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  • Where can I get training with seesnake?

    I am in Colorado and am interested in getting into the sewer camera business. Where can I get training? I don't plan on doing any repairs and would refer that business to someone else.

  • #2
    COLORADO INSPECTOR. TRAINING ON HOW TO USE THE CAMERA IS SOMETHING I'M SURE A RIDGID REP WOULD BE GLAD TO SHOW YOU ESPECIALLY SINCE YOU'LL BE SPENDING APPROX. 8-10 THOUSAND ON A GOOD CAMERA AND LOCATOR. THE ISSUE IS NOT THE TRAINING OF HOW TO USE THE EQUIPTMENT, BUT ON HOW TO INTERPRET RIGHT FROM WRONG. I TAKE IT THAT YOUR AN ISPECTOR. DO YOU HAVE A GOOD PLUMBING BACKROUND? ALMOST ANYONE CAN RUN A CAMERA DOWN A LINE AND TAKE PICTURES. THE TRICK IS TO BE ABLE TO UNDERSTAND FULLY WHAT IR GOOD AND BAD. THERE ARE LOTS OF OVIOUS THINGS THAT WILL STAND OUT. THEN THERE ARE THINGS NOT SO OVIOUS. THIS IS WHERE A GOOD PLUMBER WITH EXPERIENCE WILL BE ABLE TO SHINE. AFTER 8 YEARS DOING CAMERA WORK AND 24 YEARS IN PLUMBING IT STILL IS CHALLENGING TO FIND THE REAL PROBLEM WITH SOME SYSTEMS. A LOT HAS TO DO WITH FIRST HAND EXPERIENCE WITH THE SYSTEM YOUR LOOKING AT. YOUR TRACK RECORD WITH THIS SYSTEM. I KEEP RECORDS OF EVERY JOB DONE SO I CAN COMPARE THAT WITH MY CAMERA FINDINGS. 80% OF MY CAMERA JOBS ARE REFERRALS. WHEN I GO TO A JOB FOR CAMERA ONLY, I ASK LOTS OF QUESTIONS. SIMILAR TO A GOOD THROUGH DOCTOR.
    I USE MY CAMERA TO SOLVE PROBLEMS. NOT TO GENERATE NEW ONES. 90% OF THE TIME THE LINE NEEDS JUST A THROUGH CLEANING. IF YOU KNOW HOW FAR OUT AND WHERE IT IS THEN YOU CAN DO THE PROPER CLEANING. ALL LINES HAVE ISSUES. NOT ALL LINES NEED REPAIRING. MOST JUST A GOOD CLEANING.
    AS FAR AS LOCATING GOES, THIS IS SOMETHING THAT IS NOT LEARNED OVERNIGHT. ANYONE CAN TAKE A PICTURE. MOST CAN'T LOCATE ACCURATELY. IF YOU DO DECIDE TO GO INTO THIS FIELD, BE PREPARED TO SPEND LOTS OF TIME LEARNING HOW TO LOCATE. YOU WILL ALSO NEED TO CONFIRM YOUR LOCATION BY PROBING OR DIGGING. BETTER NOT MISS UNDER CONCRETE. GOOD LUCK, RICK

    Comment


    • #3
      My actual question is "Where can I get training on using and interpreting the seesnake system". I have seen several companies scope a line and render an opinion on what they are seeing. The person doing it did not have 20 years experience and was not exactly Einstein. There must be somewhere that a person can go to in order to learn how to operate and interpret. I realize that a plumber is not going to want to encourage competition and in fact I am counting on that. Does anyone know where I can get training? I fly coast-to-coast for different training now,so distance is not a concern. Typically, the person I am doing the inspection for does not own the house yet, but just wants to find out if there are broken tiles or roots in the system. I am just running the camera from house to main line in the street.

