Best Sewer Camera: Reviews 2020 (Updated!)
Sewer pipelines are a delicate matter. When something goes awry you can only assume that something’s not right, and even when you’re absolutely certain you can’t really get to the bottom of the problem without proper tools.
Speaking of ‘proper tools’, there are means by which you can inspect your own pipelines and sewer system without having to pay hundreds and thousands of dollars to professionals. With just a bit of patience, trial and error, you can easily remove any sewer-related problem by yourself.
Today we’re going to talk about some of the best sewer camera, bore-scopes, and camera kits and bundles, so without any further ado, let’s get straight to it.
Need a quick suggestion? Check our top 3 choices below-
Why should you get a Sewer Camera?
Let’s face it, you don’t get to deal with sewer leaks every single day, so most people might assume that investing in a sewer camera might not be the most financially greatest idea, especially knowing that most bundles cost at least around a hundred.
However, when a problem does occur, even if it’s just a tiny bothersome leak, it might lead to a potential disaster. Calling the professionals out to help you costs just as much as getting your own sewer camera system, so that’s the first reason why you should have one at home.
Secondly, if you’re a person who likes to handle things with accuracy and precision, you obviously always take unpredictable factors into account. There will be times where professional workers are unavailable, or the matter might be so pressing that you simply couldn’t wait for 10-15 minutes for them to arrive.
Having a sewer camera kit at your home and knowing how to operate it will not only save you a couple of hundred of dollars, but will also allow you to resolve the matter quickly before it reaches more dangerous levels.
Our Top 10 Best Sewer Camera For the Money
1. IHBUDS Pipeline Drain Sewer Industrial Endoscope PC30M
Let’s open up our review of the best sewer cameras with IHBUDS industrial endoscope. Frankly speaking, Ihbuds is one of those brands that deal in pretty much everything from children robotic toys, over ear buds and earphones, to high-quality inspection camera kits. They also offer a decent selection of replacement parts too.
Back on to the kit, it’s comprised of a quality waterproof camera, a very plain LCD monitor, and a huge 100 feet waterproof cable. Each of these features are professional but are simple enough to be used by beginners and laymen.
The monitor features a separate controller which is pretty high-tech. It’s supplied with several working modes, a couple of zoom buttons, navigational keys, and four battery level indicators.
It also sports an ultra convenient LED light intensity knob, allowing you to fine-tune the brightness level in the easiest way possible.
There are only a couple of controls on the monitor itself, it’s 7 inches big, and it’s made from robust Abs plastic. You can access the menu directly and gain access to the most basic features, such as camera navigation, zoom, and such.
Even though the control box doesn’t feature onboard storage, it does come supplied with an 8 gigabyte SD card. The maximal SD capacity reaches up to 32 gigabytes, although even 8 are just about enough.
- Seven-inch TFT monitor made from ABS plastic material
- Separate control box with additional fine-tuning features
- Rechargeable battery with up to 9 hours of lifespan
- 8 gigabyte SD card, the control box supports up to 32 GB
- Steel heavy-duty carry case
- Flexible 100-feet waterproof cable
2. Oiiwak 33FT Industrial Endoscope
Next up is Oiiwak’s industrial endoscope, which might be the perfect solution for you if you are looking for a budget sewer camera. It sports a variety of very cool features, such as digital zoom, two megapixel High-Res camera, a petite 5.5 millimetre probe, and a flexible 10 metre cable.
The bulk of the work will be done with the 2-in-1 controller. It’s basically a combination of IPS screen and camera controller, featuring separate built-in controls on the base and fine-tuning options and settings on the touch-screen.
Being only 4.3-inches big, you can hold it in one hand and easily type in all the commands with the other hand.
Secondly, the camera is beyond ‘great’. It sports 1080p resolution and boasts digital zoom which can reach up to 3X. Optionally, you can choose between different resolution options, from 640 by 480, over 1280 by 720, to 1920 by 1080, allowing you to adapt to different tasks and scenarios.
The tip of the camera probe is only 5.5 millimetres in diameter, which means that it can fit even in the smallest pipes. Moreover, the cable is 10 metres long, allowing you to put it to use in practically all forms of sewer inspection.
