Human vision is somewhat limited when it comes to peeping around corners, into narrow pipes, and other obstructed areas. You’re probably familiar with the statement Necessity is the mother of invention and such necessity led to the innovation of snake inspection cameras.
A snake inspection camera is a camera attached to a thin cable that can be inserted through pipelines, narrow gaps, and other places that are difficult to see with the naked eye. The camera captures images which can be monitored on the screen by the user.
These plumbing snake cameras can be used for different purposes, such as industrial work, electrical jobs, plumbing, heating, or air conditioning work. They’re also handy for those working in maintenance, construction, and inspection.
Whiles these devices may all look pretty similar, they often have different features which makes choosing the right one a bit of a challenge. Here are three of the best snake cameras on the market today.
DBPower Endoscope Inspection Camera
The Endoscope Snake Camera from DBPower is among the best snake cameras on the market. The features are excellent and you will definitely use it again and again. It will serve all your maintenance and repair needs as well as any other jobs that might require an extra eye.
The plumbing camera snake has 3 MP of resolution and the 4x zoom allows you to see the details of the problem. This snake camera is capable of capturing both still images and videos and has a fantastic resolution as compared to similar products in the same category. The camera supports a TF card with up to 32 GB of storage.
The packaging includes hook and magnetic tips, a detachable monitor and the snake camera. The camera comes with your choice of a 3 m or 5 m cable. The DBPower Endoscope Inspection Camera is available at Amazon.com. The camera with a 3 m cable is about $130.00. With the 5 m cable, the camera is about $145.00.
- The 3 MP resolution captures decent quality images and videos, and the 4x zoom pulls every detail into view.
- It comes with a detachable monitor, connecting with 1.5 m unit to adapt to different work environments.
- Camera supports up to 32 GB TF card.
- Hooks and magnetic tips that come with it are a plus.
- It runs on four AA batteries, not included.
- TF card needs to be installed separately.
- The camera does not have a focus function.
- Lack of or no instructions at all in the package can be frustrating for a new user.
The endoscope snake camera from DBPower is a superb product. Everything from the camera quality to storage and the ease of use makes it the number one seller at Amazon.com It is definitely among the best snake cameras available.
With a depth of field of 80 mm to infinity, the camera can be used in work environments from 32 to 113 degrees F. This product will definitely make life easier for you when it comes time to do maintenance work or repairs. I would definitely recommend the DBPower Endoscope Inspection Camera as a good buy.
Depstech Digital Endoscope Borescope Tube Snake Inspection Camera Video DVR 3.5 DSNKJ007
The Depstech Digital Endoscope Inspection Camera is a quality product that comes with a 3 m cable and is capable of capturing images in JPEG format and video in AVI format. This device comes with a built-in LED flash light, and the camera tube features IP67 waterproof protection.
This snake camera will allow you to easily inspect under water, in gaps and holes, and anywhere else you may need to sneak a peek. It comes with accessories including a hook, a mirror, and a magnet to easily identify any issues. The Depstech Digital Endoscope Inspection Camera is available at Amazon.com for about $140.00.
- The camera is impressively clear and the company claims the product to be capable of capturing AVI format videos with up to 1280 x 720 HD resolutions.
- The camera diameter is 8.2 mm.
- The endoscope can be rotated 360 degrees.
- The product is only available with 3m cable.
- Needs four AA batteries and a TF card but are not included.
The endoscope tube snake inspection camera is really amazing with its impressively clear camera that captures high quality images and videos. It is a fantastic value for the price. The LED flash light works great and the accessories are plus points.
Potensic Digital Endoscope Borescope Tube Snake Inspection Camera Video DVR 3.5
The snake camera from Potensic is flexible, portable, and easy to use. It comes with IP67 waterproof protection and has been designed to access the narrowest of gaps and help identify maintenance, construction, plumbing, and other problems. The camera supports up to a 32 GB memory card.
The Potensic Digital Endosope Borescope Tube Snake Inspection Camera is available in three lengths at Amazon.com. The black 1 m cable is $129.00. The red 3 m cable is available for $142.00. The blue 5 m cable is priced at about $142.00.
- The instructions are easy to read and understand.
- LED is bright and adjustable.
- It comes with an adjustaable camera tip.
- It features IP67 protection.
- It lacks the ability to focus.
- Uses AA batteries and a TF card which are not included.
The device is excellent for the price, and I would definitely recommend it as a good value with the options of three cable lengths. This snake camera should meet your basic needs.
Bluefire Rigid Flexible WiFi Endoscope Inspection Snake Camera
The Bluefire Snake Inspection camera is an innovative modern device that’s compatible with both Android and Apple devices. You can connect to your device using WiFi eliminating the need for a cord and you can view everything on your phone using the free app. It has a 2 megapixel camera that produces HD resolution images at up to 1280×780.
