pipes

The different causes of leaking pipes include strong pressure within the pipes, the amount of oxygen in the water, and the water’s pH. An abundance of oxygen in water causes pipes to corrode rapidly. An imbalance in water’s pH causes pipes to rust and deteriorate.

9. Water Damage

Broken and leaking pipes are the common cause of water damage. Other causes of water damage include sewer backup, overflowing bathtubs, and broken toilets.

10. Expensive Household Bills

Water and sewer bill expenses are based upon consumption. When you have leaking pipes and other sewer and plumbing problems, your sewer or water bill can skyrocket. Some leaks in the home are easier to locate than others. Bathroom leaks are easier to find than kitchen leaks because kitchen sinks have more complex piping systems.

Situations That Occur When Sewer and Drain Issues Are Ignored

When sewer and drain issues are left unattended, they can increase or be compounded with other problems. Homeowners suffer a great deal of discomfort, inconvenience, and expense when their services have to be interrupted or when they are unable to use their plumbing fixtures. Homeowners put themselves at higher risk for additional pipe leaks, malfunctions, and even more expense. The most devastating problem when sewer and drain issues are ignored is sanitation. Flooded toilets and sinks are the perfect breeding ground for germs and bacteria. With a decreased level of sanitation, you and your family are at risk for contracting and spreading diseases and developing health issues.

The Benefits of  Drain and Sewer Service Issues In a Timely Manner

Handling issues with your sewer and drain as soon as problems arise has many advantages, including improved longevity of plumbing fixtures and reduced risk of water damage. Plumbing fixtures that are maintained properly will save money because you will not have to frequently replace the fixtures. Sewers and drains that work properly have a reduced chance of experiencing leaks, which reduces the risk of water damage. The level of sanitation is improved because germs and bacteria will stay where they belong. To add an extra layer of protection from germs and to control the amount of bacteria, you can routinely pour bleach down your drains and use it when you clean your toilet. Peace of mind is a benefit that cannot be compared to any other benefit. You do not have to stress yourself worrying about the health of your family and the condition of your home. You can sleep peacefully knowing your sewer and drains are functioning correctly. The misery of spreading germs and bacteria, household damage, and expensive repairs is a thing of the past.

Do not ignore what appear to be simple sewer and drain issues. What seems minimal at the time could be progressing into a major problem.

If you need drain and sewer service, call MillTown today and avoid back-ups in your home!

By Milltown Plumbing

Five Signs You Need Drain or Sewer Repair

Five Signs You Need Drain or Sewer Repair

  • Plumbing
leak detection

Your plumbing is one of the most important systems in your home. Every day, we use our drain and sewer system countless times. Because a majority of your system is located underground or in hard to reach places, it can be hard to tell when there’s an issue. Keep an eye out for the following warning signs in your home, as they can signal your need for drain or sewer repair:

  1. Unpleasant odors. If you can smell something strange in or around your home or outdoors, you may have sewage leaking somewhere. In other cases, your drains themselves may smell funny. Either way, it’s best to have a MillTown professional locate the source of the issue before it has a change to worsen.
  2. Slow drainage or backups. Sinks, tubs, shower and toilets should drain with ease. If they are backing up, it could be a sign that you need sewer repair. Tree roots, ground shifts, or pipe damage can cause blockages and clogs to form in your plumbing system. This is different from a normal clog because it may mean that the actual pipe is damaged and will need to be repaired or replaced.
  3. Pooling water. Whether it’s indoors or in your yard, there typically shouldn’t be pooling water in places that aren’t prone to it. This can mean that you have a sewer or pipe leak somewhere close to the surface. Don’t wait too long to call a professional, as this can cause things to worsen.
  4. Bugs and rodents. Critters and creepy crawlies, to put it simply, love sewage. Bugs live off of, and rodents feed off of them. If you notice an infestation happening on your property, your drain and sewer system may be to blame.
  5. Lush patches of yard. If you notice that certain areas of your yard are especially green and lush, it could mean that they are stealing “fertilizer” from your plumbing system.

How MillTown Can Help

If you notice any of these signs, give MillTown Plumbing a call to schedule your service. Our professional plumbers have almost 40 years of experience providing top-rated drain services to homeowners in the greater Lowell area. From new drain installation to pipe repair and from sewer line cleaning to mainline repair, we have the expertise and experience to do it quickly and cost-effectively. Our drain services include:

  • Sewer main line cleaning
  • Clogged Drains
  • Leak detection
  • Sewer camera inspection
  • Mainline excavation & repair

For drain and sewer repair, call MillTown today! 

By Milltown Plumbing