plumbing drain camera for commercial use

Drain camera - Using for Plumbing Inspections

A drain camera, also known as a plumbing camera or pipe inspection camera, is an invaluable tool for inspecting and diagnosing issues in plumbing systems. As plumbers, we rely on drain cameras to thoroughly inspect drains, sewers, and pipes to pinpoint any blockages, breaks, cracks, root intrusions or other problems.

Why Use a Drain Camera?

Benefits of Drain Cameras:
  • Provides a clear visual of the interior of pipes and drains to identify issues. A camera can see problems human eyes can't.
  • Pinpoint exact locations of clogs, breaks, root blockages, etc. This allows for targeted repairs.
  • Helps determine cause and extent of problems to plan appropriate repairs.
  • Can inspect pipes and drains without destroying walls, floors, etc. Less invasive than demolishing to inspect.
  • Saves time and money versus demolishing and rebuilding to access pipes.
  • Useful for routine inspections and preventative maintenance to catch small problems before they become huge headaches.
How Does a Drain Pipe Camera Work
A drain camera consists of:
  • Rugged waterproof camera head - Contains a color camera with LED lights to illuminate the pipe interior.
  • Flexible fiber optic cable - Allows feeding the camera through pipes. Cables come in various lengths.
  • Video display monitor - Shows the live video feed from the camera as it moves through the pipe.
The camera head is inserted into a drain line access point like a cleanout. The pipe inspection is then recorded as the camera snakes through the pipe.
The video uses a drainage chamber to show you the inside of the drainage system penetrated by the roots.
Based on my professional experience, here are my picks for the best Drain Pipe Camera:

Top sewer drain inspection 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.
"A drain pipe camera allows identifying and addressing minor drain issues before they become major expensive problems."

Types of Drain Cameras

There are a few main options when it comes to drain camera types:
  • Push Cameras: Compact, portable cameras on a flexible rod pushed through pipes. Best for smaller, straight pipes like sink drains. Limitations in turning through curves and pipes under 4".
  • Rotating Cameras: Have a rotating camera head allowing visibility even going around tight bends. Useful for inspecting toilet drains, tub drains, etc.
  • Crawler Cameras: Self-propelling with treads or wheels to crawl through pipes. Can access very long runs of pipe and navigate curves. Ideal for sewer lines, main drains, etc.
  • HD Digital Cameras: Offer crisp, high-resolution images and video for the clearest view inside drains and pipes. May include features like built-in sondes for locating pipes underground.

Using a Drain Camera for Inspections

When performing drain inspections, there are some best practices to follow:
  • Prepare the pipe - Flush with water to remove loose debris. May need to clear major clogs first.
  • Select the right camera - Match camera type and size to pipe being inspected.
  • Feed the camera slowly - Go slow around bends to avoid damage and clearly inspect.
  • Take photos/video - Document issues for diagnosis and keep a record.
  • Locate problem areas - Note down distances to simplify repairs.
  • Assess findings - Determine if repairs, further inspection or maintenance are needed.

Key Benefits of Drain Cameras

  • Save money on plumbing repairs
  • Prevent water damage from leaks
  • Extend lifespan of plumbing systems
  • Improve drain function
  • Identify non-visible issues early
  • Aid targeted, minimally invasive repairs
  • Support routine maintenance and inspections
Drain cameras are an easy, efficient way to diagnose plumbing issues and prevent major headaches down the road. For plumbers and homeowners alike, a drain camera is one of the handiest tools to add to your inspection arsenal.