CCTV pipe inspection is a method of visually inspecting a utility line to detect cracks, infractions, blockages, and the overall structural condition of the line. It is also used to locate service laterals and obstructions in the line.
The process involves navigating a camera through the line, either manually or via a remote control, which provides a video feed of the pipe interior to an on-site monitor for viewing.
When Should You Call For a Pipe Inspection?
CCTV inspections are utilized in a number of particular instances, including but not limited to:
We’ll check the storm and sanitary lines near the sinkhole area to be sure they are not the cause of the problem.
Pre and Post-Construction Inspections
When planning a project in the area of sanitary/storm lines, we’ll often get called in to document the conditions before and after the project is complete. The post-inspection is to ensure that the pipes were not damaged in the construction process. This process typically include sewer line inspections, which are CCTV inspections performed on a sewer line.
Flooding can lead to blockages, which CCTV pipe inspection is ideal for identifying.
Site Maintenance Programs
CCTV inspections are often a core component of recurring preventative maintenance programs. These are typically put in place to check the lines on a scheduled basis to keep systems free of blockages.
The length of time of the job depends on the quality, condition, amount of access points, length, and material of the line. Generally, we estimate about 1500’ a day.
What Are The Tools Involved?
The two main tools involved are push cameras and robotic crawlers. Push Cameras consist of a push cable installed on a stand up reel, stainless steel camera head with LED lights and a great flexible spring section. We have different variations of lengths of push cameras ranging from 65’ - 325’ to best fit the client’s project.
Our robotic crawlers are able to traverse through pipes ranging from 6” - 98”. Our crawlers can be configured to more that 5 different sizes by changing the wheel size, changing the carriage, and/or using the elevator to raise and lower the head of the crawler depending on the size of the pipe.
Another variation of our robotic crawlers is our new lateral launch crawler. The lateral launch system is a standard robotic crawler, but has a push camera attached that can be launched into the laterals from the mainline.
How are CCTV Inspections Performed?
When using the robotic crawler, the first step to performing a CCTV video pipe inspection is to find the access point where the camera can be lowered into the utility line. Once the camera is lowered into the line, it can give a very clear picture of the condition of the line and what the inside of the utility looks like.
A CCTV pipe inspection can give information as to what is happening in the utility line and can detect cracks, infractions, and other imperfections in the line. When a problem is found we can give the location of the camera above ground using our electromagnetic scanning tools.
Specialized equipment is necessary to navigate the utility lines and ensure the walls of the pipe are properly illuminated in order to get the clearest picture possible. It is also critical to know the number of access points available, as the more access points we have, the more comprehensive the investigation can be.
For a thorough investigation, the number of bends between access points generally should be limited to 3 or less. Once our video pipe inspection technician identifies an area of interest within the pipe, they will pinpoint the location from the surface by using Electromagnetic technology to find the camera.
What are the Limitations?
The Limitations of Push Cam Inspections
Issues with push cams can arise if we can not pan or tilt to look around at observations/defects found in the line. The camera usually rides to one side of the pipe when pushing into the line. When this happens we record the video on the way back, allowing the camera to be more centered in the pipe to better record the inspection.
Too many bends can also inhibit our ability to fully inspect a pipe. Each bend creates more friction causing the camera to bind up and finally stop.
Debris and obstructions in the line also may prevent us from being able to navigate through.
The Limitations of Crawler Inspections
The robotic crawler can sometimes experience difficulty making it through a pipe if there is an abundant amount of soft sand/mud settled on the bottom of the pipe.
Similar to push cams, turns can cause issues for crawler cameras and/or wires. Although turns can be made, there are a few reasons why we avoid making the turns with the crawler, including reducing friction on the robot's fiber optic cable line and reducing the risk for flipping the crawler.
What Does a CCTV Inspection Measure?
When we do a CCTV pipe inspection, we inspect the integrity, condition, and location of line so the client can make a decision on what they want to do and move forward with their project. The client also gains peace of mind and protection with pre and post-construction inspections to ensure utilities were not damaged throughout the construction. Customers also use our CCTV pipe inspection services as a way to ensure their system is functioning properly with regular visits from us.