What Is a Drain Camera Inspection?

Jul 2, 2021

Do you need a drain camera inspection? We’ve often deployed the famous Elmer Cam for our customers. The drain cam is easily one of our favorite plumbing tools, as it lets us see deep into your pipes to fully view the root of your plumbing issues.

A drain camera inspection uses digital technology. Incorporating a small, waterproof camera, a drain cam relays full-color images to a mobile screen/device used by our technicians. The flexible rod the camera is connected to fits through just about any drain and can be drawn through curves and bends in the pipe. The footage shown provides a first-hand look at the condition of the pipe from the inside.


How a Drain Camera Works


The camera works like any other digital camera and transmitter. Lights are built in to illuminate the pipe ahead of the camera, so it’s possible to see every detail. Oftentimes, the technician can navigate the camera all the way to the street. However, large blockages and damage may prevent the repair technician or inspector from going any further. They can then note the location of the issue, mark the spot where to access that section of pipe, and schedule or proceed with repairs.


When Is It Best to Schedule a Drain Camera Inspection?


Anytime you have a slow drain or clog is a good reason to call us to perform an inspection. In addition to pinpointing the nature of the problem quickly, without guessing, it can:

  • Find a Small Issue Early: Minor issues usually lead to leaks and broken pipes down the road. You most likely don’t know how long ago your drainpipes were installed, so it helps to see their condition and make sound decisions based on exact evidence.


  • Avoid Digging or Demolition: Knowing the location of a problem means plumbers won’t have to dig up your backyard or break down walls to get a better look at your pipes. As they view the footage, the inspector will share it with you in real time.


  • Find Unexpected Surprises: Foreign objects can block pipes or end up there without you knowing it. A drain camera inspection can very well locate a lost diamond ring, vintage coin, or other item that may be of value.


Specific instances in which you should schedule a drain camera inspection include when:

  • You Move In: A thorough plumbing inspection before you move into a home, especially an older one, can help you avoid large expenses. With older structures, tree roots may have damaged and intruded into pipes, and there could be a variety of other issues as well.


  • Water Pressure Fluctuates: If the water pressure from your taps suddenly decreases, or begins fluctuating, there may be a leak. It can be hard to detect unless a comprehensive inspection is performed.


  • Dirty Water Doesn’t Drain: This is a sign of a blockage that can be anywhere in the system. Popular solutions such as using a plunger, snake, or air pump don’t always work or provide lasting results. The blockage can be deep in the plumbing line or even the main sewer.


Can a Drain Camera Find Any Kind of Leak?


A drain camera inspection is most effective for finding blockages, corrosion, and large holes and cracks. Therefore, it is often performed as part of a larger building inspection. For leaks, another technique—thermographic infrared inspection—allows technicians to identify wet spots and leak points based on moisture content and thermal emissions.


Watch the Elmer Cam in Action



Call Elmer’s Home Services


Drain cameras provide a fast and effective way to isolate/treat a drain or pipe issue. Narrowing the scope of repairs results in savings, which we pass on to the customer. To schedule a drain camera inspection in the San Antonio area, call us at 210-333-5637 today.

If you are experiencing any of the signs that your water heater needs repair or replacement, don’t hesitate to call a professional.

Elmer’s Home Services in San Antonio TX can help you assess the situation and make the best decision for your needs. We have experienced plumbers and quality service, so you can get back to enjoying hot showers and baths in no time. 

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Headquarters: 9710 N Interstate 35
San Antonio, TX 78233

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About Elmer’s Home Services

Our business provides water heater repair, emergency plumber services, and plumbing repair in San Antonio, Texas. We have proudly served over 20,000 customers. Our professional plumbers are punctual and take pride in providing reliable and affordable home services to our neighbors.

Discover the difference in our services when you get it done “The Elmer Way”. Call us today to get more information!