Often, a pipe inspection system represents a substantial investment for the majority of small businesses. In return, they provide unique marketing and diagnostic potential that may either earn or save a significant amount of money for your business. The task of selecting the right system for your needs must be undertaken with serious attention to detail to avoid any costly mistake. So, here are certain points to ponder before spending your hard-earned money.
What size sewers/drains/pipes are you likely to be inspecting?
The great divide in a pipe inspection system is between tractor pull style and push rod systems. Which style do you need?
Push rod-style systems are designed for inside pipes and laterals. As the name indicates, these systems are manually pushed down the line by the contractor. At the maximum, the range on these units is limited to 200 feet.
Generally, tractor pull systems are for municipal style, large drain pipes, and pull themselves down the line. They tend to be controlled with a computer system and joystick by an operator sitting in a specially made van or truck. They are outfitted with additional swivel heads and lighting to look up, down, left, and right. Usually, larger companies and municipalities purchase these.
Do you require a built-in recording device?
Do you need to offer proof of performance? If yes, having a built-in recording device can save you both time and money.
In addition to being a diagnostic tool, do you want to use the pipe inspection camera system as a marketing tool? Do you want to focus on the drain cleaning job primarily, or do you want to expand your focus to pipe relining or replacement? You don’t need a built-in recording device if you only need to take a ‘look-see.’ For those special instances, when you require a recording, there are add-on recording devices available from the majority of the electronic retailers that will not just work with any video device but would also be more economical.
If you need a built-in recording device, the options at this point are USB stick, SD card, and DVD. Additionally, Wi-Fi units are now available. This wireless feature easily enables contractors to use their smartphones, Android tablets, and iPads to display the video output from camera systems. By using these devices, contactors can upload and save videos to social media, YouTube, or other networks to simplify and streamline the process of data sharing with customers.
Do you want to be able to record the camera head?
The majority of the standardized and mini-sized units have built-in locator beacon that enables you to pinpoint the depth and location of the camera head while it is in the pipe. Don’t underestimate the significance of location in the overall inspection process. If in doubt, err on the side of safety and get the locator. Although many locators are fairly precise at this point, some are easier to operate than others. Try them and see.
How available is after-sale service?
During a sewer pipe inspection, you shove a video camera down a sewer. What could possibly go wrong? Well, plenty. The bad news is, repairs to your camera may be lengthy and costly.
The good news is, proper training may substantially mitigate your repair bills. We have found that there is a positive correlation between the frequency of damage to camera units and user technique. This correlation cuts across every make and size of the inspection system. For this reason, it’s wise to purchase your pipe inspection unit from a factory representative who can offer training regarding the proper use of this high-tech product. When it comes to camera systems, initial training can make the difference between profit and loss.
The availability of repair centers is another aspect of after-sale service. It is good to have one factory-trained repair center in your time zone, if and when the unit does require the need for it. If your unit must be shipped back to another country for repair, it is probably time to rethink your purchasing strategy.
Certainly, these four questions will assist you in framing the search for your new pipe inspection system. Your comfort and familiarity with certain representatives, dealers, and brands will also play a vital role in your decision. The purchase of a camera system is a big investment that will influence the way your organization does business for years to come. Take your time and make the right call.