This residential drain was so packed and plugged with every imaginable paper product it resembled mashed potatoes. With the use of the flex shaft we beat this mess into a puree and opened the drain line. In the video above you can first hand with our high powered camera. What we see here is 35′ of backed up piping and some poorly graded plumbing. These combine to make a difficult situation a bit more difficult but nothing that Baker Plumbing can’t handle.
Tools of the trade
I remember using flat steel push cables and other such ancient devices. Today’s plumbing are far more capable, effective and yes more expensive. In this particular job we used our compressed Airgun, AirGun link my personal favorite for clearing toilets, then we switched to our reliable Super Vee cable snake Drain snake link . Both of these proved ineffective due to the amount of debris in the drain line.
Bring in the Heavy Artillery
The next move was to bring in the big guns. Today we choose the Ridgid Flexshaft Ridgid Flexshaft link and the Ridgid mini-camera Best cameras made This combination proved to be the deciding factor. Using them as a team we worked our way through the debris ensuring our effective disruption of the blockage, as we went. This proved the undoing of the blockage and the return to service that this family desperately needed.
While it took some doing we were successful in clearly the line of all the debris. With the use of the latest in plumbing tools and technology we are able to prove to the client and ourselves that the work was not only complete but lasting. Isn’t that the most important thing? Lasting work done by your local Calgary Plumber, Baker Plumbing.
Drain cameras can make the difference. Cameras have a long way over the last 20 plus years with HD images, amazing push distances, wireless connections, sonars, the ability to tell slope. The medium to transfer the information has moved from VHS to DVD and now we can transfer to to USB and now we can transfer directly to a mobile device.
Drains and plumbing can be tricky business. Here at Baker Plumbing we bring the tools and the skill to tell our clients exactly what the issues are and how to fix them, PERMANENTLY! Don’t settle for, you should be good!! In Calgary, call Baker Plumbing and know your problems are flowing down the drain. Drain cameras can make the difference!
At Baker Plumbing we understand the importance of knowing as much information as possible. That gives us the most options in determine what exactly is happening with your drain system. Those options ensure we can quickly diagnosis and solve your issues and prevent further issues.
A sewer camera is a valuable tool to help determine if there’s a problem with your home’s sewer system.
Maybe you noticed a nasty sewer gas odor. Or maybe your water isn’t draining as fast as it use to. Or worse, you’ve got an overflowing toilet.
If you’re like most people, you’ll call a plumber for help. And when that plumber comes to your house, more than likely, he’ll perform a sewer camera inspection.
But it’s important for you, the homeowner, to know what a sewer camera inspection can find and what it can’t. Armed with this information, you will know if the plumbing company you hire to come out and inspect your pipes is ripping you off or not.
What is a Sewer Camera Inspection?
First, let’s cover what a sewer camera inspection is. Typically sewer lines are installed under the foundation of your house. There’s the concrete slab which is about 4 or 5 five inches thick and then about 2 feet or so of dirt above the pipe.
To inspect the pipes and find possible problems, a special sewer video camera head connected to a flexible cable is inserted into the main sewer line cleanout, or in some cases, the vent stack and snaked through the pipes. Then the plumber watches on a monitor at ground level to see what’s going on in your pipes.
Here at In-House Plumbing, we use a sewer camera to help us determine what your problem is. However, unlike our competition, we know there are some problems a camera alone can’t find.
What a Sewer Camera Inspection Can’t Do
Despite what many in the plumbing industry think, there are limitations to what a sewer camera sees inside your sewer lines. But there is one thing a sewer camera absolutely cannot see.
A sewer camera alone cannot determine if you have a leak or to locate a leak or leaks in your sewer lines. In fact, this is so important, it bears repeating.
While it’s a useful as a secondary tool in a leak location test, a sewer camera by itself cannot be used to to determine if you have a leak or to find a leak.
4 Reasons Why a Sewer Camera Can’t Locate a Leak
A leak is water escaping the pipe through a hole, break, or crack. Since the camera is inside the pipe, it cannot see the outside of the pipe. Meaning, it can’t see if something is leaking OUT of the pipe. It can only show what is going on INSIDE the pipe.
The plumber is looking at a monitor displaying what the camera “sees.” So the plumber has to interpret, or guess, what he’s seeing. He might think he see something that looks like a hole, break, or crack in the pipe. But keep in mind, this is your sewer system we’re talking about. This is where your waste flushes and runs through. Trust us when we say it does not look good. And all that gunk and waste makes it hard to tell if something is a leak based solely on what can be seen on the monitor.
Sewer pipes are usually one of two types: cast iron or PVC, both thick-walled pipes. So something very possibly might look like a hole or a crack or a break. But because the walls of the pipe are so thick, it’s possible what the plumber is seeing does not go all the way through the pipe so no water is leaking out at all. The result: no leak.
