If you want to avoid an expensive drain repair or worse, flooding, grab yourself the best drain camera.
Whether you’re a home owner trying to save some cash, or a Professional looking for an income generating camera, we review them all for you below.
Read on to learn about different types of drain cameras for every budget.
Best Drain Camera Chart
Drain Camera Price
Drain cameras are available in all price ranges. You can always find one that’s in your budget and with the options you need to get your drains inspected.
Pro Drain Cameras – Pro Level Prices
- Ridgid SeeSnake
- SECON Drain Camera Extreme 200’ Mainline
- SECON Drain Camera MicroSM 100’
- Pro Built Drain Camera
Best Drain Camera – Mid Range Prices
Best Budget Drain Camera – Low Prices
Pro Drain Cameras
- Lifetime Warranty
- Passes 90 degree bends in 2 inch pipe
- 100 foot cable
- 1.5 – 4 inch pipe
- 6 LED Lights
- Video and Camera capabilities
Ridgid SeeSnake is the top of the line professional camera, the best for drain inspections on the market. The Ridgid 40798 Seesnake gets all jobs from small to big ones done.
The Ridgid SeeSnake Micro Reel Drain Camera comes with everything you need to figure out your drain problems. Pro level drain cameras like this come with locators and the Ridgid drain camera monitor. This sort of capacity makes this drain inspection camera more expensive than others. Its great that the monitor is included. Having to also shop around for a monitor, separate from the camera is not our idea of a good time.
The Ridgid Drain Camera comes with 100 feet of cable. This is a ton of cable to inspect any length of pipe that you may have. You can use this camera in both commercial and residential pips because it’s made for pipes that are 1.5 inches to 4 inches in diameter. Even novice homeowners can get this drain camera to go easily through traps and bends in their pipes.
This drain camera comes with six high powered LED lights. The stainless steel camera head protects your camera from pipes while not rusting.
What you won’t find in mid and budget priced drain cameras is the built in locator. This is a must for Pros to record and track issues in customers pipes. The SeeSnake drain camera is durable and reliable backed with a lifetime warranty.
You can switch from video to camera while the cable and camera are inside your pipes. This lets you zoom in on problem areas and take pictures, essential in figuring out problems in your pipes.
Ridgid Cameras are a must for all contractors out there.
- 200 foot cable
- 10 LEDS
- 7 inch monitor
- 1.29 inch camera head
- 2 batteries included
- Made in USA
SECON Drain Cameras are built with color video, WIFI Connections, and an SD card slot to record. This camera is made in the USA. This drain camera comes with a 512hz built in Sonde/Transmitter as well.
It comes with a MASSIVE 200 foot cable that basically goes anywhere. Specifically made for larger pipes of 3 to 10 inches, this unit is a commercial contractors dream.
The cable is 1/2 inch, making it sturdy enough for everyday use by a commercial business.
Not anywhere near a plug? No Problem, this unit also comes with 2 DeWalt batteries that are rechargeable, so you can operate this drain camera cordlessly.
This drain camera includes the standard 7 inch color LCD monitor for viewing. For this price, we would have expected a bigger monitor.
The camera isn’t self-leveling, which you would expect at this price point, although its not a deal breaker. To level this unit, you need the skid kit. Click here for the link to the skid kit. Keep that in mind when shopping. It also looks like you need to buy a locator to go with this unit which is not something we think is great after spending cash on a Pro model drain camera.
- 3 year warranty
- 100 foot cable
- Color video
- Made in USA
- 10 LED’s
While still in the Pro drain camera category, this SECON MicroSM unit is cheaper than most. That’s because its really built for homeowners. It has 100 feet of cable and can inspect 1.5 to 4 inch pipes. Other SECON Units above have longer cables and inspect much larger pipes, hence why the price is so much more.
The 100 foot cable is made of 3/8 inch video cable, which is almost at thick and sturdy as the super professional model above.
This unit is Made in USA. The camera comes with 10 built in LEDs and an aircraft aluminum 1.29 diameter camera head. The camera viewing angle is excellent at up to 100 degrees.
