plumbing camera with locator for commercial use

Plumbing Camera with Locator - A Complete Guide

A plumbing camera with locator is an invaluable tool for plumbers and homeowners to inspect pipes, drains, and sewers to identify blockages, leaks, and other issues. This guide covers everything you need to know about plumbing cameras with locators.

What is a Plumbing Camera With Locator?

A plumbing camera, also known as a pipe inspection camera or drain camera, is a small camera on a flexible cable that can be inserted into pipes to provide a visual of the interior.
A locator works together with the camera by sending a radio signal that can be detected above ground with a receiver. This allows you to know the exact location of the camera head as you inspect pipes underground or behind walls.
Thermal cameras do not require direct contact with the object being scanned. As long as there is line-of-sight, the thermal camera can read surface temperatures from a distance. This allows plumbers to scan hard-to-reach pipes or areas covered with insulation.
Key benefits of a plumbing camera with locator
  • Locate blockages, cracks, roots, collapsed pipes
  • Pinpoint leak locations
  • Map out pipe layout and condition
  • Avoid unnecessary demolition of walls/floors
  • Facilitate targeted repairs
Can We Find Our Wash Away Issue With A Sewer Camera And Ridgid Locator?
"A drain pipe camera allows identifying and addressing minor drain issues before they become major expensive problems."

Why Use a Plumbing Camera and Locator?

There are several scenarios where using a plumbing camera with a locator is extremely helpful:
  • Locating Clogs: By inserting the camera into drain lines, you can visually identify the exact location and cause of the blockage. This allows targeted clearing or repairs.
  • Identifying Leaks: With the locator, you can trace water pipes and pinpoint even small leaks behind walls or under floors without any Guesswork.
  • Inspecting Sewer Lines: Running the camera through sewer pipes lets you proactively check condition and identify any issues like cracks, roots, or blockages before they become emergencies.
  • Mapping Pipes: Creating a visual map of pipes helps with renovation or new construction projects to avoid hitting pipes while drilling or demolishing.

Key Features of Plumbing Cameras With Locators

When selecting a plumbing camera with locator, look for the following key features:
  • Pipe diameter compatibility - Cameras come in different sizes for inspecting lines from 1.5" to 12" diameter. Choose per your pipe sizes.
  • Camera image quality - Look for cameras with high resolution CCD color cameras for sharp, detailed footage.
  • Cable length - Longer cable reaches further into pipe systems. Options range from 3ft to over 100ft.
  • Durable cable - A high flex spring coil cable will withstand tough drainage environments.
  • Locator strength - Powerful locators (512Hz or more) can trace deeper pipes up to 15ft underground.
  • Monitor - A large LCD screen allows real-time viewing of pipe interiors. Recoding options are useful for documentation.
  • Portability - Compact, lightweight cameras with wheeled cases or backpacks facilitate easy transport between job sites.

Professional Tips for Using a Plumbing Camera and Locator

Here are some pro tips to get the most out of your plumbing camera and locator:
  • Start with main lines - Inspect main sewer and drain lines first before branching off into secondary pipes. This provides an overall condition assessment.
  • Take it slow - Move the camera cable slowly and methodically for full visual coverage of the pipe interior. Mark locations of any defects.
  • Record findings - Use the camera's recording function to document pipe layouts and any problem areas. This provides a baseline for future inspections.
  • Use locator strategically - Toggle between camera and locator modes to follow the pipe path and trace the camera head's underground location.
  • Mind cables and junctions - Retrieving around bends and cable junctions takes skill. Keep a light touch and rotate the cable rather than forcing it.
  • Clean equipment - Always rinse away dirt and residues after use for maximum longevity. Avoid submerging locators.
  • Does the locator work on all pipe materials?
    Yes, plumbing locators work effectively on metallic and non-metallic pipes including PVC, cast iron, clay, fiberglass and more. The signal can locate pipes through multiple materials.
  • Can I use a plumbing camera in wet environments?
    Plumbing cameras are waterproof by design for use in drainage systems. However, the monitors and locators are not. Care should be taken to avoid submerging these components.
  • What maintenance does a plumbing camera need?
    Just keep the cable clean after use and store the system properly. Inspect cable for cracks periodically. Have faulty cameras serviced promptly by professionals.
  • How long do plumbing camera batteries last?
    A full charge provides 2-3 hours of continuous use. Lithium-ion batteries can be recharged 200-300 times before needing replacement. Bring spare batteries on longer jobs.
  • Can pipe locators also find hidden wires?
    Yes, they detect electromagnetic signals from live wiring behind walls too. Toggle frequencies until you isolate the pipe signal.
Using the right techniques, a plumbing camera with locator takes the guesswork out of pipe inspection. The insight it provides allows plumbers to tackle drain line and sewer repairs more strategically.

A plumbing camera with locator is an essential tool for professional plumbers and an extremely handy device for DIY-ers tackling drain diagnostics. This guide covers the key benefits, features, tips and FAQs to help you use this equipment effectively. With the powerful dual capacity to visually inspect pipes and pinpoint their location, you can tackle plumbing issues with precision.