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  • Writer's pictureHathorn

Questions To Ask Before Buying a Sewer Inspection Camera

Updated: Jul 18, 2022

Sewer Camera Manufacturers usually offer a wide range of tools with various capabilities to tackle specific sewer-related problems.

And while these innovative tools can assist the pros in getting the job done right, buyers should consider what they need before adding a new tool to their van.

When purchasing a sewer inspection camera, you should always look for portability and durability. Challenging individuals use cameras in some of the harshest conditions, so ensuring that they are durable is crucial when choosing the right camera for you.

Beyond that let’s consider the three most important questions you should answer before purchasing a sewer inspection camera.

Is It North American Made?

The majority of manufacturers do not make their products, but more worrying is that most of those brands import their cameras from outside of North America. Purchasing one of these brands might save you some money upfront, but a lack of parts for repairs and downtime will cost you in the long run. Always ask where a product is made and if they make their parts. Always buy a North American-made product.

Where can I get the tool serviced?

Most tradesmen work their tools hard, and all devices will need to be serviced in the long run. Also, an instrument only makes money when it’s on the job so if it’s inconvenient to get repaired, or will take a while, the device it isn’t much use to you. So, whatever brand of camera you choose to buy, ensure you have access to a convenient repair center and that the parts they use are 1) genuinely made by the manufacturer and 2) available within a short lead time. The pandemic has seen lead times extend, so asking where the parts come from and who makes them is essential.

What Features and Capabilities Should My Sewer Inspection Camera Have?

Depending on your specific needs, looking into the camera’s technical specs and understanding what you need is the next step:

  • Self-leveling or Straight View camera? All cameras are color these days so the only thing to decide is self-leveling or non? Self-leveling costs more but is more convenient for viewing. A straight view is likely more durable in the long term due to no moving parts. The decision comes down to budget and personal preference.

  • Recording to USB or SD Card? Always look for a unit that records MPEG video on a USB stick. This is industry standard and allows you to record video or photos, which can then be transferred to your computer to share with customers. See an SD card reader or AVI recording format? Best to avoid this brand. An SD card means the internal technology in the camera is old, likely obsolete, or imported from overseas.

  • Do I need a Wi-Fi Upgrade? Buying a camera with a Wi-Fi upgrade or a standalone Wi-Fi camera allows the user to record directly to their phone so that videos can be easily shared by email and texting. Wi-Fi registered videos are usually lower resolution than those recorded to USB because of video file sizes and compression. This is by design to allow for seamless video sharing. Recording videos for viewing on a tablet or phone be a great option. For higher resolution best to opt for USB recording through a control module.

If you have questions about which Hathorn®'s inspection camera will work best for you and your business, contact 905-604-7040 or email:

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