      Comment


      • #4
        I'M NOT EVER WORRIED ABOUT COMPETITION. I DON'T EVEN ADVERTISE. LIKE I SAID A RIDGID REP WOULD BE THRILLED TO SHOW YOU HOW TO USE THE EQUIPTMENT. AS FAR AS INTERPRETING THE GOOD FROM THE BAD, THAT COMES FROM YEARS OF HANDS ON EXPERIENCE. JUST LIKE A TECHNICIAN LOOKING AT AN X-RAY COMPARED TO A RADIOLOGIST. I THINK THAT YOU WILL NEED THE HELP OF A GOOD LOCAL PLUMBER TO HELP IN THIS PORTION OF YOUR TRAINING. MAYBE YOU CAN PARTNER OR BARTER FOR THIS HELP. MAYBE YOU CAN CAMERA SOME OF THE PLUMBERS JOB FOR HELP IN INTERPRETING YOUR FINDINGS.
        I WOULD LIKE TO BE A BRAIN SURGEON TOO. DOESN'T MAKE ME A BRAIN SURGEON JUST BECAUSE I ADVERTISE AS A BRAIN SURGEON.
        WHAT TYPE OF INSPECTOR ARE YOU? DO YOU INSPECT REAL ESTATE TRANSACTIONS? A LOCAL CITY BUILDING INSPECTOR? I'M SURE YOU HAVE LOCAL CONTACTS WITH PEOPLE IN THE TRADE. A GOOD PLACE TO START.
        GOOD LUCK RICK.

        Comment


        • #5
          "I have seen several companies scope a line and render an opinion on what they are seeing. The person doing it did not have 20 years experience and was not exactly Einstein."


          To answer this question briefly, there's really not much to operating the things. What exactly are you having problems with? Basically, if you know how to operate a VCR and can shove the camera head down a pipe, you're pretty much there!
          ;-P

          As far as being able to interpret what you are seeing, it only will come with experience or as the last poster said, by being shown by a competent plumber or drain guy. Some of what you will see (bellies, separations, blockages) will be pretty obvious, some of it will take some educated guessing. Also remember you can't really use these things under water, so if you have a separated line and it's blocked and filled up, it will be too murky for the camera head to send any kind of intelligible signal, the pipe must be dry.

          [ 05-26-2005, 12:23 AM: Message edited by: AZPlumber ]

