How a Calgary Sewer Camera Inspection Keeps Your Plumbing in Check

A plumbing video camera set up between two traffic cones before being used for a sewer camera inspection in Calgary.
Is your plumbing system rumbling in the deep? Does your toilet talk to you? Plumbing systems are supposed to operate without breaking your serene silence. If odd sounds are coming from your pipes or fixtures, it might be time for a licensed professional to come and provide you with a sewer camera inspection.

Calgary homeowners know that getting routine maintenance and inspections is an important part of any plumbing problem prevention plan. Without regularly checking for hidden damage, you'll be at a higher risk for issues like burst pipes and collapsed sewer lines. Talk about critical damage!

Luckily, your local Calgary plumbers at Mr. Rooter Plumbing of Calgary have the tools and skills necessary to examine everything from drain lines to underground pipes with sewer scope inspection technology.

Did you know that pipe inspection cameras are also a great way to locate items that were accidentally dropped down the drain? Not many people know about that quick solution. You can learn more about what a sewer camera inspection is when you schedule an appointment with your reliable Calgary plumber. You'll be able to take advantage of all the benefits and watch—live—on the monitor to see what’s going on inside your pipes.

How Does Calgary Sewer Camera Inspection Help with Plumbing Issues?

Video inspections are often the first place Calgary plumbers start for an accurate diagnosis of any drainage system issue in your home. Sewer inspections help plumbing technicians determine what's causing problems and what the best solution is.

If you're dealing with frequent minor inconveniences or even major problems, those are all signs you need a thorough sewer examination. All plumbing issues are frustrating. Getting clear imaging will help get down to the root problems so that we can solve them faster and avoid similar problems in the future.

How Does Sewer Camera Inspection Work?

The imaging equipment used for sewer scope service in Calgary typically consists of a high-resolution video camera attached to a long, flexible cable. That cable connects to a monitor screen, where your plumber can look for whatever is causing a major issue through a live feed.

Most advanced sewer scopes have bright LED lights to make inspections easier. You may be able to benefit from other features too, depending on the equipment being used. Advanced systems can track the location of the camera if they're equipped with a transmitter or signal receiver, so the plumber can identify exactly where issues are located. This facilitates any repair plans that we can outline once we have made an accurate diagnosis of your situation.

Is It Invasive?

One of the biggest benefits of its flexible cable is that it can be fed directly into your cleanout, which you can find either in your basement, crawl spaces or outside on your property. It’s the main access point for your Calgary plumbers to inspect your sewer line without having to break through concrete or dig up your lawn just to look inside your underground sewer line during the inspection process.

Benefits of Calgary Sewer Camera Inspection

Plumbing video equipment gives you a complete visual reference for the inside of your drainage line. This adds great benefits to the safety of your home in Calgary. Sewer camera inspections have significantly evolved since the 1970s and have become a basic sewer line maintenance service tool that enables us to determine what else you might need in order to avoid future drainage nightmares and solve those annoying persistent issues as well.

In addition to gaining a bigger picture, there are several other advantages of our sewer camera inspection service that property owners get during their appointment. For everything from routine maintenance to emergency plumbing services, there are few equipment options that provide more benefits than a plumbing camera.

Benefits Include:

  • Confidence in your sewer pipe integrity and condition
  • Early detection of potential critical damage
  • Non-invasive clog location and damage evaluation for clogged sewer pipes
  • Easily locating dropped objects—and retrieving them safely
  • Preemptive evaluations for renovation projects or property sales

What Are the Downsides?

There are few negative effects for any routine inspection in Calgary. Sewer camera inspection can find many subtle problems while locating the causes of serious clogs, but they aren't without limitations, however,—especially if your pipes haven't been cleaned recently and you’re experiencing other problems.

Drain cleaning service removes all the sludge built-up along pipe walls. If there's significant buildup, you won't be able to see any issues underneath, which significantly reduces the benefits of a video examination.

Cable cameras also have a hard time spotting issues around corners, where they often rub against walls as they bend around curves. Obviously, they're great for locating bad clogs, but they won't be able to see past anything that's completely obstructing your drains. This also means that they are unable to detect leaks for which we require additional tools to help us locate the affected area.

For this reason, your Calgary plumber will use additional aids like headphones and a microphone to listen for running water. Otherwise, it’s difficult to diagnose leaks based on what the monitor shows. Leak detection tests that we run include hydrostatic testing, infrared and laser technology. It can be slightly more time-consuming given that we have to look and listen more closely and carefully to locate the damaged area.

When Should You Get a Calgary Sewer Camera Inspection?

Calgary homes with drainage issues should be inspected as soon as possible. Minor warning signs like gurgling toilets and clogged toilets are often indications of more serious issues deeper inside waste lines. If you experience those issues frequently, you may be in danger of a plumbing disaster if you don’t take action now. Do you have a basement with visible plumbing pipes? This is common in older homes that have unfinished basements. If you have a newer home, you likely have a separate utility room in your basement. Either way, you should take a look in that area and pay attention to sounds, smells and leaking pipes.

Warning Signs:

Slow Drains

Many of us might use the baking soda, vinegar and hot water trick to clear the drain first, but if you look deeper in, you will see calcium buildup that actually needs a proper scrub, if not professional drain cleaning. If, after your home remedies, the problems still persist, you can be sure of underlying issues further down the line.

