Best commercial sewer pipe inspection camera

Best sewer camera

Choosing the Best Sewer Camera for Drain Inspections. With over 6 years as a professional plumber, I've used many different sewer cameras. Proper selection of the right sewer camera is critical to efficiently inspect drain lines and uncover any issues. Based on my extensive experience, here are my recommendations on choosing the best sewer camera.

Key Features of a High-Quality Sewer Inspection Camera

The best sewer cameras have these technical capabilities:
  • HD Color Camera - Provides a sharp, detailed view of pipe conditions. Important for spotting small cracks and flaws.
  • Pan, Tilt and Zoom - Allows thoroughly inspecting debris, damage, and problem areas by remotely controlling the camera head position.
  • Long Cable Lengths - Enables accessing long sewer lines from a single access point without having to re-setup.
  • Digital Video Recording - Critical for documenting inspections and allows analysis of footage.
  • Large Display Monitor - A 7-inch or bigger high-resolution screen enables clearly seeing identified pipe issues.
  • Durable, Waterproof Camera Head - Can withstand the harsh sewer environment repeatedly over time.
  • Powerful Lighting - Important when inspecting dark pipes to illuminate the full interior circumference.
How To Use A (Sewer) Inspection Camera
Contrary to what many plumbing experts believe, a sewer camera only sees what is in the sewer pipes. But there is one thing that a sewer camera completely fails to see.
The sewer camera itself cannot tell if you have a leak, or detect a leak or leaks in your sewer pipes. In fact, it's so important that it's worth repeating.

While it is useful as an auxiliary tool when checking for leaks, a sewer camera alone cannot be used to determine whether or not you have a leak.
Based on my professional experience, here are my picks for the best sewer cameras:

Top Sewer Camera Models

  1. The MiniFlex Plumbing Camera - the best and only device you will ever need for inspecting small diameter pipes (1.25"-4" pipes). It is a versatile inspection system specifically designed for very tight bends and traps.
  2. VIPER drain camera - the Portable Drain Camera is an economical kit designed for high quality inspection of sewers, building ducts/pipelines, manholes, chimneys and power plants
  3. Ridgid SeeSnake MicroDrain Camera - Excellent compact camera for 2" to 4" drain lines. Quality Ridgid construction.
  4. Ridgid SeeSnake Color Camera System - Industry leader with superior cable, camera and monitor. Very versatile for small to large drain lines.
  5. Hathorn PheonX Pro Sewer Camera - Records directly to SD card for simple documentation. High-end camera produces amazing pipe images.
  6. Vivax-Metrotech vCam-6 - Quality pipe inspection camera with color LCD monitor. Great value camera for municipal sewer departments.

When to Use a Professional Sewer Camera

While inexpensive sewer cameras for homeowners are available, I recommend hiring a professional plumber whenever:
  • You need to inspect main sewer lines or long lateral drain lines.
  • Accessing the piping requires clearing blockages or cutting access points.
  • The drainline has major known issues like collapsed pipes.
  • You want documentation of pipe condition for insurance or real estate purposes.
  • The home or building is large with an extensive drain system.
Let the professionals handle the specialized equipment and know-how needed for large commercial sewer inspections. For most homeowners, hiring a pro sewer camera inspection service as needed is the smartest option.