The snake cable is both rigid enough to maintain its form as well as flexible enough to bend around most corners, but it could be longer – it’s only 6 feet in length. It’s also equipped with an LED light that’s designed to last for several years. Best of all it typically retails for under $50.
- The WiFi capability makes it easy to connect to any device
- LED light’s designed to last several years
- Compatible with both Android and IOS devices
- 2 megapixel HD camera
- The cable is only 6 feet long
- Rechargeable lithium ion batteries only last about 2 hours on a charge
Although this is an inexpensive option it does have some surprisingly impressive features. The versatility of a Wi-Fi connection and it’s compatibility with both Android and IOS makes it a good option for just about any home owner. The only real drawback is the 6 foot cable – you probably wouldn’t find this useful for industrial applications.
GirrafeCam 4.0 Rigid Wi-Fi Endescope Borescope Inspection Snake Camera
The GirrafeCam was designed after a lot of serious research into why so many plumbing snake inspection cameras performed so poorly in the field and it shows. This inspection camera is compatible with all mobile devices and you can connect to it over Wi-Fi.
What really sets it apart though is how well the cable performs as it travels through your pipes. It bends around corners with ease, but it always maintains its shape and keeps moving in the right direction until it reaches the blockage.
It comes with a 2 megapixel camera and it even has basic zoom capabilities to take a closer. If it wasn’t for the disappointing reach of 6 feet there wouldn’t be anything negative to say about this camera.
- Cross platform compatibility through Wi-Fi
- Industry leading flexible and rigid cable
- Basic zoom capabilities
- 2 megapixel camera
- Cable is too short at 6 feet
The ability of this plumbing snake camera to bend around just about any obstacle is pretty impressive. The compatibility with different platforms is also a big plus. If it wasn’t for the short cable this one would be up there with the best inspection cameras on the market,
It’s always helpful when making a purchase decision to understand some of the key traits you should be looking for. That’s definitely true when you’re looking for a plumbing snake with camera. These are handy devices, but only if they possess some key characteristics. In our buying guide below you’ll find a brief description of the features we think are essential in a good plumbing camera snake.
Flexible and Rigid
You might be wondering how something can be both flexible and rigid at the same time, but that’s exactly what a good plumbing snake needs to be. When you’re doing video snake camera plumbing you need to be able to work your way around corners, but still have your tool remain rigid enough to maintain its forward momentum until you find the clog.
So it has to be flexible enough to move around corners easily, but rigid enough to move through tight spaces with relative ease. Making these products can be challenging for manufacturers, but there are some good options out there that fit the bill.
Clarity is the Key
A plumbing camera snake can fit the rigid and flexible criteria we noted above and still be virtually useless in practical real world situations. If the camera on the end of your snake is fuzzy or has poor resolution it doesn’t matter if you can reach the blockage or not – you won’t be able to see much when you get there.
You need a snake with a high resolution camera, preferably HD, and one that lights the way well enough that you can capture a clear daylight quality image of what’s going on down there in those pipes. Fortunately, most plumbing camera snakes on the market these days have good quality cameras that used LED lights.
Size and Distance
There are different types of snakes and inspection cameras depending upon the job at hand. Most in-house plumbing clogs only require seeing a couple of feet into your drain as the clog is generally in that area. For exterior clogs the blockage may be 50 feet or more from the source and this will require an expensive industrial quality inspection camera snake – these jobs are normally best left to the experts.
As a general rule if you can find a plumbing camera snake that will reach up to 10 feet this will be more than enough for most household uses. The other thing you need to consider is the size. Most drain pipes are relatively small so you need a camera snake that’s no more than a couple of inches in diameter.
Understanding the Nature of the Clog
There are many different things that can clog your drain and so it’s difficult to say what will work until you know what’s clogging the drain. You might be tempted to think a plumbing liquid drain cleaner will solve the problem every time and an inspection camera is just a waste of money. Unfortunately, it’s not that simple.
A drain cleaner will break up simple clogs, but it won’t help you if there happens to be an animal in the drain or if you have some other relatively solid debris. In older homes your pipes may even be decaying and there’s nothing a liquid drain cleaner can do for that. A plumbing snake with camera allows you to see what’s really going, assess the problem, and decide on a further course of action.
All of the products featured in this article have some great qualities, but the DBPower Endescope Camera probably shades it over the others because of it really is the complete package. It comes with a quality camera, different options for cable length and storage of up to 32 GB.
As far as the other inspection cameras are concerned they all have some minor weaknesses. The Depstech is good, but it doesn’t have the range of cable lengths. The Potensic has a bit of a fuzzy camera which really hurts its appeal. As for the Giraffe and BlueFire both have short cable lengths, although we do love their cross platform compatibility.