Re: the recent thread on inspection cameras. I have different but
related question. I would like to be able to inspect my sewer line
out to the street - probably 50 feet or so total distance. I have
easy access to it via a cleanout plug. I don't really have any
problems with it right now in terms of clogs, but I am still curious
as to how good of a shape it's in. I am pretty sure it's cast iron
(the stack is) and 90+ years old. If there are incipient problems I'd
like to know so I can start saving up! I am thinking there ought to
be a reasonably cheap solution using a camera that hooks up to the
computer. After all a USB webcam that sits on top of your monitor
costs about $10. Can anyone recommend a product or a rigged-up
solution? I don't want to pay $$$ to a plumber or even an equipment
rental place. Yes, I am a cheap bastard. -- H
You really need to run the numbers as you are going to pay a whole lot more for
buying the equipment than it would cost you to have someone do it for you. That
said, this is probably what you are looking for:
50' of extentions won't be cheap though.
Right, sort of. That is a complete unit with its own screen for
viewing what's down the pipe. But, I am thinking there should be
something simpler out there that you can plug into your existing
computer. The computer supplies the processing and image display, all
you need is a camera and a light to illuminate what you're looking at.
USB cameras and flashlight-strength LEDs are cheap - so one might
expect this could be done fairly cheaply. And for this application
you also would want something - slides or rollers or something - to
keep the lens up out of the muck. But I suppose there is some flaw in
my thinking since my hypothetical gizmo is not already out there.
Look around at cheap security cameras. For less than $50 you can get
one that includes infrared LED's (you get a B&W picture in dark
areas). Mine came with a 100' "phone" cable that supplies power to the
camera and feeds composite video back (most work this way). You can
hook it directly to just about any TV made in the last 20 years or so.
If you want in on your computer, you'll need a video capture card. It
shouldn't be too hard to waterproof it. You don't need it to handle
Not perfect, but it will be WAY cheaper than USB.
on 7/7/2009 5:13 PM (ET) Robert Neville wrote the following:
I like this one better. Besides using it for sewer pipe inspections, you
could probably give yourself a colon inspection. :-)
You can probably rig something up using this $ 29 camera:
You could ductape the camera and a small led flashlight to a stiff sewer
snake. It needs to be stiff so that you can push it along 50' of sewer pipe.
Any old TV will give you a good image.
I have a slab house and wanted to know where all the pipes under the slab
are running. For $ 250, a commercial company marked all the pipes. Then we
looked down the main sewer line (100') to make sure it was clear. The black
plastic pipe was clean as a whistle, after 25 years.
Interesting and educational. The wonders of science!
On Tue, 7 Jul 2009 11:55:15 -0700 (PDT), Heathcliff
Take your cheapie $500 camcorder and charge the batteries well.
Attach 100 feet of rope to it, turn it on, and turn on the light.
Drop it in the toilet and flush the toilet. Do not let go of the end
of the rope. Let it go all the way down the sewer until you run out
of rope. Then pull it back out the toilet and enjoy watching a really
shitty video (literally).
By the way, if you can not pull it back up thru the toilet, be sure to
tie the rope to something solid when you go to call a plumber. You
dont want to lose 100 feet of valuable rope.
Well, then just dig it up, you cheap bastard. Other than that, SOME
companies do FREE inspections, or at least reasonable ones. You're dealing
with a big deal here. The first thing you need to do is get a good idea
what you're up against. And the way to do that is to put a good camera down
there and look at it up close and personal. What you see is what you get,
and you'll be sure about what work needs to be done. THEN, you can cut
corners on that with different ways to save money. Don't cheap out on the
Welcome to the CBC. (Cheap Bastards Club) If you qualify, then you can
upgrade to the CBOFC. (Cheap Bastards Old Farts Club)
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