Sewage Around Floor Drain

This is an unpleasant sign of a sewer line clog. During that kind of clog, the liquid waste has nowhere to go and will force itself into your secondary lines. Since sewer gas contains harmful bacteria and other chemicals, it poses a serious health risk. Call a licensed plumber right away if you encounter sewage around your floor drain in the basement. To prevent this issue right now, we highly recommend that you install a backwater valve. If you believe you have one, ensure it’s in working order.

Stubborn Clogs

Clogged drains are inevitable in every Calgary home and are often accompanied by slow-draining and sewer gas smells. When toilets overflow and neither plungers nor snakes do the job of unclogging, you’ll need service professionals to conduct sewer camera inspections. Calgary homeowners must not ignore recurring clogged kitchen sinks or backed-up toilets.

Unpleasant Drain Odours

Sewer gas smells can signal many things, from minor to major issues. Perhaps you have a dry or clogged p-trap that needs clearing or a blocked vent pipe that is unable to direct the sewer gas odour out. While these are minor issues, you may also have leak damage or a cracked line somewhere. It will be hard to detect without sewer camera inspection.

Draining Cleanout

If your cleanout (whether in the basement, crawl space or outside your home) is draining or leaking, you likely have a sewer line clog that needs a certified Calgary plumber to fix it. We usually recommend unscrewing the cap to release some pressure, but if you’re unfamiliar with it, give your local Calgary plumber a call, and we will take care of it.

Increased Utility Bill

When damaged plumbing goes unnoticed, we will know something is wrong once we receive our monthly bill. A water main break could lose you up to 1,400 gallons of water within 24 hours. Therefore, the sooner you have a plumbing camera inspection to detect the damage, the better. Besides the piping system behind walls, ceilings and floors, we’ll also have to consider our sewer line, which is the most problematic of all since it often comes with serious underlying problems if it’s not just a main line clog.

Note: Plumbing cameras are also essential tools for preemptive surveys. Whether you're planning a bathroom remodel or buying a new house, it's important to know about potential types of sewer damage that might otherwise go undetected—like tree root intrusion in buried pipes.

Common Cause of Sewer Backups

Our sewer pipes are on average between four to six inches in diameter and are typically made of either ABS, PVC, clay or cast iron. Warning signs of a main drain clog can be stressful for Calgary homeowners because you worry about potential contamination and costly repairs involving pipe replacement. Common causes for clogged main drains include:

Pipe Damage

From a leak to a burst to a collapse—pipe damage comes in many forms. It’s crucial to pay attention to your secondary drain lines because recurring sink or toilet backups indicate an underlying problem that you need to investigate. Sometimes our plumbing systems just get old and inefficient, or they get damaged joints and seals that need repair. Despite minor fixes, it’s worth getting an overall inspection from your professional Calgary plumber—who can also provide an estimated lifespan of your system. Unnoticed damage could compromise your family’s safety and your home’s structural integrity.

Slab Leak

If you have foundation damage, then rainwater or melting snow could leak through your basement ceiling. But if your basement ceiling and walls start to leak on a sunny day, you will know it’s a slab leak. These unpleasant scenarios are often due to poorly installed water lines or shifting soil during home settling, causing serious plumbing leaks and failure. Or, this could be an example of underground leaking pipes. In any event, there are various methods of repair, including trenchless methods. But first, your certified plumbing technician will conduct a detailed analysis using the sewer camera inspection method.


Older properties built in the 1930s might have galvanized steel or cast iron pipes that are undergoing corrosion. Corrosion is the main trigger for clogs—starting with leaks that could lead to potential bursts. Metal-based lines are most susceptible to these issues and need to be closely monitored if they’re no longer working efficiently. Corroded lines will only deteriorate further, causing more damage in different areas.

Tree Root Intrusion

Again, older pipes made of porous materials (i.e., clay) tend to attract tree roots that will continually grow with its newfound water supply. Eventually, they will break through your pipe to access that water. This can be easily detected by our sewer camera inspection. Calgary plumbers will offer you the most effective, long-term solutions, which will include removing problematic trees damaging your property.

Can You Do It Yourself?

Although there are many jobs that savvy DIY property owners in Calgary can complete, sewer camera inspection generally isn't one of them. There are many reasons that professional service is superior to standard consumer solutions—from equipment fees to safety training. You'll save yourself time, stress and even money with a professional evaluation.

Sewer scopes are not the kind of equipment that you'll benefit from owning unless you're already a plumber. Even if you're willing to pay the fees to rent a professional plumbing camera, you'll still need the additional skills and equipment to deal with any issues you find—not to mention the professional experience and training required to find subtle signs of issues from the data presented.

Unless you're knowledgeable about the fine details of your home’s plumbing systems—and equipped for potential critical damage—you won't get the maximum benefit of video equipment that lets you confirm your suspicions about serious trenchless sewer repair warnings, as one example.

Do You Need a Professional Calgary Sewer Camera Inspection?

If you’re in need of a plumbing company in Cowtown that’s capable of professional video inspections, look no further than Mr. Rooter Plumbing of Calgary! Our experienced plumbers will get an accurate diagnosis of your situation and make the correct repairs. Calgary residents can count on our team of hardworking plumbers who are able to uncover hidden issues and unaddressed problems in your plumbing system. Mr. Rooter Plumbing of Calgary serves all of Calgary, including Haysboro, Acadia and Elboya.

For more information or a convenient appointment, call Our team is here to help!