Your Customers’ Drain Problems: Seeing Is Believing

Why a pipe inspection camera is a must when you’re talking to customers with drain issues
Your Customers’ Drain Problems: Seeing Is Believing
Gene Morris of Jarvis Septic & Drain explains his procedure to a customer.

Interested in Plumbing?

Get Plumbing articles, news and videos right in your inbox! Sign up now.

Plumbing + Get Alerts

Gene and Kathy Morris found that adding a pipe inspection camera to their business earned them extra credibility with customers. But they also say it’s the coolest tool on the truck.

They added drain cleaning services to their septic pumping business, Jarvis Septic & Drain of Seville, Ohio, in 1994. One of the first pieces of equipment they bought was a pipe inspection video camera. Gene says they were early adopters of the emerging technology.

“It does a couple things,” he says. “The camera gives us the ability to visualize what we always thought was going on in the sewer line anyway. And then it takes it one step further and gives us credibility with the customer when we say ‘you’ve got tree roots here,’ or ‘you’ve got an offset tile.’”

That first camera was a SeeSnake from RIDGID. Since then, camera technology has come a long way and Morris recently purchased two updated models. Two years ago, he bought the RIDGID SeeSnake Plus camera with a 325-foot reach. He liked the fact that it boasted a color display, but he says the best feature is that it’s self-leveling.

“The camera is on a weighted swivel, so no matter which way the cable twists, the image is always correct,” he says. “The homeowner can look at the screen without twisting their head sideways trying to get the correct perspective.”

That unit is limited to 3-inch pipe, though. Last summer, when Morris was trying to fix a swimming pool problem and needed something smaller, he borrowed a competitor’s mini camera. But he soon realized even that camera wasn’t small enough, which gave him the excuse he needed to buy a tool he’d been after for a while: the RIDGID SeeSnake nanoReel camera.

“The head is 5/8-inch, so on a straight shot you could literally run the thing in a 3/4-inch-diameter pipe,” he says. Morris added that the nanoReel is also a color camera, but is not self-leveling.

“I think the camera is the coolest tool on the truck,” Morris says. “Almost everybody’s running color now, but not everybody’s running the self-leveling, so I think that gives us a little edge.”

Read more about Jarvis Septic & Drain in this month’s issue of Pumper magazine.


Comments on this site are submitted by users and are not endorsed by nor do they reflect the views or opinions of COLE Publishing, Inc. Comments are moderated before being posted.