plumbers endoscope camera for commercial use

The Benefits of Using a Plumbing Endoscope Camera

A plumbing endoscope, also known as a plumbers endoscope camera, is an invaluable tool for modern plumbers. This flexible, fiber-optic camera can be inserted into drains, pipes, and other tight spaces to diagnose and identify blockages. Using an endoscope for plumbing can save plumbers huge amounts of time and money compared to traditional trial-and-error methods of unclogging drains.

What is a Plumbing Endoscope?

A plumbing endoscope camera consists of a long, thin, flexible cable with a camera on one end and a display screen on the other. The camera end is inserted into pipes, drains, and fixtures to provide a live video feed of any clogs, damage, or other issues inside.

Plumbing endoscopes typically have a light source to illuminate the small spaces inside plumbing. They also have various fittings and attachments to access sinks, toilets, tub drains, main sewer lines, and more. High-quality endoscopes can rotate 180 degrees and capture photos and videos.
Key Benefits of Using an Endoscope for Plumbing
Here are some of the main advantages plumbers can realize by using a plumbing endoscope:
  • Quickly locate clogs - Rather than disassembling multiple sections of piping to find a clog, an endoscope camera lets plumbers inspect pipes and pinpoint stoppages quickly. This minimizes trial-and-error.
  • Identify sources of leaks - Leaks inside walls or under floors can be difficult to find. An endoscope makes it easy to inspect pipes throughout a building and identify the exact source of any water leaks.
  • Avoid unnecessary demolition - In some cases, significant demolition of walls and floors is required to access and repair plumbing issues. Endoscopes eliminate unnecessary destruction of property in many cases.
  • See problems in tight spaces - Endoscopes can access angles and tight spaces difficult or impossible to reach otherwise, such as inside toilets or sink traps. This allows for a more complete inspection.
  • Capture visual evidence - Endoscopes record videos and images that can be saved and shared. This creates a visual record of the inside of pipes and drains for your reference or your customers' records.
This video shows how the Miniflex water pipe inspection camera makes at least 3 90° turns in 1.3" diameter PVC pipe, then 3 90° turns in 2" diameter pipe, and 2 turns in 3" diameter pipe, for a total of about 8 90° turns!
"A drain pipe camera allows identifying and addressing minor drain issues before they become major expensive problems."

Types of Plumbing Endoscopes

There are various camera types and features for seeing inside pipes:
There are a few main types of endoscopes used for plumbing:
  • Wireless endoscopes - These offer greater portability and maneuverability since there's no display unit tethered to the camera. Image and video are transmitted wirelessly to a smartphone or tablet.
  • Sewer line endoscopes** - Longer endoscopes designed specifically for probing main sewer and drain lines. Typically 50-100 feet in length. Excellent for inspecting pipes underground or beneath floors.
  • Mini endoscopes - Compact cameras as small as 0.5 inches in diameter. Useful for looking inside sink drains, toilets, and other small spaces.
  • Self-leveling endoscopes - Advanced endoscopes with a camera that self-levels as the pipe angles to keep the image upright on the display.

Using an Endoscope to Diagnose Drain Problems

Here is an overview of how a plumbing endoscope can be used to diagnose and identify the cause of a blocked kitchen drain:

  1. First, insert the camera end into the kitchen sink drain's P-trap. Carefully feed the endoscope into the trap, peering on the display for any clogs or obstructions. Use the camera to look for any grease buildup, food debris, or foreign objects that may be blocking water flow.
  2. Next, advance the camera further to inspect the drain pipe that leads from the P-trap under the sink. Look for sagging or misaligned pipes that could trap gunk and cause backups.
  3. Finally, extend the endoscope as far as possible down the main kitchen branch drain line. Use the camera to look for root intrusion, collapsed pipes, or other issues that could block drainage downstream.

Key Benefits of Sewer Cameras

  • Plumbing endoscopes are flexible cameras used to inspect drains, pipes, and plumbing fixtures from the inside.
  • Key benefits include quickly finding clogs, identifying leaks, avoiding demolitions, and recording visual evidence.
  • Different endoscope types are designed for various plumbing tasks and situations.
  • Endoscopes can diagnose kitchen drain clogs by inspecting the P-trap, under-sink pipe, and branch drain line.
  • By precisely locating blockages, endoscopes help plumbers recommend the right repairs.
The drain endoscope provides a live, close-up view to pinpoint any blockages. Plumbers can determine the exact location and cause of the clog and recommend the right repairs.