Video Pipe Inspection

Seeing Is Believing! This applies to every field be it medical, automotive and plumbing too.


In the case of video pipe inspection for plumbers, a camera is lowered into the bowels of the sewer or water pipeline labyrinth. Arriving at the point of blockage the camera informs the technician as too the exact status of the pipe or sewer and where the problem lies. Sewers and pipes typically are placed way below the surface of the earth and are surrounded by trees and foliage. With time, tree-roots and creeper plants start to grow either into the pipe or around the pipes. Either way, they slowly but surely start to break the structure of the sewer or water pipe. These plants remain invisible underground while doing their silent damage. A video pipe inspection, when done with care, caution and patience helps detect the problem in its entirety and a complete and comprehensive solution to such problems is found and implemented for lasting results. Besides blockage by trees and plants, there are other issues a sewer or water pipe goes through including rust, mud, sludge, oil-based kitchen waste etc. These are among the issues which either block the sewer or water pipes or cause it to rupture prematurely.


Another aspect is that we might not know the exact location of the blockage and could end-up digging the entire length of the sewer pipe from end to end which would be a waste of time, money and of course, the appearance. With video pipe inspection, the same can be done with minimum invasiveness while knowing where exactly where the problem lies. Sometimes, there may be just no reason to dig, cut or break anything. A simple jet spray at the blockage may do the job. With the video pipe inspection, costs and hassles can be reduced to a minimum!

Way before the video pipe-inspection methodology came about, the only way to inspect and know for sure what the problem was to manually explore down into the pipes, a potentially dangerous situation given that these pipes are full of the worst kinds of toxins and a storehouse of some of the most toxic of gases which besides being flammable, can easily cause harm to you and your family. With regular maintenance including video pipe inspections, the plumbing technician can ascertain what the problem is and can plan to take the right steps. Speaking of inconvenience, most homes in the US which has independent sewer systems have large gardens, pools, outhouses and the like. Imagine having to rip these apart just to locate a problem with the sewer line laid below! And what if the problem turns out to be way less significant than all the destruction it entailed? You would end up having to spend significantly more on something which called for a significantly less.

There is just one solution. A video pipe inspection system! As for the video pipe inspection system, it consists of the following parts:

  1. Camera and lighting equipment: In most cases a cylindrical body which has on it the camera and LED lamps to illuminate and capture images of the pipe-section being inspected. The camera has a swivel head which means it can move and take pictures in all (or nearly all) directions.
  2. Cable connecting camera to power-source: Video sewer line inspection services such as A-General Plumbing and Sewer Services have cameras that are externally powered by either batteries or generators which stand mounted on trucks very close to the mouth of the pipe or sewer.
  3. Cable connecting camera to recording devices: Cameras these days being digital, their output are recorded on PCs and laptops which are stationed in the vehicle which also contains the batteries powering the camera. Continuous and sometimes real-time images are analyzed on the job site for quick and accurate decisions and game planning.
  4. Transmitter to communicate exact location: The transmitter unit in a video pipe-inspection system helps locate the exact position of blockages and or problems. So besides live pictures, out personnel also knowledge of where to dig and to what depths.
  5. Rope to pull the camera out of the pipe or sewer-line: Most equipment used in inspecting water and sewer pipes are either mounted on small motors or are physically pushed into the pipe. Pushing them in is easy. The problem arises when you have to retrieve the camera. It is here that special ropes (in most cases of high-grade nylon) are used which can take up a lot of punishment in the form of abrasion, hard-rubbing and presence of toxic substances.
  6. Reel to wind the cables and rope: Video pipe and sewer-line services can’t move an inch in any direction if all the ropes and wires aren’t taken care of. And it is here that the winch and reeling equipment to wind these come in handy. Mostly made of steel and constructed to take quite a bit of punishment, most reeling equipment which finds application in Video pipeline inspection services besides sewer line inspections are built quite strong. To reduce work-load, these winches in most cases are housed in our A-General service truck. They help wind the pipes and cables right away to the safety of their parent vehicle and store them in safety.

