Are You Thinking Of Purchasing A Sewer Pipe Camera For Your Plumbing Business? Here's How To Pick The Right One For Your Needs

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Whether you're tired of contracting sewer inspection services to other plumbers or wish to have a useful diagnostic tool for finding potential obstructions in your clients' sewer pipes, a sewer camera is a worthwhile investment for your plumbing business. However, not every sewer camera will fit every situation. In fact, you may end up purchasing more than one to meet all of your sewer inspection needs. When you're trying to determine which type of sewer camera is right for your plumbing business, here are the factors that you need to consider.

How Often Do You Expect To Need A Sewer Inspection Camera?

Purchasing a camera for sewer inspection is a major investment; if you don't plan to use it often, you may be better off renting one whenever you suspect an obstruction in the sewer line is the cause of a plumbing problem. Many sewer camera manufacturers offer rental programs that are perfect for infrequent use.

On the other hand, if you expect to use the sewer camera often or are planning on contracting out your service to other plumbers, you'll want to purchase the most durable model possible. This likely involves spending a little extra for high-quality push rods and cameras. It's especially important if you often work on sewer lines with many offsets, such as bends or junctions. Pushing the sewer pipe camera feed past an offset places a lot of stress on the push rod, and less durable ones can easily break. You also run the risk of pushing the camera straight into the offset, which can damage the lens.

What Type Of Clients Do You Serve Most Often?

If you serve residential clients in suburban or urban areas and would very rarely encounter distances of more than one hundred feet from the plumbing inside the home to the main sewer line, a mini camera with a small reel is adequate for your needs. Some models feature cameras small enough to fit through a toilet trap; this is especially convenient in houses without sewer clean-outs because you can enter into the sewer line through the toilet without having to cut through a drain, incurring additional work and cost for your clients.

Commercial clients, on the other hand, commonly have six-inch diameter pipes and distances of two hundred feet or more from the clean-out to the main sewer line. You'll need a heavy duty sewer camera for these jobs with a full-size reel. Since you will be mainly dealing with obstructed pipes, you can expect a lot of grease and solid waste to be present in the sewer pipe. This provides a lot of resistance preventing the sewer camera from easily being pushed down into the pipe to inspect the problem. You'll also be more likely to run into bends in the pipe when inspecting large commercial buildings. In order to combat the resistance and the difficulty navigating the camera around bends, you'll need a heavy-duty push rod and a large-diameter fiberglass cable to provide enough torque to push the camera successfully through without damaging any of the sewer camera's components.

Are You Planning On Contacting Out Camera Services To Other Plumbers?

Providing sewer inspection services to other plumbers that don't have easy access to a sewer camera can be a lucrative side business. In order to successfully do this, you'll need a sewer camera with auto-leveling features, a transponder and an ability to generate reports that other plumbers can use to fix the problem. An auto-leveling camera is weighted so that it always remains upright no matter how many bends it goes through; this makes it easier to understand the footage generated by the camera. A transponder on the camera head sends out a signal that can be picked up by a receiver when you are standing on top of it. This allows you to stop pushing the camera through the sewer pipe once you spot an obstruction and then go find it with the receiver so you can note exactly where in the pipe the obstruction has occurred. Both of these features can be used to generate reports for other plumbers so that they know the location of every obstruction or crack in the sewer pipe and can formulate a plan to repair the pipe.