October 21, 2021

Professional Tool Reviews for Pros

Milwaukee M18 Pipeline Inspection System

Milwaukee M18 Plumbing Inspection System

Milwaukee Brings Modular Design to Plumbing Inspection

Milwaukee is introducing major improvements to plumbing inspection with the M18 battery as its power source. The Milwaukee M18 Pipeline Inspection System is a modular system designed to make inspection easier to use and see.

Because of its modular nature, there’s just one control/recording system to learn, it’s easy and cost-effective to add more pieces, and you simply have fewer models to root through as you try to decide which product is best.

Control Hub

At the heart of the system is Milwaukee’s IP54-rated Control Hub. Weighing about 4 pounds, it’s capable of detaching and moving to other reels without breaking its connection to the monitor you’re using.

Milwaukee M18 Plumbing Inspection System Control Hub

Data storage is on the Control Hub with an impressive 500GB of capacity. You can transfer the videos and photos with the built-in wifi or onto a USB stick.

One very cool feature is that Milwaukee gives you the ability to hot-swap your battery. There’s a smaller lithium-ion battery in the Control Hub that lets you switch batteries without losing your connection or recording.

Next to the power button, there’s a zero-out button so you can easily track the camera’s distance down the line.

One-Key is also built into this unit. There are no custom controls to work with, but as one of the most-stolen tools on a plumber’s van, tracking and inventory management are incredibly valuable.

One-Key Enabled


Milwaukee’s self-leveling camera is a big upgrade for a couple of reasons. First, they’re using a digital connection instead of analog.

That leads to more practical upgrade—1080P HD viewing. Thanks to a true HD picture, it introduces the ability for a left/right pan and 4x digital zooming without getting completely pixelated.

Milwaukee M18 Wireless Monitor 2971-20

Built-in wifi forms a wireless connection from the camera to the M18 wireless monitor. Thanks to using wifi instead of Bluetooth, the range reaches out to a max of 200 feet and you can connect multiple monitors.

Milwaukee M18 Wireless Monitor

Multiple-monitor and tablet/smartphone capabilities are particularly helpful when letting your client see what’s going on without having them stand right next to you. To use a tablet or phone, simply download Milwaukee’s Pipeline Inspection app and connect to the Contol Hub’s wifi signal.

Milwaukee M18 Plumbing Inspection System and Wireless Monitor

Milwaukee’s 8-inch, 800 x 600-pixel monitor is much more rugged than standard tablets. It features overmold around the edges and a sunshield. It’s not a touchscreen, but it does have backlit hard keys and a dial to select options on the screen.

Through the monitor, you can record video, take photos, adjust the LED brightness on the camera, add audio, and even trim your videos. You can share those files via email or Airdrop directly from the monitor. If you choose to use a tablet or phone instead, all of the same functions are there.

The monitor uses an M18 battery for power or you can connect it to the Control Hub via USB-C cable and use its battery.

Like the Control Hub, the monitor includes One-Key.


There are two drum reels available—120 feet or 200 feet. The shorter one is appropriate for 2 – 6-inch pipes and the larger handles 3 – 10-inch pipes.

Milwaukee M18 Plumbing Inspection System

The designs are slightly different to match the size and weight you’re working with. Here’s a quick breakdown:

Milwaukee M18 120-Foot Pipeline Inspection System 2973-22

  • 25mm IP67-rated 1080P camera
  • 10mm push cable
  • Slip-resistant rubber grips
  • Capable of sitting on its back for use on roofs and slopes
  • Monitor/tablet mount adapter
  • Carries via top handle or backpack straps
  • Small land medium size skids included
  • Sonde frequency: 512Hz, 640Hz, 33kHz
  • Line trace frequency: 33kHz, 83kHz
  • Weight: 35.6 pounds with battery

Milwaukee M18 200-Foot Pipeline Inspection System 2974-22

  • 34mm IP67-rated 1080P camera
  • 12mm push cable
  • Wide wheelbase with telescoping handle
  • Monitor/tablet mount adapter
  • Small land medium size skids included
  • Sonde frequency: 512Hz, 640Hz, 33kHz
  • Line trace frequency: 33kHz, 83kHz
  • Weight: 57.6 pounds with battery


Milwaukee packs the system with two 5.0Ah batteries—one for the Control Hub and one for the monitor. Your runtime varies depending on how you’re using it, but expect at least 8 hours out of both the Hub and monitor.

Milwaukee Pipeline Inspection Software

There’s a difference between Milwaukee’s Pipeline Inspection App on a tablet and the Pipeline Inspection Software. Here’s a quick glance at them side-by-side:


  • Table/smartphone-based replacement for the Monitor
  • Maximizes image quality
  • View live video
  • Record/capture video and images
  • Trim video
  • Save directly to mobile device
  • Access saved jobs on the Control Hub
  • 200-foot max wireless range


  • Computer-based
  • Extract jobs from the Control Hub wirelessly or via USB-C cord
  • Build and save PDF reports
  • Upload to videos to YouTube
  • Cannot be used for viewing, recording, or editing

Milwaukee M12 Pipeline Locator

When it’s time to dig, Milwaukee’s M12 Pipeline Locator takes center stage with its dual omni-directional antennas. It can track a sonde up to 20 feet deep. A 4.3-inch color screen gives you a directional arrow and distance to target on a map-style display.

Milwaukee M12 Pipeline Locator

The locator uses industry-standard locating technology and frequencies, so it’s compatible with other brands’ sondes and you can locate Milwaukee’s sonde with other brands’ locators.

Milwaukee M12 Pipeline Locator

This one uses an M12 battery for power instead of an M18 pack. Expect to get around 9 hours of use out of the 1.5Ah battery that comes in the kit.

  • Sonde frequency: 512Hz, 640Hz, 33kHz
  • Line trace frequency: 33kHz, 83kHz
  • Power frequency: 50Hz, 60Hz
  • Length: 32.5 inches
  • Weight: 5.25 pounds with battery

Additional Accessories

  • Grounding stake for line transmitting features (included in System options)
  • Camera skids that mount onto the camera springs (included in both System and bare Reel options)
  • Optional tablet mount 48-53-2970

Milwaukee M18 Pipeline Inspection System Price

The Milwaukee M18 Pipeline Inspection System comes as both full system and reel-only SKUs. Here’s what the pricing structure looks like:

  • 2973-22 120-Foot System: $6500
  • 2973-20 120-Foot Reel Only: TBA
  • 2974-22 200-Foot System: $9300 – $9500
  • 2974-20 120-Foot Reel Only: TBA
  • 2970-20 M18 Control Hub: TBA
  • 2971-20 M18 Wireless Monitor: $1500
  • M12 Locator: $2500

Head over to Milwaukee’s website for more information!

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