Pipe Inspection Camera


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Old 06-05-17, 08:59 AM
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Exclamation Pipe Inspection Camera

Hi,

I'm looking to buy (not rent) a pipe inspection camera. I've only found very pricey ones. Does anyone know of inexpensive cameras? What is the least expensive you've seen?

Thanks guys!
 
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Old 06-05-17, 09:29 AM
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If you have a smart phone, and your inspection needs aren't more than 10 meters in length, you could consider one of these accessories:

Micro USB Endoscope Waterproof Inspection Camera for Android OTG Smart Phones | eBay

They may have a camera cable available longer than 10 meters; but I haven't seen one.
 
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Old 06-05-17, 10:07 AM
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I have been looking for one also, I just need it for about 30' of straight pipe and have been considering one of these. The pro models are way out of reach for my budget so hopefull this will work for my needs. https://www.amazon.com/dp/B00STB0EW6...=1X3XAMU4XSPK8
 
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Old 06-05-17, 12:04 PM
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Thanks guys.

I should have mentioned that I need to go about 60 feet down my waste pipe. All of these are very short.
 
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Old 06-05-17, 02:01 PM
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Here's a 100 foot model:

https://www.amazon.com/dp/B00TA02T0U...ding=UTF8&th=1

You have to have the right expectations for these inexpensive models. The cable is not stiff enough to push it through a long pipe, so you need to attach it to a flat snake (the electrical ones work better than the big sewer tapes) to push it through the pipe. They will not easily turn corners, even in 4 inch lines. You can get them to go around a sweep, but a short 90 will give you grief. Any kind of turn in, say, a 2 inch line you can forget about.

AFAIK, none of these have auto orientation, meaning up on the screen means nothing; you have no idea which way is "up" on the image (and it changes as you move the camera). That usually doesn't matter, but it can be disorienting to see wye and such veering off in weird directions.

If the pipe is full of water, the image will be a big blur with very limited detail.

If you are trying to find out if you have a root problem, or a crushed line, it will probably work fine. If you are trying to find a small hole or crack you will have to be a little lucky.

Finally, the depth of field is pretty limited and lens is fixed focus. So you can only see clearly over a short distance, perhaps from 12 to 16 inches in front of the lens (varies depending on lens).
 
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Old 06-05-17, 06:05 PM
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Read carefully what Carbide has written. I have a cheapie, somewhere between 30 and 50 feet long that plugs into a USB port, Windows XP already had a driver for the camera. It has a light intensity control on the plug to vary the LED output from bright to dim. If I connect it up and point the camera around the room I get fuzzy images but if I bring it close to an object the picture becomes quite clear.

The down side: I bought this to do an internal inspection of my central vacuum piping. I had a clog somewhere that I just couldn't get to move and I wanted to find the approximate location so I wasn't just cutting pipe willy-nilly. The very first problem was that the cable was so flexible I could only push it in about ten inches before the camera stopped moving. I fixed that by taping the cameras to my electrical fish tape. Then, because there was no orientation reference I honestly couldn't tell which end was up. But the worst was yet to come. After getting it in the pipe a foot, maybe 18 inches the image on the laptop went dark. I pulled it out a bit and the image returned but every time I tried advancing it the thing would crap out. Thinking it must be some kind of intermittent wiring fault I withdrew the camera and proceeded to twist, bend and otherwise manhandle the cord, trying to replicate the problem when not in the pipe. It worked flawlessly from which I deduced that it had something to do with the LED illuminator but I could not figure out what. I took it and my laptop back in the house and disgustedly tossed the camera on my coffee table where it sat for a couple of years before I finally coiled up the cord and put it back in its box. I wasn't too terribly distressed as I only paid about $25 for it but it truly made me realize a person gets what they pay for.

Oh, the image covered maybe one-sixth of my laptop screen making any detail almost impossible to see. I never discovered any way to enlarge the image.
 
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Old 06-05-17, 07:26 PM
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Furd....don't leave us hanging....how did you find the clog?
 
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Old 06-05-17, 07:44 PM
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Well, the clog is a shop rag that I accidentally sucked up one evening while vacuuming up sawdust and other debris from the table saw. I know it is still in the piping because it has never shown up in the power unit. Probing from the power unit backwards I can push my electricians fish tape to about the end of the garage where the pipe makes a 90 degree turn (yes, it is a long sweep fitting) and probing from the inlet valve I was using when it happened I can make it across the garage to about the same point. That tells me it must be in the sweep elbow.

Amazingly enough it does let enough air past that the system works acceptably so for that reason and the excuses of my aching body and the fact the elbow is less than a foot about the floor, under the far corner of the workbench AND the amount of junk needing to be move to allow me decent access, I have not made fixing it a priority. Maybe sometime this summer.
 
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Old 06-06-17, 10:05 PM
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If you're looking to buy, rather than rent, you probably want to use it more than just once. My advice is to bit the bullet and get a good one. Otherwise, just rent them as the need arises. There is some truth to 'you get what you pay for'.
 
 

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