When a contractor asks to take a look inside your septic tank with a septic tank inspection camera, he or she is looking for specific things. He or she may not tell you what he/she is looking for right away so as to not cause you worry or concern. He/she wants to look first, and then let you know if you have a real problem with your tank. Here is what the contractor/inspector might be looking for with that inspection camera.
Hardened Clogs over Intake/Outflow Ports
Your septic tank has two openings that allow the inward and outward flow of waste. The inward flow comes from the side of your house where the pipes from the house feed into one major pipe that feeds into the septic tank. The outward flow allows liquid waste to flow to the leach field. Most of the time, these ports are open and everything flows smoothly. At other times, one or both ports may be partially to completely blocked by hardened waste consisting of toilet paper and solid waste compacted together. The contractor is checking these ports to make sure they are clear of blockages and not creating problems for waste flow.
Rust Inside the Tank
Most septic tanks are made of metal, specifically steel, but older tanks can be made of iron. The contractor is looking for signs of rust and aging that could indicate an older tank and the need to replace your tank very soon. Considering the aggressive and destructive effects of the chemicals found in urine, it is important to know the condition of the inside walls of your tank so that you do not end up with any septic tank failures or overflow surprises.
Holes or Leaks in the Tank
Finding rust in the tank is one thing, but finding holes in the inside of your septic tank is another. It can indicate imminent tank failure. The camera will also poke around and look for spots in the tank walls where there is weakened integrity and an appearance of leaks heading outside of the tank's inner walls. If these things are spotted, your contractor is likely to recommend a tank replacement just as soon as you are financially able to replace the tank. You cannot leave a tank in the ground if it is exhibiting major internal structural issues. Doing so is both illegal in many areas and hazardous to your family's health.