The Different Ways Pipeline Inspection can be Conducted

One of the biggest frustrations with keeping plumbing pipes in good condition is the difficulty inherent in diagnosing them. When a problem develops in one of your pipes, you’re probably not going to be able to tell just by looking at it. That is, unless you have a lot of exposed piping on your property, or you like to dig them up on a regular basis. Most homeowners don’t realize that their pipes are even having issues until the damage is already done, and has begun to spread to the surrounding areas. For that reason, it’s a good idea to schedule pipeline inspection at least once a year. There are a number of different pipeline inspection techniques that can be used to isolate problems with the plumbing.



The simplest method of conducting video pipe inspections. A pushcam is a camera on the end of a long cord, which is pushed into the pipe manually by the operator. The camera records a live feed of the pipe, and transmits it back to the plumber conducting the inspection. When the inspection is complete, the pushcam is manually retrieved. Pushcam inspections are a quick and easy way to scope out a mainline like your water or sewer line. However, it has almost no maneuverability. That can be a problem in certain parts of the system.

Lateral Launch Cam

If the plumber needs to inspect an area besides a main line, a lateral launch camera may be used. This is a robot with a secondary camera on it. The robot moves down the mainline until it reaches the branch line that needs to be inspected. At that point, the unit launches a secondary camera to inspect the offshoot. Lateral launch cameras are a great way to get a much more comprehensive look at the pipes that serve your home, and to make sure that no problems go unnoticed.

Solo Cam

While pushcams and lateral launch cams are attached to long cords, solo cams are completely independent. These remote-controlled units are free to move back and forth through the pipe system. While they are not as far-reaching as lateral launch cameras, they are much more nimble than pushcams. These are growing increasingly popular, as plumbers are beginning to realize the benefits of a more autonomous camera system.

Sonde Location

A sonde locator is a little battery-powered pod, small enough to fit in the palm of your hand, attached to a cord. The sonde is inserted into the pipe system, and gives off an electromagnetic field while it’s operating. That field is measured by a separate device aboveground, which is used to trace the path of the pipe. This is useful for determining the exact location of problems like clogs and leaks, so that they can be fixed.

Magnolia Plumbing, Heating & Cooling offers a full range of pipe inspection services throughout Silver Spring, MD. If you need pipe inspection services of any kind, we’re here to help you out. Contact us today to schedule an appointment with one of our expert plumbers.