It’s purposefully colored in blue so as to reflect light a bit better in case it gets a bit tangled up in the middle of the process.
The Oiiwak’s inspection camera also rocks a 2800 mAh rechargeable battery, six LED lights, as well as IP67 water and corrosion-proof rating, micro-USB cable, and eight gigabytes of storage vie SD memory card.
- High-quality 4.3-inch IPS screen
- Selectable resolutions: 640 x 480, 1280 x 720, and 1920 x 1080 pixels
- Water and corrosion-proof 5.5 mm probe tip
- 10 metre flexible cable
- Six LED lights
- 2800 mAh rechargeable battery
- 8GB SD memory card
3. HBUDS Pipeline Inspection Camera
The HBUDS pipeline inspection camera shouldn’t be confused with IHBUDS model. Even though these two brands are basically just branches of the same tree in a sense, this particular kit is a bit different.
It’s more affordable and packs a set of simpler features, which basically means that it’s perfectly suited for ‘light-duty’ inspection work whereas IHBUDS’ bundle is a professional one.
This sewer inspection kit comes supplied with a 7-inch TFT LCD display packed with a load of utility settings, such as the sun visor, on-screen customization options, and a 4000 mAh Lithium Ion battery which boasts 12-hour total lifetime. The battery is completely rechargeable, so you won’t need to replace it anytime soon.
The kit also rocks Sony’s premium-quality CCD probe-tip camera. It’s completely waterproof and fairly durable. Its petite size makes it suitable for sewer pipes of all thicknesses.
HBUDS’ entire kit comes in a heavy-duty aluminium case where you can keep all of the features. It’s not only perfect for storage, but also provides the much-needed portability for field work in case you need to help a friend out.
- Sony CCD inspection camera
- Twenty meters of flexible cable
- 7-inch LCD monitor
- IP68 waterproof rating
- Heavy-duty aluminium case for easy storage
4. Teslong Borescope Micro inspection camera
Teslong is easily the go-to brand for people who are looking for sewer cameras since their catalogue hosts various rifle bore-scope cameras, USB bore-scopes, and even several oto-scopes.
It’s pretty safe to say that these guys know their way around scopes, so let’s see what they’ve done with this particular model.
The first notable feature of this sewer inspection kit is the big 4.5-inch LCD display. Though it won’t give you a full HD picture, it’s still pretty close with 1280 x 720 pixels. The anti-fall & anti-scratch properties of the display make up for its mediocre resolution.
The monitor is rain-proof and features tempered glass construction, as well as easy navigation keys, brightness adjustments and on-screen settings.
This sewer inspection kit features a semi-rigid 5 metre cable. Both of the bundles we’ve covered so far have longer cables, although this one is slightly more durable albeit at the cost of flexibility. It’s still long enough for typical sewer maintenance situations.
Teslong’s inspection kit also sports an ultra-slim probe profile of 5.5 millimetres. It boasts IP67 water and corrosion-proof rating, which means that the maintenance process should be a breeze.
The last notable feature of this bundle is the fully rechargeable Li-Ion 2500mAh battery. Additionally, you will receive a neat lightweight carry case as a complementary feature.
- 4.5-inch LCD display with 1280 x 720 HD display
- 5-metre semi-rigid durable cable
- 5.5 millimetre ultra-slim probe profile
- IP67 waterproof rating
- Built-in 2500 mAh Li-Ion battery
5. Tiang Sewer Borescope Camera
Here we are looking at Tiang’s sewer bore-scope camera kit. It is comprised of a wide array of premium-quality features, including a heavy duty carry case with the integrated monitor on the top, a spinning cable wheel, a DVR controller, and a quality 23mm tip camera.
First of all, the display is remarkably easy to use. It features a neat little distance counter so that you can easily pinpoint the location of the strobe at any point, a couple of ‘mirror’ settings, AV selection, battery indicator, time, and date.
The cable wheel is super convenient as it can prevent all kinds of tangling accidents. Its primary use is to keep the cable neatly organized at all times, when it’s in use and when it’s not. The cable is 30 metres long and is rated IP68 waterproof.
