Common Costly Mistakes When Using a Snake Camera

by | Dec 6, 2021 | News, Blog

Nothing is worst than finding a problem in your sewer line or process piping when you are using a snake camera. When that happens, you might have to postpone or even halt the process or production process.  Adding to these delays are the costly maintenance bills required to repair and replace your sewer camera equipment.

Avoid these common mistakes when using a snake camera stops you from throwing money down the drain.   Even if you feel that you purchased a cheap sewer camera you’ll still want to protect your investment.

 Here are a few things to prevent this from happening: 

1.     Examine Your Snake Camera Equipment Before Use

Whether you are working with an old snake camera or a new pipe inspection camera with advanced features, examine the equipment thoroughly before use. That way, you will have the surety of using the inspection camera device effectively and practically when you reel it down the drains, pipelines or process piping. Identifying minor issues facilitates better care and quicker repairs.  We are all familiar with the old saying, “An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.”   You also get things fixed before the problem escalates into a costly inspection camera repair bill.

Here are a few things you should check during examination:  

  • Damaged power cords and kinks in the power supply line
  • Missing parts (such as connectors or protective caps)
  • Faulty switches and control buttons
  • Worn out reeling or external damage to the push rod
  • Cracked lens or grimy equipment
  • Lighting issues

In short, keep your eyes out for minor and major faults before use.

Continuing to use a faulty or intermittent inspection camera device is more costly than investing in a obtaining a repair evaluation. If anything looks out of order, repair or replace them before the next sewer camera inspection assignment.  If you show up to complete a job with a push camera that you know has been having problems and then it doesn’t’ perform in an adequate fashion to complete the assignment, who can you blame?  Yourself!    The cost of addressing the minor issues wit your sewer camera will be a far less cost than showing up to perform and inspection and not be able to complete the task.

Pro-tip: Ask a reputable sewer camera replacement parts supplier with professional assistance to handle your repairs and replacement needs.

2. Don’t Use It as a Cleaning or Bore Tool

One of the biggest mistakes when using snake cameras involves non-essential usage. Some workers might try pushing sewer camera probe to dislodge the obstruction or blockage out of the way with the camera. It doesn’t matter if you have the best sewer camera, the cheap sewer camera of the highest rated sewer camera, inspection sewer camera inspection equipment feature fragile parts and a sensitive camera lenses.  That is why the likelihood of irreparable damage is high when you use it as a cleaning or deburring tool for clogged pipes.

Most common damages in such situation include:

  • Dented and cracked screens
  • Blurry vision caused by grime and debris migration with the frontal camera lenses
  • Extensive wear and tear of the reel
  • Broken or kinked push rods

The good news is that some self-control and proper training can prevent these occurrences. Beginners must learn how to use the sewer camera like a delicate diagnostic tool during the sewer camera inspection. Request them to use other tools for cleaning purposes and remove the sewer camera out of the way when it’s not required.

Every organization is different when it comes to transparent dialogue regarding cost and operating expense to the entire organization, and we respect that.   We also feel that if you educate your front-line sewer camera inspectors about the actual cost of the equipment it will not only help them appreciate what the company is doing to make their job easier but also build a reasonable respect of the company investment.   Many times, the actual person that perform the sewer camera inspection has no idea how much funding was required to purchase the sewer camera inspection equipment.   With everything in life and in business we inherently treat the valuable assets with more care and precaution.  If the sewer camera Technician feels that the supporting sewer inspection camera is a disposable item is a consumable item or even a disposable item they will not handle this investment appropriately.   Our opinion is within a reasonable manner you should let your folks know the investment that the organization has made to made to make the job easier whether it is a Flexible sewer camera or a Rigid sewer camera probe.

3.     Keep Things Slow and Steady

It is easy to lose your grip and focus when you cover an extensive drainage system. We all recognize that ‘time is money’ and everyone wants to complete a task as fast as possible.  No matter what the situation is, we recommend keeping things slow and steady to avoid negligence and of course the unwanted cost of sending your camera to a sewer camera repair shop.   Many times, the damage that is incurred on the sewer camera inspection system is related to eagerness and impatience to complete the sewer camera inspection.

