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How to Use a Sewer Camera

How to Use a Sewer Camera

If you own a home, are thinking of buying a home, or starting a plumbing business, you MUST know how to use a sewer camera. 

Sewer camera inspection equipment is key to making sure all of your underground drains are running clear.  Annual inspections can prevent your sewer and drains from backing up and flooding your basement, home or yard.   

Regularly inspecting your drains can save you from paying for emergency repairs that might cost more than $10, 20, even $40,000!  And most of the time, this sort of backup and flooding ISN’T covered by your home insurance….YIKES! 

Let’s show you how to use a sewer camera so you can inspect your pipes yourself and prevent any flooding emergencies. 

How to Use a Sewer Camera

The best sewer camera is fairly simple to use and will come with some neat features like high resolution video, a decent sized monitor display, LED lights, and a self levelling camera. 

For even more high end features, you have to move into the higher level professional cameras that a plumber or large industrial company might own. 

How Do You Use a Sewer Line Camera?

Using a sewer camera isn’t rocket science. First, let’s talk about how a drain camera works before learning how to use a drain inspection camera.

Drain camera’s are small cameras attached onto the end of a durable yet flexible cable. They comes with anywhere from 6 to 12 LED lights to light up the inside of your pipes during your inspection. Some camera’s come with a self-levling feature that keeps them level while it travels through your pipes.

Some cameras come equipped with guards to keep them from getting damages during your inspection.

Cables are typically 50 to 200 feet long. This is to ensure that the cable and camera can reach all the way through your sewer pipes. Nothing worse than finding out your sewer camera cable is too short to get the job done.

First, turn on your camera and make sure that you have your SD card, USB drive or whatever other way your going to record (or take images) hooked up properly. Test it before putting the camera down your pipes.

Second, once you can be sure that your camera is recording and playback is working, make sure the LED lights are functioning and the picture is clear on your monitor.

Third, uncoil some of the cable and insert the camera into your drain. Very slowly, feed the camera and cable down your drains while you record. If your camera only takes pictures, then your goal is to take a picture of any issues you might see.

Going slowly means that you will be able to properly identify any issues in your pipes for repair or maintenance. If you go too fast while scoping a sewer line, you could miss something important that might lead to a drainage emergency.

Transmitters and locators are the golden goose for sewer camera options. Having a locator on your camera means you will know exactly where the issues are in your pipes. No more costly guesswork.

Be careful when you reach turns and bends in your pipes. Most cables should never be fed through 90 degree or greater bends, or you risk snapping your cable. And that’s an expensive fix you don’t want to deal with.

Fourth, once you’ve reached the end of your pipes, you can turn off your camera and reel it back in, hosing off the cable as you bring it in. This removes any large gunk on it. We also like to spray the cable with bleach and then rinse it as we reel in it.

How to Use a Sewer Camera How to Video 


How to use a sewer camera isn’t hard. You just need to follow out advice above, take your time, and hopefully, not find any issues in your pipes.