DIY Repair Drives Design of EasyCAM Inspection Cameras

EasyCAM builds inspection cameras from a plumber’s perspective — easy to use as well as self-repair

DIY Repair Drives Design of EasyCAM Inspection Cameras

A user-friendly approach drives the design of EasyCAM inspection systems. Founder Rick Joy says he wants users to be able to self-repair the units when necessary.

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In 1998, Rick Joy bought his first sewer inspection camera. A few days after the purchase, he responded to an emergency sewer line backup.

After clearing the blockage and preparing for cleanup, he decided to break in his new tool. A few feet into the line, he noticed what appeared to be a ring. He retrieved it, cleaned it up and presented it to the homeowner. It was a diamond engagement ring from the woman’s late husband, and she happened to be preparing for his wake that very day.

“I never wrote her an invoice,” Joy says. “There are different ways to receive payment.”

So Joy realized the value of an inspection camera immediately. Joy, the son of a plumber who began helping out his father at age 10, also appreciates user-friendly tools designed from a tradesman’s perspective. That was the basis for him founding EasyCAM in 2007: to create an inspection camera that was easy to use and self repair.

Cleaner recently spoke with Joy about why he founded EasyCAM and the company’s approach to inspection camera design.

Cleaner: Tell us a little about the history of EasyCAM.

Joy: My plumbing company in Florida specialized in underground work. Plumbers in my area did sewer and drain cleaning as an afterthought. They typically had one cable machine with 50 feet of cable that was kinked and useless. Once I saw that, I decided to become the best company to call when an emergency popped up. We had all the toys — cameras, locators, jetters, cable machines, backhoes, a lining system, leak location equipment — and used them all on a 24/7 basis. In 2007, I walked into my office after a long weekend and found two broken cameras sitting there with repair tags on them. I remember saying to myself, “Here we go again.” I had seven cameras at the time. Shipping the cameras to an authorized repair shop was always a hassle, not to mention the expense and downtime.

I began thinking about designing a camera that was built from a plumber’s perspective. My idea was to build a sewer camera that a plumber like me could repair himself when needed. We experimented with a few different designs over the years. I eventually sold my plumbing business in 2015 and have been working on EasyCAM full time since. 

Cleaner: What differentiates your sewer inspection cameras from the competition?

Joy: EasyCAM is equipped with all the features you would expect to have in a quality camera system like a footage counter, self-leveling camera head, recordable monitor, 512 Hz transmitter, and Wi-Fi. Whatever you need, we have a model that will work for you. We also offer customized camera systems. We now have our own app, EC-WIFI. What truly sets us apart is the fact we have designed our cameras to allow the owner to do a repair if necessary.

Cleaner: Tell us about your best sellers and what applications they best serve.

Joy: We have three camera systems that can inspect from 1.5-inch to 12-inch pipe. Our best seller is the SL125, which has 125 feet of our midsize pushrod approximately 3/8-inch in diameter and has all the features previously mentioned. It is designed for residential use and only weighs about 30 pounds. It’s light enough to take up on a roof or fit into a crawl space if needed.

The SL200 is the top-of-the-line system. It has 200 feet of our heavy-duty custom pushrod. The pushrod is approximately 1/2-inch in diameter. Again, with all the bells and whistles.

The SL150 is a combination of the SL125 and SL200. It has 150 feet of heavy-duty pushrod but on a smaller frame. This camera is designed for 3- and 4-inch pipe and will have the cable length to do most home inspections. It’s a heavy-duty camera on a convenient smaller frame.

We offer the E75 and the E45, which are mini cameras designed to work in tandem with any EasyCAM you choose. The EasyCAM monitor powers the mini camera. With this option you basically have two camera systems for whatever size pipe you need to inspect.

Cleaner: What’s the philosophy behind development and innovation at EasyCAM?

Joy: Our philosophy is simple: Service after the sale. Our cameras are rugged and made for the professional. They are designed for years of trouble-free use. But we all know that sewer cameras will need service eventually. The EasyCAM advantage is that we answer our phones 24/7 just like every plumber who provides emergency service. We do not have many emergencies, but it’s nice to know you can reach someone in case you do. 

Cleaner: How do you see the drain cleaning and inspection industry evolving?

Joy: When I was young, it was normal for me to do six or eight jobs a day. I once bragged that I did 17 jobs in a 24-hour period. Our method was hit and run, do as many calls as you can. Back then, there were maybe 10 plumbers in any one area. Today there can be 100. 

I suggest doing the exact opposite of what we did back in the day. There is a lot of competition, and you need to set yourself apart. In my opinion, plumbers need to slow up and concentrate on the customer they are with instead of worrying about their next customer. If you want to keep a customer enthusiastic about you and your company, you must give them value for dollars spent. Leave the phone in the van and give your customer your undivided attention. The idea is to offer more needed service if a problem is identified. You can’t do that if the homeowner resents you constantly answering calls and texts. You want to give that customer every reason to call you back, not take reasons away.

Cleaner: What’s new for EasyCAM in 2023? What can customers expect in the future?

Joy: We took advantage of the pandemic and used that time to make many improvements to the camera all at once. My newest product allows a plumber to fix his own cable when it is cut or damaged. The new EasyCAM Re-Term Kit takes the mystery out of it. It is everything you need to repair a broken or cut pushrod. It cures overnight. We plan to produce a video of the re-term process. We broke the process down to a few simple steps.

Cleaner: What do you want your customers to think of when they hear the name EasyCAM?

Joy: I saw a need for improvement with sewer cameras years ago and with determination and hard work anything is possible. I am not an engineer, just a plumber who used this type of equipment every day and simply asked why not design something that is customer-friendly. I believe that most sewer cameras are fine until they break down. We decided not to hold the equipment hostage when a repair is needed. It’s common sense.


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