Welcome to Plbg.com
Thank you to all the plumbing professionals who offer their advice and expertise

Over 698,000 strictly plumbing related posts

Plumbing education, information, advice, help and suggestions are provided by some of the most experienced plumbers who wish to "give back" to society. Since 1996 we have been the best online (strictly) PLUMBING advice site. If you have questions about plumbing, toilets, sinks, faucets, drains, sewers, water filters, venting, water heating, showers, pumps, and other strictly PLUMBING related issues then you've come to the right place. Please refrain from asking or discussing legal questions, or pricing, or where to purchase products, or any business issues, or for contractor referrals, or any other questions or issues not specifically related to plumbing. Keep all posts positive and absolutely no advertising. Our site is completely free, without ads or pop-ups and we don't tract you. We absolutely do not sell your personal information. We are made possible by:  

Post New
Log In
How to Show Images
Newest Subjects
 Test-Ball Plugs and inspection camera's
Author: Hotdamn (CA)

I'm putting a kitchen sink in an island in a 3 bed/2bath single story house with slab on grade foundation (I posted about it a few weeks ago). The home was built in 1970, I moved in ~ 7 years ago and I've never had the plumbing really inspected. So I'll hire a plumber to inspect/locate my sewer lines as well as locate the water lines (they are under a concrete slab). My main goal is to locate the sewer lines under the concrete slab so I can tap into one. I've two questions:

Endoscopic Camera inspection:
Are there any Do's and Dont's I should be aware of for this kind of testing? I think I definitely want the plumber to use one with a 'locating head' (i.e., camera emits a radiofrequency and plumber walks around with a detector). I think I'd also prefer a color camera (not black and white). I'd like the plumber to record the video as the camera goes through the sewer line, and I'd like a copy of the video. Is that a big ask?

Test Ball Plugs to test for sewer leaks:
The camera will inspect the line visually, but I've heard you can also test by plugging up the sewer pipe with a 'test ball plug' (link below), fill the sewer line with water and watch if the water level drops over the course of 20 minutes or so. Does that sound like a waste of time? Are there any Do's and Dont's I should be aware of for this kind of testing?

As always, I'm grateful for any advice.

Link to test ball plug:

Edited 1 times.

Post Reply

 Re: Test-Ball Plugs and inspection camera's
Author: Curly (CA)

In Sum's last post of this thread ...[www.plbg.com]

He does a very good job of explaining what to look for in a sewer inspection.

Don't waste your time with the test balls unless you know that you have a problem.

House built in the 70's in California most likely ABS plastic piping used for sewer lines and should be fine.

Post Reply

 Re: Test-Ball Plugs and inspection camera's
Author: Don411 (IN)

We're not supposed to talk prices here on the forum, but a couple things to consider just in a general sense....If you are going to get a quote from a pro for camera work, you may as well get a quote for the whole job, you may decide it's worth it in the long run. Then you can fast forward through the plumbing work and finish the remodel. On the other side of the coin, the cost of tech like this continues to drop and you can buy decent equipment for not much more than a single camera run from a pro. If there is other plumbing that you want to inspect in the house, or if you are thinking about other remodels (bath, etc) it may be worth it to own the equipment and then you don't have to worry about getting a video, etc. You can always sell the equipment when you're done with it and recoup about half of what you paid. You may even be able to find one used from somebody else who did the same thing.


Sum, I'm surprised with all the plumbing work you do at your various properties that you haven't invested in one of these yet....

Post Reply

 Re: Test-Ball Plugs and inspection camera's
Author: sum (FL)


Sum, I'm surprised with all the plumbing work you do at your various properties that you haven't invested in one of these yet....

well, I don't do many plumbing projects, most of the plumbing related tasks are garbage disposal jamming, tub drain hair blockages, AC condensate drain plugging, "mickey mouse" stuff like that. I get into digging and piping may be once a year, sometimes twice but not often enough to justify a camera.

In addition, the only reason I would use a camera is to solve an existing problem, and if I have an existing problem, like tree roots, drain blockage etc...it would also require a snaking and/or jetting before camera can even be used or else you stick it in 15 feet forward you see nothing but black silty water and you have to call a drain cleaner to come clear it anyways unless I also buy a snake. So to me if I need to hire a drain cleaner to clear a line I might as well hire same to do snake/camera together.

I haven't used a camera to locate lines for planning renovations.

Post Reply

Please note:
  • Inappropriate messages or blatant advertising will be deleted. We cannot be held responsible for bad or inadequate advice.
  • Plbg.com has no control over external content that may be linked to from messages posted here. Please follow external links with caution.
  • Plbg.com is strictly for the exchange of plumbing related advice and NOT to ask about pricing/costs, nor where to find a product (try Google), nor how to operate or promote a business, nor for ethics (law) and the like questions.
  • Plbg.com is also not a place to ask radiant heating (try HeatingHelp.com), electrical or even general construction type questions. We are exclusively for plumbing questions.

Search for plumbing parts on our sponsor's site:

Special thanks to our sponsor:

Copyright© 2024 Plbg.com. All Rights Reserved.