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Drain & Sewer Inspections

icon_firedamageDrain & Sewer Inspections

In years past, solving problems with pipes and drains was largely a guessing game. Where and what was the obstruction? What’s the best point of entry to fix the problem? And what’s the overall condition of the pipe or drain?

Thanks to state-of-the-art technology, TLC Drain & Sewer can perform a sophisticated video inspection of pipes and drains. With these insights, we can precisely identify—and fix—the source of virtually any problem. We can also provide you with an accurate assessment of the condition of your pipes and drains, so you can prevent future problems before they become emergency situations.

When required, we also conduct non-toxic smoke testing, potholing/daylighting and drainage water management inspections.

Learn more about TLC Drain & Sewer inspections by clicking on one of the sections below:

See the Problem, Solve the Problem.

drain and sewer inspections

Need to assess the state of pipes in a prospective home? Experiencing intermittent drain and sewer issues in your current one? Looking for a second opinion on another company’s recommendation? If so, you can benefit from an accurate and in-depth video pipe inspection.

Through our state of the art video inspections, TLC Drain & Sewer can provide an objective assessment. Based on what we see during your drain or sewer inspection, we deliver specifics on any current and emerging problems. Using the information from our inspection camera, you can make the best possible decisions about whether and how to proceed with your home purchase and/or repairs.

What is a video pipe inspection?

TLC Drain & Sewer inserts a flexible rod with a high-resolution, waterproof video camera attached to the end into the pipe. The rod is designed to be able to maneuver its way through the entirety of a sewer line or underground pipe, enabling us to catch any existing or potential issues on real-time video image transmission. Through our state of the art video inspections, we can then provide an objective assessment.

How is the inspection conducted?

  1. We first cautiously open the drain.
  2. The rod is then inserted into the sewer line or underground pipe.
  3. Based on what we see during your drain or sewer inspection, we deliver specifics on any current and emerging problems.
  4. Using the information from our inspection camera, you can make the best possible decisions about whether and how to proceed with your home purchase and/or repairs.

What causes blockages in the first place?

One of the most common causes of sewer line or pipe damage is root intrusion. Tree roots constantly seek moisture, therefore leading them to the line or pipe and creating a blockage or rupture.
Also, just like your drain pipes, the sewer line could become clogged due to improper use of your drains or a lack of regular maintenance.
In other instances, the line itself could be the problem. It can become settled, disjointed or even crushed. This occurs more often in older homes because they most likely have pipes composed of cast iron and clay piping, rather than plastic.

What are the benefits of a video pipe inspection?

  • Pinpoint exactly where the problem is without having to perform any immediate digging.
  • Detect any issues relatively quickly, getting all of your questions answered promptly.
  • Find any problems, such as a blockage, prior to any type of emergency occurring.
  • Check for preexisting damage before purchasing a home or conducting a
    remodel.
  • Keep video documentation on file for the future.

In line testing, a smoke test forces non-toxic, artificially created smoke through waste and drain pipes under a slight pressure to find leaks.

Plumes of smoke form where there are defects. This test can be performed when the plumbing is brand new, but more often it is used to find sewer gas leaks that may plague a building or an area.

Any sign of smoke escaping can be considered a possible site for sewer gas to escape. Sewer gas typically has a rotten egg smell and can contain methane gas, which is explosive, or hydrogen sulfide gas, which is deadly.

Plumbing smoke tests are also used to find places where pipes will spill fluid, and to check sanitary sewer systems for places where ground water and storm runoff can enter. Smoke testing is particularly useful in places such as ventilated sanitary sewer systems, where completely sealing the system is not practical.

When smoke testing a sanitary sewer system it is helpful to partially block off the section of sewer to be tested. This can be done by using a sand bag on the end of a rope. The sand bag is lowered into the manhole and swung into position to partially block lines. Completely blocking the line can cause water to back up and prevent smoke from escaping through defects. Smoke testing may not be done after rain or when ground water is unusually high as this may also prevent detection of defects.

Large downdraft fans, usually powered by gasoline engines, are placed on top of open manholes at either end of the section to be tested. If possible all lines in the manholes except for the line between the manholes are partially blocked. Smoke is created using either a smoke bomb or liquid smoke. Smoke bombs are lit and placed on a grate or in a holder on top of each fan, while liquid smoke is injected into the fan via a heating chamber. The fans create a pressure differential that forces the smoke into the sewer at a pressure just above atmospheric.

With properly installed plumbing, the traps will prevent the smoke from entering the house and redirect it out the plumbing vents. Defective plumbing systems or dry traps will allow smoke to enter the inside of the house.

The area around the section being tested is searched for smoke plumes. Plumes coming from plumbing vents or the interface between the fan shroud and manhole rim are normal; however, smoke plumes outside of the manhole rim are not. Plumes are marked, usually with flags, and defects are noted using measurements from stationary landmarks like the corners of houses. The plumes or markers may also be photographed for documentation.

Hydro Excavating, often referred to as Potholing or Daylighting, is a much safer way to remove debris from a confined area. Large equipment is often not a realistic option in an area where there are many intersecting or parallel utilities, it is a risk to even use a hand shovel.

TLC Drain & Sewer utilizes variable-pressure water-jetting to liquefy the soil and loosen the surrounding compacted filler, so that we can then vacuum the emulsion directly into our truck. This process leaves a clean, safe work site. Another significant benefit is that only a small area needs to be excavated. We can work down to a trench just a few inches across or a small hole a few inches in diameter can be dug to accomplish the task at hand.

Some other common terms for this process: soft digging, hydro vac, hydro trenching, safe digging, non-destructive digging, potholing, daylighting, hydro excavating and vacuum excavation.

Parking lots and loading bays can be seen almost everywhere, from shopping centers to office buildings to schools. Storm water drainage-flow maintenance is an integral component in the design of parking lots and bays. It’s not just about designing an adequate storm drainage system; it’s about maintaining the flow requirements underground. In fact, it’s what you cannot see that can cost you.

sewer backup

Evaluating rainfall and runoff magnitude, pavement drainage, gutter flow and drainage inlets will not be adequate if the primary drain volume is diminished by debris, damage or root infiltration.

Our team of experienced professionals will inspect your existing drainage system, recommend adjustments and implement them to ensure proper drainage at your facility.

TLC Drain has 24/7 Emergency Service!


Call 1-855-TLC-GUYS today to schedule your service today!