Sewer camera inspections: Here’s why you need to see into your sewer

Sewers do not have a positive reputation. Most people associate them with awful smells, disease, pests, and—given the latest box office—possibly even murderous clowns. All bad things! But, your sewer does serve a purpose. In this blog post, we’ll walk through the reasons why a sewer camera inspection for your home is something you should consider scheduling.

Here in Buffalo and Western New York, Reimer offers sewer camera inspection services to homeowners. If you need to schedule an inspection or you need repairs to your sewer line, we can help. Call us at (716) 694-8524 or contact us online to get started.

A cracked sewer pipe is a big problem

Pictured: A sewer camera inspection can help you avoid the need for major sewer line work.

Pictured: A plumber having to dig up and fix a ceramic sewage pipe that clogged. A sewer inspection can help you avoid this outcome.

When was your home built? Today, homes are built with PVC piping for sewer draining that—left undisturbed under normal conditions—should last more than 100 years. However, if your home was built before the 1980s, chances are that your piping is made of steel, clay tile, or some other, less durable material. A crack is not a matter of if. It’s a matter of when.

The natural wear on the sewer pipe is one thing. However, tree roots and weight on the ground can prematurely take out your pipes, as well. If you have trees around your sewer line, their roots could envelop around the pipe and eventually even break into it, blocking waste and water.

Signs of a cracked sewer line

A cracked sewer pipe is a slow-moving disaster that is not to be ignored. Look for the signs of a cracked sewer pipe:

  • If you have a rooted tree that is near or over where your sewer line runs, you’re at high-risk for problems.
  • Look for conspicuous wet spots on the ground around or over where your sewer line runs.
  • If you smell sewage outside or inside of your home, that’s a potential sign that something’s gone wrong.

If you see any of these signs, call Reimer for a sewer camera inspection immediately. We have a variety of cameras and tools for looking into sewers and seeing if roots and / or cracking is an issue that needs to be addressed.

A sewer backup could be an even bigger problem

So, intruding tree roots can block things from exiting the sewer line. But, so can grease, oils, trash, and a whole number of other things. Over time, grease and oils can accumulate into a physical mass (gross!) that clogs the sewer and reduces the outflow.

On a larger scale, this recently happened in a London municipal sewer, and the results weren’t pretty (you might not want to look on a full stomach!)

However, sewer backup can also be a problem that impacts residential homes right here in Buffalo and Western New York. We recently covered it in our blog on three situations in which you need drain cleaning, but here’s the basic idea:

What goes down must come up, if there’s no “down” to go to.

The telltale sign that your sewer line has completely seized up? Nothing goes down, and all your sinks, showers, toilets, and everything else clog at the same time. When this happens, turn off the water and immediately give Reimer a call.

How to avoid a sewer line blockage

A clogged sewer line is not something to be fixed “tomorrow” or “in the future”. We’ve seen too many homes that have been flooded, damaged, and destroyed by a clogged sewer line. It’s heartbreaking, and we recommend people take these steps to help avoid sewer blockage:

  • Don’t pour grease or oil down your sink. Instead, pour it into a disposable container (preferably, something biodegradable) and throw it away in the trash once it has solidified.
  • Watch what you flush in the toilet. Never flush anything plastic, metal, or really anything that counts as “trash” down the toilet. Too many people think their toilet is a magical portal that transports things “away” from their home. We’re plumbers: trust us, it’s not.

To learn more about our sewer cleaning services, be sure to check out our blog post.

Don’t buy a home without a sewer camera inspection

Great news! You’ve found your dream house here in Western New York—and at a great price! Sounds like a good deal. You hire a general home inspector to look at the furnace and air conditioner. Maybe you get a pest expert, too. But, what about the sewer?

Most experts agree: your general home inspector doesn’t have either the cameras needed to see into sewer lines nor the tools needed to clear blockages or fix problems. Shining a flashlight into your sink drain tells you nothing about the condition of the sewer lines.

Instead, you need to schedule a separate homebuyer’s sewer camera inspection from a professional plumbing company such as ours. We have the cameras and tools needed to see inside sewer lines and determine if cracks or blockages exist.

Knowledge is peace of mind

From there, as a prospective homebuyer, you can use that knowledge to either walk away from the purchase or to negotiate with the seller to get it taken care of by our team.

This goes for many things when you’re buying a home, but double for anything involving sewers: the price of an inspection and the peace of mind it provides is nothing next to the cost and headache of buying a home and then later discovering that you’ll need to sink money into major repairs.

Call Reimer for sewer camera inspections in Buffalo & Western New York

Reimer has been serving Buffalo and Western New York homeowners for more than 95 years. As the “Wizard of Comfort,” we’re known throughout the region for our outstanding heating, cooling, and plumbing services. From drain cleaning to sewer camera inspections, we are here for you.

Some reasons to trust us with your sewer line inspection and plumbing repairs:

  1. We’re an A+ rated business (Better Business Bureau)
  2. Our customers on Facebook love our work and team
  3. We back our work with a 100% satisfaction guarantee.

For 24/7 emergency plumbing repair service in Buffalo, call us at (716) 694-8524 or contact us online.

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