Plumbing issues, mainly those concerning drains and sewer lines, are hard to detect from the outside.
To accurately determine the position of the clog or the source of leaks, you must use a sewer inspection camera.
Also known as a borescope or an endoscope, a sewer inspection camera is a flexible tool comprising a long tube and a display screen.
An operator pushes the camera inside the drainage pipe using a cable.
With the aid of illumination LEDs attached to the camera, everything inside the drain becomes visible on the screen.
The flexibility and image-capturing characteristics of a sewer inspection camera facilitate a thorough inspection of sewers and drains.
These include underground sewer lines, which can be hard to reach.
Sewer inspection cameras are crucial tools that can help detect drain issues before they worsen.
Things like grease, paper, or sagging pipes can cause draining issues in the sewer.
When this happens, people check for the cause of the problem with the help of an inspection camera.
There are so many sewer inspection cameras in the market today, and choosing the best one can be overwhelming.
This article gives you an insight into the five best sewer cameras that can meet your budget and needs.
Whether you are a contractor, plumber, or homeowner, your toolkit is incomplete if you don’t own this sewer inspection camera.
You can bid farewell to the stress of locating clogs and sewer issues with it.
This inspection camera has a strong battery that goes for longer durations without a recharge, thus eliminating the effects of unexpected shutdowns.
It has a monitor with a standard digital quality monitor that provides a broad view scope.
The inspection camera size is 23mm by 120mm, with its front being 45mm.
It possesses 1000 TVL HD Pixels with a view angle of 75 degrees, producing high-quality images.
Since it has stainless steel housing, it can’t damage when it comes in contact with water or hard surfaces.
Its waterproof function and over 39m cable make it work underground hollow areas to produce clear pictures and videos.
Durability and Portability
The camera’s design makes it durable and portable. It has a flexible spring with a 4.7-inch length that easily maneuvers through 2-inch pipes with 90° bends.
The storage box has an aluminum case that covers the entire device. It has built-in locks and keys to prevent the loss of essential components.
Once you lock the box, you can easily pick it up and go.
This camera has a 7” LCD monitor that produces clear inspection images and videos.
It has an ABS sun visor that allows for outdoor inspection without interference from sunlight. Better yet, the monitor isn’t lacking a DVR Recorder.
The monitor lens has a rugged cast cover that prevents fuzziness during shaking; this prevents it from damage.
8GB SD Card
Since the camera takes pictures and videos, it needs enough storage. For this reason, it has additional storage of 8GB San disk.
If your images and videos are larger than 8GB, this product supports San disk cards of 32GB.
In most cases of sewer inspections, dark and invisible corners make it impossible to spot issues in the drains.
Although other cameras can capture images in dark corners, they may not be as effective as the 12 white headlights that the HBUDS Sewer Camera comes with.
These lights provide illumination to hidden locations that are difficult to detect. If the lights are too bright, an operator can adjust them using a remote.
HBUDS Sewer Camera comes with a 4500mAH rechargeable battery which lasts up to 9 hours without going off.
This camera eliminates the weight of carrying a charger when working at a distant location, provided your work doesn’t exceed 9 hours.
The remote control that comes with the camera makes the inspection easier.
You can input the commands quickly without looking for control buttons on the device. With remote control, you can inspect from a distance without being close to the camera.
Transmitter and Receiver
This camera has an inbuilt 512Hz transmitter at the tip of the probe. The 512Hz locator is compatible with any 512Hz receiver regardless of brand.
The current, up-to-date receiver has two modes; far mode and near mode. You choose the far mode whose detecting distance is 23-ft whenever there’s a weak signal.
However, when it’s strong, go for the near mode, whose detecting distance is 13-ft.
- It has a 165 ft cable that facilitates more extended reach
- High picture quality
- It comes with a DVR recording
- Its large monitor picks up images even in dark areas
- You can use it up to 100-ft deep
- It allows viewing images on a PC while recording
- Sometimes rolling the back cable is challenging
To keep the camera system functional, follow this practice:
- If you bend at 90-degrees, the pipe diameter should be 6″ or more. This device inspects your sewer line and identifies the area to dig.
- If you’re struggling to locate your pipes accurately, this HBUDS Sewer Camera with Locator is your must-have device.
