Updated: November 2017

Inspection Camera Reviews:

I had never seen an inspection camera in action before, that is until I had some plumbing and electrical work done at my house. We had to get in behind our shower enclosure - the dead space behind the wall. There were two options - either go through our master bedroom wall or try to go in behind the shower through the side wall. We were hoping to keep the sheetrock damage to a minimum so choosing the correct spot to go in was important. My plumber friend has an inspection camera and we used it to view the backside of the wall - after creating a small hole. They only require a small entry point and from there they can view quite a wide area inside your walls. With some plumbing that needed updating, we were able to find the easiest access point without having to tear apart an entire wall. Our final cutout was only about 16 inches by 24 inches - enough to get your hands into the wall with a small field of visibility. Many other professions use inspection cameras such as HVAC repairmen, electricians, mechanics, and of course plumbers. Anyone who needs to see what is going on behind your closed off walls with minimal hassle could use a quality inspection camera. Without using my friends, who knows how much of the wall would have had to have been removed to get access.
inspection cameras

Choosing an Inspection Camera - Inspection cameras should be long enough (at least 36 inches) to see around corners and underneath objects. You want the camera to be able to view things in tight areas - having a bright LED light for increased visibility is a plus. Dark areas in and around motors or HVAC equipment are a pain to troubleshoot if you don't have adequate light. The video or photos delivered by the inspection camera should be clear and good quality. The DeWalt DCT411S1 does both photo and video capturing on a micro SD card. The Bosch PS91-1A gets the overall best reviews from owners. Other brands are Extech, Micro, and Ridgid. Prices start at about $200 and go up from there. The Bosch sells for $300 and the high end Ridgid (with a 200' reel) costs upwards of $5000. For the average homeowner or handyman, the DEWALT or Bosch should do just fine. For things like leaks in your cars engine, there is no better way to diagnose where they are coming from than with an inspection camera. Just send the camera head down into the guts of your motor and get video footage. I know my mechanic uses one of these to quickly determine the origin of oil leaks. If you tend to do DIY plumbing projects in your home, an inspection camera will surely come in handy. Being able to see into tight spaces - where your eyeballs couldn't normally see - will save you hours of time in fixing or repairing pipes and plumbing fixtures. Inspection Camera Reviews - For the best selection of owner comments, we found Amazon.com provides plenty to look at. You'll get honest feedback from mechanics, plumbers, DIYer's and electricians on which models of inspection cameras pass the test. DeWALT and Bosch lead the field, but there are many to choose from. When all else fails, just ask your local plumbing store which one they recommend or talk with your mechanic and see what style or type of camera they prefer. You can browse the best selling inspection cameras online here.

Best Inspection Camera:

RECOMMENDED - Top rated by professionals and DIY homeowners, the Bosch PS91-1A 12V Max Lithium Ion Inspection Camera Kit with 36-Inch and 48-Inch Imager is a clear winner in this category. With enhanced optics that offer clarity and a bright LED light for increased visibility in hard to see areas, the camera is compact and easy to maneuver. Owners say the image quality is better than the DeWALT model. The kit comes with both a large and small diameter camera. Use the smaller one in tight spots and the larger one for better images. Whether you are fixing hard to reach pipes, looking for rodents in the walls of your home, or repairing a leaky spark plug hole, the Bosch inspection camera gives you quality performance. At close to $300 it is more expensive than some of the other competition, but experts and handymen say it's worth the extra money. The model from Solar Eclipse gets good reviews on Amazon as well. At $70 it's less expensive than the Bosch but still provides for those basic needs like reading the service tag on hard to reach equipment or checking for lint buildup past the primary filter in a dryer. The uses are endless.

Top Rated Inspection Camera for Plumbing:

RECOMMENDED - The model our plumber owns is the DEWALT DCT410S1 12-Volt Max Inspection Camera Kit. What he likes best is that the unit comes with an SD card so you can document both photos and video capturing right to your computer. Image quality may not be as good as the Bosch, but still it provides adequate coverage. The hook and magnet accessories are great for retrieving things like screws that get under refrigerators or hard to move objects. The 3 foot camera-tipped snake gives you easy access inside or behind walls and around corners. The camera lens is waterproof, but from reviews we read online, the imagery under water is not great. Good for checking the teeth on a garbage disposal, looking at AC coils in your furnace, or viewing sink connections under your kitchen sink where space is limited. I have borrowed our friends camera several times in the last year and I have zero complaints while using it for basic plumbing inspections of pipes.