Frequently Asked Questions | General Pipe Cleaners



Q. Where can I buy your products? Can I buy direct?
A. General sells our products through plumbing distributors, rental centers and DIY/hardware stores. To purchase our equipment, please click on the “Where to Buy” button at the top of the page, or click the BUY button in the Units section of each product page to find a distributor.

Warranty Product Registration

Q. Where is the serial number and code number located on my machine?
A. The serial number and code number are usually located behind the machine. For assistance locating these items on your machine visit the Warranty Submission Form page.

Product Information

Q. Where can I get a Material Safety Data Sheet (SDS) for Snake-Oil?
A. The Material safety Data Sheet (SDS) for General’s Snake-Oil can be found the Instructions and Parts List page, or please click the following link:
Snake-Oil SDS – Material Safety Data Sheet

Trouble Shooting – Cable Machines

Q. How do I repair broken cables or snakes?
A. A fast and easy way to repair broken drain cables or snakes and get your machine back in operation quickly is with a Quick-Fix connector. It simply screws on tightly to the end of the cable and won’t come off. The Quick-Fix is available in 1/2”, 9/16”, 5/8” and 3/4” sizes for General drain cables. Watch “How to repair broken drain snakes with Quick-Fix” on the Video Gallery to see how to use the Quick-Fix.

Or, if you prefer, you can weld the female or male connectors onto the end of the broken cable. Instructions to properly weld the connector can be found on the Instructions & Parts List page or by clicking here.

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 on the Cable – How to Load Into Drum repair video. 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.

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 wears 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.
Watch “Trouble-Shooting General’s Power Cable Feed” on the Video Gallery for more information and to see how to repair the feed yourself.

Trouble Shooting – Kinetic Water Ram

Q. Why won’t my Water Ram hold pressure?
A. The most common cause of pressure problems in the Water Ram is that the leather cup in the pump dries out. Neat’s Foot Oil – the oil you put on a baseball glove – is the only oil to use. Do not use petroleum base oils like 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 squeeze a few drops of Neat’s foot oil through the hole in the top of the pump cylinder. 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.

Watch “How to repair the Kinetic Water Ram” on the Video Gallery to see how to repair the Water Ram. If you have any further questions, call the Drain Brains at General 800-245-6200and we’ll talk you through it.

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.

2. 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 damage them.

3. 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 – Cameras

Q. How do I get to see and record video via Wi-Fi from my Gen-Eye camera system?
A. If your Gen-Eye system is equipped with Wi-Fi (Gen-Eye SDW, Gen-Eye SDP, Gen-Eye Prism and Gen-Eye POD with the Wi-Fi option) you can see how to set up your system by watching the videos on the Video Gallery.

Watch “How to connect mobile devices to Gen-Eye Inspection Systems – Version 1.0” or “How to connect mobile devices to Gen-Eye Inspection Systems – Version 2.0” depending upon which version you have. If you still have questions after watching the videos, please call the Drain Brains at General.

Q. How do I use the camera locator?
A. Watch the “Gen-Eye Hot-Spot Pipe Locator Instructional Video” to learn how to use the pipe locator. If you still have questions after watching the video, please call the Drain Brains at General.

Trouble Shooting – Cool Tools

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.

Watch “How to replace AutoCut Cutter wheels” on the Video Gallery to see how easy it is to do it yourself.

Q. Why won’t the pipe freeze when I use the Cold-Shot?
A. Watch the “Cold-Shot Instructional Video” on the Video Gallery to learn how to properly use the Cold-Shot. If you still have questions after watching the video, please call the Drain Brains at General.

Do You Need Help?

Check out our Pro Tool Selection Guide or chat with a Drain Brain! We can help you by answering any questions about our products you may have.

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Success Stories

Plumbing pro Jake Albright likes reliability, ruggedness, and convenience in his drain cleaning tools. That’s why the ultra-compact, handheld Gen-Eye Micro-Scope® video inspection system remains a key part of his equipment arsenal. “It’s great for inspecting all sorts of small drains –…
Jake Albright Florida
Grease clogged pipes produce problems.  But the right drain cleaning equipment, Chris Fantauzzo contends, turns those problems into profits. “Health inspectors want restaurants to clean grease traps regularly,” Mercer Drain Cleaning Service’s owner says.  Bar owners, municipal authorities, and homeowners, he…
Chris Fantauzzo Trenton, NJ
For most inside jobs, Michael Williams of Just Drains LLC favors two General classics – Super-Vee® and Mini-Rooter®. The hand-held Super-Vee easily unclogs sink, tub, and laundry drain lines up to 3” in diameter. “My personal Super-Vee is over 20 years old,”…
Michael Williams Philadelphia, PA