- While the pipe locators help pinpoint the location quickly, the 7-inch HD monitor displays the issues in the sewer tunnels. This sewer inspection camera gives excellent picture quality, and it has bright LED lights with no glare.
Pranite Sewer Camera is a lightweight, high-value device that captures all hard-to-reach areas of a sewer and drain.
It then projects the insides of the drains and sewers onto a 7″ screen. When you purchase this device, you’ll get the following accessories:
- Camera Probe
- Power Adaptor
- Carrying Case
- Protective Cover
- 8GB Micro SD Card
The sewer inspection camera comes with a 512Hz built-in Sonde Transmitter.
The 512 Hz transmitter makes it easy for you to locate the problem faster with the help of a 512Hz receiver.
A broad range of compatibility
You can use the 512Hz locator with the transmitter to quickly identify where the problem is.
You can use the receiver with any other transmitter transmitting 512Hz signals other than operations.
A Monitor with DVR
Pranite Sewer Camera with Locator has a 7″ LCD screen equipped with a DVR unit that allows recording video and capturing images.
Cable & Camera
This sewer inspection camera has a 100-ft semi-rigid cable made with fiberglass. You can bend it to an angle of 90-degrees and below.
The camera is IP68 waterproof to prevent it from being damaged when it comes in contact with water.
It also has 12 adjustable LED lights to provide illumination in dark spaces.
This sewer inspection camera has a 4500mAh 12V rechargeable battery that lasts 8 hours.
You should charge the battery immediately when you purchase it to give it better health.
- The camera is waterproof, and it’s washable after every use
- Great image and video quality
- The camera is small (2.33mm) to get into all drain sizes
- You must coil the cable after every use
- You shouldn’t bend the cable to 90 degrees or more
- Don’t cut power while operating the device to avoid corrupting the memory card
- Save all data before you insert the SD card into the device
This sewer inspection camera gives you high-quality pictures and videos in their original color.
This device is ideal for when you need detailed information about a project.
The device does what a sewer camera should do, giving you a good value for your money.
The Anysun Sewer Inspection Camera comes with a 512 Hz pipe locator. It is a versatile and durable system that inspects dark and bent corners.
Its locator and the 512Hz Sonde Transmitter allow you to receive signals and pinpoint where the problem is in the sewer and drain.
The camera comes in an aluminum case for protection and portability.
It has an 8GB SD card that allows storage and transferring of images and video recordings to a computer.
The 23mm diameter sewer inspection camera has 12 adjustable LED lights that illuminate the sewer’s dark areas.
It is IP68 waterproof to prevent damage when it comes in contact with water and dust.
This camera has a semi-rigid 165-ft cable that can pass through gaps and pipes in hard-to-reach corners.
7″ LCD Color Screen
The device has a large 7″ color screen that displays clear images and videos, making it easy to spot the issue on the drain and sewer.
It has a sun visor which keeps the screen visible when working in the sun.
This sewer inspection camera has a control box to zoom images in or out and to check for battery power.
This feature also has a rotate screen function that prevents see-upside photos.
This device has a rechargeable battery that lasts up to 8 hours on a single charge.
If the battery runs out of charge, you can supply it with power using the AC power cord joined to a power supply.
Waterproof and DVR Recording
The camera is IP68 waterproof so that it can operate in humid areas.
It comes with a DVR Recorder that allows you to record videos and take pictures on an SD card for ease of transfer to a computer.
- Great image and video quality
- It has a rotate screen feature for easy inspection
- The locator receives signals up to 23-ft
- Supports up to 16GB of storage
- It has a zooming feature
- The cable can crack easily
- The cable can’t go through a pipe of less than 90-degrees unless the pipe has a 6″ and above diameter.
Anysun Sewer Inspection Camera with Locator gives you all the necessary tools to get the job done.
Other than the inspection system, you get the locator, which enables you to find the exact location of the camera probe at all times.
If you need to detail inspect what’s happening in a sewer, this is the device for you.
The length and width of the monitor suit most projects.
Working in bent pipes and drainage holes is easy with this device because it has an elastic spring to pass through those spaces.
This is a durable sewer inspection camera that meets the needs of its users.
It has a 512 Hz locator that pinpoints the exact position of the problem on the sewer.
The camera comes with a 512 Hz Sonde Transmitter which works with all 512Hz receivers. It has 12 adjustable LED lights that illuminate work in dark spaces.
