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It's a Jungle out there. Underground Utility Detection & Inspection Services

How To Identify Sewer or Drainage Problems?


There are multiple reasons that someone could be having problems with their sewer or drainage pipes on their property. In order to identify these problems inside of the pipe you must hire an inspection company to provide a video camera pipe inspection. CNI Locates offers pipe camera services using our push video pipe inspection cameras and robotic sewer crawler inspection cameras to inspect lines, provide pipe locating services, mark the location of problems, and to provide depth assessments. Below are some of the common reasons for problems with sewer and drainage pipes.

  1. Blockages from foreign objects inside the pipe (e.g., food scraps, hair, wipes, dental floss, fats, oils, coins, toys, etc.). Blockages prevent a pipe from being able to drain properly. If blockages are left untreated, eventually the sewage and wastewater will build up and could start backing up out of drains/pipes, cause horrible smells, or even cause the pipe to burst. 
  2. Breaks in the pipe. Breaks can be caused from multiple factors (e.g., corroded pipes, poor installation, recent subsurface work, environmental conditions, punctures, blockages, etc.). If a break is left untreated it could cause health concerns, sink holes, rodent infestations, etc.
  3. Corrosion inside the pipe from sulfide gas caused from sewage. Corrosion causes the pipes to crack or split at the seam creating leaks. If corrosion is left untreated it could lead to leaks, misalignment, or even cause a pipe to collapse. 
  4. Damages to pipes from construction. Pipes can be damaged during excavation, fence post installations, driving rebar or ground rods into the ground, retaining wall installations, soil compaction, or any other type of subsurface work. If damages are left untreated it could cause health concerns, sink holes, blockages, misalignments, rodent infestations, etc.
  5. Frozen Pipes. Frozen pipes are caused by temperatures dropping below freezing around pipes that are full of water. This causes pressure to build up inside of pipes leading to blockages, leaks, breaks, etc. 
  6. Misalignment in the pipe. Misalignments are commonly caused by shifts in the surrounding soil or leaks. If misalignments are left untreated the pipes could crack, leak, collapse, etc. over time.
  7. Leaks inside the pipe. A leak can be caused from multiple factors (e.g., breaks, corrosion, damages, frozen pipes, misalignments, root intrusion, etc.). If a leak is left untreated it could lead to health concerns, erosion in the area (causing sinkholes), rodent infestations, damage to your home’s foundation, etc. 
  8. Root intrusion inside the pipe. Root intrusion is caused when roots work their way into a pipe over time. If left untreated root intrusion can cause blockages, breaks, leaks, misalignments, etc. 

How To Deal with Freezing Sewer, Drainage, or Water Pipes?

Frozen pipes are common in colder places. When temperatures drop below freezing, the water inside pipes freezes, expands, and builds pressure, often causing breaks or leaks. Not only can frozen pipes prevent water from flowing, but they may also a break or leak that leads to flooding inside the house when the temperature returns to normal. In those situations, you can either take precautionary measures to prevent the pipes from freezing or take the help of an underground utility detection and inspection service like CNI Locates to inspect and detect where pipes are damaged or leaking.

In the United States, during the colder months, there is a frozen pipe emergency in almost all houses, and therefore you should seek the help of a professional leak detection specialist or a video camera pipe inspection expert if such situations arise. CNI Locates also offers other services to assist our clients’ needs like Aerial Drone Imagery, Concrete and Structural Imaging, Design Survey Locating, Electrical Fault Detection, Ground Penetrating Radar, Leak Detection, Magnetic Detection, Metallic Line Detection, Non-Metallic Line Detection, Plastic Water Pipe Detection, Public and Private Utility Locates, Utility Mapping, Video Camera Pipe Inspections, and much more. We serve all of Oregon and Washington State. If you have any questions or need us to be on site within 24 hours’ notice Monday – Friday, give us a call.

Tips To Prevent Frozen Pipes

Act immediately if you experience any signs of temperature drops or the water flow in the taps thinning. Continue reading this blog to know more about what homeowners can do to prevent the pipes from freezing or the after-measures to be taken to deal with an already frozen pipe.

  1. Keep the Water Running

The best way to prevent the pipes from freezing is to let the water run at a trickle when you sense that the temperature may go down. This is because it is more difficult for running water to freeze. If you would like to save water, you can place a bucket under whichever faucet is dripping, to water plants or assists with various house chores. 

  1. Get the Pipes Insulated

If pipes are in direct contact with the freezing air, they tend to freeze quickly. Insulating the pipes helps to prevent them from freezing. Insulation is useful for pipes that are located outside your house or in sections of the house that are unheated. Insulating materials are easy to find at most hardware stores; however, you can also use old rags for emergencie

  1. Turn Your Heating System On

We recommend maintaining a minimum heating temperature of 68 degrees Fahrenheit inside the house (never set the heat below 55 degrees Fahrenheit in freezing conditions) and to keep your garage door closed when the outside temperature drops below freezing. It is also useful to open cabinets in bathrooms and kitchens to allow warm air to circulate through those areas (make sure to move any harmful cleaners or household chemicals out of the reach of children). For interior areas that are left unheated we recommend using a space heater to fend off icy air from reaching the pipes.

  1. Turn Your Water Off at the Meter or Shut Off Valve When You Are Not at Home

If you plan to go for a vacation or an outing when the forecast predicts the temperature may drop, we recommend shutting your water off at the meter, valve, or well head and to drain your lines before leaving, so you don’t return to frozen pipes, or a flooded house caused by a leak from a frozen pipe. 

  1. Drain Water from Irrigation or Pool Pipes

Drain any irrigation or pool lines according to the manufactures or installers directions. Do not use antifreeze in these lines (unless directed). Antifreeze is environmentally harmful, and is dangerous to humans, pets, wildlife, and landscaping.

  1. Get Help from A Professional

Take immediate action if your pipes are damaged, break, or are leaking from freezing conditions. It is advisable to call a professional underground utility detection and inspection company if you are unable to detect the location of the damage. 

Hire Our Experts to Detect Damages or Leaking Pipes

Even after taking all sorts of precautions, the pipes may freeze if the temperature drops too low. Get in touch with CNI Locates Ltd to detect where your pipe is damaged or leaking. We offer many different types of services for pipe line locates in Everett, WA, Renton, WA, Seattle, WA, Tacoma, WA, Eugene, OR, Portland, OR, or anywhere else in Oregon and Washington State. Contact our knowledgeable experts to schedule a service. CNI Locates has been Oregon & Washington’s leader in subsurface utility detection and inspection services for 20+ years. Contact CNI Locates at (877) 826-1177 or email [email protected] to schedule a service within 24 hours’ notice, Monday – Friday.