Inspection cameras are handy diagnostic tools used by professional and DIY plumbers. With the device’s ability to reach tight and hard-to-reach spaces, this modern plumbing equipment allows plumbers to diagnose and fix problems that would otherwise be impossible to accomplish without digging a hole to get to the underground pipes. As such, plumbing inspections can be done a lot faster and less damaging without compromising accuracy.
However, like any plumbing tool, sewer line cameras are not completely fool-proof. There are several issues that sometimes crop up when these devices are used to check on the condition of your underground plumbing.
Common Issues When Using an Inspection Camera
Listed below are the common problems that plumbers encounter when using a sewer camera to perform a plumbing inspection.
1. The camera’s transmitted image is poor.
A poor image quality can be caused by various factors such as the camera’s resolution, lighting, and lens quality. This usually results in a blurry or distorted image. To solve this problem, the lens should be cleaned, and the camera’s line of focus adjusted accordingly.
If the problem persists, it’s possible that the lighting in the area is the culprit. Additional lighting should be an effective solution. An alternative is to use another sewer video camera, preferably one having a higher image resolution.
2. The camera’s battery life is short.
Inspection cameras rely on batteries to function. If the device has a low battery, delays in the plumbing work can be expected.
Battery life can be affected by such factors as usage frequency and battery size. Given this, a camera with a larger battery capacity should be considered when plumbers are working on a large project. Alternatively, spare batteries should be readily available as backups. It’s also a good idea to have the sewer inspection camera completely charged before using.
3. The camera cannot get a connection.
Most modern pipe inspection cameras rely on wireless connectivity to relay images. When there are connection issues, the camera will have difficulty discharging this particular function.
Connectivity problems are usually due to factors like distance, interference, and compatibility. Plumbers will have to ensure that the camera is placed within connection range and that there are no obstructions nearby. Another way of getting around the problem is by changing the channel or adjusting the frequency so interferences can be avoided.
4. The camera has been damaged by water.
A sewer camera inspection cannot proceed if the device has been damaged. While the typical sewer camera is designed to withstand harsh environments, some versions are not entirely waterproof. In this case, when water has made its way to the camera’s internal parts, it can lead to a malfunction.
Nevertheless, most plumbers are known to work with waterproof sewer line camera these days when doing plumbing inspections, so this issue only crops up when older camera models are used.
5. The camera cable is damaged.
The cable is an essential part or component of a sewer line inspection camera as it enables the device to reach tight spaces. But when the cable is damaged, it can render the camera useless. Improper storage, careless handling, and exposure to pointed objects are the common reasons the camera cable can end up damaged.
In other cases, yanking the cable or applying too much force to it while using the camera can also affect usability. This may not be noticed right away, but could manifest itself the next time the camera is used in a different plumbing project.
6. The camera is not compatible with other devices.
For inspection cameras to function, they often need to be partnered with other devices such as laptops or even smartphones. This is a common arrangement since the camera will need an output mechanism through which it can send the underground images that it has successfully captured. For this, a laptop is usually a sewer camera’s ideal partner.
If there is incompatibility between the two, the needed plumbing inspection cannot be completed. To prevent this problem, plumbers often perform compatibility tests prior to starting the sewer check.
Other factors that can result in camera incompatibility include outdated software and driver issues. A plumber will also have to determine if these problems are present before he can proceed with the underground visual inspection.
7. The camera’s lighting is poor or insufficient.
Proper lighting is required for inspection cameras to capture clear images and videos. Insufficient lighting can cause the camera to produce dark and blurred pictures that will make it difficult for a skilled plumber to diagnose the problem correctly and make the necessary repairs.
8. The camera has a limited field of view.
The field of view determines the size of the area that can be captured in a single image. If this has a limited capacity, a sewer camera could turn in an incomplete image that will lead to an inaccurate plumbing diagnosis.
Sewer inspections used to be challenging and time-consuming work for many plumbers. Thanks to modern technology, these have become quick and efficient. Through the use of sewer line cameras, many underground plumbing problems can now be resolved more accurately.
The plumbing industry, however, acknowledges that these cameras are not without issues. Many of these are due to mishandling, so there’s a need to care for these advanced plumbing devices seriously. Additionally, it’s best to leave usage of these cameras to professional plumbers as they are properly trained on how to handle them. In the hands of untrained wannabe plumbers, the sewer line camera could easily suffer from damage.
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