The camera was purposefully built as small as possible, having a tip which is only 0.9 inches in size. You will be able to use this camera for pipes that are up to 200mm thick.
Lastly, let’s talk about the DVR controller. It features a built-in 8 GB SD card and supports up to 32 gigabytes, it sports a 4500 mAh battery which can last for 9 hours tops, and 12 adjustable light options.
- Lithium-Ion 4500 mAh battery which can last up to 9 hours
- DVR controller with 8 GB of SD card memory
- Easy to use LCD display
- IP68 waterproof rated 30m cable
- High-quality camera with a 0.9-inch tip
6. Teslong Inspection Camera
This is the second Teslong inspection sewer camera in our review, and we’ve included it due to its attractive affordability and a handful of improvements in comparison to the Teslong Bore-scope.
First and foremost, this Teslong inspection kit features a dual-lens 1080p camera. By clicking on the button on the tip you will activate the second lens and gain an additional usable lens.
This particular feature might be a bit confusing to use at first, but with some practice you will realize the extent of benefits it brings to the table.
Other features include the semi-rigid industrial tube which is 16.40 feet in length, six adjustable LED lights, and a premium-quality hand-held display. You can use the display to snap pictures, adjust the brightness level or switch between recording modes.
- Hand-held display with integrated options
- 1080 pixel dual-lens camera with tempered glass
- Semi-rigid 16.40 feet cable made from highly durable plastic material
- Six adjustable LED light settings
7. NIDAGE’s 1080P HD Borescope with 4.3 Inch screen
The Nidage’s inspection camera kit is well-rounded, packed with quality features, and highly affordable. Nidage’s sewer camera bundle is comprised of a 4.3-inch monitor screen, a 33 feet flexible cable, and a 2 megapixel 1080P camera.
First of all, the controller is one of the best features this kit comes supplied with. It’s small, portable and light, and you will have access to all of the main features directly from it.
The bottom section of the controls can be used to navigate through the four menus which govern camera options, video brightness and contrast levels, picture quality, and other settings.
The cable is 33 feet long and it’s remarkably slim. It’s more than long enough to fit through any kind of pipeline, and it’s durable enough to withstand years and years of use. What’s more, it is IP67 rated, which means that it will resist water and corrosion fairly well.
The camera is of exceptional quality. It sports two megapixels and is supplied with six adjustable LED-lights complemented with 6500K daylight-LED technology, which help negate overexposure while enhancing the overall visibility.
Now, the only drawback of this budget sewer inspection kit is the battery lifetime. Namely, Nidage’s monitor comes supplied with an integrated 2800 mAh rechargeable Li-Ion battery which can last up to three to four hours at best. Then again, you won’t need more time for basic inspection operations.
- 4.3-inch LCD screen with tempered glass
- Slim 33-feet semi-rigid cable
- Premium-quality 2 megapixel camera packed with six LED lights
- 2800 mAh built-in rechargeable Li-Ion battery with 4 hours of total lifetime
- Gratis Micro USB cable, Hook accessories, and Carry bag
8.Anysun Pipe Sewer Inspection Camera
We’re following up with Anysun’s Sewer Inspection Kit – a professional endoscope bundle for heavy-duty sewer inspection tasks.
Essentially, if you’re low on cash and if you don’t have much experience with sewer inspection cameras, we would recommend skipping this particular model.
It comes supplied with top-shelf features and is geared towards heavy-duty usage. People who are afraid that their pipeline might leak at some point could do the job with any budget model just as well.
If not, especially if you make a living out of repairing pipelines, then by all means – Anysun’s Sewer Inspection Kit is all you need, and then some. It rocks a big 7-inch TFT LCD display, plenty of built-in storage space, a long-lasting rechargeable Li-Ion battery, and a state-of-the-art camera-tipped probe.
This bundle also features a 50-metre long semi-rigid cable which sits best in the hands of a professional. It’s also neatly organized in the complementary carry box and spun by a fixed wheel made from highly durable metal material.
Furthermore, this inspection kit rocks a DVR which highly resembles the one equipped to the bundles we’ve reviewed so far. Onboard you’ll find a mode selection knob, LED brightness knob, a camera plug, navigation and zoom controls, and the battery level indicator.
