It wasn’t that long ago when a drain was clogged, you have to stick a snake down it to determine how far the obstruction was located in the pipes. Depending on the severity of the obstruction, you may be able to simply push through it and clear it. If you’re lucky, you might be able to use a common household dissolvent to clear the drain. Sometimes however, you encounter a problem that just does not seem to go away. Wouldn’t it be nice if you could see what it was that was blocking the liquid from flowing freely through the pipes? It’s in situations such as these where drain cameras come in handy.
The technology used in drain cleaning equipment has evolved significantly over time. For example, with the improvements made in technology for miniaturizing cameras, both technicians and do-it-yourselfers have a new powerful tool in diagnosing clogged drains. By having a better appreciation for the tools at your disposal, it can improve the efficiency by which you can both diagnose and prevent problems.
Drain cameras are not only useful to determine what is obstructing your pipes, they are also useful to perform regular maintenance inspections. It is important to inspect your pipes on a regular basis in order to detect problems before they become a serious issue. By using video camera technology to inspect your pipes it gives you the opportunity to determine the extent of any problems and where the problem is located before attempting to clean it. During the cleaning process it also comes in handy in order to assess the progress that you are making. Without having a visual of problem areas, it is often difficult to detect whether or not you have adequately cleaned your pipes. Once the cleaning is complete, it is important to verify that the pipeline is operating under free-flowing conditions.
Drain inspection cameras are composed of several key components that every operator should be familiar with. The camera head has a light source at the tip which will illuminate the inside of the pipe as it is being inspected. If there is an obstruction, the illumination will help to identify it.
Newer camera systems have a self-leveling option. This is a very nice feature to have. As you push a camera further into the pipe, you are unable to maintain control of its orientation. In older model cameras, this would result in an image that could be inverted or rotated 90 degrees. If there is water at the bottom of the pipe, in the displayed image, it can often times appear on the top or the sides depending on the orientation of the camera. In newer generation models, a self-leveling feature shows water as it sits in the drain with its proper orientation intact.
The cable reel is another important aspect of a drain or sewer camera. The cable reel length will be limiting factor on how far the camera can be inserted into the drain. It’s not going to help you much if you have a 100 foot pipe, but your cable reel only extends for a distance of 50 feet. If the portion of the pipe that requires cleaning is beyond your 50 feet reach, you’re not going to get very far (no pun intended).
These are some of the things you have to keep in mind when selecting the correct drain camera for your needs. Now that you’ve learned a thing or two about this inspection tool, I encourage you to check out some of the resources available on the site.