You get a great color LCD monitor that is 7 inches and displays a beautifully clear image. The SECON MicroSM camera comes with a 512hz built in Sonde/Transmitter that transmits up to 15 feet deep, but you have to buy the locator separately. At this price point, we think that’s a bit ridiculous.
This unit is not self-leveling and you would need the skid kit to level it. Click here for the link to the skid kit.
- 3 – 10 inch pipes
- 10 LEDs
- 130 foot cable
- Color video output
- Built in Transmitter
Pro Built Tools is built to inspect drains from 3 to 10 inches wide. It has 130 feet of cable and is a good price for homeowners to get into the Pro drain camera market.
This specific model doesn’t show how far you’ve gone into the pipes. However, you can contact the seller as that is an add on option you can choose. Or you can mark your cable every 1-2 feet and track it yourself.
The LCD display monitor doesn’t record; you have to purchase those parts from the manufacturer. The LCD is the industry standard 7 inches and has a beautiful heavy duty scratch resistant sapphire window with 520 lines of high resolution output.
Please note that even though this drain camera has a transmitter, it doesn’t come with a locator, you have to buy it separately.
You can see anything in your drains with the 10 bright LEDs on the camera. Because of its affordable price compared to other “Pro” level drain cameras, you are sacrificing the ability to record, a skid kit, and a self-leveling camera.
The 5 year warranty shows that they stand behind their product. Other manufacturers only have 1-3 year warranties.
For Pro Built parts, check out their website here: www.probuilttools.com
Best Drain Camera – Mid Range Prices
The Mid range priced drain cameras are great for homeowners. The price is just right for using them a few times a year to do routine drain inspections. For the cost of 1 drain inspection, you can pick up a drain camera for yourself instead of paying someone else to do it.
The drain cameras below offer most of the features of pro cameras except recording and locators. Some of them also have shorter cables, but they are long enough for home based drain inspections.
Below are our top choices in mid range prices drain cameras.
- 100 foot cable
- 12 LED lights
- USB and SD recordings
- 1 year warranty
Get up to 4 hours on 1 battery with the Forbest Drain Camera. 4 hours is plenty of time to inspect all your drains but less time than you would get with other models so keep that in mind. Great for any homeowner or DIYer because it inspects pipes up to 3 inches wide.
With 2 ways to record, USB or SD card, you won’t miss any drain issues. Usually with mid range models, you sacrifice the ability to record, but not with this bad boy.
While even the Pro cameras only come with 10 LEDs, this Forbest Camera comes with 12. The camera itself is 7/8 inch big which is plenty. You’ll be able to see anything in your pipes.
The LCD monitor is 7 inches wide, which is industry standard for inspecting pipes.
Included in your purchase is the battery pack, wall adapter, and video cable.
Forbest pipe inspection camera has a 100 foot cable, which is perfect for homeowners or Pros alike.
- 100 ft cable
- Waterproof Stainless Steel Housing
- 1-8 inch pipes
- 7 inch Color monitor
- 8GB card included
- 9 hrs continuous working on 1 charge
Take a look at the HBUDS drain camera. This mid range priced drain camera comes with 100 feet of cable that can inspect 1-8 inch pipes.
There is a decent sized 7 inch color monitor included that puts out good color images of the inside of your pipes.
This model doesn’t come with a locator option. We recommend marking your cable every foot, so you can have an idea of where your camera is in the pipes at all times.
The camera has 12 adjustable LED lights so you can see what’s going on in your pipes and comes with a 75 degree viewing angle.
When buying this drain camera, you will receive:
- 1 x 7-inch Color TFT LCD Monitor
- 1 x Pipe Camera
- 1 x 8GB SD Card
- 1 x Control box with DVR
- 1 x DC 12V Charger
- 1 x Portable Aluminum Case
- 1 x Instruction Manual
- 1 x Camera head cover
This camera is limited in that the manufacturer advises to only go through bent pipes that are 2 inches max, and go through multiple 90 degree pipe if the are over 6 inches in diameter. Smaller diameter than 6″ causes break to the cable rod. This is limiting since most pipe in your home will be under 2-3 inches that will need inspecting.
To be honest, with the lack of a locator, minimal if any customer service and issues going through pipe bends, we’d recommend you check out the other drain camera models on this list, especially the Anysun below, which is a bit cheaper.
