There’s nothing more unpleasant than a sewer that’s backed up into your house. So, if you are asking “when” to get a sewer camera inspection, the answer is fairly simple: before you have a serious problem!

There are, however, some good signs to watch out for that indicate it’s time to do a sewer camera inspection. This way, you can address any problems before they back up into your home. 

What is a sewer camera inspection?

The process is fairly simple. A flexible cable with a camera and light is inserted into the sewer. As it travels along the sewer line, your plumber is able to view the length of the pipe through a video screen. This specialized equipment allows your plumber to locate any problems such as blockages or damage to the pipe. 

Though some homeowners opt to try to perform these inspections themselves, it’s not recommended. Quality sewer inspection equipment can run into thousands of dollars. There are cameras, video screens, and specialized cables that are all involved in the process.

Professional plumbers like All Masters have top-of-the-line equipment and know exactly what to look for when performing an inspection and can recommend the right repair

Problems that a Sewer Camera inspection can find

Since your sewer pipes run underground they are subject to several different types of problems that can’t be seen from the surface. For example:

Tree Roots

As trees grow, their roots spread all over, seeking water and nutrients. If they find a crack in your sewer pipe, the roots will begin to grow inside. This causes both blockages and damage to the pipe itself.

We have a lot of gorgeous trees here in the DFW area. Unfortunately, the Oak and Willow trees commonly found here in Arlington can wreak havoc on sewer lines with their strong and invasive roots. If you know you are dealing with tree roots in your sewer line, don’t be alarmed. Our hyro-jetting service routinely solves this problem for customers across DFW. 

Broken Pipes

It’s not uncommon for changes in soil conditions, temperature, and other factors to put immense pressure on your underground sewer lines causing them to break. This is a serious problem that will require major repairs. Thankfully, new methods such as trenchless CIPP sewer repair technology is available to help save time and money. Sometimes you simply inherit bad plumbing you didn’t know about when purchasing a new home.


People often put things down the toilet and drain that can build up in sewer pipes over time. As the years go by, these things continue to collect and eventually cause the flow to be reduced or blocked completely. This is why drain cleaning services are one of the most common plumbing calls made across the country. 

Signs You Need a Sewer Camera Inspection

You don’t necessarily need a sewer camera inspection every year. Here are some helpful guidelines for deciding when to call a plumber to have your sewer lines inspected with a camera.

Some of these problems, like slow drains, bad odors, or a gurgling sound can be the result of a backup or blockage at the toilet or other fixture. However, they can also be a sign of a sewer problem. 

If the cause isn’t apparent, for example, a hair clog in your sink drain, then it’s a great indication you should get a sewer camera inspection.

1. If You’ve Never Had Your Sewer Camera Inspected Before

This is especially true for older homes. A sewer inspection will give you an idea of the current condition of your pipes. This will help you determine if there are repairs that need to be done now, or if there are things to keep an eye on in the future.

Even if your home is newer, it’s still a good idea to have your sewer lines checked periodically. It’s far less expensive to address problems when they are small.

2. Slow Drainage

When a slow drain is localized to a certain fixture, for example, a toilet, the problem is less likely to be the sewer. If you notice slow drainage throughout your home, all the sinks, baths and toilets, this can be an indication that you need to take a look at your sewer lines.

3. Bad Odors From Drains

This unpleasant condition can be the result of blocked sewer lines. This is a good indication you need an inspection. When the lines are properly repaired, the smell will disappear. A plumber can easily determine if the cause is inside the home, or in the sewer lines.

4. Gurgling Sound

Normally, you shouldn’t be hearing gurgling sounds from your drain. This is one of the first signs that your pipes are blocked. This blockage could be in a particular part of your home, or the sewer lines.

Slow or blocked drainage can often cause a gurgling sound coming up from your drains. This is due to poor flow and drainage. If you consistently are hearing this sound, call your plumber for a sewer line inspection.

Benefits of a Sewer Camera Inspection

The best thing about doing a camera inspection is the ability to spot problems before they get out of control. The last thing you want to do is wait until sewage is backing up into your home. At that point, you have to deal with a truly disgusting smell along with cleaning costs and the repair of the sewer itself.

Instead, if a blockage is identified, your plumber can employ a variety of techniques such as augers, water jets and snakes to clear the problem. 

Damage to sewer lines from settling or tree roots will require substantial repairs. When a sewer inspection is performed, the exact location of the issue is known, so your repairs can be more precise and involve less digging.

How much does a sewer inspection cost in Arlington, TX?

The exact cost of a sewer inspection depends on a few factors. The placement of the sewer line itself and the location of the cleanout can affect the cost. The easier it is to access, the less time it will take your plumber to begin the work. 

Another is the length of the sewer line itself. Some runs are very short. Identifying any problems will be fairly quick. Some lots here in Arlington are pretty large. If the line is really long, that’s going to take longer and be a bit more complex.

The cost of an average sewer line inspection can vary, depending on access as well as the problem at hand. The best way to get started is to give us at All Masters Plumbing a call at (817) 200-4703. When you tell us a little about your property, we’ll be able to give you a better idea of the cost.

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