Using a video pipe-inspection system brings many advantages including:

  • No digging: Digging in itself and that too without adequate reference can be a painful and frustrating job. And here we speak of a pipe whose length can stretch hundreds of feet! Not knowing where to dig and what to expect is not a scenario anyone wants to encounter. The video pipe-inspection system puts an end to blind and fruitless digging and replaces it with surgically precise intervention which does the job much better and without unnecessary loss of resources.
  • Your eyes go where no man’s has gone before: The problem could be right under your home, the porch, the garden, the pool or any other part of the pipe run leading to the intersection with the community sewer-line. And our video pipe-inspection system with its special video cameras can go to great lengths in your sewer lines to pin-point any blockage and reason.
  • Permanent solution: Knowing the exact cause of a problem and its location means you are free to take necessary steps to completely mitigate the problem for a reasonable length of time. Upon getting a precise report, our team can then assess the extent of damage and formulate a workable and durable course of action.
  • Obviates future problems: Video pipe inspection gives a full and true disclosure of the entire sewer pipe even when it is under tons of concrete & stone. Steps taken basis our report can help completely obviate problems likely to arise later.
  • Problems won’t shock you: When you know what to expect, you can steel yourself against the shocks and in most cases, even go out and find the right solutions. Video pipe-inspection lets you know what is wrong and where and when it is likely to turn into a bigger problem. All this helps tame the problem beforehand.

The precise process of conducting a video pipe-inspection:

Upon getting a client’s request to locate a supposed sewer line leak which escapes normal over ground detection, our team reaches the site with our equipment and from the opening provided by a manhole drain cover or other inlet, insert an inspection rod which has a special camera attached to it.

The camera thus attached has high resolution and is attached to a recorder by a fiber optic cable for interruption-free high-resolution images. This camera is best suited for the job in terms of durability which means it is waterproof, shock and scratch resistant. In addition, the camera has a 360-degree swivel head to record pictures in every direction. The camera and cable on their part, are latched on to a motorized tray with small wheels which on its part is attached to a flexible cable which makes movements easy especially in tight spaces, turns and corners.

When turned on, the tray with the camera moves ahead while the camera sends live video footage of the entire sewer pipe from every angle. Our personnel above the pipe get clear video and still images of the conditions existing in the sewer line which include existing problems and potential ones. The footage thus received is stored on the computer to be shown to the home owner and to chart the future course of action. Also, the video pipe-inspection unit transmits its position relative to everything around it. Where it stops moving, and on the basis of the photographs it generates, our personnel can make a decision regarding the future course of action which could alternate between digging a hole and blasting the obstruction with jet spray.

Likely outcome of a video pipe-inspection:

Besides giving the location of obstructions, holes and leaks, a video inspection of sewer pipes helps in the following ways:

  • Provides a precise location of grease and other clog build-ups
  • It helps locate growths like tree roots, creepers etc.
  • It helps locate and verify the extent of corrosion, damages and leaks in the pipe that need special attention in the present and the future.
  • It helps give the precise dimensions of the pipe and other structures in terms of depth and layout.
  • It helps corroborate the structure of sewer lines with those on paper and show diversions & variances (if any).
  • It helps locate other utilities attached to a sewer line such as storm-water drains.
  • It helps to know and understand the exact condition of pipes underground.
  • Where there is a dispute between a civil contractor and house-owner, the video-inspection report could be the best means to come to a rightful conclusion.

Not every leak or back flush calls for video pipe-inspection. It should be attempted when:

  1. Buying a new house? A new real-estate purchase could alternate between a long-held dream and a long-despised nightmare. And the cause of this could be right under your feet. Yes, in your sewer line plumbing. A lot gets hidden under a good floor and the only way to find out is to set your eyes right there, in the drain. And the best and only way to get there is to have a video pipe-inspection done. Ideally, it should be done even before the purchase but if it wasn’t, it should be done immediately after. Doing so early on helps stave off potential and sometimes humongous problems.
  2. Problems persist! Superficial repairs can never solve problems deep down. And problems deep down have a nasty habit of rearing their heads when least expected. If sewer-related problems happen every now and then, and you seem to have come to your wit’s end, try video pipe-inspection. It’s an expense without a doubt but what it can bring you shall last a lifetime, and beyond.
  3. When the house is old with a history of problems behind it! Old homes have an indescribable feel and smell about them. And with time and lack of serious repairs, a particular strain gets added to the smell. The stench of the gutters which refuses to leave despite the best of plumbing efforts. Add to that other plumbing issues! Get over all of them in one shot by going for a video pipe-inspection. Whatever be the outcome, you shall know exactly what needs to be done. You retain your old home, minus some noxious smells.
  4. When the yard around the house has a lot of vegetation which go deep into the earth. This is a classic case which most folks forget to address. If a tree is big, it’s a given that its roots would be twice as big. And if it’s too close to your house, there could be every reason to believe that this same tree which you grew and took good care of, is affecting your sewer and water pipes by going right through them. To be sure your favorite tree remains just that; get your sewer video pipe-inspected at the earliest.

With locations all over New Jersey A-General is just around the corner for your video pipe-inspection needs. Our locations: Monmouth County, Ocean County, Atlantic County and Burlington Country.