The best thing we can say about Ridgid cameras is they’re dependable. Most cameras work well (when they work), but the Ridgid just works all the time. I have used most brands for the past 15 years, including big reels and mini reels. So far the one that I found to be the best is Ridgid SeeSnake. I’ve seen 14-year-old DeepSee SeeSnake and it works reliably.
I believe the lenses are made out of sapphire or something that is very strong. The SeeSnakes take lots of abuse and those who own them know what I mean. The problem you can have with other brands is that the lenses break and crack very easy on a small misalignment. People often purchase some affordable systems but ended up paying more at the end of the day because these camera systems would spend more time getting repaired than actually doing inspections. If you’re going to be in plumbing business long term, spend the coin now and get the Ridgid – best on the market today with no regrets.
Ridgid systems do break here and there, but the reliability comparing to other brands is great. The push rod cables don’t kink easy and the camera head takes a beating. Have a Ridgid representative hit the camera on the floor they do it. Try any other system and see what happens with this test.
When you do plumbing also, being able to inspect 2-6 lines hopefully will mean more money! Setup with the SeeSnake, microDrain & microReel pretty much can do anything from toilets, 1″ to 12″ lines.
For residential and commercial 2″, 3″, 4″, 6″ and some 8″ lines the SeeSnake Mini 200ft is perfect. Some homes don’t have clean outs so you will go on the roof to run the camera. But with the mini reel you can get to the main from a 2″ access from the kitchen or laundry etc. So this is our number one camera system. If you work 6″ lines you’ll need the big reel as you have to push the camera into the line. The SeeSnake will work excellent up to 150ft then become hard to push. On a straight line works great anything over 150ft I recommend their big reel too as the push rod has a thicker cable than the mini and travels far and is easier to push.
If you never see above 6″, your runs are 100′ or less and you only want one camera – buy the Ridgid Mini and a CS10 recording monitor.
The number of bends, san tee, wyes etc you need to go through is an important question. The answer is how much would you like to spend on a camera repair. Most of the professionals tell their customers after 3 offsets if it becomes very tough to push and going any further may damage the equipment.
Offsets are where the pipe joint doesn’t line up anymore. You can keep a permanent camera skid (or star skid) on head and it protects it from offsets.
Very small reels with the monitors mounted on the reel are good up to about 60ft, but you can’t push them anymore due to the small push rod.
I recommend to use the full size whenever you can get a 3″ or bigger opening…vent or c/o. However there are many jobs that the full size isn’t able to go through the fitting, wyes at the bottom of the stack especially.
I’m like my full size because I’ve learned pushing the camera out is what wears you out. I routinely see 120′ and farther so the full size is my favorite.
The only problem with the Ridgid I believe is that they are very expensive and their lifetime warranty. With a free repair, they very often find a way to blame one thing or the other and charge.
Ridgid Sewer Cameras Maintenance
There are a lot of discussion on forums about repairs with camera heads needing to be reattached, and other repairs being done.
Ridgid SeeSnakes are not made out of paper mache, but they are probably the most delicate tool on the plumbing truck. A lot of guys use them as if they were a 3/4″ sewer cable, pounding them through offsets and fittings, and trying to clear blockages with them. It is a mistake. A camera is not a drain cleaning tool. It’s a diagnostic tool, and if you will clear clogs with your camera, it will break down.
You should clean your equipment off every time you reel it back so it doesn’t sit in poo juice. It’s amazing what just seems like common sense is apparently a stretch for some guys. Turn the locator off when putting it away, it’s also very difficult to remember, I’ve found. I can’t count how many times I’d grab the Navitrack and go to use it only to find dead batteries. That really makes you look like an idiot in front of the customer.
Ridgid Camera Systems Comparison
If you look around and don’t get too impulsive, you can find some awesome deals on eBay or Craigslist. The economy has taken it’s toll on a lot of contractors and although it sucks that they are having trouble, you can capitalize if you are in the right place at the right time.
|All Rigid sewer camera systems have|
| Available 200/325 reels, Pal or NTSC|
Accessories (sold separately): cable counter, cable counter, 75 or 150 star guides, SeeSnake 3″ Roller Dolly, 85 mm Pipe Guide
You can choose one of the drums or own them both. Drums are interchangeble and feature different push cable lengths, stiffness, diameters, and springs.
system CCUAvailable components: Digital Recording Monitor, AC Battery Adapter, 18V Lithium Batteries and Charger.
|One-half the size of popular inspection systems.|
Multi-monitor compatibility – SeeSnake monitors / CA-300/350 digital inspection camera.
High maneuverability for small diameter and tight-turn radius inspections.
Provides maneuverability for small diameter and tight-turn radius inspections.
Ideal for inspections with tight turns such as toilet traps and P-traps. Passes multiple 90° bends in most 1.5″ drain lines.
Opens up new possibilities in long run small diameter inspection needs: supply lines, boiler tubes, sprinkler systems, and a wide array of specialty applications.
Passes 90° bends in most 1 3/16” lines. Allows lines up to 85′ to be inspected with tight turns in 1″ lines.
|CrossChek allows you to visually inspect where you’ve bored before you install the new utility, helping you reduce the likelihood of undetected cross bores.|
|Seesnake has great pushing ability. I was able to push mine to 160′ in 4″ clay with 2 wyes and 2 1/4 bends.|
Accessories: Mini Color Reel 200′ or 100′ (NTSC or PAL); Cable Counter; SeeSnake Interconnect Cord 33/10′; Star guides; Mini Guide Hoop; 60 mm Pipe Guide