Best Budget Sewer Camera
- 100 foot cable
- 12 LEDs
- 7 inch screen
- 8GB SD card included
This Anysun camera is a great deal and we would say its the best cheap sewer camera. For a mid range camera you can record both video and images on the included 8GB SD card. This camera also lasts about 6-8 hours on a single charge. Much longer than some of the competition.
Did I mention that it comes with an 8 GB SD card (and supports up to 16 Gb SD card), so you can get started right away on inspecting your drains? AND a color display? I love the value here.
Built with a flexible spring head, which helps this drain camera to get past elbows and bends in your drains as long as they are less than 90 degrees. Otherwise you risk snapping your cable. The cable has an IP68 rating (the highest rating level is IP69) which means your video cable is highly resistant to water and dust getting in. This IP rating is very important for the camera since it will be submerged and/or surrounded by a very wet environment.
The camera has a 140 degree viewing angle, which is large than other cameras in the price range.
Please note that saving money on a drain camera means you sacrifice some things. This unit doesn’t come with a locator or a distance counter. This unit doesn’t even have the 512Hx transmitter/sonde so you won’t be able to purchase a locator separately unless you upgrade to a different and more costly Anysun Model.
It has a 1 year warranty, which is standard for these more affordable drain cameras.
Best Budget Drain Cameras: Affordable
You can inspect your pipes on a strict budget. You will have to give up a big screen and long cables, but, its important to stick to your budget. Choose the most important features for you, and shop with those in mind. Check out the top 2 inspection cameras below for your needs.
- 16.5 foot cable
- WIFI Connection
- Good for shallow inspections
- Can use for other applications at home
This DEPSTECH inspection camera has a very short 16.5 foot cable. It is no good for inspecting long drains. You would need to buy a mid ranged priced drain camera model to get that extra cable length for long pipes. Entire drain lines are much longer than 16 feet so you won’t be able to do a complete inspection with this model.
You can use it for shallow inspections and to see around corners or in tight spaces around your home, ducts, cars, any place you can’t fit your head basically.
You can choose between a blue and a yellow cable for this camera.
The camera itself is 8.5mm wide with 2592×1944 higher end resolution of 1944HD. The adjustable 6 LED’s on the camera head illuminate dark areas and hard to reach and see places. The focal distance is anywhere from 3 to 16 inches, allowing you to dial in focus on most objects.
This camera is compatible with iPad, IOS 9+ and Android 9+ devices.
The camera cable design is water resistant with a rating of IP67 (the highest is IP69). All of the expensive drain cameras are IP68 and higher or comparison.
Here is what’s included in your purchase:
- WF028 -5MP borescope
- 1* hook
- 1* USB cable
- 1* Manual
- 24 months service.
For the price, I found this unit has a clear picture and was easy to set up.
Drain Camera Buyer’s Guide
How Much is a Drain Camera?
How much does a sewer scope camera cost? Drain cameras can be super expensive. Good news is that those drain cameras are built for commercial plumbers. They have a ton of options that drives up the price considerably. You can get your drains inspected yourself for a fraction of the cost.
You can find an inspection camera to fit almost any budget. If you’re a homeowners looking for a drain camera, we recommend checking out the mid range and budget models we outlined above.
Should you get an Expensive Drain Camera?
There are many different kinds of drain cameras on the market. Some cost a few hundred dollars and others cost $1,000. Is there a difference between the drain cameras? Why do they charge so much for some and so little for others?
Expensive drain camera comes with very long cables, a ton of lights, high quality video and recording, and a long warranty. They are mostly made for commercial plumbing shops and can handle very large drains.
Picking the Best Drain Camera: Which one do YOU Need?
There are 8 things you should think about before buying a drain camera.
- Water Proof
- Video Screen Size
- Image Quality
- Color Output
- Cable Length
- Pipe Size You’ll be Inspecting
It’s pretty obvious that if you’re putting a camera into your pipes that it’s going to get wet. You must make sure that your camera is waterproof and not water resistant. Water resistant means that, eventually, your camera will get water inside, depending how long its submerged.
