City sewers are huge, but the pipes that lead from homes and buildings are not. In most cases where a homeowner or building owner needs to see what and why their pipes are blocked or not functioning properly, the plumber uses a pipe inspection camera to get a good view. While this is perfect for all smaller pipes, you may be wondering why anyone would even attempt to use these small cameras in the much larger city sewer pipes. Here are three uses and accompanying reasons as to why these sewer cameras can still be used in big pipes.
Manhole, Straight Down, Ghostbusters Style
If you are old enough to remember the Ghostbusters movies, you will recall a scene from the second movie where the characters head into the city sewers. What they discovered was a river of slime in an old train tunnel. It is quite the image to recall. Yet, the greater danger in a real sewer like this is not the fetid river of urine, trash, and feces. It is the drop from the manhole straight into the mess below.
A plumber could crack his head in the drop, and drown in the river of yuck. The sewer camera can be fed down through the manhole to check for loose foothold bars on the sides of the walls of the descending tunnels. It can also provide a very clear view of other dangers, including the levels of waste water below.
Peering Through a Wall of Fat
Yes, plumbers sometimes run into solid walls of fat. This is the direct result of grease from grease traps or home kitchens being poured down the drains. If it makes it past the pipes of the building or house and into the city sewers, it finds another place to stick. The really gruesome part is that plumbers have to drill holes through these monstrous walls of fat to see to the other side and see how thick the wall is. Once they have drilled a hole clean through, the sewer cameras can snake through the holes to take pictures from the other side.
Snaking Through a Cesspool
There are not that many cesspools left in this country. Those that exist may require frequent maintenance. The maintenance often includes sending a pipe camera into the murky and foul pit to see if there are any blockages in the drain pipes that need to be removed before the cesspool can be pumped out. Then a cesspool pit diver knows right where to go and what to do to make sure waste can continue to flow into the pit.