Particularly with cast iron, but this could also be true for PVC, there are years of buildup on the walls of the pipe. Calcium, soap scum, grease, debris… you name it, builds up on the walls of your sewer pipes. So any cracks or holes the plumber sees could very well be in the buildup and not the actual pipe.
We estimate about 95% of plumbing companies in the Dallas area are using a camera as their primary tool to locate a leak. They come in, run an inspection with just a sewer camera and then tell you you have a leak.
But keep in mind, what may look like a leak on camera may not actually be a leak. And vice versa.
Look at this image taken by another plumbing company and shown to a homeowner.
This is cast iron pipe with a PVC repair. The plumber told the homeowner he had two leaks based on the image alone. But when In-House Plumbing came out to perform our Free Second Opinion leak isolation test, we found there zero leaks.
Everything was working and draining properly, and in our under slab leak test we found zero leaks.
What a Sewer Camera Inspection Can Do
While a sewer camera cannot find leaks, there are certain situations where the camera alone is effective.
Sewer cameras have location devices that send out a signal. Using a special signal receiver above ground, our plumbers pinpoint where the camera is underground.
Drainage or Stoppage Issues
We call this your “sewer is not working as it is designed to work.”
Sewer pipes work using the power of gravity. The pipes flow downhill so when something goes into the pipe—waste, debris, water—it flows or drains down through your piping system and ultimately ends up at your city’s waste treatment center or septic tank, depending on your particular situation.
However, if something is causing your system to not work properly, in most cases we can use a sewer camera to determine what is causing it. Often in cases like these we find stoppages, blockages, roots, mud, broken pipe, etc.
PVC or Cast Iron Pipe
We determine what type of system you have by running a sewer camera inside the pipes.
Sewer System Connections
With a sewer camera, we can see fittings, tee’s, and other types of connection. We can also use it at the connections to run water. We’re able to see where the water flows to or from and/or comes from one line to another.
Unnecessary Plumbing Repairs
Depending on your situation, a sewer camera inspection alone may not be adequate in finding potential problems. And it is not at all adequate if it’s leaks they are looking for.
The most important thing to know is if a plumbing company does a leak location test with a camera as the only or primary tool, it’s very possible you’re being told there are leaks when there are none. If that’s the case, you could end up paying for repairs you don’t need.
Having a drain back up is awful to begin with! Now imagine it happening again just days after the plumber has left and you’ve paid the bill. At Baker Plumbing drain cleaning isn’t some guessing game, we ensure your drains are clean and flowly freely by running our high powered and high resolution camera equipment through the line to midigate any future issues. This service prevents call backs or determines the causes of the back up. Our goal is provide you with most information possible in maintaining your plumbing systems. Got drain problems in Calgary? Call Baker Plumbing today!
Everyone has had that moment: standing in the shower, washing your hair, when suddenly, water is up to your ankles. A drain clog! Hopefully not as bad as our picture above. Typically, a buildup of hair, by itself or combined with bath product gunk, is to blame. In this situation, many reach for the Drano. Instead of turning to harsh chemicals that might damage the finish of your tub or eat away at your pipes, try looking to some simpler (and possibly more effective) solutions first.
Before any tools or concoctions make an appearance, try sticking your fingers in the drain. If the hair is up near the top, this might be all it takes to fix the problem. You’d be surprised at how effective fingers can be as a hair removal apparatus. I doubt it if it will be as obvious as below!
There are two tools you can try if you can’t fix the problem that way, one of which you already own, and one that you can buy at the hardware store for under ten bucks. The first is a plunger. Try using it just as you would on a toilet, and see if the clogging culprit comes to the surface in the drain. The second is called a Drain Claw, and it is essentially a piece of wire with barbs on the end for catching hair. Stick one down the drain, twist it around a few times, and pull it out. Repeat until you stop pulling out hair, and run some water to test whether the clog is gone. You can even try to make your own out of a metal clothes hanger and go do some fishing.
If the clog persists, it might be time to move on to a homemade clog-busting concoction. Pour one part baking soda down the drain, and follow it with one part vinegar. That’s right- the same as your kid’s model volcano. Wait until the foaming subsides, and follow that with boiling water. This method is effective when bath product gunk, rather than hair, is the problem.
I’ve added some pictures of typical plumbing system so you visualize what’s happening under the floor.
Whatever you do, don’t add nasty chemicals that can potential melt your pipes or destroy appliance finishes.
After all this, if your shower is still not draining properly, it’s probably time to call in the pros. Baker Plumbing can handle any clog you throw at us, quickly and professionally.