A locator let’s you know the exact location of your camera inside your pipes. This way you will know exactly where the problem is and can get to fixing it. Locator’s are not standard on drain cameras, and to buy a camera with a locator, you will pay more. Locators are typically found on higher end drain cameras used by professionals.
#3. Screen Size
If the screen size is too small, you won’t be able to see the problems in your pipes. The bigger the screen, the more expensive the drain camera. Wearing glasses or having poor eyesight means you may have to invest some extra cash to get an inspection camera with a bigger screen.
#4. Image Quality
Grainy images are hard to read. You might not be able to tell if you have pipe problems or not if the image is of poor quality. Higher resolution display images and video will cost you more.
This feature is standard in most professional grade drain cameras. Homeowners will probably find that they don’t need to be able to record a drain inspection and get away with a camera that just takes good quality pictures.
#6. Color Output
Whether you want black and white or color output is up to you. It really makes no difference in the ability to see problems in your pipes. Getting a color output just costs more money. If you’re on a budget, we recommend getting a black and white output.
#7. Cable Length
Homeowners really don’t need drain cameras with super long cables. Most mid priced drain cameras come with 25-50 feet of cable, which is plenty for inspecting you own drains. Plumbers and other drain professionals are required to inspect long pipes. Because of this most Pro level drain cameras will come with a minimum of 100 feet of cable, maybe more.
#8. The Diameter of Your Pipes
Professional cameras are built with thicker cables and more lights. This is because they need to use their cameras in commercial situations. They inspect pipe that can be over 10 inches in diameter. Homeowners don’t need this type of capability and can save some of their money. Get a drain camera that is built for the diameter of your larger pipe.
What to Think About Before Buying a Drain Camera
What is Drain Camera Inspection?
Drain cameras work for you to find things in your pipes that are not normal. You insert the long cable with a camera on the end into your drain pipe. The drain camera will have a video monitor output where you can see for yourself what’s inside your pipes. This helps you to detect any issues before they become huge and expensive repair problems.
When looking inside your pipes, you need to look for a few things. See if you can spot any clogs, breaks, roots, sagging pies or cracks. If you see any one of those things its time to call in the Pros for a repair.
Borescope Camera, Snake Camera: Are they the Same Thing?
Borescope cameras are another term for an inspection camera. Most borescopes are used to see in tight an narrow spaces where you normally can’t reach. You can rent all sorts of cameras at your local hardware store, like Home Depot. Click on this link HERE to check it out online.
Do You Need a Drain Camera? Is a Sewer Scope Worth it?
If you own a home, getting a drain camera is a great idea. Drain cameras are not super costly, considering the cost of a plumber. Owning a home means that you must inspect your plumbing on a regular basis. You can do your own annual drain and pipe inspections yourself, saving a ton of cash.
Shopping around for a home? You must get a drain inspection done. This way you can find some very expensive problems before you invest your life savings. If also tells you if the seller has been neglectful in their maintenance, so you might want to look more into the electrical, plumbing, etc., before making an offer.
Best Budget Sewer Camera
The best budget sewer camera that has all the capabilities you need to inspect your sewer lines and drain lines is the Anysun Drain Camera.
Best Professional Sewer Camera
The sewer camera used by the pros (and that includes myself) is the Ridgid SeeSnake. It is a quality product that works great throughout daily use. It is also the best sewer inspection camera that come with a locator.
If you want to save some money and still get quality camera with a locator, that may not be possible. Locators are expensive and are an add on purchase for the mid-range drain camera models.
Drain Camera Inspection: How much does it Cost to Camera a Drain?
Online, the lowest you can pay for a drain camera inspection by a Pro is about $100. This seems ridiculously low to us. This cost will change depending on the area you live in and the going rate for inspection services. The average price for a drain inspection is about $600. That’s more than just buying a mid range priced drain camera and doing it yourself.
Buy a Drain Camera, Save Your Cash
Compare that to the cost of the mid range cameras above, and you can get a camera for less than the average price of a Pro inspection. Then, you have the camera to use over and over again, saving you a bunch of money in the long run on annual inspections.
Does Inspection a Drain take a Long Time?
Drain inspections can take a few hours if you’re doing your whole property. This is because it depends on the size of your property, home, and the length of your drain pipes.
How far can a Sewer Camera Go?
