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Video Pipeline Inspection 101 | Plumbing Cameras and Locators

how video pipeline inspections work and their benefits

Video pipeline inspections used to be very rare and expensive.Without this video and transmitter equipment, fixing plumbing problems used to involve a lot of guesswork. Now, modern video cameras, monitors, and transmitters have become standard equipment for professional plumbers.

A small, waterproof camera (sometimes known as a “PIG” [pipeline inspection gauge]) allows for a “non-destructive” visual inspection of the interior of your pipelines. A professionally-trained technician inserts a high-resolution video camera into pipes 2-36 inches in diameter, essentially a flexible rod with a camera on the end. The flexible rod allows the camera to travel through the pipe to transmit images of the pipe’s interior from start to finish.

The camera transmits a clear image of the inside of your pipes back to the technician on the other end. This real-time, high-quality imagery shows what and where the problem is so the appropriate repair or replacement can be made. Line tracing allows your plumber to know the exact location of the camera as it moves through your pipes.

Video recording equipment and transmission devices are part of a plumber’s standard toolbox. Pipeline videos are always saved and stored. After your plumbing technician completes the video recording, you can save the video pipeline inspection for your records.

Video Pipeline Inspection 101

How Do Plumbing Video Inspections Work?

  • First, your plumber will find the sewer clean out opening, usually just a couple of feet from your house.
  • After cleaning out any visible material, your plumber inserts the camera into the opening.
  • As the camera moves through the pipes, it produces live images on a monitor near the plumber. The camera moves through the sewer line and inspects the outdoor portion of the line and the sewer/septic system.
  • Once it is retracted, the camera moves in the opposite direction, toward your home, to ensure your entire plumbing system has been inspected.
  • This inspection is meant detect potential and actual problems, including damaged pipes, collapsed or separated lines, and clogs. It can even be used to locate long-lost jewelry and valued items.

Learn more about pipeline video inspections here.

Benefits of Plumbing Camera Inspections

Eliminates Guesswork

Radio transmitters on the camera send back location signals to the receiver in the technician’s hand, eliminating the guesswork, so your problems will be resolved quickly and effectively.

Pinpoints Problems

Most plumbing problems can quickly and easily be detected by running a camera through the insides of the pipelines, including potential problems that can be addressed before they turn into expensive repairs. Once all of your pipes have been video-inspected, your pipes can be restored to like-new conditions.

Always get a professional video pipeline inspection done before you buy a new home. A simple video inspection is cheap and will allow you to find plumbing problems before you move in. Don’t pay for things that aren’t your responsibility. Not many homeowners know that they will be responsible for plumbing repairs, which can go into the tens of thousands.

Here are some of the problems a plumber may encounter during a video pipeline inspection:

  • Leaking pipes
  • Damager or deteriorating pipes requiring repair or replacement
  • Collapsed, bellied, or misaligned pipes
  • Clogged or blocked pipes inhibiting proper water flow
  • Tree root intrusion

stage of plumbing pipe root intrusion

Roots enter through joints in your plumbing and as they absorb the water, they will expand and eventually cause your pipes to collapse (Source: dontdig.com).

Other Uses

Plumbing cameras are also used to locate lost jewelry and valuables. Next time you lose a ring to your sink, don’t give up hope! A video inspection can save the day.

We recommend scheduling a plumbing maintenance inspection every year, and make sure it includes a video pipeline inspection. This allows you to be proactive and avoid expensive repairs and replacements. If you suspect a problem with your pipes, schedule a video pipeline inspection as soon as possible.

Additional Plumbing Information

Clogged Drain or Sewer Line? Prevention and Solution Advice

Drain & Sewer – Repair & Service

Drain & Sewer – Video Pipeline Inspection


Let the plumbing experts at Gold Medal Service focus on your pipes so you don’t have to. We always conduct a comprehensive video line inspection when it comes to plumbing repair, to save everyone time, money, and frustration. To learn more about video pipeline inspections, visit Gold Medal Service online.

Gold Medal Service offer 24-hour service and customer support so even if you experience a pipe emergency in the middle of the night, we’re there for you. If you need help insulating your pipes or replacing old, deteriorating ones, don’t hesitate to give us a call.

Contact Gold Medal Service today at (877) 803-0511 or fill out our online request form.

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