There are many reasons why you may need to conduct a drain inspection. If you are buying a home in Columbus, a drain inspection is a regular part of the homebuyer survey. Equally, you may want to investigate why a pipe is continually blocking up, find out why excess water is appearing in sub-floor areas, or need to know where a system runs before considering the installation of a new system. Below is a list of methods used to carry out drain inspections, some of which have been used for many years and others which utilize modern technologies.
Drain Flush Test
A simple, yet useful test is the drain flush test. Just flush the toilet or run a tap and stand at the utility hole and wait for the water to come through. Although not a thoroughly scientific way of inspecting a drain, this system can tell you if a system is blocked by water not coming through or if you are losing a percentage of the water to subsoil on the way.
Another simple method is the dye test. Carefully dye different sections of the system with several different and varied colors. This will allow you to quickly identify the problem part. It is also worth noting that using dye in powder and tablet form is environmentally friendly.
Another easy method of carrying out a drain inspection is water analysis. This is especially useful for water seeping into cellars or sub-floors. Take a sample of the water for analysis to find out if you are dealing with potable water, storm water, or foul water. This analysis will allow you to pinpoint where the problem area is in your system.
CCTV Inspection/Drain Camera
One of the most popular modern methods of drain analysis is the CCTV inspection or drain camera. This small camera can snake through your drain system and pinpoint the exact area where the problem is occurring. This method is especially good for detecting obstructions or impediments to the flow of water such as roots, broken tiles, inline traps, pipe sagging, pipe cracks, and sludge bumps.
Sonar Drain Tracing
An ultra-modern tool, sonar drain tracing allows you to find out the condition of the sewer system, tell you how deep it is, and even pinpoint defects found in camera surveys, buried chambers, and septic tanks. The method works by inserting a transmission into the system and following the signal above ground with a receiver.
Another exciting modern tool, pipe profiling allows you to measure any deformation in the drain system. The tool scans rings of light onto the internal wall of the drain and uses software to display the results. Pipe profiling is especially good for identifying cracks and fractures in pipes.
Ground Penetrating Radar
An incredible tool which is used to locate the drainage system and services from ground level, ground penetrating radar can provide readings on soil erosion around the pipe work and joints. This is a hugely useful tool as it can also give readings on voids and contribute to understanding weak points in the drainage system before any major damage occurs.