Push cameras are used in the plumbing trade to investigate piping integrity, when it is in doubt, to discover the reason for a blockage, or perform routine inspection. Below is a review of the some of the most often used cameras. The Universal Roller Skid is about to fit each of the push cameras below.
- SeeSnake® Standard Camera
This highly rated (4.2 out of 5 stars), popular and expensive system utilizes a 1.365" by 1.68" self-leveling camera that always delivers upright images. The camera is completely encased in a hardened stainless steel camera head and spring assembly for optimum durability in the toughest environments. For example, the system is rated to be waterproof to a depth of 300 feet and can operate in temperatures from below freezing to over 100 degrees fahrenheit. High-intensity long-life LED lights provide exceptional viewing. Flexible transmitters are attached to the camera. Signals are sent to a locator, which is above ground, which determines the exact location of the camera. This configuration can be used as a guide to determine exactly where to dig. Ridgid offers compatible locators for this purpose. With a wide-range line capacity of 2” to 12”, and a run distance of 325', this system is ideal for most inspection needs. The system can be used with any SeeSnake monitor or recorder.
Reviews describe the camera as excellent for the inspection of sewer laterals and mains. It is reported to be rugged and reliable with excellent imagery. Of note, there was difficulty pushing manually beyond 200 feet. One review indicated breakage of the push cable about 4 feet from the camera head and another desired a bit more flexibility in this same segment. Otherwise, reviews were very positive.
- Ridgid 48113 SeeSnake Compact 2 System
The Compact 2 model is designed to inspect lines from 1.5" to 6", with a run distance of 100 feet. The 1" camera head is self-leveling and is paired with a 512 Hz sonde. The unit is much less expensive than the Standard model but retains a high review of 4 out of five stars.
This system brings big performance in a compact, durable package and the reel offers a fast and easy setup. The friction-reducing push cable is stiff enough to push through narrow openings, but has the flexibility to negotiate several turns. The system can take on the most diverse and demanding inspection conditions.
If a point of interest is found in the pipe, a receiver will locate its position relative to the surface. The SeeSnake CS6Pak is specifically designed for the Compact 2 for easy viewing. This battery-powered system can use an optional AC adapter to run off 110 power.
Reviewers report a fairly easy to use system with robust software capability. The camera, cable and rig are very easy to deploy and imagery is fabulous with great lighting and orientation. Reported to easily pass through a 2" p-trap and complete a run of 100 feet. run.
Problems reported difficulty keeping the battery charged, which was solved with a spare battery. Also, the data entry is reported as slow because each letter and/or number has to be arrowed-over and selected, instead of having a provided keyboard.
- Ridgid 35188 See Snake Micro Reel Camera System
This unit has the same durable and reliable construction quality as the other Ridgid cameras. Its design and small size allows you to perform inspections quicker and easier than a larger system. The complete system takes up less than half the space of the popular SeeSnake Compact System, while still allowing you to inspect lines of 1.5" to 5 " to a run distance of up to 100 feet. The interchangeable drum cartridge system, with a more flexible cable, allows the use of the same reel to inspect difficult-to-navigate lines from 1 to 3 inches to a run of up to 30 feet. The 512 Hz sonde transmitter technology, that it is equipped with, gives the added convenience of locating the position of the camera head, from above ground, when it is in the line.
vCamMX Mini Inspection D18-MX Camera System
This is an ideal system for those with a limited budget, but provides the flexibility to cover a range of inspections. The D26-MX camera is self-leveling and the media compartment provides up to 128GB USB drives and SD card. Audio commenting is recorded through either an internal and external microphone. The system performs well with indoor drain lines, municipal collection systems, residential plumbing, indoor commercial lines, and lateral lines from three inches up to eight inches in diameter. The system is available in either 100 or 150 foot run lengths.
The vCamMX reels are made of stainless steel tubular construction with a lightweight rugged carbon fiber pushrod drum. The pushrod is traceable with the use of a multifrequency built-in locatable sonde.
Field work is simplified because the large-sized control knobs and one-touch capture capability can be used while wearing gloves. The multi-angle, daylight viewable display, can be used in either an upright or horizontal position, and is ideal for working in a confined space. The system has an AC/DC system with a rechargeable battery. The low-power requirements of this mini-cam enables over 5 hours of battery life to be provided.
Reviews are good when the system is used for short runs and smaller pipes. The pushrod is noted to be too small for sewer work.
- The Gen-Eye POD
The Gen-Eye POD features a self-leveling camera and 200 ft. of Gel-Rod® for trouble-shooting 3” to 10” drain lines. The system is equipped with a 512 Hz transmitter. The tough steel frame can be operated vertically or horizontally. This unit is very affordable and can identify most problems quickly and accurately. The 7" color LCD screen is mounted on a tough, yet flexible gooseneck that swivels to provide the best viewing angle. Video out connection lets you record on an external device. The push-rod and integral camera system combines camera, reel, and monitor into an all-in-one package.
The lightweight MINI-POD has a color mini-camera and is designed for inspecting 2” to 4” drain lines. The run length can be either 125 or 175 feet. The Mini-Pod uses the same grab-and-go features of the Gen-Eye Pod.
VeriSight Pro offers an affordable camera system that has everything needed to inspect pipes, document the findings, and generate reports. The camera is self-leveling camera captures color footage from pipes 2” and up, or 4" and up, with an optional pan/tilt camera. The reel is made of welded steel which has a powder coat finish to prevent rusting. Available in three run lengths: 330', 200' and 130'.
Lighting is provided by variable-intensity LED lamps that deliver shadow-less illumination. A 3X zoom video on live or recorded video, capture still images, browse thumbnail galleries, and select among several available languages. The signal from VeriSight Pro's tri-band sonde can be picked up by any locator. VeriSight Pro’s interface has an 8” LCD display and records up to 90 hours of digital video.
The system can use 110 volt main power, vehicle power, or an internal rechargeable 6-hour battery. It is encased in a rugged stainless-steel shell for protection in the worst environments and toughest handling.
CPI Products introduced the Universal Roller Skid Product Line to increase the effectiveness and lifespan of the portable video inspection system for the inspection of various residential and commercial pipelines.