That depends on the model you buy, because each one has a different length of video cable. The Pro models have longer cable *usually* than the mid priced models. Typically, a sewer camera can go anywhere from 100 to 200 feet.
Are Drain Cameras Easy to Set Up?
It’s easy to start using a drain camera within a matter of minutes. There isn’t a ton of effort to feed the camera and cable down your drains and then watch the monitor for pipe problems. These problems are usually easy and quick to spot without being specially trained in using inspection cameras.
Can Drain Cameras be Used Anytime?
You bet! You can do your own inspections any time of the day at no extra cost to you. It’s easy because you can do the inspections according to your schedule and not someone elses’.
Can You Rent a Drain Camera?
Yes, you can rent drain cameras by the hour at your local hardware store. You might find though that the cost of a two hour rental is almost the price of some of the mid range drain cameras we’ve listed here and decide to buy one instead.
When renting a drain camera, it’s important to carefully read and understand the rental agreement, including any details about the rental period, cost, and any additional fees that may apply. Be sure to also check the condition of the auger before you rent it and make sure you know how to use it safely and effectively.
Most rental equipment companies will require a deposit and even payment in full before you leave the store. They will also ask for a ID and a credit card. Make sure to ask about the rental company’s policy on maintenance and repairs, in case the equipment breaks down during the rental period and what they will do if it does break down.
Rent a Drain Camera!!
How Much Does it Cost to Rent a Drain Camera?
Click the link above to get the exact price, but it can depend on what store and what kind of sewer camera you’re renting. It can cost anywhere from around $100 to over $250 per day. Cheaper to buy one of the mid range priced models above and use it over and over again, every year!
How Do You Use a Drain Camera? How do Drain Inspections Work?
A drain camera сan loсate a рroblеm fast, allowing you to start your repairs without having to worry about getting someone in to do the work with a busy schedule.
Drain cameras work by feeding the fiber optic cable, either by hand or with a motor, down the pipe. Turn on the video before you enter your pipe.
If your drain camera has the option to record, start recording as soon as you feed the cable into your pipe. If you can only take pictures, do so every time you see something suspicious.
Don’t go fast when inspecting your pipes. Speed will only make you miss problems. Take your time and really inspect each area of concern. Note its location using your locator on your camera (if it came with one).
Otherwise, note on a piece of paper how many feet the suspected problem is down your pipe so it can be found again later.
If you don’t find any issues, that’s fantastic! But, if you do, don’t worry, you’ve caught it early before it became a super expensive emergency. And for the repairs?
The best drain camera, along with our words of wisdom and experience, will make sure that you save cash on drain inspections and have your drains in tip top shape all year long.
- Best Drain Camera Chart
- Drain Camera Price
- Pro Drain Cameras – Pro Level Prices
- Best Drain Camera – Mid Range Prices
- Best Budget Drain Camera – Low Prices
- Pro Drain Cameras
- SECON Drain Camera MicroSM 100’
- Best Drain Camera – Mid Range Prices
- Forbest Drain Camera
- HBUDS Drain Camera
- Best Budget Sewer Camera
- Anysun Drain Camera
- Best Budget Drain Cameras: Affordable
- DEPSTECH Borescope Camera
- Drain Camera Buyer's Guide
- How Much is a Drain Camera?
- Should you get an Expensive Drain Camera?
- Picking the Best Drain Camera: Which one do YOU Need?
- What to Think About Before Buying a Drain Camera
- What is Drain Camera Inspection?
- Borescope Camera, Snake Camera: Are they the Same Thing?
- Do You Need a Drain Camera? Is a Sewer Scope Worth it?
- Best Budget Sewer Camera
- Best Professional Sewer Camera
- Drain Camera Inspection: How much does it Cost to Camera a Drain?
- Buy a Drain Camera, Save Your Cash
- Does Inspection a Drain take a Long Time?
- How far can a Sewer Camera Go?
- Are Drain Cameras Easy to Set Up?
- Can Drain Cameras be Used Anytime?
- Can You Rent a Drain Camera?
- Rent a Drain Camera!!
- How Much Does it Cost to Rent a Drain Camera?
- How Do You Use a Drain Camera? How do Drain Inspections Work?