Emergency plumbing problems don’t always occur where they are easy to reach. Leaks, breaks, clogs and other troubles with underground lines have the potential to be as expensive to fix as they are difficult to find and reach.

Locating plumbing lines is key to repairing underground lines. Without a reliable way to find buried lines, your plumber may spend unnecessary time and energy digging and searching.

The best method for finding underground plumbing lines, drains and related fixtures is a two-step process using cameras and ground-penetrating sonar or radar.

First, the plumber sends a camera on a wire or line into the pipe or drain system. He may start from a point inside your home or from a better access point outside. By noting which direction the wire travels, the plumber can get a general idea of the underground location of the pipes. The camera allows the plumber to see damage, rust, scale, foreign matter buildup, tree root penetrations or other problems. He can identify the issue causing the problem, such as a break or a crack.

Once the problem has been found, the plumber can use a sonar device or ground-penetrating radar to locate the lines and map their layout and position. As the sonar or radar equipment is rolled along the ground, it sends signals into the earth that detect where the pipes are buried. The device indicates the location on a mapping display, allowing the plumber to dig up the lines without wasting time.

In some cases, the plumber may send an electronic transmitter into the pipes. This transmitter can be detected with electronic above-ground locators, which pinpoint the location of the plumbing lines.

After more than a century in business, Apollo Home Heating, Cooling & Plumbing is one of Cincinnati’s oldest and most trusted providers of HVAC and plumbing services. Contact us if you encounter a plumbing emergency. Or better, get to know us before an emergency arises. That way, should an emergency develop, you can call us with 100-percent confidence — as certainly a plumbing problem isn’t something you can entrust to just anyone.

Image via Shutterstock.com