The drain camera is more excellent in facing the blockage issue with your drain line than the sewer camera. This is because drain cameras have specs for that, such as a smaller diameter cable, more bendable cable, water-resistant camera head, etc. Compared to sewer lines, the drain lines have typical smaller diameter pipes and more tight turns, which should require a special and different model of camera inspection.
Make sure you realize that the drain line and sewer line are two different lines in a house.
Does clogging happen to your toilet sink, kitchen sink, and bathtub sink? Inspect yourself before hiring a plumber for that. Are going to buy a new house? Don’t forget to check the drain waste line condition with a proper tool.
When it comes to drain line inspection with a drain camera, it doesn’t start from cleanout like sewer inspection but from the sink, bathtub, kitchen, etc. As we know, the size of these drain pipes varies from 1.5″, 2″, and 3″.
Unfortunately, there are not many options to cover your need in terms of drain inspection. We only have 4 brands that produce this kind of inspection system: Ridgid, Vividia, Oiwaak, and Teslong.
Top 10 Best Drain Camera Reviews 2023
1. RIDGID 40008 Nano Reel Drain Camera [Best Overall]
Made in the United States, Ridgid-40008 is overall the best drain camera designed for professionals. Plumbers that run drain and sewer inspection services should employ this unit because it can get through the small pipe with tight turns, which can be the main challenge for drain inspection.
Advantages and Applications
According to the official site, it can pass 90-degree bends in most 1 3/16″ lines. So, this is the best drain camera for most jobs of drain inspection. Let this Ridgid do it for you if the sewer camera cannot afford that bend. You won’t believe that its push cable diameter is indeed .25″, which usually only exists on borescope. While its overall length is 85 feet (25 meters).
This is the tool for special applications with small diameters between 1″ and 2″ (1.9 – 5 cm), such as boiler tubes, supply lines, and sprinklers. If those applications are easy, the inspection through the toilet and sink trap will be handier with this Ridgid rod. Further, having the pipe with a 1″ bending radius, it’s okay with it.
This cable rod’s name is N85S. Nicely, it can be substituted for the other cables such as L100, L100C, and D65S (the larger diameter options). So, the drum can serve two different cables.
Camera Head with Sonde
Pinpointing the issue will be easy if the camera head has a sonde. So, in case you need to dig that area, you can exactly know where it is. Ridgid Nano Reel comes with a 512 Hz sonde in its camera head. But, when locating the sonde with a suitable locator, you need to turn to zero the LED brightness.
It’s expensive, and this unit doesn’t include the monitor system. But, its price is equivalent and convincing due to its warranty backup, which is a full lifetime. The Ridgid monitors that work with this Ridgid Nano Reel are CS6x, CS6x Pak, CS65x, CS12x (12.1″ display), micro CA-350, and micro CA-300.
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What does the CS6 Pak monitor look like?
The person in the following video is using a CS6 Pak (one of the monitor choices you can use for your Ridgid 40008 Nano Reel Drain Camera) and a Ridgid Scout locator.
What does the CA-350 monitor look like?
2. Ridgid 40788 Micro Drain D65S with Micro CA-300 Monitor System NTSC
It comes with a .33″ diameter push cable and a .86″ camera head. The total length of the cable is 65 feet (20 meters). So, in comparison with Ridgid Nano Reel, this model is slightly larger in cable and camera head diameter. For pipes with small diameter between 3″ to 1″ (7.6 – 2.5 cm), this is the right tool for that. The ball guide is also available to secure the camera head from scratching the
There is no need to buy the flushable sonde because the camera head is built-in with a sonde that transmits 512 Hz frequency. Any underground locator that can detect this frequency should work with it. According to the official guide, Ridgid SR-20, Ridgid SR-60, and NavyTrack II will pick this signal up to 10 feet.
For the display system, it uses a Micro CA-300 monitor but it’s upgradeable. Several available options you can choose from are CS10, CS6Pak Monitor, CS6 Monitor, and DVDPak2 Monitor. If you have already the monitor system, save your money by buying the cable rod only here (affiliate link).
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What does the Micro CA-300 look like?
3. Teslong NTS500 Triple Lens Drain Camera
Need to get the more advanced scope for toilet pipe inspection that provides high-quality photo and video captures? Are you looking for the best cheap drain camera? NTS500 is the third top drain camera based on our selection.
It has triple camera which is a must for high convenience during the inspection of small drain pipe. They help you ascertain where to twist the cable so that it can get through the curvy toilet pipe. Even, you may have the chance to find the leak due to its no lag image processing, bright flashlight, and video quality. Then you can take the photos. As our survey, many people have used it for drain pipes and the results are pleasant.
