3 Questions to Ask Before Buying a Sewer Inspection Camera

What features and capabilities should you look for before your next purchase?

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3 Questions to Ask Before Buying a Sewer Inspection Camera

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Why should I buy a sewer inspection camera? 

George Bauer of Bauer Plumbing can answer this one. “You won’t believe how many jobs I’ve sold with my camera,” he says. “People think you’re trying to pull a fast one when you tell them that their waste lines have collapsed and have to be replaced, but if you can show them the video they can see it right there in black and white — well, color now.

“I offer a free video inspection first. The camera pays for itself in the work it finds.”

What features and capabilities should I be looking for?

Bauer had an old camera system with a VCR and decided it was time to upgrade. “I want to keep it simple and durable,” he says. “Sometimes my guys don’t treat the tools the way I would so I want to make sure it can take it. And I’m not a technical wizard either. I don’t even have a smart phone.” 

Bauer looked at several options. He can get just a 200-foot reel and color camera with a monitor on it, like the Gen-Eye POD. It has no recording capability, but it has a video-out jack so he can add recording capability later. Most people get one with a self-leveling color camera as well. It costs a little more but it makes it easier for homeowners to understand what they are seeing on the screen. 

Bauer really needs recording capability, so the next step up is a unit with an SD card reader like in the Gen-Eye SDN. The SD card is the same card used in digital cameras. Just record the video or photos from the inspection camera, take the SD card out of the camera and put it in your computer to copy to a DVD or email to your customer. An upgrade would be to get the Gen-Eye SDW with Wi-Fi built in, so you can email the inspection photos or video directly to your customer, rather than transfer it to a computer first. The top of the line Gen-Eye SDP includes the Wi-Fi option, along with a sunlight readable screen and four-hour rechargeable battery. 

In the end, George decided to get a camera with a DVD burner because that’s the closest to the style of recording he was used to with his old VCR system — just push the record button. 

What else do I need to know before I buy? 

The camera only shows you the problem in the pipe. If you don’t know where it is, it won’t do you any good. Get yourself a good digital pipe locator. Old locators had a long learning curve — they required you to follow numbers and a bar graph. New pipe locators, like the Gen-Eye Hot-Spot pipe locator, make locating easy. Just turn it on and follow the arrows to your target. The depth of the pipe or camera will appear on the screen as well, so you’ll know if you need a shovel or a backhoe. 

Contact the Drain Brains at General Pipe Cleaners at 800-245-6200, or visit www.drainbrain.com/geneye for more information.


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