For plumbers and cleaning contractors, inspection cameras are an essential tool. Contractors commonly use these high-tech devices to identify and resolve pipe blockages, clogs, or other issues involving sewer lines.

Inspection cameras are water-resistant and attached to a flexible rod, allowing the user to access a real-time, internal view of a pipe or sewer line. Using these devices, plumbers and contractors can eliminate guesswork and obtain accurate information about the issue at hand.

While inspection cameras are handy modern devices, they require proper maintenance and care to ensure optimal ongoing performance. If misused, drain cameras can wear out or break entirely. Luckily, you can pick one up from any reputable supplier, for example – RS Components.

Here are our top tips for ensuring longevity for your inspection cameras.

Tip 1: Check your equipment before beginning a job

To avoid problems down the road, make sure to keep an eye on your equipment’s performance and perform regular checks. Each day, you should check for:

  • Damaged electrical cords
  • Pulled-out strain reliefs
  • Missing ground prongs
  • Damaged switches
  • Cable damage

If you identify any of these issues during your routine check-up, make sure to rectify it before beginning work. Using your drain camera while it is damaged could cause breakage or unmendable damage. 

You should also clean and lubricate all bearings, bushings, and moving parts at least twice per year. When your inspection camera and its peripherals are well-lubricated, you’ll boost its longevity and reduce the risk of breakage during a job.

Tip 2: Avoid using your camera as a tool

When camera heads become damaged, it’s typically because the worker has attempted to use it as a tool. Commonly, cameras used as tools will end up with a cracked light ring or lens cover.

While it’s tempting to use your camera to dislodge a pipe blockage, this can cause severe damage. An inspection camera’s purpose is to identify and diagnose the problem, not to fix it directly.

Tip 3: Regularly clean your camera

By keeping your camera and its reeling clean, you’ll increase its longevity. Wipe down your camera after each use or pour clean water over its cable. You’ll also need to clean your camera’s lens with a dry cloth to prevent oil, grit, and grease build-up.

Tip 4: Approach each job with caution

It’s imperative to approach each drain cleaning job slowly. Inspection cameras are valuable tools that all contractors should treat with due care.

Move the cable cautiously and intentionally through the pipe. Don’t apply excessive force. If you move too quickly or push too hard, your pushrod may bow out and kink up.

Tip 5: Keep your hands close to the drain opening

When operating an inspection camera, keep your hands close to the drain. You will have better control over the reeling, preventing damage to the cable or kinking. 


Drain inspection cameras are essential devices for all plumbers and cleaning contractors, providing a comfortable, real-time view of a pipe system’s inner workings. By working carefully, ensuring regular cleaning, and using your camera as intended, you’ll enjoy a durable, reliable, and long-lasting system.