Better yet, the DVR rocks four gigabytes of initial memory which you can upgrade up to sixteen GB.
- Professional sewer inspection kit
- 7-inch TFT LCD disply
- 4000 mAh Li-Ion rechargeable battery with 7 hour playtime
- 50-metre semi-rigid cable
- IP67 waterproof rating
9. HBUDS Endoscope Camera
The HBUDS endoscope kit is a professional sewer inspection bundle which was designed in such a way that even complete beginners could use it with proficiency. It’s one of the best cheap sewer camera inspection packages that you could get for the money, although it should be noted that it does cost quite a bit.
This sewer camera kit comes with a great cam which boasts 12-pcs AW chip, providing pristine clarity video shots. You can adjust the brightness and contrast levels on the control box while monitoring them on the LCD display.
One of the things that sets this inspection kit apart from similarly priced models is the fact that it comes outfitted with one of the longest cables a sewer inspection kit could have (50 metres). It might be more than you would typically need, but it comes quite handy for emergency situations.
Additionally, the HBUDS’s kit comes with a remote controller. You can opt between using the LCD display controls and remote control settings.
We recommend the latter as it’s substantially easier to push on the buttons on the controller than it is to practically ‘hunt’ them on the screen.
- IP68 waterproof rating
- 7-inch LCD display
- Sony CCD camera
- 50m cable wheel
- DVR control box with a remote controller
- Complementary heavy-duty storage box
10. ScopeAround Industrial Endoscope Inspection Camera
Let’s wrap it up with ScopeAround’s industrial grade endoscope inspection camera. Basically, this is a semi-pro sewer camera kit outfitted with a HD Borescope, a 5-inch HD screen, a rechargeable 3500 mAh Li-Ion battery, and a variety of top-quality features.
First and foremost, the HD display of this endoscope kit rocks Full HD 1280 x 720 pixel resolution, allowing you to spot every little detail as the camera probe enters the pipeline. There are easy-to-use controls onboard, including the navigation keys, brightness adjustments, and several menus.
The already-great camera features a dual-lens feature which vastly improves its performance and the vision it provides for you. It’s made from industrial-grade plastic and rocks super-robust hardware which was obviously built to last.
Additionally, the entire kit is rated IP67 waterproof, meaning that it’s highly resistant to both water and contamination. This also means that you’ll invest minimal time for the maintenance and cleaning processes.
The battery supplied to this sewer camera is quite decent, but its lifetime leaves a lot to be desired. It’s a 3500 mAh Li-ion rechargeable battery which does its bang for the buck, but it can only last for approximately four hours.
- Five-inch LCD 1280P x 720P display, perfect vision and easy to use onboard controls
- Dual-lens slim camera provides optimal vision and sports six LED lights and a metal gooseneck
- IP67 Waterproof rating
- 4-hour rechargeable 3500 mAh Li-Ion battery
Things to consider before buying a Sewer Camera
There are a lot of things that separate different sewer camera bundles apart, including the screen resolution, monitor settings, battery power, cable length, and other factors. Let’s break them down:
Simply put, the resolution of the display equals your ‘field of view’ when the camera drops down the pipes. Bigger resolution means bigger FOV, which later means that you’ll get to see more (or less) details, depending on the resolution, of course.
Monitors which support Ultra HD resolution are the best simply because you’ll get to see everything in real time, which means that you won’t miss a single spot.
Of course, there are other factors to consider which are tightly linked to the resolution, such would be the quality of light – lower resolution settings tend to blur the image up.
The reason why battery’s lifetime is of such a big importance is obvious – if the bat runs out in the middle of the process, the kit becomes useless. This means that you will need to pull the camera up, clean the entire kit and repeat the process when the battery is full again.
Cameras with several light settings are superior to ‘fixed light’ cameras simply because they allow you to adapt to different scenarios. Light options are usually accessible via ‘brightness and contrast’ settings found on the display.
Some of the finest sewer camera kits come supplied with multiple LED light functions. You can utilize these to shine different kinds of light which will let you spot more details a bit easier.
