Denver has an estimated 10 million feet of sewer lines, with around 1.6 million feet being over 100 years old. Sewer lines are essential to the city’s infrastructure, ensuring that waste does not pollute the environment or drinking water. Certain problems affect the sewer lines in Denver, and some of these can only be identified with a camera inspection.
What Is a Sewer Line Camera Inspection?
During a sewer line camera inspection, plumbing professionals use a long robotic snake with a small camera attached to the end. This inspection allows plumbers to see what is going on with your sewer pipes in real-time. Thanks to the camera’s flexibility and its ability to navigate pipes, plumbers can get a clear vision of problems that they would have only been able to guess at without this visual aid.
After a plumber inserts the flexible rod that supports a camera into the drain or pipe, the camera broadcasts everything in front of it onto a small screen that the plumber can view. The camera uses LED lights to see even in the darkest areas. The entire process is recorded, allowing the plumber to locate an issue that needs to be repaired.
Finding Cracks in Pipes
Sewer line camera inspections are often used to find cracks and fractures that would be impossible to identify otherwise. Even small hairline cracks can impact the structural integrity of your home’s sewer pipelines. They can also allow wastewater to affect clean groundwater.
Cracks and fractures in sewer pipes can result from poor soil bedding, poor original installation, root penetration, or pipe deterioration due to age. When a crack in a pipe gets so big that it exposes soil to the system, it is an emergency that immediately requires an open trench or trenchless sewer repair.
A minor hairline fracture in a pipe will not immediately impact the function of your sewer line. However, with time, such a crack will only worsen and become a more considerable nuisance. This is why when minor hairline fractures are identified with a camera sewer inspection, scheduling another inspection in three to five years is recommended to see how it is increasing.
A moderate crack can impact how your sewer lines work. If your plumber finds a crack with root intrusions or exposed aggregate, they will work with you to determine if the issue should be repaired immediately or if you should have your pipes reinspected a year later to determine when repairs should be done.
A severe crack means that the breach is already compromising your sewer lines or that it will compromise them shortly, leading to a full-on structural pipe failure. Severe cracks and fractures must be dealt with immediately.
Finding Sagging Pipes
In most areas, sewer lines rely on gravity to pull the waste from your home to the sewer. When you flush the toilet, the drain carries the solid waste down a sloping pipe that starts at your home and ends in the main sewer system. Unfortunately, sometimes the sewer line’s slope is disrupted, making it difficult for water and solid waste to travel to their destination freely.
There are a lot of causes for a sagging sewer line. The soil that supports a part of the sewer line sometimes settles, allowing the line to sag. Changes in temperature, heavy rains, or poor soil compaction when the pipe was laid can contribute to a sagging sewer line. As trees grow, their roots sometimes exert pressure against the soil and, by extension, the sewer pipe.
When a sewer line starts to sag, homeowners experience a clogged pipe, backed-up sewer line, or sewage leakage. If our plumbing technicians at High 5 Plumbing find a sagging sewer line when doing a camera inspection, we can offer you a variety of options on how you can fix the problem and get your plumbing system working the way it should again.
Pipe Joints and Shifting
With a sewer line camera inspection, our technicians can identify locations where pipe joints or sections of pipe have shifted. These shifts happen as a result of the movement of the ground. Swelling groundwater, the age of the pipes, or poor initial installation can also cause pipe joints and pipes to shift.
Any condition that impacts the smooth sloped line of your sewer pipes will eventually lead to a serious problem. Water and waste will not be able to flow freely and will continue to exert pressure on the already weakened areas of the pipe, causing more damage. With time, weak joints can separate. Water and waste can spill out, or clogs can form as debris finds its way into the joint opening.
Denver is known for its drastic temperature shifts between winter and summer. As the temperature changes, the ground can swell and sink. Most pipes are installed to tolerate a small amount of change in the surrounding soil. However, over time, even minor fluctuations can wear out joints, leading to damage that needs to be repaired.
Grease in the Line
Oil and grease used in cooking have poor water solubility. Fat, in particular, has the tendency to separate from water.
Large amounts of oil in the wastewater can negatively impact sewage pipes. This is because grease sticks to the inside of sewer pipes both on a homeowner’s property and in the street. With time, oil can minimize a pipe’s capacity, requiring the pipe system to be cleaned or even replaced.
If not appropriately addressed, sewage buildup, whether it’s in a home or a commercial building, can lead to problems that result in raw sewage backups and overflow. When sewers overflow, they pollute streams and rivers, increasing the chance that the population will come into contact with organisms that carry disease.
There are several things that homeowners can do to prevent grease buildup in their sewage lines. This includes keeping grease out of the wash water, separating food scraps into a waste container, and removing oil and grease from kitchen utensils before washing them. It is also extremely unwise pour grease down the drain, use the drain as a way of disposing of food scraps, or use cold water in the sink to clean grease off surfaces. If these precautions are not taken, grease can build up in the sewage pipes, leading to several issues that can be very expensive and time-consuming to address.
Enjoy the Benefits of Working With a Top-Rated Plumber in Denver
At High 5 Plumbing, we have developed a people-first style of business and communication that sets us apart from our competition. We are proud to have been recognized with the Angie’s List Super Service Award, the Small Business of the Year Award from the chamber of commerce, and to have been listed as one of the fastest-growing private companies in the United States.
Our services include plumbing maintenance, repair, and installation. We repair and install water heaters, tankless water heaters, and gas pipes. Of course, we’re also proud to offer drain cleaning and video inspections. Contact High 5 Plumbing today and let us show you through the quality of our work just how much we care about our Denver customers.