What is a Sewer Lateral Inspection?
A sewer lateral inspection is a process of inspecting the pipes that connect a property’s plumbing system to the public sewer system. The sewer lateral is the underground pipe that carries wastewater from the property to the main sewer line. These inspections are typically conducted by professional plumbers or inspectors using specialized equipment, such as a small camera that is inserted into the sewer lateral.
The purpose of a sewer lateral inspection is to identify any issues with the sewer lateral before they become more serious and costly to repair. Sewer lateral problems can include blockages, cracks, breaks, leaks, or damage caused by roots or other environmental factors. If left unchecked, these issues can lead to more extensive damage to the property’s plumbing system, such as sewer backups, flooding, or even structural damage.
Sewer lateral inspections are important for property owners, as well as potential buyers, to ensure that the sewer lateral is in good condition and functioning properly. In many cases, local building codes or regulations require a sewer lateral inspection before a property can be sold or transferred.
Sewer Lateral Inspection Process
The process of a sewer lateral inspection typically involves several steps:
Cleanout or access point – The plumber or inspector will locate the cleanout or access point to the sewer lateral. This is usually located outside the property and provides a direct line of access to the sewer lateral.
Insertion of camera – The plumber or inspector will insert a small camera into the sewer lateral through the cleanout or access point. The camera is attached to a flexible cable, which allows it to be guided through the sewer lateral.
Inspection of sewer lateral – The plumber or inspector will use the camera to inspect the inside of the sewer lateral in real-time. The camera can capture images and videos that can be used to document the condition of the sewer lateral and identify any problems.
Identification of problems – If the inspection reveals any issues with the sewer lateral, the plumber or inspector will identify the problem and determine the best course of action for repairs or replacement. This may involve using hydro-jetting to clear blockages, repairing or replacing damaged pipes, or removing roots or other debris.
Reporting and documentation – The results of the inspection are typically documented in a report that includes images or videos of the sewer lateral, as well as any recommendations for repairs or replacement. This report can be used by property owners or potential buyers to make informed decisions about the property.
Sewer Lateral Inspection Methods
Sewer lateral inspections can be conducted using a variety of different technologies and equipment. One common method is using a high-resolution camera that can capture images and videos of the inside of the sewer lateral. This camera is typically mounted on a flexible cable, which allows it to be guided through the sewer lateral. The camera can provide a detailed view of the condition of the sewer lateral, including any blockages, cracks, or other issues.
Another method of sewer lateral inspection is using hydro-jetting, which involves using high-pressure water to clear blockages and debris from the sewer lateral. This method can be effective for removing tree roots, grease, and other materials that may be clogging the sewer lateral. However, it may not be effective for identifying other issues, such as cracks or damage to the pipes.
In some cases, a sewer lateral inspection may also include a smoke test. This involves introducing non-toxic smoke into the sewer system to identify any leaks or other issues with the pipes. The smoke will escape through any cracks or leaks in the sewer lateral, allowing the plumber or inspector to identify the location of the problem.
Sewer lateral inspections are typically recommended for properties that are more than 20 years old or that have a history of plumbing or sewer problems. They can help property owners identify any issues with the sewer lateral before they become more serious and costly to repair. In addition, they can provide reassurance to potential home buyers, in particular.
If you’re interested in performing a sewer lateral inspection on your sewer line, please don’t hesitate to call us. We’re available anytime you need at 626.448.6455