The Importance of Annual Sewer Line Inspections

McKenney’s recommends an annual inspection of sewer lines in commercial buildings. Sewer line inspections identify potential problems that could result in costly property damage due to flooding and backups. This inspection should be considered part of the building’s routine plumbing preventative maintenance.

Sewer lines can become obstructed by a variety of things. Foreign objects flushed down a toilet can create a blockage. Soap scum and grease can accumulate, blocking the main line. Tree roots from the landscaping can grow into sewer lines. Commercial plumbing systems undergo such heavy use that ignoring basic preventative maintenance that can identify these obstructions is unwise.

Potential Sewer Line Problems

The following are some of the potential problems for commercial sewer lines:

  • Old Pipes – Pipes can decay over time, and metal pipes in older buildings will eventually rust and corrode. Hardwater causes mineral buildup that is corrosive to the pipes. As pipes grow thinner, they will start to crack and leak.
  • Root Intrusion – Tree roots are another common culprit. Roots seek water and oxygen in the sewer lines and enter through small cracks or breaks. When roots fill the lines, the resulting pressure can cause a major break that allows flooding to occur. Damaged sewer and drain pipes may also cause erosion and sinkholes when the ground becomes saturated with wastewater.
  • Sagging Lines – Sewer lines can sag or shift position due to sinkholes or eroded soil. Sometimes pipes sag because of improper soil compaction. When standing water or sediment collects inside the sewer line, this is known as bellying. Repair is essential to prevent costly backups, leaks, and flooding.

Video Pipe Inspection


McKenney’s Video Inspection Services can provide a complete sewer and drainage system analysis. Small video cameras attached to flexible fiber optic cable can locate service lines and detect current or potential problems inside walls and under the foundation. Our technician analyzes high-definition footage in real-time on a screen and identifies blockages that should be cleared, root intrusion to be dealt with, and broken pipes that need repair or replacement. Addressing these issues before a major sewer line failure can save thousands of dollars in repairs.

Schedule Your Inspection

Sewer lines are used daily but often ignored until a problem arises. Plumbing emergencies are never fun, as they can result in costly repairs. An annual sewer line inspection should be part of your building’s preventative maintenance schedule. This task is best left to the professionals. Contact McKenney’s today to schedule your video pipe inspection.

About David Roark


Email Address:

David Roark is the Operations Manager for McKenney’s Plumbing Services in Atlanta’s Building Services Division. David is a Master Plumber with over 26 years of experience in the plumbing trade and has been with McKenney’s for 13 years. David is responsible for leading the plumbing operations and technical support for our Building Services Division.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *