6 Perks of a Video Drain Inspection

A clogged drain, cracked pipe, or persistent leak can be a big hassle. But, trying to locate it in the first place can be an even bigger hassle. Tearing up your walls, landscaping, or plumbing just to find an elusive problem takes time, money, and energy. Luckily, video drain inspections take the guess work and dirty work out of identifying a whole host of plumbing problems.

The process of a video drain inspection

Waterproof, flexible, and equipped with a strong lighting fixture, the inspection camera is often referred to as a pipeline inspection gauge. The camera apparatus is connected to display equipment by a sturdy fiber optic cable, so that the camera can deliver real-time video footage. Typically, the camera is lowered at a downward angle into the pipeline with the help of a small localized generator.

From there, the camera begins to capture and record its findings; from deep cracks and harmful blockages to corroded pipes. The camera delivers 360-degree high-resolution footage because it’s mounted on a swiveling and rotating head, leaving no inch of the pipes unexplored.

Once the damage is discovered and assessed by a professional, the footage is saved for a permanent record of the site. Then, the camera and cable are carefully removed from the pipes. If the pipe is large enough, a tool called a tractor is used to pull the cable out in reverse. For smaller and slimmer pipes, a semi-rigid rope is used to pull the cable back through the pipeline.

The perks

With its simple, efficient, and largely mess-free process, it’s easy to see why a video drain inspection is such a valuable tool for plumbers and homeowners facing difficult clogs, cracks, and more. Here are six more important perks of a video drain inspection.

1.      Easily locate damage and problems

Your plumber may not have x-ray vision, but a video drain inspection is the next best thing. With clear footage, a video drain inspection provides your plumber with a nearly foolproof way to find damage and problems of all sizes. Additionally, a video drain inspection gives you the collateral you need to bring up the repair to your landlord or insurance company. With video evidence, you can prove the need for a repair and begin to discuss who’s responsible for payment.

2.      Make informed decisions

Rather than shooting blindly about what may or may not need to be done, your plumber can give you a clear picture about what’s necessary and how much time or money it’ll take. With a clear quote and scope of work in mind, you can have a better idea of what to expect throughout the repair process. Your plumber can also accurately provide you with options that will actually work, instead of options that might work.

3.      Spot small hidden problems

Similar to how a checkup with your doctor can spot small health problems before they become serious, a video drain inspection can nip potentially costly problems in the bud. Corrosion, leaks, and cracks can spell big trouble if left alone, and a video drain inspection is just about the only way to diagnose them early. We recommend scheduling a video drain inspection every couple of years, to make sure there isn’t any trouble brewing in your drains.

4.      Less intrusive

Before video drain inspections, the only way to find a clog was to dig a long, deep trench in the home’s yard and physically look into the sewer line. This destroyed landscaping, annoyed neighbors, and required headache-inducing local permits. Not to mention, this process took a lot of time and energy, and it wasn’t foolproof—the end result could easily be that there wasn’t a clog at all. Thankfully, these days are behind us. Video drain inspections are virtually mess-free, and won’t leave any lasting damage in your home or yard. If a video drain inspection finds that there’s no clog or problem present, you won’t have to deal with putting your yard back together.

5.      Peace of mind for older homes

Historic homes may be charming, but their plumbing sure isn’t. Outdated piping materials and plumbing technology means that older homes are more vulnerable to clogs, cracks, and leaks. These problems can turn from annoying to dangerous and expensive in the blink of an eye, as old pipes can collapse under the weight of the soil or explode under the pressure of a blockage. Additionally, older homes are prone to tree roots staking a claim in the plumbing system, with decades of uninhibited growth. Instead of worrying about the mysteries your home is hiding, you can gain peace of mind and clarity from a video drain inspection.

6.      No surprises for new homeowners

A video drain inspection is the best way to make sure you won’t inherit plumbing problems from the previous owner of your home. If any problems are present, you can try to negotiate any repairs as part of the sale. That way, you’ll avoid having to pay for a problem that was present long before you bought the house.

After the inspection: drain cleaning

If a video inspection identifies a clog or blockage, the next step is to clean it out of the drain. At Chas Roberts, we utilize several drain cleaning methods to address problems both big and small.

Sewer machines or “drain snakes”

Otherwise known as drain snakes, these mechanical augers, or drills, are used to mechanically remove difficult blockages that cannot be removed from plunging or other methods. When operated by a plumber, sewer machines can restore optimal water flow in your drains and leave no residual blockages behind.


Bio-clean uses living bacteria and enzymes to break down and eat away the organic waste that can cause clogs and blockages in your plumbing system. An annual cleaning with bio-clean is a perfect solution for maintain your plumbing and keeping any potential clogs at bay.

Hydro jetting

Hydro jetting is a powerful cleaning tool that uses a high-pressure water stream to clean the inside of your plumbing system. The power of the water removes grease, limescale, and other debris that build up in pipes over time. For recurring blockages or frustrating clogs that don’t respond to other methods, hydro jetting is an ideal choice.

Get a video drain inspection from Chas Roberts

By combining our specialized knowledge, years of experience, and powerful tools like piping video cameras, we’re able to deliver the best possible service to homeowners across the Valley—no matter what the plumbing problem. We know the plumbing in your home is important, so trust the experts and contact Chas Roberts for your next video drain inspection or other plumbing repair job.