Pipeline Inspection Methods: Video
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Pipeline Inspection Methods: Video

One way to complete a pipeline inspection is through the use of video equipment. It’s a popular modern method because of the very low risk of the inspection process causing damage, and because it causes very little hassle or disruption for the homeowner.

What to Expect When a Video Pipeline Inspection is Scheduled

The workers will arrive in a service truck which is outfitted with the power supply and necessary video display, computers, and audio equipment. The truck will also have a reel or a winch attached to the back, which will hold video cable. This cable is generally reinforced with a high performance coating like steel wire braid or Kevlar. The winch or reel will be used to lower the recording equipment into the pipe. This device could be manually operated or powered.

The camera which will be inserted into the pipeline is called a pipeline inspection gauge, or PIG. It’s a cylindrical device which has lights and a camera mounted to it. The PIG can also be swiveled around remotely, and can pan and tilt as well. Some PIGs also have sensors and lasers which can be used to take measurements while inside the pipe. The integrated lighting is usually LED based. This whole construction is then mounted to a camera tractor a small, remote controlled vehicle used to advance the camera inside the pipeline. The PIG and the camera tractor are attached to the end of the video cable wound around the reel or winch.

Once the equipment is properly set up, the workers will find an access pipe. Access pipes are pipes which run to the surface, perpendicular to the sewer line. The camera tractor is then lowered inside. Then, the camera operator will begin the inspection, by controlling the camera and watching the video feed from inside the service truck. When the inspection is complete, the camera tractor can be shifted into reverse to return to a spot near the original access point, where it can be pulled out. If the pipe’s diameter is too small for the camera tractor, the camera can also be pulled through the pipe from the opposite direction using a rope.

When Will the Inspection be Complete?

The bulk of the inspection is done in real time, as the camera operator controls the PIG as it travels through the pipe. Generally, the inspection will be completed once the camera has thoroughly revealed the area to be inspected. However, the inspection video will also be recorded and saved. This will allow the company performing the inspection to review the video later, if necessary.

Video Pipe Inspection Applications

The most common reason for a video pipe inspection is the need to determine whether or not tree roots have broken into the pipeline. Also, if a homeowner is noticing a blockage, or that the drains aren't flowing freely, they may need to have the pipes inspected if the area causing the clog isn't immediately obvious. Pipe inspection services Calgary can help avoid needless digging.


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