Pipe Guides for SeeSnake Camera Reels

What are pipe guides?

Pipe guides center the camera in the pipe, improve picture quality, and help keep the lens clear. Use pipe guides when possible to reduce wear and tear on the camera reel.

Click on the name of the pipe guide you are using to learn how to install and remove it on a RIDGID® SeeSnake® camera reel.

Without pipe guide

With pipe guide

Star guides support the camera head through the use of vanes extending from the outer ring.

Star guides on a camera head


Star guides are held in place with two C-shaped clip rings.

  1. Select the size of star guide appropriate for the job. Star guides may be trimmed by cutting the individual vanes with scissors.
  2. Spread a C-ring open just enough to slip it over the hub of the star guide. Align the C-ring gap with the gap in the star guide.
  3. Press the C-ring into the grooved portion of the star guide hub.
  4. Repeat with a second C-ring for the opposite side of the hub.
Star guide and C-rings
  1. Spread the star guide and C-rings together and slide over the camera head. Alternatively, spread the star guide around the cable and up from the camera base.
  2. Release the star guide when it is in the desired position.
  3. Pre-stressing the vanes of the star guide helps make them more flexible during use. Bend each vane gently back and forth several times to pre-stress them.
  4. Once the star guide is installed, adjusting the C-ring so that the gap is at least 90 degrees from the star guide’s gap will help to prevent loss.
Pre-stressing the vanes on a star guide
Separate the star guide and C-ring gaps by about 90 degrees


  1. Slide the end of a flat-tipped screwdriver between the C-ring and the base of a vane.
  2. Pry or snap the C-ring off.
  3. Repeat for the second C-ring.
  4. Slide the star guide and C-rings off the cable.

Depending on work conditions, you can place a ball guide on the spring behind the camera to tilt the camera head upward to view the top of the pipe.


These ball guides use two retaining rings that hold the guide in place on the spring. Check to make sure that the spring is not over tightened on the camera head before installation. Over tightening the spring will cause the end closest to the camera head to rise, and may prevent the ball guide from sliding onto the spring.

  1. Pull the retaining rings outward with the tip of a flat-tipped screwdriver to unlock them.
  2. Slide the ball guide over the camera head and position it on the spring.
  3. Lock the rings by pressing them in once the guide is in position.
Ball guide on a Compact camera


  1. Unlock the retaining rings by pulling them outward with the tip of a flat-tipped screwdriver.
  2. Slide the ball off the camera head.


Locking ball guides are designed to slip onto the spring and lock into place without the use of other tools.

Note that if a ball guide gets snagged in a pipe, it can fall off the spring. To avoid losing ball guides, do not use excessive force to push through the pipe when you feel resistance.

  1. Make sure the ball guide is unlocked.
  2. Slide the ball guide over the camera and onto the spring.
  3. Press down on the blue locks to secure the ball guide onto the spring.
  4. Slide the red locks over the blue locks to secure the ball guide into place.
Locked (left) and unlocked (right) ball guides


  1. Slide the red locks down so they are not covering the blue locks.
  2. Slide the ball off the camera head.

The roller dolly can be used when inspecting pipes that are 1.4 m [4.5 ft] or larger with the SeeSnake Standard camera reel. The roller dolly is useful for long straight inspections such as in city service lines.

Roller dolly installed on camera head


  1. Pull the retaining rings outward with the tip of a flat-tipped screwdriver to unlock them.
  2. Slide the roller dolly over the camera head to the desired position.
  3. Press the retaining rings closed.
Unlocking the roller dolly retaining rings


  1. Pull the retaining rings outward with the tip of a flat-tipped screwdriver to unlock them.
  2. Slide the roller dolly off the camera head.

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