camera inspections
camera inspections

Camera Inspections

What Is a Sewer Camera Inspection?

If you’ve done any research on sewer line problems, you’ve probably seen something about “sewer cameras” or “video pipe inspections.” Any plumber worth their salt uses this technique when diagnosing sewer backups or sewer pipe damage, so it’s wise for homeowners to know what sewer camera inspections are and what they’re used for should a sewer problem ever arise.

camera inspections service


The purpose of a sewer camera is to be able to see what’s causing a blockage or backup within the sewer pipe without digging up the yard or just guessing what the problem is. Because sewer repairs and pipe replacements are no small task, this helps homeowners avoid expensive repairs without knowing for certain that their problem will be solved when the work is done. A tiny, flexible sewer camera is attached to a snake-like cable that plumbers feed through the sewer pipe until it reaches the cause of the clog (or break in the line). A radio transmitter on the camera records the physical location of the line and depth from the surface, telling the plumber where the blockage is and what work needs to be done to fix it.


A sewer inspection camera can identify nearly any problem with your sewer line, but these are some of the most common:

  • These are most common with old pipes made out of clay, cast iron, or other porous materials. Tree roots seek out water sources as they grow, and if they find a crack in your sewer pipe, they’ll grow into it to get to the water inside. Learn about how to avoid tree root infiltration here.
  • Broken, cracked, or collapsed pipes: Since the camera feeds along the pipe itself, the plumber will be able to tell if the pipe has collapsed, shifted, or become damaged.
  • Major blockages: Sometimes your pipes are in perfect condition, but years of sending things down the pipes that should go in the trashcan have caused a buildup of grease, paper, and other gunk.
  • Sagging or bellied sewer lines: When a section of the sewer pipe begins to sag, waste gets caught in the bellied section—resulting in repeat blockages.

Quick tips to minimize sewer backups »


Once your plumber identifies the cause of the sewer line backup, you may have different options for how to tackle the issue. Ask Your Plumber What Best Option is For You?