Without a steady grip, you can lose control of the push rod.

That might lead to:

  • Wear and tear from obstructed pipelines
  • Frequent formation of kinks and knots on the push rod
  • Cracked camera lens which leads to impaired vision
  • Damaged cords

Each of these issues led to costly sewer camera repairs.   The fact of the matter is that even thought the overall elements of the occupation of a sewer camera inspector may not seem all that glamorous, the sewer camera inspection equipment that they use is quite sophisticated.    In some cases, these sewer cameras that are inspecting some of the most undesirable pipes known to modern man provide some of the highest rated sewer camera images imaginable.   Some may even say, better than they need to be.

How to prevent this situation?

You must handle the sewer camera equipment with great care to avoid setbacks and potential self-inflicted problems. Use short and planed motions when the snake camera enters the inspection site. Also, always keep your hands and eyes near the equipment to prevent things from going amiss.

4.     Keep It Squeaky Clean

Your snake cameras and pipe camera encounter dingy, dirty, and unhygienic inspection areas during the inspection process. It happens regardless of your project requirements or expectations.

Without proper care, the grease, biological waste, process residue and grit would form an irremovable layer on inspection camera lenses and push rod equipment. Its presence hinders video quality, impairs the camera lens, and makes the maneuvering or the reeling of the inspection camera probe challenging. When that happens, you are forced to spend time to clean the inspection camera probe and camera head.   When it comes to keeping our semi rigid sewer camera clean and in working order, we all know that this is easier to do on a Monday or Tuesday early in the morning before the aggressive work week starts.   Or for some it is on Friday after week full of activity has been completed.   The challenge for most disciplined sewer camera inspectors is to clean their inspection camera equipment after each use even if it is late on a Friday afternoon.   We all understand the value and importance of starting our day with all of our process equipment functioning in full work order at the beginning of the day and all of that starts with our preventive efforts at the previous day.

Who doesn’t want to end their day quickly and go home to the those who they love?   We all do.   For many sewer camera inspectors and pipe inspection camera inspectors, it is a small family-owned business.   These individuals have invested dedicated funds to support their business and it is so very important to keep these inspection devices in good working order.    Keeping your Sewer Pipe Camera in good working order will only reap benefits as this may not be a device that you are required to use on every plumbing inspection service call.     However, you want your plumber camera to be up and ready when duty calls.

Avoid this fate by thoroughly cleaning your sewer video camera after each and every sewer camera inspection.

Here are our top cleaning tips for snake cameras:

  • Clean your snake camera and its lens after each use to prevent the build-up
  • Use a dry microfiber cloth to wipe off dirt and grit from the sewer camera head
  • Avoid using oil cleansers or harsh chemicals as they damage the lenses on your sewer camera
  • Only use water when you deal with stubborn stains and grit that clings to your equipment
  • Apply applicable lubricants to maintain moving parts and minimizing rigidity during use
  • Scrub the equipment gently to minimize external damage
  • Store your equipment in a clean and dry place to keep it safe when not in use. Not only from the sun that can dry and crack components but you don’t want anything to spill on the system or have a harsh impact from something that can damage the system, especially the viewing screen.

Apart from this, maintain a cleaning schedule during the off-season too. Regular maintenance improves the longevity and usage of your equipment.

Parting Words

If you want to extend the lifespan of your snake camera, you must maintain and clean your investment and other tech gear properly. We advise you to practice constant vigilance to avoid costly mistakes when using a snake camera. Start by examining the device regularly and ensuring that it’s cleaned before and after use. You should pay equal attention to the equipment during the inspection.   Otherwise, you risk damaging your equipment and paying a hefty maintenance price.

If you have any questions on sewer cameras whether you a looking for a sewer camera for sale or a sewer camera for rent, our professional team can help.   Please feel free to contact USA Borescopes for any questions or sewer camera purchase you may have.