What NOT To Do With Your Inspection Camera

by | Mar 24, 2023 | Blog

You’d be surprised what people do with their sewer inspection cameras – in this post, we share what you absolutely should not do with your inspection camera!

Sewer inspection cameras, also known as drain cameras, have revolutionized the way we inspect our pipework. These tiny cameras, equipped with LED lights and high-definition lenses, can delve into the depths of our sewer system to identify blockages, leaks, and other issues that might affect the plumbing system’s functionality. However, as useful as sewer inspection cameras may be, it is equally important to know what NOT to do with them. From damaging your pipes to destroying your sewer camera, here are some common mistakes you should avoid when using a sewer inspection camera.


1.  Don’t Rush the Camera’s Movements

When using a sewer inspection camera or sewer snake, it is essential to take your time with the camera’s movements. Rushing can cause the camera to miss important details or damage the sewer lines. As mentioned earlier in this blog, excessive force should also be avoided. In addition to that, ignoring warning messages from the camera, overlooking proper cleaning of the sewer lines, and using the plumbing camera without proper training can all result in costly mistakes. It’s vital to take all necessary precautions to ensure that the camera operates smoothly and effectively. Remember, the camera can’t locate all problems, and as such, checking for signs of corrosion or damage, using protective gear, and following safety regulations and protocols are equally important. Finally, do not use the camera as a push rod to dislodge blockages or clean out roots in your septic lines. It is not designed for such purposes.

2.  Avoid Using Excessive Force

Another important thing to keep in mind when using your sewer inspection camera is to avoid using excessive force. This means not pushing the camera with too much pressure and not trying to force it through tight spaces or areas where there is resistance. Doing so can damage the sewer camera or the sewer lines, which will only lead to more costly repairs. Additionally, it’s important to remember to remove the batteries prior to storage and to store the camera and its accessories properly to prolong its lifespan. By following these guidelines and avoiding excessive force, you can ensure your sewer inspection camera serves you well for many years to come.

3. Don’t Ignore Warning Messages from the Camera

Ignoring warning messages from the sewer inspection camera may lead to unforeseen consequences. The camera is equipped with sensors that detect potential problems like damage, corrosion, and blockages. Ignoring these warnings may worsen the situation and increase the cost of fixing it. The camera is an essential tool in identifying areas that require attention, but only if used correctly. Therefore, it is essential to pay attention to warning messages that alert you of potential issues. Remember, prevention is better than cure, and attending to any issues identified immediately can save you both time and money.

4.  Don’t Overlook Proper Cleaning of the Sewer Lines

Regular cleaning of sewer lines is crucial in maintaining their health and longevity. As mentioned before, sewer camera inspections are necessary to identify any issues within the pipes. However, it is equally important to keep the pipes clean. One should not overlook this aspect as clogged pipes can lead to an array of problems, including backups, overflows, and even property damage. Using the camera to inspect pipes is not a substitute for regular cleaning. A sewer snake camera inspection can detect any potential issues, but it cannot address existing buildup. Therefore, it is essential to hire a professional drain and sewer expert to clean your pipes regularly to prevent blockages and to maintain the system’s health, ensuring proper flow and preventing costly repairs.

5. Avoid Using the Camera Without Proper Training

It’s crucial not to use a sewer inspection camera without proper training. Attempting to use this complex equipment without adequate knowledge can result in potential damage to the pipe camera, surrounding pipes, and even personal injury. Always consult with a professional before attempting to use a sewer inspection camera. Furthermore, it is vital to familiarize yourself with the camera’s manual and instructions to ensure its safe and effective use. Remember, investing in the appropriate training can lead to a better understanding of how to operate the camera and avoid costly errors in the future.

6. Don’t Skip Checking for Signs of Corrosion or Damage

When using a sewer inspection camera, it is important not to skip checking for signs of corrosion or damage. This is one of the most crucial steps in keeping your sewer lines in good condition. Over time, pipes can become corroded or damaged due to wear and tear or external factors such as tree roots. Ignoring these signs of damage can lead to bigger and more expensive problems down the line. By regularly checking for signs of corrosion or damage, you can catch and address any issues before they become more serious. Using a sewer inspection camera is a great tool for detecting even the smallest problems, so don’t skip this important step in your regular sewer maintenance routine. Combine this with other tips, such as avoiding excessive force and checking for blockages, and you will be able to keep your sewer lines in tip-top shape, saving you time and money in the long run.

7. Avoid Using the Camera in Extreme Temperatures

To prevent damage to your sewer inspection camera, it is important to avoid using it in extreme temperatures. Operating the device in very hot or cold environments can cause malfunctions or even permanent damage to internal components. This cautionary measure should be combined with other best practices, such as using gentle movements and avoiding excessive force. Additionally, always pay attention to warning messages from the camera and properly clean and maintain sewer lines to prevent damage. It’s essential to have proper training before using the device and to wear protective gear as directed by safety regulations and protocols. Taking these precautions will help ensure that your sewer inspection camera remains in top working condition for many uses to come.

