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Ask the Drain Brains

Over the 85 years of helping plumbers, drain cleaning specialists, and maintenance people, our customer service staff has collected tips to avoid various problems, tricks to get out of jams, hints on the right tool for the right job, and so on.

The following is a selection of some of those hints and tips. If you have a new one to add, feel free to call or e-mail us. We'll add your suggestion to the list. If you can't find the answer to your drain cleaning problem, call 800-245-6200 or 412-771-6300 or ask the Drain Brains.

Ask the Drainbrains

Hints and Tips
  • It is often helpful to have a small stream of water running in the line to wash cuttings away while cable machine is in operation.

  • Some users mix their cutters on certain jobs. For instance, they use one 2" Side Cutter Blade with one 4" Side Cutter Blade. This combination is especially good when working through 4" P-Traps.

  • When using the Kinetic Water Ram in a toilet partially blocked by an object like a tooth brush, loosely wad up a double page of newspaper and stuff it into the bowl. When the Ram is fired, the balled-up news- paper will break up the blockage and clear the line.


  • When using a gasoline engine machine, if it starts belching smoke, it may only be oil in the carburetor caused by tipping the machine on its side. Be careful not to tip the machine when loading it into your truck.

  • If you appear to have a pressure drop on your water jet, check the nozzles first. A slightly worn nozzle can cause significant pressure loss. Always use steel nozzles as they will last a lot longer than brass nozzles.

  • To get maximum service from your cables, be sure they are well oiled. Some users periodically pour oil directly into the drum. Then, as the drum turns, the cables get complete lubrication. General's SNAKE OIL is ideal for this purpose, since it not only lubricates the cables, it disinfects and deodorizes them.

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General Pipe Cleaners

General Pipe Cleaners
Division of General Wire Spring Company

1101 Thompson Avenue McKees Rocks, PA 15136 USA
800-245-6200 • 412-771-6300 • FAX 412-771-2771

© General Wire Spring Co. 2016