Additionally, some of the best cameras pack ‘daylight mode’ function, which allows you to work in broad daylight. Budget models are usually meant to operate in pitch black settings.
When you are taking a video with your smart phone, it gets saved on your device’s storage and the same applies to sewer cameras. If you don’t have enough space, the camera will simply stop recording.
Most high-quality sewer cameras come with built-in storage which can be further enhanced with SD cards.
Even though the storage isn’t necessarily one of the most important features of a quality sewer camera bundle, it definitely plays a key role in its performance. If your camera has only 4 gigabytes of storage space, consider upgrading it to at least 8 gigabytes before you start using it.
Cable length and durability
The camera is always attached to the end of the cable and it can only go as far as the cable is long. This doesn’t mean that ‘longer equals better’, though, unless you’re a professional.
In most cases you will be able to make do with some 10-15 feet of cable’s length while longer options are preferred for heavy-duty inspection work.
The durability of the cable, on the other hand, is very important. If it’s flimsy it will be significantly harder to maintain, and in the off chance it snaps, you’ll lose the camera tip for good.
Beginner friendly approach – should it be compatible with smart phones?
Some people aren’t too comfortable with all the technicalities revolving the design of a typical sewer camera controller. Rather they prefer using an application.
If you are one of those people, you should look for a sewer camera kit which is compatible with smart phones. You should be warned, though, that most professional sewer cam bundles aren’t that beginner friendly and are usually not compatible with smart devices.
How to use a Sewer camera?
Sewer inspection cams are not that much harder to use in comparison to regular snake cameras, but there’s quite a learning curve you need to pass before you can really utilize all of its actual benefits to the fullest.
You will need quite a lot of practice, but you will also need to work on your patience and pay attention to as much detail as possible when you’re using an inspection camera.
Before we get to the point of how you should use one, let’s start with the things sewer cameras aren’t really well suited for, and basically, in which scenarios you shouldn’t even use try using it.
A sewer inspection cam can’t locate a sewer leak as a standalone tool, so if you’ve tried using it this way, you shouldn’t feel too bad or blame it on the model. As a complementary tool, though, sewer cams can only ‘help’. Now, let’s move on to the topic at hand.
Before jumping to the phases of the operation, let’s discuss the main features you will be using. Each sewer camera model is a part of the bundle and some of the most typical features are the monitor, the cable (and cable connector) and the camera head attached to it.
1. The first thing you will want to do is to insert the inspection camera along the line of your sewer pipes. Most sewer camera models are thin and small, so you shouldn’t worry about whether or not it will fit – it will.
The camera is always attached to a flexible cable which should be slowly lowered down the sewer line at a steady pace.
Most sewer camera kits come supplied with at least 30 feet of fully waterproof cable, so don’t be afraid to use as much as you need.
2. Attaching to camera to the cable and lowering it down are the easiest parts of the process. The tricky part is getting the hang of the controls on the monitor.
Now, each inspection cam kit features a different kind of monitor which obviously sports different functions and settings, but they are all intended for the same purpose and come outfitted with several typical features.
3. You’ll want to turn up the lights as soon as you insert the camera and the cable, otherwise the inspection cam will be absolutely useless. There will be all kinds of light-related options at your disposal, ranging from the light’s strength to the brightness and contrast options regarding the display.
For example, Oiiwak’s Industrial endoscope is very beginner friendly and allows you to easily zoom in on certain locations, switch to LCD mode, and pick from several resolution options.
A monitor as versatile as this might not be as easy to use as a plain one which will only give you the video feed, but it does bring more benefits to the table and is undoubtedly more efficient.
4. Fine-tune the light’s intensity and the picture on the monitor as much as possible, or else you might miss a spot or two.
5. Next you should get to learn how to properly make use of the battery – the camera features one, but the monitor comes supplied with one (or several) as well.
The entire inspection kit will be useless if either one dies out in the middle of the process. A good trick that will somewhat help you preserve a bit of battery’s lifespan is to lower the contrast and brightness options a bit.
6. Going overboard might impede with the kit’s performance, so just don’t keep these settings at max unless the problem is beyond obvious.
