Plumbing Paparazzi???

23 Jan 2019 Uncategorized


In today’s world, cameras of one sort or another are everywhere and photos are being captured in staggering numbers.  Hundreds of cameras click and flashes pop whenever high profile celebrities or politicians are spotted.  Cameras with three foot long telephoto lenses are commonplace at all sporting events.  Even wildlife have to deal with the silent capture of their images on game and trail cameras.  And let’s not overlook the most prevalent of all cameras, the smartphone camera.

It’s impossible to obtain a precise count of just how many photos are taken each year with a smartphone but after researching that question on the Internet, the estimate is mindboggling.  Paraphrasing the data from the mylio.com website: a conservative prediction for the total number of photos that will be taken in 2016 is based on an estimated 1 billion (1,000,000,000) smartphones in use worldwide, taking 2-3 photos per day (1,000 pictures per year), the total number of photos is estimated to be at least 1 trillion (1,000,000,000,000).  That’s a bunch!

But just how many of those photos are really important?  Would it be the hundreds of millions of photos posted to Facebook, Instagram or Snapchat?  Probably not.  Actually one of the most important photos taken for you this year could actually be taken by your plumber, and not with a smartphone.

When you shower, are you standing in water?  When you pull the stopper on your kitchen sink does it take forever to drain?  And what about your washing machine, do you deal with the aggravating mess of an occasional overflow?  If you answered yes to any of these questions you are probably dealing with a clogged sewer issue that is not going to go away on its own.  And if you had your plumber come out to “snake” your sewer line but only managed to give you temporary relief, then it’s time for a plumber’s photo session.

Many plumbers today now carry a camera system on their truck that would have been unimagined just a few years ago.  Generally speaking these cameras are hi-tech with 100 foot fiber optic cables that provide light and a camera (including video) to the business end of the cable.  Images are fed through that cable back to a color monitor so the plumber can view the progress as he works to extend the cable into your sewer line to determine why it is not draining correctly.  He also has the option to capture the images on a simple SD card if necessary.

With the camera inserted in the sewer line, the old adage that “a picture is worth a thousand words” is proven true once again.  The problem could be anything from tree roots to a crushed or broken pipe or even a stuffed animal that some youngster flushed down the toilet.  The important thing is that once the professional has a visual on the problem the guesswork is over and your slow draining shower, sink or washing machine days are about to be over.


And unlike the annoying buzz created by the political or celebrity paparazzi, there’s little doubt that when you need him, you’ll be really glad to see your plumber paparazzi.