The cable diameter is .3″ (7.9 mm) and its length is 16.5 feet (5 meters). This length should be enough to cover drain inspection. The cable is metallic but bendable so it’s rigid enough yet provides great maneuverability. It is easy to bend and retain bending.
For water resistance, all of our choices on this page are water resistant. You don’t need to worry to use it for drain inspection because its probe/camera head is water resistant conforming IP67 rating which means able to sink into water.
This NTS500 is a great choice for professionals that need a budget-friendly tool but provides great functionality. It can work for 5-6 hours of operation. You may need a power bank if you have to employ it for a day. Its sturdy and great carrying case will save the camera system and be ready to use for the next duty. Nicely, it can serve as other inspection tools such as for automotive and even sewer inspection.
4. Vividia VA-450 Articulating Drain Camera
It has an articulating camera head, extreme small camera head diameter which is .21″ (5.5 mm), 1 m long cable, better camera resolution, hook tip to pull fallen objects into the drain pipe, a magnetic tip to reach ferrous objects, and remove it from that place, and side-view mirror for more complete vision.
Due to its shortest focal focus of 1.5 cm and the bending that takes only 1.5″, what is inside the 2.5″ and 3″ pipes can be seen perpendicularly. In other words, it can be clearly seen through this camera.
5. Teslong MS450 Triple Lens Camera Inspection
Dual-lens camera should not be sufficient to view what is inside the drain. You can use Teslong MS450 triple lens borescope. Though it’s triple lens, its price is nice to check out which is about 100 bucks only.
It has two side cameras and a single main camera. So, both the right and left conditions of the pipes will be viewed in a better way and easier to do.
It’s great for small pipes as the camera head diameter is only .3″ (7.9 mm); surely the cable diameter is smaller as you look at the image. Along with the side camera that has a focal focus of .6″ – 1.2″, you should manage to see the wall condition of the lines up to a distance of 16.5 feet.
And surely, because the camera head is rated with IP67 water resistance, it’s not only your budget-friendly drain camera but also for other inspection of tiny space conditions such as for engines. This IP 67 rating allows the camera head to be immersed, and it will work fine. But, the monitor seems not that water-resistant. It only withstands splash water such as rain.
Rechargeability, hook tip, and magnetic tip are the other things that make it more interesting to check out the price through the following buy button.
6. Teslong TSMS450 Dual Lens [50 feet long]
Oiiwak 006USBK is a two-lens drain camera inspection that comes with more complete capabilities to cover more serious issues with your drain piping. And fortunately, it is relatively pretty affordable for its class.
Surely, its camera head is water-resistant meeting the IP67 rating, the monitor is water-resistant as well, small size probe which is .31″ (8 mm) that fits for small tight spaces, and has an extra side view camera.
Maybe, you are facing a problem that is a little tricky to do, in which you require a longer cable for that. Teslong TSMS450 comes with 50 feet cable length that will snake into it. To rescue the fallen ring, the hook and magnetic tip will be helpful to pull it. It’s rechargeable anytime. If the battery needs to be replaced, take advantage of the 18-month warranty.
Other information about its screen specs can be read through the following button link:
7. Oiiwak 006USBK Single Lens Inspection Camera [Cheapest Choice with 11.5 Ft Cable]
With this camera, you get an IP67 water-resistant camera head with a .21″ diameter, which is suitable for getting into your sink piping. Is your ring falling into the sink? Don’t worry! It comes with accessories such as a magnetic tip and a hook to help you pull it out.
If you want to inspect your clogged sink, maybe there are hairs, mineral buildups, or other wastes, you can use this device with a little extra effort. As it comes with a single camera, the side mirror accessory can do the side-view for you. For maximum reach, it has an 11.5 feet (3.5 meters) cable length.
8. Vividia VA-150 Articulating Camera
The nice things about the Vividia borescope are its articulating camera head and water resistance. It’s not easy to find articulating camera that is water resistant. This ability lets you easily navigate the head when it’s sneaking along the line and everything is safe from water ingress.
It has 80 cm long cable, 6.0 mm small camera head diameter, IP67 rating camera head, and 2.7″ TFT LCD monitor. To articulate the camera, you can turn right and left the knob between the monitor and cable.
The best application of this tool is for short-distance inspections such as sink and toilet lines. Its articulating helps you direct the camera right to the area you are thinking is leaking. For homeowners that want to check how their toilet and kitchen sink are actually happening, maybe this scope can help. We include this model because of its pretty affordable price.