          Comment


          • #6
            AZPLUMBER, IF IT IS AS SIMPLE AS YOU SAY. THAT ALL YOU NEED TO KNOW IS HOW TO RUN A VCR AND SHOVE A CAMERA INTO THE LINE, I WOULD DISAGREE WITH YOU 100%. LIKE I'VE SAID BEFORE. A CUSTOMER DOESN'T KNOW WHAT IS RIGHT FROM WRONG. I SURE HOPE THAT THE PERSON OPERATING THE EQUIPTMENT WOULD. THE FACT IS THAT 90% OF THE JOBS I'VE CAMERED ONLY NEED A GOOD SNAKING. I CAN'T SAY THAT ABOUT 95% OF THE OTHER JOBS THAT I'VE LOOKED AT AS A SECOND OPINION. ALMOST EVERYONE WANTS TO SELL A BIG JOB TO THE CUSTOMER. THE SMART ONES DECLINE IT AND CALL FOR A SECOND OPINION. MOST OF THE TIME THERE IS NOT A VIDEO TAPE LEFT FOR THE CUSTOMER. JUST A BIG CONTRACT PRICE. I'VE EVEN SEEN TAPES OF STOCK FOOTAGE, NOT EVEN THE JOB IN QUESTION. OUTRIGHT FRAUD. MOST OF THESE COMPANIES ARE OUT FOR SALES, NOT HONESTY.
            I ONLY HOPE THAT THE NEXT TIME YOU GO TO THE DOCTOR, YOU DON'T LOOK IN THE YELLOW PAGES. AND YOU DON'T GET TALKED INTO SURGERY WITHOUT A SECOND OPINION.
            YOU MIGHT NOT THINK WE ARE ON THE SAME LEVEL AS A DOCTOR. I DO. I TAKE MY WORK VERY SERIOUS. I'VE DEVOTED OVER 25 YEARS IN THE TRADE. NOT TO MENTION THE HUNDREDS OF THOUSANDS IN EQUIPTMENT, SHOP,TRUCK. I DON'T ADVERTISE, I DON'T NEED TO. OTHER CONTRACTORS IN THE TRADE EVEN CALL ME FOR THEIR WORK. EITHER CAMERA OR MORE TECHNICAL WORK.
            AS FAR AS USING A CAMERA UNDERWATER, YES I CAN. BUT THATS AFTER I'VE TRIED EVERYTHNG TO CLEAR THE STOPPAGE. I'LL COMPARE MY STOPPAGE FOOTAGE TO THE CAMERA FOOTAGE. IF YOU LET THE CAMERA SIT STILL FOR A FEW MINUTES, THE LENS WILL PROBABLY CLEAR ENOUGH TO SEE THE PIPE/ PROBLEM. ONCE AGAIN WITH EXPERIENCE AND KNOWLEDGE OF PLUMBING. NOT JUST PUSHING IN A CAMERA AND TURNING ON A VCR.
            THEN LOCATING, THAT'S A WHOLE DIFFERENT SKILL. TRY TO EXPLAIN TO YOUR CUSTOMER WHY YOU TORE UP THERE WHOLE DRIVEWAY AFTER THEY SPENT ALL THAT MONEY TO CAMERA AND LOCATE THE EXACT PROBLEM. YOU'LL BE SURPRISED AT HOW MANY JOBS I'VE LOOKED AT OR CAMERED TO FIND THE PIPE FOR OTHER SO CALLED CAMERA OPERATORS.
            HOPE THIS HELPS ANYONE THNKING ABOUT GETTING INTO THE BUSINESS.
            PS. TRY TO GET LIABILITY INSURANCE WITHOUT A CONTRACTORS LICENSE AND EXPERIENCE.
            MY PERSONAL EXPERIENCE. RICK.

            [ 05-26-2005, 01:39 AM: Message edited by: PLUMBER RICK ]

            Comment


            • #7
              I don't have any time this morning to respond to your post Rick, but I'll just say at this time i disagree with alot of what you're saying with the Seesnake, ESPECIALLY the part about seeing anything when it is submerged. You simply can't see anything when the thing is inside a clean out that is filled with sewage, unless you're houdini.

              I'll post a more comprehensive response later.