It gives you a broad vision experience since it can vertically and horizontally rotate at 180-degrees and 369-degrees, respectively.
Other than detecting the sewer issue’s accurate location, the camera has a distance function that displays camera distance on the screen.
The 512Hz locator and distance counter feature make inspecting sewer lines faster.
Transmitter and Receiver
Sanyipace Sewer Inspection Camera with Locator has a built-in 512Hz flexible transmitter that works with the 512Hz Receiver making the inspection less time-consuming.
The locator is compatible with all 512Hz receivers, even if not of the Sanyipace brand. This receiver works up to 10 hours on a full charge.
9″ LCD Monitor and DVR Recording
This sewer inspection camera has a 9″ color monitor that displays live, clear images and 1080P video recordings.
The DVR recording supports external SD cards to allow you to record videos, capture images and store them for reference.
This device is IP68 waterproof to protect the camera from damage when it comes in contact with water.
It also has a stainless steel housing with two protective shells to prevent damage during operation, making it durable.
The sewer inspection camera comes with a 12V, 4500 mAh rechargeable battery that lasts between 7 to 9 hours on a single, full charge.
This battery strength guarantees you continuous work without frequent shutdowns because you can use it outside without plugging a power source.
- Long-Lasting battery
- It uses highly durable material
- It has a distance counter function for accuracy
- Allows up to 32GB of storage
- Some keys fail to function, leading to numerous keystrokes
- The cable can’t bend at 90-degrees and below
The Sanyipace Sewer Inspection Camera is necessary for any inspector, plumber, or contractor.
It displays high-quality images and video recordings.
After taking the pictures and videos, you can store them on the 32GB SD card that the device allows.
Most people realize that it’s essential to count the distance of the cable to find the position of the problem in the sewer.
This sewer inspection camera has a distance counter feature that does that work for you.
Vividia VS-22330 Inspection Camera is a high-quality device that displays clear images and videos, thanks to its AHD 720P resolution.
It has a 23mm lens and a 9″ screen.
This camera has 12 adjustable LED lights, which reduce under and overexposure to provide clear images and video recordings in dark areas.
The camera probe and fiberglass cable are IP68 waterproofs to allow you to work underwater without fear of damaging the device with water.
With this inspection camera, you can store up to 10,000 pictures on its 8GB SD card.
Wide Viewing Angle
This camera has a 23mm camera lens and a 140-degrees viewing angle.
These features allow you to have a clear view of deep and hard-to-reach spaces.
The 7″ LCD screen displays clear images and real-time videos.
It brings a new visual effect like observing micro stuff using a magnifying lens courtesy of its 720 by 546 resolution.
It has an ABS sun visor which provides clear images and videos in sunny or bad weather conditions.
This sewer inspection camera comes with a high capacity 4600 mAh rechargeable lithium-ion battery that can last you through 5 to 7 hours of continuous work on a full charge.
- Easy-to-use on-screen directions
- Picture and video clarity are high
- Portable and lightweight
- Highly flexible spring
- It has a DVR recording to keep files for future reference
- A wide-view angle
- The cable is too stiff to make it reel out
- This camera can fit 30- 200 mm pipes. Its flexible spring goes through 90 degrees bend pipes at 2 inches.
- To ensure that the camera gets in the middle of big pipes, it has a 36mm cover and a 104mm wheel.
This sewer inspection camera suits deep sewer projects because of its long (50m) cable.
Its waterproof feature means you can work with this camera under humid conditions.
You can finish your project without recharging your battery if you’re working for a long duration.
Best Sewer Cameras for Inspecting Drains: Buying Guide
Choosing the right sewer inspection camera is a challenge.
Many professional contractors and homeowners face disappointments whenever they splurge on unreliable products.
This buying guide eliminates those risks by giving you tips for the next time you purchase a sewer inspection camera to get one that’s high value, time tested, and meets your preference and needs.
1. Display Size and Image Resolution
According to popular belief, large-screen displays are the best for sewer inspections.
Image resolution depends on the device’s features and not its screen size.
While a bigger display screen can show low-resolution images and videos, a small screen size can display high-resolution images.
An inspection with high resolution will give you pictures and videos of higher quality, regardless of the screen size.
When buying an inspection camera, ensure that:
- The images you capture and those saved on an SD card are not highly pixelated.