7. Last, but certainly not least, make sure to keep the monitor’s storage free for the session. Each monitor has an onboard storage (or card memory) where the image from the camera feed is stored, and keeping it clean from previous video sessions will ensure that you have no problems with the current one.
How to clean a Sewer camera?
Again, it’s the whole sewer inspection kit that needs to be cleaned and maintained properly if you wish it to last. Most of the individual parts are quite fragile and require meticulous care. You’ll need to learn how to properly clean and maintain the cable, the camera’s head, and the monitor.
Essentially, the monitor is the only part of the inspection kit that doesn’t actually get to see any action up close. This, however, doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t clean it every once in a while.
Most people don’t use their sewer inspection cameras more than once every couple of months, which means that heaps of dust will be amassed on the monitor since you’re obviously not using it.
Dust can easily slip into the small cracks on the monitor and it might take weeks or months before you start noticing anything different.
At first it will be the reduced battery lifetime, unexpected glitches and bugs with the monitor’s storage, and after a while it will simply start running slower and slower.
These are just some of the reasons why you should clean your sewer camera monitor, especially if you aren’t using it. Luckily, though, most sewer camera kits come with a carry case where you can store it.
Unlike the cable or the camera head, the monitor will in most cases not be waterproof. This means that you should only use damp pieces of cloth to clean it. One of the best storage methods is to keep it sealed in a box. This way you will ensure that no dust particles get to it.
Cleaning the cable is the easiest part. Every sewer camera kits feature cables that are completely waterproof, so obviously, you’ll want to hose them down as soon as you pull them out. Now, depending on how durable the cable is the process can take a couple of minutes or a couple of hours.
If you deem the cable flimsy or not as sturdy as you would like, the water pressure shouldn’t be too high. Concentrated jets of water can severely damage, or even rip apart frail cables. Luckily, only the cheapest sewer camera kits are outfitted with those.
In such a case you should rinse the cables down and gently scrub them. Even though this method might take a substantially longer amount of time, it’s also substantially safer.
Cleaning durable cables is even easier, as all you’ll have to do is to spray them down with water and apply cleaning agents of your preference. At worst, even liquid soap can do the trick, although we recommend using alcohol-based cleaners for extra efficiency.
There are two different parts of the camera that require special attention after the process – the tip and camera’s probe, both of which should be cleaned and maintained differently.
After you’ve done looking for the problem in your pipes, carefully pull the cable up. Even if you are extra careful while doing that, there’s still a chance that the tip gets damaged.
Namely, the camera is shooting ‘downwards’, so if you’ve missed any cracks and obstacles while on your way down, it might happen that some of the debris hits the tip on its way back.
Check the tip for any possible damage and assume that it’s contaminated. Clean all of the external parts before proceeding to cleaning the tip.
You should use any form of glass cleaner, but alternatively you can use diluted alcohol and pointed-cotton swabs. The diluted alcohol percentage shouldn’t exceed 70% else it might further damage the tip.
A word of caution – the internal side of the lens is most likely surrounded by a plastic/metal ring, and you should be as gentle as possible so as to prevent any damages or even worse, accidentally dislodge it.
Cleaning the probe is almost always hard at first, even if you’ve had some experience with similar tools in the past. As with the tip you should check for any potential damages and note down how much the neck has worn down.
You should also check for any separated bonding joints and loose strands on the weave. Wear and tear is a commonplace, so you should simply either memorize or note down if anything particular strikes your eyes.
The cleaning tools you should use for the probe are identical to the cleaning tools used during the cleaning process of the tip.
Glass cleaners do the job quite nicely, but if you’re for whatever reason unable to obtain them, use a diluted alcohol solution (again, the alcohol percentage shouldn’t be higher than 70%). Clean the probe as thoroughly as you can before placing it for safe storage in the case.
From an objective point of view, there is no ‘best sewer camera bundle’. Every household is different, and every pipeline system is built in a very different way. What works for some might not work out for you.
However, that being said, there are a couple of things that hold universal merit – the quality of the camera, how much megapixels it has, how beginner-friendly the display is, can you control the lights and to what extent, and such.
Keep all this in mind before you make the final decision. There are more than enough models for you to choose from, so kick back, use the knowledge you’ve gained through the buying guide, and take your pick.