As the majority of the sewer system is concealed underground, it can be difficult for you to pinpoint and locate where obstructions or leakages may be. Your best bet is to thread a sewer camera into the pipeline in order to get a better view of what's going on exactly. Professional sewer cameras can cost as much as $15,000 or more, so there's no point in buying one for yourself unless you're a plumber. Fortunately, there are many companies that allow you to rent sewer cameras at only a fraction of the cost. Before signing the rental agreement, look for cameras that come with the following 3 features. They'll make sure that you won't miss a thing.

Radio Transmitter to Track Location of Camera

It can be difficult to pinpoint exactly where the sewer camera is after you've already threaded it into the pipeline. After numerous turns and spirals, you might have finally located the obstruction underground, but that does not necessarily mean that you know where the issue is aboveground. To make your life a lot easier, rent sewer cameras that come with radio transmitters.

The radio transmitters are attached behind the camera, but close to the probe. It sends out a signal on a frequency that basically lets you determine its exact location using a locator. Make sure that the rental comes with the right locator as well. Some locators have electronic interfaces that allow you to not only pinpoint where the camera is, but will also let you know how deep underground you need to dig in order to reach the camera. These accessories can help you determine the type of workload you're facing should you need to perform any repairs.

Proper Illumination with Adjustable Lighting to View Crevices

The first thing you'll notice when you use the sewer camera is that the inside of the pipeline is awfully dark. You'll need a camera with sufficient lighting to get a good view of what's around. Generally speaking, the better the light source, the better the view you're going to get. Good illumination will help you get a good view of every nook and cranny inside the sewers to ensure that you won't miss a thing.

Some sewer cameras come with different detachable light sources. You want to look for ones that have adjustable settings on them. At times, brighter is not necessarily better, as the light might reflect off of the metal surface of the pipes or the fluids inside and create a glare. The adjustable settings will allow you to get a better view of awkward angles and positions.

Rotatable Camera Head to Get Into Small Spaces or Awkward Angles

If you want to be able to get in and out within a relatively short timeframe, you'll need to rent sewer cameras that are easy to use. This means that the camera head should easily maneuver around inside the pipeline and should get into small spaces and reach awkward angles with ease. Cameras that are rotatable and come with standard, self-leveling pan-tilt features work best.

If you've never used a sewer camera before, you might want to get some practice first before sending the sewer camera into the pipeline. Figure out how to move the camera around a piece of pipe first. It'll make your life a lot easier later on.


It's much cheaper and easier to rent sewer cameras than to purchase your own. Before you agree to rent any camera, take a look at the contract to determine what your responsibilities are and what happens in the event that the camera malfunctions or breaks down under your care.