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I have a slow leak in a stud wall; I know it is coming from 1 of 3 pipes. I can replace any of the pipes without breaking into the wall; however I need a way to find out which pipe is leaking. I can access the wall from the loft, or under the shower tray. There are no cross timbers in the area of interest, so access is easy.

I feel that an inspection camera would help, as I own a laptop I see no point in paying for a screen so am thinking of a USB based camera.

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closed as not constructive by woodchips, Steven, ChrisF Nov 4 '12 at 18:12

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If your looking at using it again get one that you can replace the lens cover otherwise go for your life except for spending big $$ they are all pretty rubbish – UNECS Nov 4 '12 at 9:38
What exactly is your question? – shirlock homes Nov 4 '12 at 11:54
A better question might be: "how can I figure out which pipe is leaking in my wall?" – Jay Bazuzi Nov 4 '12 at 22:46
up vote 1 down vote accepted

My experience with some of these cameras is that they are OK for locating pipes, wires or other objects, but not so good at honing in on small details, especially with low light (like in your walls). Unless there is water gushing out, it is unlikely you'll see the exact location of the leak IMO. If you are lucky you might find water but that doesn't mean you will see the source of the leak (water can travel a long ways along pipes, studs, etc.).

The other thing to consider is that your laptop is not easily maneuverable - the cameras are pretty rigid so having a screen directly on the handheld part of the camera helps since you can move the entire assembly in every which direction.

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I was thinking of something like amazon.co.uk/Video-Snake-Inspection-Color-Camera/dp/B005TW5BL2/… so as to get a long lead to the laptop and to be able to drop it down the wall from the loft. Thanks for pointing out the problems with small details. – Walker Nov 4 '12 at 16:01
For $30, don't expect much. – Steven Nov 4 '12 at 17:25

You might call the local rental center and ask if they have something. If you just need it once why buy? An inspection camera is nice, but you might also be able to see what you need with a mirror.

Another idea might be to slide pipe insulation or split tubing over the pipes. This can trap the leak and guide it to where you can see it.

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I tried and failed with a mirror, partly due to having to access the wall from under a shower try. – Walker Nov 4 '12 at 15:53

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