bore scope for liner inspection

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Ashful

Minister of Fire
Mar 7, 2012
19,908
Philadelphia
Hey, I know some of you have bought or used bore scopes for inspecting chimney liners. Any favorite models, or others to avoid?

Whatever I buy will likely also find use for inspecting drain lines, so probably aiming for a waterproof model.
 
I’d be inclined to tape an old phone to my cleaning rod. Second choice would the best reviewed 30’ Bluetooth with light on Amazon. I’ve had one in my cart several times. I do think the plumbing specific ones would be what I wanted to pipes but taping a Bluetooth one to a drain snake would work well enough
 
Just to add to this, I have been on the hunt for a used one but people still want $$$ for one that can record to usb. I would hop on marketplace and see if any of the local plumbers have an older unit up for sale near you. I have not pulled the trigger on one of the ones on amazon since the reviews are all over the place on ones under $500, and even the higher dollar ones still have bad reviews about them dying after a couple uses or getting waterlogged and not working or the self centering not working.

I have been keeping an eye out for a Rigid or something better quality but they are still $1,000+.

My local tool rental place hasn't fixed theirs for the past 6 months, I need to check my drain field to see how it is holding up.
 
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Would bluetooth work from (far) inside a metal liner? I suspect not...
 
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I've done the iPhone camera on a pole thing, in a chimney. But I don't think any of them that I'd be willing to send up my chimney are capable of focusing that short, to work in a 6" liner or 4" drain pipe.

I remember seeing some bore scopes that were really cheap, in fact someone posted photos or video from one on this forum, within the last 12 months. I remember looking them up on Amazon and the time, and being really surprised how cheap they were, but probably not waterproof.

I also have an IR camera I used to use inside wall cavities, trying to fish wires and plumbing behind ancient plaster walls in old houses. RCA jacks to plug into a television (old skool!), and it's only monochrome (because... IR), but it has its own 4-led IR light source, which is a bonus.
 
I've had this one a few years now. No issues, still works fine.

I made a little wooden disk with some holes (straight up and various angles), that I can insert the camera into depending where I'd like to look. I mount the disk on the end of the soot-eater rods so that I can manually rotate to the direction I want to look at. The disk also keeps the camera from touching the side of the pipe and getting "sooted" up.

I've yet to test out the waterproof rating. Only dry use to this point.
 
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I've had this one a few years now. No issues, still works fine.

I made a little wooden disk with some holes (straight up and various angles), that I can insert the camera into depending where I'd like to look. I mount the disk on the end of the soot-eater rods so that I can manually rotate to the direction I want to look at. The disk also keeps the camera from touching the side of the pipe and getting "sooted" up.

I've yet to test out the waterproof rating. Only dry use to this point.
Thanks. That's exactly the type of thing I was envisioning.
 
I've used the $15-20 version of the amazon one. 30ft cord plugs into computer via usb. Water proof as i put it down a drain line taped to a garden hose. It's ok but would be better with more light. Like taping a waterproof flashlight to the hose or pole would make the video clearer. i'd definitely think it would be fine for a chimney with some additional light.