Excessive heat exposure have been know to actually compromise the micro image sensor (mini camera) on a pipe inspection camera and render it useless.  Replacing a damaged sewer camera head is one of the most expensive repairs that you will make.

8. Don’t Assume the Sewer Camera Can Locate all Problems

It is important to remember that while a sewer inspection camera is an incredibly useful tool, it can’t locate all problems on its own. Plumbers should not rely solely on the camera’s readings and assessment. They should also be skilled in diagnosing issues and know how to use additional methods of problem-solving. That said, camera inspections can provide insight into smaller or hard-to-see issues that may go unnoticed otherwise. It is just important to approach it as one tool in a larger toolbox for identifying and solving sewer problems. By avoiding assumptions and using proper training, plumbers can make the most of this important tool.

9. Avoid Using the Camera Without Protective Gear

The safety of the operator is of utmost importance when it comes to handling drain inspection cameras. It is vital to observe safety regulations and wear proper protective gear when using the camera. PPE (Personal Protective Equipment) is readily available at most hardware stores and if you are working for a professional company no doubt, they will make it available to you. Failing to do so can lead to potential harm and injury. Protective gear such as gloves, safety glasses, and protective clothing should always be worn while operating the device to prevent exposure to hazardous materials or chemicals. It is also important to keep in mind that the camera is not a medical device and should not be used in any capacity other than its intended use. By following safety protocols and wearing protective gear, operators can ensure that they are using the drain inspection camera safely and efficiently.  Although a snake camera may not seem like a dangerous device to operate there are always known and unknown hazards that can present themselves.

10. Don’t Ignore Safety Regulations and Protocols.

Safety should always be the top priority when using a sewer inspection camera, and it is crucial to follow all safety regulations and protocols. Never take shortcuts or ignore important safety instructions as this could lead to disastrous consequences. It is important to fully understand the potential hazards, such as exposure to infection and hazardous materials, and take the necessary measures to protect yourself. Always wear the required protective gear and follow proper operating procedures. Professional training and education also play a key role in ensuring safe use of the sewer camera. When in doubt, refer to the manufacturer’s guidelines and seek expert advice. Remember, taking the time to adhere to safety protocols is always worth it in the end.

11. Don’t Use the Inspection Camera as a Push Rod

As previously mentioned, it’s important to avoid rushing the camera’s movements and using excessive force when using a sewer inspection camera. In addition to these tips, it’s crucial not to use the camera as a push rod to dislodge blockages in your sewer lines. This can cause serious damage to both the camera and the pipes. Instead, hire a professional plumber who can safely and effectively clear any blockages in your pipes without causing further damage. Remember, proper use of the camera is key to maintaining your sewer system’s health and preventing costly repairs in the future.

12. Don’t use the Plumbers Camera to Clean Out Roots

Using a sewer inspection camera can be beneficial for detecting and identifying any problems in your plumbing system including root migration into your sewer lines. However, it is important to know what NOT to do with the sewer camera. One of the things to avoid is using the camera to clean out roots in your septic lines. This is because the camera is not meant to function as a cleaning tool and can actually cause more harm than good. The roots can wrap around the camera and hinder its movement, or worse, cause damage to it. It is important to seek the help of a certified plumber experienced in dealing with tree roots in sewer lines. By working with a professional, you can prevent any further damage to your plumbing system and keep your septic lines running smoothly.

13. Don’t Use the Inspection Camera as a Medical Device

Last, but probably most importantly – do not insert a sewer inspection camera into any orifice of your body! All jokes aside, there are probably people out there who would try doing this but it is important to remember when it comes to using a sewer inspection camera is to never use it as a medical device. Unlike medical devices, these cameras are not designed to be used on humans and could potentially cause harm if used in this manner. It’s essential to only use the sewer inspection camera for its intended purpose, which is to inspect pipes and identify potential plumbing problems. By following these guidelines, users can ensure that they are using the sewer inspection camera in a safe and effective manner, while also prolonging its lifespan – and yours!

Final thoughts

In conclusion, it is essential to exercise caution when using a sewer inspection camera. While these cameras are incredibly useful for identifying and diagnosing issues within your sewer system, there are several things that you should avoid doing to prevent damaging the camera or causing further damage to your pipes.

Firstly, you should avoid using the snake camera in pipes that are too narrow or too damaged to accommodate it. Attempting to force the camera into such pipes can cause it to become stuck or damaged, leading to costly repairs or replacements.

Additionally, it is important to avoid exposing the sewer camera to harsh chemicals or abrasive materials that can scratch or corrode its lens or other components. This can impair the camera’s performance and reduce its lifespan.

Finally, you should avoid mishandling the camera, such as dropping it or exposing it to extreme temperatures or moisture. Proper storage and maintenance of the camera will ensure its longevity and optimal performance.

Overall, proper use and care of your sewer inspection camera will ensure that you get the most out of this valuable tool and avoid costly mistakes. By following these guidelines and exercising caution, you can enjoy the benefits of a clear view of your sewer system without the risk of damaging your equipment or your pipes.

If you not sure which sewer camera is best for you, please give us a call at 931-362-3304 or simply send us an email at Sales@USABorescopes.com