Ask the Drain Brains: How to repair a broken drain snake

Category: Cables, Cutters & Accessories, Drain Cleaners, Drain Cleaning, General, Maintenance


Question: My guys keep breaking drain snakes and I don’t why, nor do I have the welding equipment or the expertise to repair them. What can I do?

Answer: First, make sure your guys are using your drain cleaning machines in the right size lines. Nothing will wear out a cable faster than trying to use it in the wrong size pipe.

Cable Application Chart

Cable Size Pipe Size
1/4″ 1-1/4″ to 2″
5/16” 1-1/2″ to 2″
3/8” 2″ to 3″
1/2″ 3″ to 4″ (Not roots)
5/8” 3″ to 6″
3/4″ 4″ to 8″

The next most common cause of premature cable failure is acid. It’s likely that your tenants first tried a chemical drain cleaner before calling you. Be sure to clean and lubricate your cables after each use. General makes Snake-Oil™ that contains a lubricant, rust inhibitor and deodorizer to protect your cables, but light grade motor oil will do. Pour a little oil into the drum and let it spin. The oil will be absorbed between the coils to help prevent acid damage.

 If your cable breaks, you can repair it quickly with General’s Quick-Fix™. It lets you quickly repair broken drain cleaning snakes on the spot and continue working to finish the job.

The specially designed spring with pre-welded female connector easily threads over the end of the broken snake. No welding required – just vice-grips or pliers. It’s available in 1/2″, 5/8″ and 3/4″ sizes.

You can see how easy it is to use Quick-Fix by watching the video at:

For more information, or to ask a question, call the Drain Brains® at General at 800-245-6200, or email, or visit

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“Drain cleaning can be pretty messy, and you expect to see some nasty stuff,” he admits, “But imagine my surprise when my Super-Vee™ once snaked a Batman toy from a line. I still don’t know how I did it!”

John Comerford Jr Cleveland, OH

I offer a 30-day warranty on every drain-cleaning job, but I can’t give a warranty if I don’t do the job right, and I can’t do the job right if I don’t have the right tools. That’s why I run my whole company with General products, they enhance our professional image!

Chris Fantauzzo Trenton, NJ

General equipment is durable, and takes a beating,” he says. “We use our General tools 24/7 – 365 days a year, and they don’t fail us. General equipment lets us power through tough problems that our competitors walk away from!

Michael Williams Philadelphia, Pa