9. Vividia Ablescope VA-980
This model has a 31″ (about 80 cm) cable length, able to pass a 30mm bending radius, and a 8.5 mm small camera head. The nice thing about this scope is its articulating camera. You can control the camera head to bend right and left. So, passing through the toilet sink becomes easier because you can stir the camera.
This is actually for car engine application, but because it’s water-resistant, we consider it’s able to help you.
For the monitor, you can connect it with an external device based on Windows, macOS, at least Android 4.0, and Chromebook.
The drawback of this model is no detailed information that we found about its IP rating. So, it is risky to use it for some applications that force the camera to be immersed. Aside from that, its connection is only via USB 2.0, which its speed may not be so pleasant for you. But, for small inspection, we see it is considerable to check.
10. ViVidia AbleScope VA-800
Vividia VA-980 is the upgraded option of VA-980. It comes with an IP65 rating water resistance that will withstand the water flush from the toilet. IP 65 rating means it is able to withstand the water jet. So, as long as the camera is not immersed, this tool is suitable for that.
The same with VA-980, it doesn’t come with a built-in monitor. You can see what it is capturing through your device via OTG cable.
Its camera head diameter is 8.5 mm and the cable length is 31.5″ (80 cm).
Things to Considering Buying Drain Camera
Buying a drain camera is actually buying the inspection camera. But you cannot buy any inspection camera for this purpose. You have to consider its specs such as camera head diameter, water resistance, cable length, cable diameter, and cable bending capability. The rest spec can be the secondary consideration.
1. Water Resistance
To ability to withstand the water ingression is critical for such a job drain diagnostic. The best way to know that your tool is water-resistant is through the IP rating label. It should have at least IP67. The number “7” means it can be immersed under 1 meter of water and works okay.
However, you have to be careful because the monitor can be IP rated but the camera head is not. The best practice is to have both come with IP rating specs.
If it’s only IP65, it’s not really reliable to sink underwater, risking your money by doing something wrong.
2. Camera Head Diameter
If the camera head is too large, it can be an obstacle when pushing the cable rod. As the drain line has small diameter piping, you need the small one. The size of the drain pipes (toilet drain pipe, laundry sink, bathtub drain pipe, kitchen sink, etc) can be 1.5″, 2″, and 3″ in diameter. So, focus on finding a smaller camera head than this size.
3. Cable Length
Cable rod length can be critical as well, especially when you have to extend the search. For professionals, the long cable is a must so that you can diagnose properly. So, don’t forget to check it when buying.
4. Cable Diameter
Most of the time, the cable diameter is always smaller than the camera head diameter. So, it should not be a huge problem for you. But, small diameter doesn’t always good. The rigidity can be a pretty unhappy experience of running the cable. As it’s too small, it may be not rigid enough, ending up more effort to stir the camera.
5. Bendable Cable up to 90 degree
The last decisive factor to select the best drain camera is the bendable cable. At least it can bend 90 degrees, and everything works as it should be. The turns of pipe in the drain line are not as simple as the sewer drain, for example, P-traps, S-traps, and toilet pipes to name a few. You also have to realize the bending radius of your drain pipes. Some cables have restrictions to bend at a certain radius. Forcing it will harm it and cause damage.
6. Other Functionality
Monitors, lighting, accessories such as magnetic tip, hook tip, side view mirror, double camera for side view, triple camera for two side view, screen size, photo and video resolution, transferrable photo and videos, memory card slot, connection (wireless or wired), rechargeable, warranty, carrying case, and many more can be important factors for you. That depends on your need.
So, is it a beautiful day to find this page? Is your search getting a little shortcut to deciding what best drain camera that is perfect for you? We are glad to collect the above choices for you. They are from various levels of functionality.
The best overall is surely the Ridgid Nano Reel [#1]. This choice should be for professionals. Its cable is only .25″ in diameter accompanied by 85 feet (25 m) in length which is absolutely amazing. This typical tiny diameter cable is usually found on borescopes that only provide short cable.
The second choice is from the same brand which is Ridgid Micro Drain [#2]. This model has slightly large diameter cable rod compared to Ridgid Nanor Reel. But, it is able to push down to toilet and sink pipes.
Teslong NTS500 [#3] is the best cheap drain camera in our version. This is the choice for homeowners that want to diagnose the line themself before calling a plumber. It has a pretty long cable rod (16.5 feet) with tiny probe. Also, this model has a chance to search for leakage inside the wall. As it has two side-view cameras with good focal focus, any crack inside the pipe may be seen.