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FAQ - Frequently Asked Questions


Product Information:

Trouble Shooting – Power Cable Feed:

Trouble Shooting – Water Ram:

Trouble Shooting – Water Jets:

Trouble Shooting – Specialty Items:


Q. Where can I buy your products?  Can I buy direct? 

A. General sells our products through plumbing distributors, rental centers and hardware stores.  To purchase our equipment, please click on the Global Dealer Finder to find a distributor in your area.

Q. Where is the serial number and code number located on my machine?

A. Generally, the serial number and code number are located behind the machine.  For assistance locating these items on your machine, please click the following link: http://www.drainbrain.com/warranty/help.html

Product Information:

Q. Where can I get an MSDS sheet for Snake Oil?

A. The Material safety Data Sheet for General’s Snake Oil can be found the   instruction page of our website, or please click the following link: MSDS

Q What is the correct way to install a cable in the drum or cage?

A. First, be sure to disconnect the machine from the power source before installing cables. The cable should be installed so that it lays in the drum or cage as shown in the illustration. If the cable is installed in the wrong direction, it will tangle in the drum. Watch “How to load a cable in a drum” on the Video Gallery to see how to properly install the cable in the drum or cage.

Trouble Shooting – Power Cable Feed:

Q. Why won’t my cable feed in and out of my machine?

A. Here are three things to check if you are having trouble with your power cable feed:

  1. Loosen the knob on top of the feed and try to pull the cable out of the drum by hand.  If the cable does not slide freely, then it could be tangled in the drum.  Remove the tangled cable and reload it in the drum. Make sure it’s loaded in the correct direction – that is, in a clockwise direction.  Be sure to lubricate the cable as well.  A dry, rusty cable will not slide in and out of the drum easily.
  2. Make sure the three feed rollers spin freely.  If they are caked with dirt, or frozen altogether, they must be cleaned or replaced.  Even if just one roller is frozen, you should replace all three.
  3. Check the cable for excessive wear.  If the feed pressure knob (the one on top of the feed) is too tight, it will cause the cable to wear flat.  Once the cable  flat, the rollers can no longer grip the cable and the feed will slip.  You’ll have to either cut off the damaged section or replace the cable completely.

Hint: Some professionals put two shorter lengths of cables in the drum instead of one long one.  So when the first 10 feet of the cable wear out, they only have the replace a part of the cable instead of the whole thing.

Trouble Shooting – Water Ram:

Q. Why won’t my Water Ram hold pressure?

A. The most common cause of pressure problems in the Ram is that the leather cup in the pump dries out.  Neat’s Foot Oil – the oil we put on baseball gloves - is the only oil to use. Do not use Three-In-One oil or WD-40.  You don’t have to take the unit apart to oil the leather cup.  Just lift the pump rod all the way up, and then put the Neat’s foot oil through the oil in the top of the pump.  Rotate the rod as you oil it so the entire leather cup gets lubricated. 

If this does not solve the problem, you can get a pump repair kit (Part # KRRK) that includes all the seals that are likely to wear out, plus a small container of Neat’s foot oil.  It’s an easy matter to take the tool apart and replace all the seals.   A diagram is included.  If you have any further questions, call the Drain Brains at General, and we’ll talk you through the repair.

Trouble Shooting – Water Jets:

Q. Why won’t my water jet maintain pressure?

A. There are a couple of things to check if you’ve got a pressure problem on a water jet. 

  1. First, make sure you’ve got enough water to supply the pump.  Time how long it takes to fill up a two gallon bucket.  If it takes two minutes and you’ve got a four gallon per minute pump, you’ve got a problem.   Next, check the inlet filter to make sure it’s clean and not clogged. 
  1. If you’ve had the water jet for a while, the nozzles could be worn. Try switching nozzles to see if the pressure improves.  Though the nozzles are stainless steel, they will wear out over time.  You might have to replace them.  Check to make sure that the check valves in the pump cylinders are not dirty or worn.  Be careful though.  The pump caps are metric and made of brass.  If you use the wrong tool, you’ll bugger them up. 
  1. If all else fails, you’ll have to replace the pump seals.  If you don’t feel comfortable doing this on your own, there are repair centers all over the country that can help you out.  Call customer service to find a repair center near you.

Trouble Shooting – Specialty Items:

Q. How do I replace the cutter wheel in my AutoCut?

A.  Remove the AutoCut housing by taking out the small screws.  Open the gate  as wide as possible, and then separate the metal springs so that the shaft holding the cutting wheel comes loose.  (It Is helpful to use a large flathead screwdriver--insert the blade and twist.)  Replace the wheel on the shaft, return the wheel to its original position and re-assemble the Autocut.


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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

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