              Comment


              • #8
                AZPLUMBER YOU CAN DISAGREE ALL YOU WANT. BUT THESE ARE MY FACTS. NOT EVERY UNDERWATER JOB IS GOING TO BE PERFECTLY CLEAR. AS I SAID AFTER I'VE TRIED EVERYTHING TO CLEAR THE STOPPAGE AND COMPARED THE FOOTAGE WILL I MAKE A DECISION ON THE PROBLEM. NORMALLY IF THE CAMERA IS LEFT STILL, WILL THE STIRED UP SILT CLEARS AND GIVE YOU SOME KIND OF PICTURE. OF COURSE IT'S ALWAYS BEST TO HAVE A LINE THAT WILL DRAIN. THE LINE IS BEST CAMERED WHILE WATER IS RUNNING. THIS ALLOWS FOR FARTHER AND EASIER PUSHING. ALSO ALLOWS TO CHECK FOR GRADE AND ORIENTATION OF THE PIPE AND FITTINGS.
                ALSO BASED ON YOUR LIMITED EXPERIENCE WITH LOCATORS FROM YOUR OTHER PRIOR POST, DON'T THINK YOU HAVE ANYWHERE NEAR ENOUGH EXPERIENCE IN THE USE OF THESE TOOLS.
                PS. I OWN 7 CAMERAS AND ASSORTED LOCATORS. I'VE PUCHASED MY FIRST SEESNAKE PRIOR TO RIDGID PURCHASING THE RIGHTS TO DEEPSEA, THE MAKER OF SEESNAKE. NOT TO MENTION NUMERIOUS SNAKES , JETTERS, TRENCHLESS PIPE BURSTERS. I GET CALLS FROM OTHER PEOPLE IN THE TRADE FOR ADVISE VIA THE EQUIPTMENT MANUFACTORS AND REPS. JUST AS YOU HAD ASKED FOR HELP IN YOUR PRIOR POST, I GAVE IT TO YOU, ALONG WITH OTHERS. THE MORE YOU READ ON THESE SUBJECTS, THE MORE YOU WILL LEARN. HOPEFULLY YOUR AN HONEST BUSINESS PROFESSIONAL AND NOT OUT FOR THE QUICK BUCK. IF YOU READ MY PRIOR POSTS, YOU WILL SEE THAT I AM AN HONEST AND CARING PLUMBING CONTRACTOR. ONCE AGAIN I DON'T SPEND A DIME ON ADVERTISING, EVERYTHING IS FROM REFERRALS. CAN'T DO THAT IF YOUR NOT HONEST AND KNOWLEDGABLE.
                THE ORIGINAL POST WAS ABOUT TRYING TO GET INTO THE SEWER AND DRAIN INSPECTION BUSINESS. BY THE WAY I DON'T THINK SOMEONE CAN WAKE UP I DAY AND BE IN THIS TRADE THE NEXT DAY. I'M STILL LEARNING AND IT'S BEEN 25 YEARS OF FULL TIME NOT TO MENTION ANOTHER 6 YEARS OF WORK AS A 12 YEAR OLD.
                HOPE THIS CLEARS UP THE PICTURE YOU HAVE.
                RICK

                [ 05-26-2005, 11:50 AM: Message edited by: PLUMBER RICK ]

                Comment


                • #9
                  dear plumber rick,
                  I agree with you reg underwater inspection, it´s often quite possible.
                  I work in Iceland, and I need a seesnake, with batteries, 230 volts, they sell for 6,180 $ up here, I found one for 3,730$ a 93567 Seesnake Compact with 2 Batteries & Charger at HeavyDutyStore.com,

                  That´s expensive as well, but can you guys help me to get a better price still?
                  Are second hand to be trusted?

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    OLAFUR, THANKS FOR THE SECOND. AS FAR AS A COMPACT GOES THAT'S A LITTLE MUCH. I ASSUME YOUR TALKING IN U.S. $. CHECK EBAY. THEY SOMETIMES COME UP FOR 2000.

                    IN MY OPINION A COMPACT IS TOO FLEXIBLE AND DOESN'T HAVE RECORDING BUILT IN. YOU WILL HAVE MUCH BETTER LUCK WITH THE MINI SEESNAKE. THESE TOO COME UP ON EBAY. BOTH NEW AND USED. PERSONALLY I WOULDN'T BUY USED UNLESS IT WAS ONLY USED A COUPLE OF TIMES. THE 2 TIMES I TRIED THIS WERE BOTH AN EXPENSIVE LESSON.
                    IF YOU ARE SERIOUS AND WANT TO WAIT TILL FEBUARY. THEN GO TO THE INTERNATIONAL PUMPER AND CLEANER TRADE SHOW IN NASHVILLE, TENNESSEE. USA. THERE ARE MANY COMPANIES THERE THAT SELL CAMERAS. ALL OFFER A SHOW DISCOUNT. HUNDREDS OF DISPLAY BOOTHS AND 4 DAYS TO LOOK THINGS OVER. VERY IMPRESSIVE.
                    PS. YOU CAN'T GO WRONG WITH THE RIDGID SEESNAKES.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Coloradoinspector,

                      I assume you are asking about a sewer camera for doing "Home Inspections". If so your responsibility ends when you find a problem with the sewer. In other words once you find roots, ponding a crushed pipe or whatever you are done.

