There is practically no job or trade, both in the home and in the professional environment, in which in certain circumstances our access area is a confined space, where visibility and / or accessibility are seriously obstructed.
In these and many other cases that we will mention below, a inspection camera or borescope provides the ideal solution, not only because it makes the task easier, but also because it avoids us having to carry out costly disassembly work or resort to specialized personnel.
Although the trade has inspection chambers specially designed for work in sewers, ventilation ducts and various applications in the aeronautical industry, the simplest and most economical equipment can provide satisfactory results in a wide range of situations.
Only a camera with a long enough flexible cable (for example, 120 mm) is enough for a good range, provided with a powerful LED light in the head, a screen resolution of 320 x 240 pixels (or 640 x 480 pixels in models more complex that offer video recording), connectivity to a computer to view the images on our monitor and process, save or print them for later use and, if possible, include useful accessories such as a magnet, a mirror and a hook.
Some borescopesIn addition to these requirements, they have a submersible cable and head, which makes the instrument perfectly suitable for work in humid and / or underwater environments.
The multiplicity of uses of a Inspection Camera of these characteristics is notorious because it allows us to visualize, for example:
- Electrical and plumbing installations in inaccessible places (walls, ceilings, floors, etc.)
- Places behind or under objects that are difficult to move (for example, furniture, refrigerators, washing machines, etc.)
- Heating / air conditioning ducts or around a heat exchanger
- Inside pipes and appliances such as water heaters, kitchens, etc.
- Arrangement of cables attached to the back of computers
- Hidden losses and leaks
- Moss or other obstructions in storm drains
- Insect and rodent infestations
- Hidden sensors in a car engine
- Around corners or through small holes
- Recover small magnetic objects, such as nuts, bolts, washers, screws, as well as personal objects such as rings, small bracelets, jewelry, etc.
A Inspection Camera It is also extremely useful in welding, painting and general mechanics shops to carry out inspection tasks in search of defects, for example, surface defects, porosities, cracks, corrosion, burrs, delaminations, protrusions, leaks, loss of protective coatings, deformations and wear.
In this video we see some examples of using a boroscope.
The application of some of the uses mentioned above will allow us to appreciate more clearly the versatility of the inspection cameras. We must bear in mind, however, that none of these instruments is designed for human or animal applications, and certainly their use in these cases can be dangerous. With the exception, the possibilities of application in the industrial and commercial sector and within the area of institutional research, development, inspection, instruction or the work of artisans or mere amateurs, are literally endless. Let’s look at some concrete examples where an inspection camera will save us time and money.
Example 1: How to recover a small object that fell down the sink / bathroom sink?
The moment we see a useful object like a padlock key, for example, fall down the sink drain can be devastating. Calling a plumber could involve considerable waiting time and expensive outlay, especially in an emergency situation or during non-business hours such as nights or weekends. Rather, we can try to recover the lost key on our own.
Generally, unless it is a very particular construction, the drains of a sink are connected to the water pipe through the tube whose shape we see in the figure below.
In other words, that tube creates a “trap” or siphon, where our key may have been trapped. If the boroscope head does not enter the drain, we must remove it. If it is a metal part, we simply make a lever movement with a suitable screwdriver until it is removed. If it is screwed in, we use the screwdriver to loosen the screw.
Once we are sure we can access the drain hole with the borscope, we connect the magnetized accessory to it, turn it on and carefully slide the cable down the drain. As soon as we visualize the key, we simply direct the magnetized accessory towards it until it is attached to it. We turn off the camera, remove the cable from the drain and we will have our key recovered.
We just have to put the drain cover back and we will see how easy and economical it was to be able to solve a problem.
We can use a very similar procedure to remove other small metal objects from any other type of drain, for example, from the bathtub or a kitchen sink, from the patio, etc. or even a toilet or grates, thanks to the submersible characteristic of the cable and the camera head.
If the object is not metallic, then we can use the hook accessory, which is generally also included with the inspection camera or borescope.
Example 2: How to remove dead rodents from a ventilation duct?
If in our home or workplace we perceive a foul odor coming from the ceiling and it worsens over time, it is most likely that there is a dead vermin or rodent trapped somewhere within the ventilation / air conditioning duct network. It is not strange that these animals inhabit this type of structure, since they are cool in summer and warm in winter, and also, not only do they offer protection against predators, but they are also close to food sources within the home or place. of work.
Therefore, if we suspect that there is a dead animal in the pipeline network, a Inspection Camera it will allow us to check it easily.
We simply locate ourselves in the area where the smell is strongest (our first “inspection” tool, before using the camera) and with a screwdriver we remove the closest grilles. Then we turn on the borescope and we inserted the cable through the hole where the grid was.
We may need to try other locations and remove other grates. Finally, when we have located the dead animal, we attach the hook element to the Inspection Camera to bring the animal closer to the nearest grid. When it is within our reach, we turn off the camera, remove the cable from the area, put on protective gloves, and place the animal in a garbage bag. Finally we spray the area with disinfectant.
We can use this technique to also extract bird nests hidden in other ducts, gutters, drains or chimneys, for example.
Example 3: Why is it convenient to use a boroscope in a car?
Hobbyists and professional mechanics alike find an inspection camera very useful because they can thoroughly examine all the components of a car, either by directly inserting the head of the car. borescope in the spark plug holes, in the exhaust pipe, the radiator tube, etc., or by directing the head towards areas that are difficult to access, such as the lower part of the chassis or the sector of the dashboard below the steering wheel; All this without having to adopt uncomfortable positions or having to slide ourselves under the car.
With a boroscope we can inspect, among others:
- Valves to verify the corrosion, the integrity and the normal wear of the gaskets.
- Pistons and piston rings to check wear and losses.
- Welds, castings and any type of gasket, fuel lines and tank, as well as exhaust lines to assess their condition.
- Body and bottom panel interior for rust and damage.
What is even more attractive is that we can take images and keep a visual record based on those images, both for personal control and for, if we are mechanics, share it with customers, in a way that allows them to have a clear understanding of the repairs or necessary corrective measures in the maintenance of your vehicle.
As we’ve seen, these are just a few examples of how much we can do with an inspection camera. The panorama is broadened if our home is built with the drywall system and we want, for example, to install telephone wiring, Internet, a home theater system, etc. behind the walls.
To do this, nothing better than inserting the inspection camera through an existing opening, or through a small pilot hole in the wall made with a drill, to “see” what is behind the drywall and to be able to route the cables in the correct places , thus achieving that our environments are free of visible cables, safer and with greater aesthetics.
With these ideas, surely we will be able to extend the uses of an inspection camera to another great variety, determined mainly by our imagination and our experience.
If you are looking to choose the appropriate model, below the experts at DeMaquinasyHerramdamientos.com give some recommendations before buying a boroscope.