Sewer cameras are useful for inspecting damaged sewer lines and other plumbing issues. The last thing you want, however, is to damage your rental equipment in the process. Damage to your sewer camera rental can be both embarrassing and expensive, which is why you should take steps to avoid situations where damage is most likely to occur.
The following goes in-depth about through the most common sewer camera problems you're likely to encounter and how to avoid these problems.
Push Rod Kinking
There's a good reason why most sewer camera manufacturers recommend going slow and easy when feeding the camera through the sewer pipe. Simply shoving the push rod through the pipe could cause it to double back on itself, creating a kink within the rod. A kinked push rod can prove expensive to fix since the kinked section needs to be removed and the push rod re-terminated to restore its functionality.
Here are a few tips that can help you avoid kinks when working with your sewer camera:
Camera Head Damage
The push rod isn't the only part of your sewer camera that's vulnerable to damage. Despite being encased in a protective shell, the camera itself can also be damaged through rough handling and misuse. The most common scenario involves the lens cover or light ring being damaged as the camera head is rammed through an obstruction within the sewer pipe.
Using your camera head like a drain cleaner could be an expensive mistake, so you're better off stopping once you've identified a potential obstruction. You should also avoid forcing the camera head around corners or against the pipe sidewall, as this could also damage to the camera.
It's not unusual for sewer cameras to get tangled in a mess of roots or other unforeseen hazards. However, it's the responsibility of the operator to avoid feeding the camera through sections where entanglements are likely to occur upon retrieval. Entanglements can also happen when operators encounter previous attempts by customers to unclog their own sewer pipes. It's not out of the ordinary to encounter pieces of broken drain snake during an inspection.
If your sewer camera gets caught up in an entanglement, it's best to carefully and slowly work the camera back and forth until it's free. Turning the push rod while working the camera loose can also help. In some extreme cases, you may be forced to cut through a section of pipe ahead of your camera's location and manually remove the entanglement in question.
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