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smoke testing, CCTV

Smoke Testing vs. CCTV: Which One Is Best?

By testing your sewers, storm drains, and other pipelines, you can keep your pipes running and avoid serious issues. When looking for drain testing options, you may have noticed that you have a lot of choices. For example, a lot of city leaders find themselves choosing between smoke testing and CCTV testing. Which one makes the best choice? It depends on your pipes and your specific concerns. Take a look at the next few paragraphs to get a more in-depth idea of your options.

Smoke Testing

First, let’s talk about smoke testing. During the smoke testing process, we’ll send smoke into a sewer pipe and look to see where smoke emerges. Smoke will always travel to the fastest exit point, which makes it helpful if you’re looking for sewer overflow locations. If the smoke can’t find any cracks, then it will only exit through manholes. On the other hand, if the smoke does find leaks, it will exit through those leaks, too. If we see smoke rising above a street or sidewalk, that means that sewage and other waste may also travel through those leaks and cause a public health hazard.

Smoke testing is a cost-effective choice for sewers. It’s also a good choice for spotting cracks and leaks that are harder to detect visually. While visual tests may miss a few things, smoke can get through even the smallest cracks.


CCTV is one of the newest pipeline testing methods available. A CCTV test involves a closed-circuit camera moving from one end of a pipeline to another. People who prefer CCTV testing enjoy the fact that they can see the state of their pipes clearly. CCTV also makes a good choice if you’re concerned about issues other than cracks and leaks. The cameras can help you spot clogs, root invasions, and other problems that are common among pipes.

How to Decide

So, how do you decide which method you should use? First, consider your needs and primary concerns. Next, call a professional pipe testing service. A professional team can help you decide which option will work best for your pipes.

Sewer Tech Can Help

Do you have a specific pipeline test in mind? Are you deciding between different options? Either way, Sewer Tech can help. We provide several pipe and sewer testing methods. Give us a call today to go over your options or ask about our services. We’re here to keep your pipes in their best shape.

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