The other day I received a call from a homeowner looking for an estimate for a sewer repair. The first thing I asked was “Has the sewer been cleared or rodded recently?” This is a crucial question when beginning any investigation into a sewer-line. The homeowner said no and stated that the plumber they hired started with the camera and determined the sewer was broken.

This gave me pause. How the plumber could see under dirty water or through a blockage? How could he diagnose a sewer break without first attempting to drain, clean, or perform a sewer rodding?

After expressing my concerns to the homeowner, I was able to convince them to allow our team to perform the sewer rodding. After we were able to open the sewer, we found that it was in good working condition and there was no need for an expensive sewer replacement.

When you experienced that break, did the company you called clear the sewer before attempting to televise it?

It is my belief that certain procedures should be followed to determine if your sewer line needs to be replaced or determined if it’s damaged. The first question your plumber asks you needs to be “Is the sewer line open and flowing?” This is square one, because if the sewer is blocked, we cannot see the condition of the line. The first recommendation should be to have the sewer cleaned or rodded.

After your sewer line is open, only then can we investigate the inside of the sewer. Televising or using a camera to review the inside of your sewer can determine problems like cracks or ruptures (if any) and allow us to make repair recommendations and estimates. Televising the sewer line is an invaluable resource, it allows us to make a detailed diagnosis without the need for costly excavation. A lot of people will smartly seek out a company that offers camera services if they suspect a break or need a second opinion.