Homeowners are typically advised by an inspector when buying a new home of the various things that a homeowner should be prepared for. One of these is the potential hazards related to any backups in one’s sewage system. They explain how you should always keep your main sewage backflow free from anything covering it, but don’t explain how you go about diagnosing anything. Something that a camera at the end of a really long snake could accomplish. Like this Sewer Camera by Sanyipace.
Clearly, if you aren’t a professional, you shouldn’t dive too deep into trying to fix a clogged sewage system in your home. But that doesn’t mean you can’t at least investigate to see if it is something that can easily be remedied.
Not only that but this method can also be used to investigate just about any pipe or drain throughout your home (or business). So it isn’t just a one-time expense for major situations. It is potentially a tool of luxury for some simply looking to make all plumbing (or other pipe-related projects) a little smoother when it comes to really knowing what the problem is (or how far it stretches).
This model features a reel of 50M (164ft) worth of hardened/stiff snake that makes it easy to feed it into tight places. The reel is retracting in the sense that it makes it easier to pull it out as you are feeding it (you have to manually reel it back in yourself).
The reel and the screen/unit are attached. So the only assembly you have to worry about is plugging a few things in.
The screen/unit is tucked away into a Pelican-like protective case with two latches on the front. So while in use, you would tip it over onto the side of the reel, allowing you to open the case to reveal the screen and accessories inside.
The screen is built into the lid of the case with everything else tucked away into the main compartment.
It comes with a number of accessories to make it easy to use as well as to maintain it. This includes the camera tool that screws into the end of the snake. A power cable for charging the black/green box inside (battery/power supply). A protective cover for the camera. A silicone keyboard that easily rolls out and then back up for storage. A pipe pulley (unit with the red wheels) to make it easier to guide it down your average sewer pipe. A 16GB microSD card. Two small screwdrivers. Two extra o-rings. And a simple manual so you can learn how to use the unit, what it comes with, and how to maintain it.
As mentioned, the only assembly is hooking the wires to the small power supply inside. This includes power, video to the screen, and the snake/camera coming in. You can slide the box back into the case with everything attached, so it doesn’t have to stick out during use. This is especially important since you place a flat piece of foam over it for unrolling the keyboard onto (so you can actually make proper use of it when needed). The keyboard is used for taking field notes if being used by a professional.
The only thing that isn’t accessible when the power supply is dropped back into the case is the charge port on the side for charging the battery (and this is fine).
The camera attachment easily slides onto the end of the snake by screwing it into place. You want to do this every time that you use it so that you can safely store the camera inside when you aren’t using it.
It feels durable enough to take on most tasks and features a spring body so that it can easily flex around as you are guiding it to its destination. There are 12 small LED diodes running around the camera that help luminate the areas it is sliding around within, allowing you to capture clear images of what it is seeing. The light offers five settings of intensity that you can switch between using a small button on the power supply.
It (the camera) is also IP68 waterproof (water-resistant), so it can properly be used in wet situations without worrying about damaging it. It also automatically auto-levels the image so that it isn’t spinning around with the camera as it makes its way through the pipe.
Using it is as simple as turning on the power supply inside (small switch on its side) and then pressing the power button one time below the screen. You are welcomed with a Sanyipace logo and then it drops you right into the camera screen.
Since it has a built-in battery, you don’t have to worry about being near power. So professionals or prosumers can easily drag this around onto sites where power won’t always be convenient or available.
The microSD (aka TF Card) comes tucked away into a small slot under the screen. To the right of it are six buttons. Including Rec/-, Play/+, Menu/Exit, >/Photo, </Zoom, and power. These buttons are self-explanatory when it comes to navigating menus, zooming, or simply taking images or starting/stopping video recording. It’s easy to play back content to review it right on the spot and has a microphone so you can discuss what you are looking at for the notes (or showing someone else later on).
The reel will actually track the length of the snake that you pull out if you zero it out once you have the end of the snake at the start of your insertion point. As you retract it from there, it will start counting the distance of snake being used. Making it easier to tell the general distance the camera has traveled to any point.
Of course, we forgot to do this in our demo images and video since we had already pulled out the length we needed and fed it through. We remembered to hit clear, but the reel didn’t retract any further. So that mistake was on us. So remember to only pull out enough snake to reach the start of the pipe. Hit clear (this button is also located on the power supply), and then continue pulling additional snake out as you drive it in so that you will see it counting.
Thankfully, as we were playing with it, we did observe the counter moving on the screen. We just weren’t recording anything at the time.
In addition to it being able to track the distance traveled based on the retracting mechanism of the reel, the camera also broadcasts a standard 512Hz signal that can be traced using a handheld receiver/locator (sold seperately). This is specifically targeting professionals more than anything and a nice feature to make sure it is competitive to other units out there.
Thankfully, we didn’t have any sewage troubles to diagnose, so we tested it out by running it through a long pipe that redirects rain water underground and around/out to the front of one of the nearby homes. It’s a large property with many things the pipe protects by doing this (like multiple AC units).
This pipe can quite commonly become clogged since this is a desert region. So a lot of dirt gets washed through there and then hardens over time. This was used to determine where this clog began so that it could be properly tended to. We then ran it through a second time to see how well our efforts were and it showed that we were completely successful and could eventually see the other end of the pipe.
We were able to clearly see everything along the way, allowing us to properly access the situation and respond. Therefore it did its job perfectly. And we only had the light intensity dialed up to about two. So it could go even brighter than what you see here, which would have allowed us to see even further into the pipe on-screen (but we were happy with what we saw at the time).
With a $1.599 price tag, this can be a little pricey for most. So it really is targeting professionals and prosumers more than anyone else. Thankfully, there is a clickable $200 off coupon listed at the time of posting this on Amazon or there is a $100 savings via the company’s website.
We felt that it accomplished its task appropriately and worked well through all of our other testing of it. The build quality of the snake and camera are absolutely solid. The build quality of the screen/case is average as it seems to be 100% about function and not aesthetics.
Some might find the retractable reel a little awkward to work with when it comes to reeling it back in, but it can be done with one person. At no point did we feel that we needed a second person for this process.
The camera produced 720p videos although it is listed everywhere as 1080p. We didn’t find any options to adjust the camera resolution in settings, so the camera does appear to be native 720p and maybe the company had planned to originally digitally stretch it to 1080p via the built-in firmware. Even if this were to happen, it wouldn’t change the score any since it would still be 720p (either exactly or stretched into something else).
Having the built-in LED is helpful (and kind of required). So it’s good to have but also expected in the first place. So more of a check on a list to make sure it is there more than anything else. And it clearly passes this requirement well.
The broadcasting probe is nice for professionals that many would find to be quite handy when it comes to tracking the exact location of the camera. The included accessories feel
- Screen Size: 10-inches
- Records Video/Photos
- Camera Probe: 23mm Diameter
- Camera Leds: 12 (individual diodes)
- Battery: 4500mAh
- Distance; 50M (164ft)
- Distance Counter
- Self-Leveling (Camera)
- 512Hz Transmitter (for locators)
Are you a manufacturer or distributor that would like us to test something out for review? Contact us and we can let you know where to send the product and we will try it out.