If your home plumbing system is attached to a residential sewer line, then the wastes from your home will flow through this line. This pipe is typically a three inch wide one that is made out of PVC. The sewer line is angled down away from your home and it meets up with a much larger main sewer pipe at the street. The width and the angle of the sewer pipe helps to move wastes away from your home. However, you may experience slow drainage or a clog over time. When this happens, a sewer cleaning must be performed. Your plumbing specialist will use a variety of tools to complete the cleaning.
Drain Inspection Camera
If you experience slow or stopped drainage in the home, then your plumber will need to assess whether or not a clog has formed in the sewer line. Certain types of clogs will require special services beyond basic cleaning. This happens when tree roots become entangled within the pipe or a hard rock or other formation has somehow made it into the sewage line. To detect these sorts of things, as well as breaks, shifted pipes, and small cracks, a drain inspection camera will be used.
A drain inspection camera is a type of video borescope that uses a flexible electrical cable. This cable is connected to a video camera and a small light that helps the professional see inside the dark sewer line. The camera displays the image on a small LCD screen, and the plumber can use a joystick to move the camera field around or zoom in on an image. Some screens also capture and store still images so the condition of the sewer pipe can be evaluated after the camera is removed from the pipe.
Most professional video borescopes are quite expensive and may cost the plumber between $8,000 and $50,000. These expensive models provide the benefit of high-resolution video. This may be essential in identifying small cracks or roots in a pipe or determining the makeup of a clog formation.
Snakes and Sewer Jetters
Once the plumbing professional inspects the sewer pipe, a cleaning will be performed. The cleaning tool chosen will depend on the condition of the sewer pipe. Large accumulations, clogs, and concentrated debris will require the use of drum snake device. This tool allows the plumber to utilize a thick drain snake. The snake moves through the pipe with the help of air pressure, and a small pedal on the snake allows your plumber to control the movement of the snake. Depending on the material that makes up the clog, the snake will be fitted with a specific head. A spring head will help to grab clogs for removal through the cleanout opening. A spear head can be used to force the snake through the clog, and a side or front cutter tool can be used to shear through roots and other solid debris.
If the sewer line contains a layer of thick debris along the entire interior of the pipe, then a device called a sewer jetter will likely be used. This tool features a water line with a spray nozzle connected to the front, and these nozzles spray backward from the tip. The nozzle will release high pressure water that will force the debris from the sides of the sewer pipe. As the nozzle advances, debris will mix with the water and flow out through the sewer pipe. Your plumber will be able to control the amount of pressure released from the nozzle. This allows the professional to increase pressure if debris does not break up right away and encourage strong flow through the drainage line.
For more information, contact a local plumbing company like A Absolute Plumbing & Heating.