- It has zoom-in and out features.
- It has focus features
- It has auxiliary lighting
LED Lighting: Sewer inspection cameras with LED lights help improve navigation in dark spaces.
This is a must-have feature for sewer line projects.
When purchasing a sewer inspection camera, check for the LED light features on the device’s tip.
The best sewer inspection camera should have LED lights that:
- Are adjustable
- Have enough battery power for lengthy inspection projects
Material: To ensure durability, the sewer inspection camera you purchase should be water-proof to prevent damage when it comes into contact with water.
Consider those cameras that have stainless steel housing.
Camera viewing: The best sewer inspection camera should capture 360-degree front and side views. This way, you can get clear images without using mirrors.
Quality: The quality of a sewer inspection camera is essential, but it all boils down to preference.
Whether you prefer a 3-megapixel or VGA camera, a higher camera quality displays clear pictures.
3. Insertion Probe
Length: Ensure that the insertion probe is long enough to get to one manhole through another.
The lengths of insertion probes range from 20m to 120m. To extend it, you can use a reel with a stand.
Consider a rigid or semi-rigid long cable.
A suitable insertion probe should allow you to maneuver through tiny spaces and reach the bottom of drains.
Material: Insertion probes that have PVC coverings provide the necessary sturdiness.
However, they can easily damage or wear out due to heavy-duty inspections.
To make them more durable, consider buying braided probes.
Longevity: If you want your device to last longer, buy pushrods that are waterproof, chemical proof, and can withstand 1 to 6 bar pressure.
Anytime you purchase a sewer inspection camera, ensure that its battery can last long.
Don’t go for AA batteries because they’re disposable and non-rechargeable.
The best sewer inspection camera should be rechargeable and have a long-lasting battery that can perform inspections for a long duration without shutting down.
Consider those that last for over 8 hours if your projects are lengthy.
One of the most critical features of any plumbing tool is its portability.
It’s essential to transport your sewer inspection camera to and fro the job with ease.
The factors that determine the device’s portability are its weight and size. The heavier and larger the unit, the more difficult it is to transport it.
Before purchasing an inspection camera, consider its usage.
If you’re going to use it regularly, consider buying a more durable model made from long-lasting material like anodized steel.
When an inspection camera is stiff, maneuvering through the pipes becomes challenging.
The camera may get stuck or damaged in the pipes.
With a flexible pipe camera, you can quickly inspect drain lines containing bends.
8. General Characteristics
A good sewer inspection camera should be lightweight with a comfortable grip, especially if you plan on using it for long.
A sewer inspection camera with a radio transmitter is a plus.
This feature can help you locate your camera quickly, provided you use an accurate locator.
A good sewer inspection camera can record video to enable you to keep a routine report of all your inspections.
Such cameras come with an external SD card or accept a USB flash drive.
Not all sewer inspection cameras come with a camera locator.
When you put the camera inside a sewer line, it’s hard to detect its exact location from the outside.
With a locator, you can minimize the time and effort in finding this very spot since most of them can work up to 10 feet deep.
It gives an audible and visual signal to an operator when he gets closer to the transmitter.
The best sewer inspection cameras come with locators showing both the depth and location of the sewer issue.
Ensure that your sewer inspection camera has a transmitter on the camera head during purchase.
Having a camera locator without a transmitter won’t do the work.
In addition, ensure that the transmitter and locator have the same frequency.
10. User Reviews
Before buying a sewer inspection camera, look for reviews, star ratings, and testimonials from users to understand how the product works.
You can find all this information on Amazon.
The best sewer inspection camera will have positive feedback and high star ratings of above 4.0.
From the customer testimonials, you’ll get to understand if the device has any malfunction and if it does what the manufacturer says.
Sewer inspection cameras are a necessity for every homeowner or plumber.
When purchasing one, consider its purpose and critical features to enhance your inspection.
While there are several options in the market to choose from, ensure that the model has all the aspects necessary for maneuvering into a sewer line.
Our five best choices above do the job well.
They are flexible with long cables to get into those bent pipe corners, and their screens display clear images and videos, just the way you want.
These devices have great accessories such as SD cards, durable batteries, and LED lighting, which make them top-notch.
Instead of digging sewer lines by guessing and digging the wrong area or breaking the system, using these tools allows you to find the exact location of the problem.