Low Tech Vs. High Tech – How Do Plumbers Diagnose Sewer Issues?
Plenty of features go into making a house a home, but you probably don't place your sewer line very high on that list. Unfortunately, this critical infrastructure is often all too easy to ignore, at least until problems start to develop. While you might prefer if your sewer line stays out of sight and out of mind, it has a way of making its presence known when there's an issue.
Once your plumbing starts to back up, it's time to bring in a professional to diagnose the root cause and help you develop a solution. Experienced plumbers will use a combination of high-tech equipment, low-tech tools, and their insight and knowledge to locate the issue. This article will discuss how these techniques can work together to get your plumbing flowing freely again.
Initial Diagnosis and Observation
The first steps when dealing with any plumbing backup involve determining the location of the problem. Your plumber will need to decide if the blockage is relatively close to your house or deeper in the sewer lateral. The location of a blockage, leak, or some other sewer problem will determine the best approach for a repair.
In many cases, this initial process may be surprisingly low-tech. For example, your plumber may begin by running through all of your home's drains. Some blockages may not be immediately apparent, and running multiple drains will stress the sewer line. With a large amount of warning traveling through your home's drains, it will become quickly apparent if there's a drainage issue.
This process can also reveal some important information about the blockage. If one or more drains quickly block up, that may indicate an issue in the main plumbing stack or close to the home in the sewer lateral. On the other hand, a backup that takes some time to appear can indicate a problem closer to where your lateral meets the municipal sewer line.
Follow-Up and Planning
Once your plumber has an idea of where the problem may lie, they'll usually move on to using more high-tech tools, such as sewer line inspection cameras. An inspection camera can provide more information and even the precise location of a break or intrusion in your sewer line. This extra information allows your plumber to confirm their initial diagnosis quickly and accurately.
By using multiple tools and techniques to arrive at a confirmed diagnosis, your plumber can suggest a plan of action to repair your sewer and get your drains running again. Instead of relying on guesswork that may require excessive trenching or other expensive work, they can pinpoint the exact location of the problem to conduct a quicker and more cost-effective repair.
For more information on sewer repair, contact a professional near you.