Should You Run a Camera Through Your Sewer Lines
John Wolf: Now is there any level of leakage, any minor amount that’s like hey it could be condensation I mean that you could just live with rather than do an expensive repair or a leak is a leak is a leak and you’ve got to get it closed off or it’s just going to get worse.
Roger Wakefield: On the sewer line it might drop just a hair and that’ll be water balancing in the vents and we’ll normally fill it up again to make sure it doesn’t leak. At Texas Green Plumbing, we either tell people there is a leak or there is not a leak. Now if it drops 8 or 9 inches we know it’s normally at a tub it could be a toilet flange.
If it drops 12 to 18 inches that normally puts it at a lav vent. So we can normally watchfully, see how far it drops and kind of determine where we think that it would be, because that’s where we find most of them. If it goes all the way down we tell people look this is probably in the main and they can be a little more severe. Some buyers want to run the sewer test also run a camera down. And it’s funny the first time that I had a customer asked me to do that I was surprised because he wanted the sewer and water test but he wanted the camera too. I told him look the main thing you’re worried about is the water leak. I said that’s the main thing, he said yeah but I want the camera ran from the two way clear out to the street, I want to know what this sewer main looks like.
And it was really funny because on that particular house it looked like a rollercoaster, it had been repaired multiple times and he ended up coming in and having the seller redo the sewer main from the house all the way out to the street. He didn’t have a leak out of the house, the sewer and water tested fine under the house. From the house out to the main he ended up having it replaced and then he actually paid additionally to reroute it around a certain area of the backyard because he was wanting to add a swimming pool later.
John Wolf: That guy knew what he was doing
Roger Wakefield: He is thinking ahead but then again he was smart enough to test his house before he bought it.
John Wolf: And he avoided the problem that had obviously occurred several times but as you say not underneath the house; the house itself might be your major problem to worry about or major situation to worry about but it’s not the whole thing if you’ve got a little bit of property around it.
Roger Wakefield: Especially if there’s a little property around it because that’s sewer line maybe 100 feet long on a bigger property and that’s going to be more expensive. If I was buying a house these days which I’m a plumber so it’s easier for me to say I’ll do a sewer and water test on it no matter what and I go ahead and run the camera too just to make sure.
If there’s been repairs under the house they’ll normally show up on my camera because you can run the camera through- a lot of the older houses in Dallas were built of cast iron most repairs are done with P.V.C. so you can run through and see was that repair done good, are the lines still lining up? There’s a lot of different issues that you can run into that doing a sewer water test and a camera test will help expose.
John Wolf: Tell me about the difference in quality and what you would do if it was your property as far as the cast iron versus the P.V.C.
Roger Wakefield: As in what? As in the repair?
John Wolf: Yeah, if it were your house would you want cast iron put back in if that’s possible or would you say that P.V.C. is cheaper let’s just put that in that’s fine.
Roger Wakefield: Pretty much everybody’s going to P.V.C. these days because even if you put a piece of cast iron in you’re not going to put it on like it was originally made to go together, it was originally made with a hub and actually originally with lead in the oakum but a neoprene gasket that goes in tweaks it, it pushes in, slides in and locks together.
So nowadays if we open up a piece of pipe and realize there’s a section of pipe the trotting along the bottom of it we would go back to where we could cut a good piece of pipe come and see where we can cut a good piece of pipe we would cut a piece of P.V.C. that will fit in there exactly and then the gaskets that we’re going to use to repair it…it’s a sheer coupling. It’s a neoprene gasket that has a real thick rubber band on it but the sheer coupling on it has a stainless steel band around it and stainless steel rings you know the rings like you clamp on a radiator hose on your car.
Same type of bands, they are larger and they’re going to hold this but the big difference being that stainless steel jacket around it is going to help make it- we run into a lot where people just use a regular C.T. adaptor which is just the rubber neoprene with the rings on each end and over time the house may shift and it’ll little cock it. That creates an area where toilet paper or any soft material can slowly build up and stop up and you’re going to run into issues again.
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