How To Break Your Drain Cleaning Equipment

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By Dave Dunbar, Retired – National Sales Manager at General Pipe Cleaners

Recently, we have posted a series of blogs with the title ‘How Not to Break Your Stuff, where we shared best practices from contractors who excel at keeping their drain cleaning machines operational and profitable. After looking at some of the feedback that we got from that series, we decided to write this ‘tongue in cheek’ guide to breaking your equipment as fast as possible. This article is designed for plumbers and drain cleaners who want to destroy as many machines, cables, push rods and accessories as possible, and will be invaluable to contractors who need to show a huge annual loss for tax purposes, or who have more money than they know what to do with. All others are advised to do the exact opposite of these top five suggestions!

  1. Simply toss your drain cleaning machines and snakes into the back of your truck as soon as the job is over with no cleaning or lubrication, and don’t give them a second thought until the next drain cleaning job. Ride them hard and put them away wet! And whatever else you do, never put Snake Oil or any other lubricant on the cables! I’m sure that cable will look as good as new the next time you go to use it!
  2. Pretend that your drain cleaning cable is a battering ram and force it down the drain as hard as you can! Or, better yet, if you have a power feed on your machine, just shove the feed control lever into forward, step on the foot pedal, and then check your social media for a few minutes. No problems!
  3. Never use a starting tool…just put your biggest, baddest cutter on the end of your cable, ram the snake down the drain and hope for the best. After all, size matters in this line of work, and it’s important to show the clog who’s boss!
  4. Never use anti-freeze in your pump during the winter months. It takes way too much time, and after all, time is money! If you drive really-really fast to and from the job site and only do the bare minimum when cleaning the line, you can have that high pressure water jetter back in your heated garage before the pump head has a chance to freeze. Absolutely probably!
  5. Why use a thirty-dollar cutting tool to clear an obstruction in a pipe when you could use a three-thousand-dollar camera head? After all, the camera head is right there in the pipe, and that hunk of concrete that you’re looking at probably only needs a little nudge to push it out of the way. Besides, it’s just a video camera that you’re shoving down a clogged sewer, what could possibly go wrong?

Based on nearly a century of experience, we’re pretty sure that all these suggestions will have the intended effect of destroying your stuff as quickly as possible. Try doing the exact opposite and see what happens! For more information, call the Drain Brains at 800-245-6200, or visit

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