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Everything You Need To Know Before A Drain Inspection

Drain Inspection Guide

Every homeowner’s worst nightmare is a plumbing clog where sewage starts backing up into their house. Our challenge is it isn’t always easy to determine what’s causing the clog, leak, drip etc. especially in underground pipes. Without the proper tools, it’s like playing “Where’s Waldo” blind.

Thanks to advances in technology and plumbing ingenuity, drain inspection cameras have given plumbers the ability to magnify plumbing issues, to really see the problem close up. Our Knight plumbing experts will often recommend a drain inspection service if the plumbing issue can’t be obviously identified.

Here’s everything you need to know before getting a drain inspection.

What Is A Drain Inspection?

A drain inspection is conducted with a drain camera. This small camera is attached to a long, 200 ft semi-rigid line, which is run down your plumbing system. The camera has a small built-in light giving our plumbers a clear vision of what is happening in your drains from a small handheld screen.

The drain inspection allows our plumbers to consider a variety of common factors, including pipe material, bellies (which is when pipes begin to sag), broken pipe sections, debris buildup causing clogs and much more.

When Should I Get A Drain Inspection?

Most of the time, we’ll recommend to our customers to conduct a drain inspection when we’re faced with a clog or issue on relatively inaccessible pipes. But, we think there are other benefits of customers asking for drain inspections annually, or every few years.

Most plumbing issues don’t pop up overnight. Seeing and understanding what is going on with your drains before there is a major issue allows you to catch debris and blockage buildup, tree root damage and pipe corrosion before sewage start spilling out onto your basement floor.

Common Drain Issues

Tree Roots

Everyone loves a tree-lined neighbourhood, but tree roots are a common plumbing problem that can cause havoc in your plumbing system. Tree roots go where water is and if your pipes have even the smallest leak, tiny growing roots will find their way into your sewer system.

Once that happens, there can be severe issues that can arise, from disconnected pipes to flooding. Tree roots are able to break apart rock and concrete given enough time, so It’s important to get drain inspections, especially if you have a bunch of trees on your property.

Conducting monthly inspections allows you to get ahead of potentially damaging issues and prevent future costly repairs.

Dirt & Debris

From stopping your kitchen sink from draining to clogged toilets, dirt and debris are usually at the core of a plumbing system’s demise. According to the City of Calgary, there are plenty of things that shouldn’t be entering your plumbing system, including:

  • Grease
  • Fats
  • Oils
  • Tissues
  • Wipes
  • Cotton pads
  • Chunks of food

Over time, hair, dead skin and dirt can build up acting like a magnet, pulling ever more bits of debris together until the pipe is completely clogged. We encourage Calgary residents to run drain cleaner throughout their plumbing systems once a month to help cut down some of the inevitable buildups.

Damaged Pipes

Sewer pipes are made out of all sorts of materials, from fired clay to plastic to metal and even hollow wood depending upon the age of your system. Unfortunately, no one solution is immune to age and damage.

With plastic pipes, they begin to separate and sag as the ground settles around them. Sometimes, plastic pipes will have defects in the glue joints or other poor installation issues causing leaks.

Eventually, cast iron pipes begin to corrode. Depending on the pH levels of your water, this can happen slowly or a lot more quickly. Corroded pipes can result in bellies, leaks, access for tree roots and even complete disconnection from the plumbing system.

We encourage Calgary residents to test their water’s pH levels. If the water is hard, we suggest water softener to prevent accelerated corrosion and other issues. Hard water can affect your plumbing as well as your health. Check out our buyer’s guide on water softeners for more information.

Drain Inspection Process

Here’s an example of one of our Knight plumbers conducting a drain inspection at a Calgary home. During the process, customers can watch along with our plumber to ensure the validity of the assessment.

How Much Does A Drain Inspection Cost?

Depending on how long the inspection takes, the cost can vary from $300 to $600.

Before the advent of small waterproof cameras, finding the cause of a blockage meant digging down and exposing the entirety of the pipe. Sometimes necessitating breaking up a basement floor, cutting down trees and destroying your landscaping.

Heavy work costing into the thousands of dollars. Drain inspections today show our plumbers exactly what the issue is, allowing them (and you) to make a confident decision on how to fix your current predicament.

Now You Know!

We’ll always recommend a drain inspection when determining the core issue of any plumbing problem. Having any plumbing problems? Choose Knight Plumbing. Our honest and hardworking plumbers provide all Calgarians with the most efficient solutions and peace of mind.

Give us a call at 587-317-2535.

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