Customers are often shocked at the price of diagnosis and repairs for plumbing. To be fair, it’s much less fun to pay to fix a backed-up drain than to make an extra payment on a new car, but there’s a reason they need to call in experts!
You know what you’re doing and can save a homeowner thousands of dollars in the long run, especially if they call you in early enough to catch issues that prevent further damage. So while the price tag may not be anything to smile about, when homeowners pay for a high-quality plumbing job, they’re getting their money’s worth.
Sometimes, business owners fall into the same trap of not wanting to spend money on something with what seems like a huge price tag. Usually, it’s because the upfront cost won’t show an immediate return on investment. This might be the case if you’re on the fence about purchasing a sewer camera.
While not every plumber needs one, it will definitely give you an advantage in certain markets. If you do mostly new home installations, a sewer camera may not be something you’d find useful every day. But if you work in a lot of old neighborhoods or get called to diagnose clogs, backups, or odors in homes, you will probably see your business benefit if you invest in a sewer camera.
Advantages of Owning a Sewer Camera
Even though sewer cameras can be somewhat expensive, there are plenty of benefits to owning one.
- Gain customer trust: Just like a customer doesn’t expect the doctor to tell them what’s wrong at no charge, they shouldn’t expect you to tell them whey their basement smells like sewage without expecting to pay for it. Some customers, unfortunately, seem to feel that many home repair guys are simply out to get every penny they can. A sewer camera lets you show the customer that they really do have a problem, so they know you’re not charging them unnecessarily. Customers may also expect you to use a camera before starting on any major repairs, so not having one may damage your credibility.
- Accurate diagnosis: A sewer camera is one of the best tools for finding out the cause and location of a clog. You can always just run a snake and hope it fixes it, but a camera is the best way to see what’s going on and where. If you do have to dig underground to fix damaged pipes, knowing exactly what you’re dealing with and precisely where it’s located can save you a ton of time and grief. And again, the customer may want proof before they pay you to fix a big issue.
- Cheaper than renting: If you rarely work on the kinds of calls that need a sewer camera, you might rent one occasionally. If you’re not trying to expand your business into working more where you’d need one, this may be an acceptable option. If you’re trying to save up for a camera, though, and you keep paying to rent one, you’re probably wasting a lot more money on rental costs. It may be worth it to start with the cheapest sewer camera that will do the job so you can start getting more business with it, then saving up for a nicer one as you’re able. And don’t forget, it can be deducted as a business expense on your taxes.
When it comes down to it, a sewer camera is probably something that many customers will expect you to have. Not only can you diagnose clogs and find breaks in pipes, but you’ll be able to show proof for your recommendations and build customer trust.
We’d love to hear your thoughts! Do you think most plumbers need a sewer camera? What kind do you recommend? Let us know in the comments!