Borescopes are made to be rigid, because hard use is what they’re made for, but they aren’t unbreakable. As a tool that’s used most commonly for industry and commercial applications, accidents are bound to happen. When this comes up, the borescope is rarely ever damaged to the point of no return, but you might be tempted just to get a new one because you don’t know that they can be repaired, but they certainly can in most cases.
Before continuing, it is important to note that only qualified and trained technicians should be tasked with the job of fixing any borescope. Failure to choose a professional will almost certainly result in further damage to the device. However, when state-of-the-art materials and processes are used, it’s a whole different story, and here’s why…
Types of Borescope Repairs
The design behind a borescope is pretty basic, and also somewhat complex. It is an optical tool that has a flexible or rigid tube with an objective lens on one end and eyepiece on the other end, which are connected by a relay optical system. You use it to get a visual on things that are behind walls, under other components, and so on. If you’re reading this, you’re probably fully aware of the many functions of the borescope.
So what can go wrong? Well, there are a number of factors at play, but some of the most common repairs include:
Factory Defects: This happens when there’s a problem with the unit from the manufacturer. Typically, you’ll know pretty immediately if this is the case because the device won’t function correctly under normal use. Most of the time, this will be covered by a warranty for up to a year or so.
Camera Damage: To fix the inspection cameras, the head of the camera with need to be re-terminated where it was compromised or broken at the pushrod. It might end up costing you a little in the length of the pipe, but the cost savings would still be a good bit, and most find it worth it to lose a little bit of the pipe and not have to buy a whole new unit.
Damage to the Probe: The probe is used when moving the camera around the inspection areas, and the tip of the probe moves by electronic or manual control. If your probe is damaged, it’s usually categorized as misuse, and repair would be a by case basis from most manufacturers.
Handheld Unit Damage and Other User Caused Damage: If the handheld part of the borescope is damaged, this might be one of the times where replacement is worth it, depending on the extent of the damage. Besides these factors, there’s very little else that can be physically damaged.
Getting the Repairs Done
Great, so now you know what’s broken and why, but there’s still this issue of where to even take your borescope to get it worked on. As it was addressed earlier in the post, don’t try to have at it on your own. First of all, if you do that, you’re going to void the warranty if it’s still within the period; even if you think it won’t be covered by a warranty, just have it checked out first. Which brings us to the point, you should absolutely take it back to the place you bought it from to have the borescope repaired.
The trouble comes when people buy lesser quality borescopes that are made from unknown brands and sold at a discount hardware store, or from companies that won’t stand by their products. That’s why it’s important to look into the manufacturer before you make the purchase and make sure they offer some kind of warranty, and have lots of information on their website so you know what you’re buying; this will save you a tremendous amount of headache down the road.
Bottom line: Having a borescope repaired can save you a lot of money, but you need to make sure you’re letting the pros handle the job. There may be cases where buying a new one is needed, but it’s best to let someone check it out first to make sure.