                      A good system for you would probably be a color mini seesnake with a toolcase monitor. When you are done you hand the buyer a tape and advise the buyer the sewer is in need of repair.

                      If you have a need for locating the Navitrack has almost a zero learning curve for sondes. However, I think as an inspector locating should not be important. Your job should just be to note the sewer is properly graded and free of obstructions.

                      If you were to get any training I would recommend finding a local plumber who you could shadow to learn a little about where to access the line and when to know when a fitting is going to put you in trouble. In exchange you could offer to refer any repairs to the plumber once you start inspecting sewers.

                      Mark
                      "Somewhere a Village is Missing Twelve Idiots!" - Casey Anthony

                      I never lost a cent on the jobs I didn't get!

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        TOUTAHNOW, SOUND ADVISE.
                        WHERE WERE YOU LAST MONTH WHEN I WAS CALLED "HOUDINI"?
                        WELL I GUESS I MUST HAVE BEEN. AZPLUMBER HASN'T ANSWERED HIS LAST POST ABOUT SEEING UNDERWATER. HE PROBABLY IS STILL TRYING TO FIGURE OUT HOW TO LOCATE INDOORS.
                        ONE CAN ONLY HELP THE PEOPLE THAT WANT HELP.
                        TOUTAHNOW, KEEP UP WITH THESE FORUMS. SOUNDS LIKE YOU HAVE SOME SOUND ADVISE AND EXPERIENCE TO SHARE WITH EVERYONE.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Plumber Rick,

                          Thank you for the welcome.

                          Those of us who have been lucky enough to be in the trades for some time have learned from our mistakes and the mistakes of others. The day I quit learning about plumbing is the day I will retire. It is also our responsibility to try and mentor those who are coming up in the trades.

                          I hate to say it but in a way the recent trend to use plastics and DIY materials has dumbed down the trades. There was a time when being a licensed contractor in California (and elsewhere) meant something. Today anyone with a pickup truck and a Yellow Page ad is a contractor.

                          Mark
                          "Somewhere a Village is Missing Twelve Idiots!" - Casey Anthony

                          I never lost a cent on the jobs I didn't get!

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            YOU ARE ONCE AGAIN 100% CORRECT. READ SOME OF MY OTHER POST ABOUT THIS ISSUE.
                            YOU DON'T TYPICALLY LOOK FOR YOUR DOCTOR IN THE YELLOW PAGES.
                            I STARTED WITH MY UNCLE WHEN I WAS 12 YEARS OLD. THAT WAS IN 1975. AT 18 I WENT INTO NEW CONSTRUCTION PLUMBING THROUGH A UNION SHOP. 4 YEARS OF UNION TRADE SCHOOL. I'M AMAZED AT THE LACK OF KNOWLEDGE EVRYTIME I GO TO THE SUPPLY HOUSE OR EVEN FOLLOW UP ON A PREVIOUSLY INSPECTED RESIDENTIAL JOB. (COMBINATION INSPECTORS). COMMERCIAL INSPECTORS, ARE TYPICALLY FORMER PLUMBERS. AT I TIME PLUMBING WAS CONSIDERED A SKILLED TRADE. SEEMS LIKE MORE AND MORE ARE IN IT STRICTLY FOR THE MONEY. LACK OF MORALS. OUT TO SELL YOU EVERYTHING FOR THE $. NO REAL SKILLS IN THE TRADE. IN AND OUT OF BUSINESS WITH NO LICENSE OR INSURANCE.
                            SOUNDS LIKE YOU TOO HAVE BEEN AROUND THE BLOCK.
                            RICK

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Plumber Rick,

                              It's worst than that. Earlier this year I spent a week at an ICC Code update where I sat in with both residential and commercial plumbing inspectors. We covered both the IPC and the UPC during the class. I was surprised at the lack of knowledge of some of the plumbing inspectors.

                              Mark
                              "Somewhere a Village is Missing Twelve Idiots!" - Casey Anthony

                              I never lost a cent on the jobs I didn't get!

                              Comment

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