About Us: General Pipe Cleaners, Manufacturers of Drain Cleaning Equipment (2023)

About Us: General Pipe Cleaners, Manufacturers of Drain Cleaning Equipment (1)

About Us: General Pipe Cleaners, Manufacturers of Drain Cleaning Equipment (2)

General Marks Nearly a Century of Drain Cleaning Industry Leadership

General Pipe Cleaners, a division of General Wire Spring Co., is a leading manufacturer of high-quality American-made drain cleaning equipment. With nearly a century of knowledge of market needs and superior equipment reliability, General Pipe Cleaners has forged a robust reputation for turning “good ideas” into “great products” for decades. Four generations of the General family and workforce have been serving the drain cleaning industry for nearly one hundred years. Customer satisfaction, trustworthy tools, creative solutions, continual product improvements, and solid, American-made equipment have fueled nearly a legacy of success and industry leadership.

And it all began in 1930.

Entrepreneurial Spirit Powers Progress

About Us: General Pipe Cleaners, Manufacturers of Drain Cleaning Equipment (3)That’s when Abe Silverman stepped out on his own from his uncle Frank’s Rapid Wire Spring Company to found General Wire Spring Company. (His brother-in-law told him “What’s good for General Motors should be good for you.”)

As a growing manufacturer of metal springs, Abe remained keenly attuned to promising market opportunities. So to expand his customer base, he began making quality drain cleaning cables for local plumbers.

But settling for simple springs as drain cleaning snakes proved equally unappealing to Abe Silverman.

So in the 1940s, he patented a process of wrapping spring wire tightly around a braided wire core – vastly boosting strength, kinking resistance, and flexibility.

Abe called the radical, heavy-duty design “Flexicore cable”. The innovative invention instantly surpassed all competitive products. And it has remained the core of General’s business ever since.

Performance-Driven Innovation

About Us: General Pipe Cleaners, Manufacturers of Drain Cleaning Equipment (4)Abe’s pioneering Flexicore design propelled the company’s excellent reputation. Even today, it’s widely considered the industry standard for drain cleaning snakes!

But Abe didn’t stop there.

He soon developed the Sewerooter™, the company’s first power-driven drain cleaner.

Abe’s growing company spearheaded other key plumbing and drain cleaning industry developments, including hand-held cable machines – and, eventually, water jets and integrated sewer camera and audio inspection technologies.

Nine decades later, General, now General Pipe Cleaners, is still going strong. But like so many firms founded during the Great Depression, the company constantly leveraged hard work, market savvy, inventive approaches, and plain luck to survive – and thrive.

Generations Of Trust & Service

General continues serving plumbing, drain cleaning, maintenance, and rental professionals with “the toughest drain cleaning tools down the line”.

About Us: General Pipe Cleaners, Manufacturers of Drain Cleaning Equipment (5)Multiple generations of customers cite General products as “preferred brands”. Company records boast countless cases of two, three, and – astonishingly – even four family generations trusting equipment like Handylectric®, Super-Vee®, Sewermatic® and Speedrooter®.

That’s because the legendary longevity and rugged reliability of General tools help plumbing, drain cleaning, maintenance, and rental pros boost bottom lines through enhanced productivity.

Customers count on durable General equipment to enhance “ROI” – “return on investment”. Some individual machines have even served owners for two or three decades!

The hand-held Super-Vee certainly confirms that. Derived from General’s revolutionary Handylectric of the 1940s, tough, dependable Super-Vee remains the drain cleaning tool of choice for unclogging small diameter lines in sinks, showers, toilets, and laundry drains.

In fact, the only way one customer’s Super-Vee – originally purchased over 30 years earlier – stopped working was when it was stolen!

Upgrades Built On Solid Foundations

General’s ongoing product-improvement efforts take great ideas – and make them even better. That’s especially apparent in the company’s line of cable drain cleaning machines.

About Us: General Pipe Cleaners, Manufacturers of Drain Cleaning Equipment (6)In the mid-1960s, automatic cable feeds boosted the appeal of new General equipment. Shortly thereafter, the Feedomatic and Sewermatic were introduced. Later, popular Power-Vee® with power cable feed bolstered the company’s leadership in hand-held drain cleaners.

Even today, new variants of classic General machines are meeting customer needs.

The latest Speedrooter XL®, for instance, clears tough clogs in 3” to 10” lines – up to 200 feet. Customers can easily change drums to add cable lengths – or to swap cable sizes. Variable speed cable feed offers raw driving and pulling power for long, tough jobs – feeding and retrieving 3/4”, 5/8”, 9/16”, and 1/2” cables.

“It lets us power through tough problems that our competitors walk away from!” one plumbing and drain cleaning pro says.

And for inside drain lines from rooftop to basement, the popular, portable Mini-Rooter Pro® saves customers time and trouble. Today’s version blends the original design’s rugged reliability and easy operation with built-in wheels and a folding handle for enhanced transport, maneuverability, and storage.

“Mini-Rooter doesn’t have a big footprint, so it gets you into a lot of tight spaces,” another customer adds. “It’s durable, powerful and economical – a great ‘first machine’ for anyone starting out in drain cleaning.”

Tackling Tiers Of Troubles

But plumbing, drain cleaning, and maintenance pros know that cable machines alone can’t clear clogs like grease, sludge, sand, sediment, ice, and similar sticky stoppages.

About Us: General Pipe Cleaners, Manufacturers of Drain Cleaning Equipment (7)So for three decades, General’s popular, powerful Jet-Set® water jets have sliced through stoppages like those. They unleash high-pressure water streams that pulverize clogs – and flush them away. Nozzle thrust drives the hose down lines – and gives wall-to-wall pipe cleaning action.

Large or small, General’s rugged, reliable electric, gas, and trailer jets are excellent for restaurants, hotels, hospitals, factories, schools, sports arenas, care facilities, shopping centers, and more.

The pioneering, portable JM-1000 Mini-Jet™, for instance, packs 1500 psi of cleaning power in a compact package, yet weighs only 23 lbs. Carry it right to troubles – no wheels required. Its rugged diamond plate metal case safely shields the pump and motor assembly from common job-site abuse.

One drain cleaning expert called JM-1000 “easy to transport and handle – machines designed for efficient, one-man operation.”

And for large jobs, General’s muscular, gas-powered machines punch through stubborn stoppages in longer and outside 4” to 8” lines. All sport 3000 psi, electric start, reliable engines, puncture-proof tires, and robust, tubular chassis. On-demand Vibra-pulse® technology helps propel hoses down long runs and around tight bends.

Enhancements Maximize Performance

Quickly and correctly spotting troubles also helps contractors boost both productivity and profitability. So from the late-1990s, General popularized integrated video and audio inspection technologies to find and diagnose stoppages with speed and accuracy.

About Us: General Pipe Cleaners, Manufacturers of Drain Cleaning Equipment (8)Available in a variety of models and sizes, Gen-Eye® sewer camera systems – augmented by the advanced Gen-Ear LE® acoustical leak detection device – quickly and accurately pinpoints problems.

General inspection equipment shows users exactly where and what problems are – without needlessly busting up concrete driveways or destroying expensive landscaping trying to spot breaks or blockages.

That sort of precision also enhances professionalism by cycling jobs more quickly. “We fix problems faster – and get more jobs done in less time,” one professional noted. “We firmly believe that giving customers the service they deserve enhances our professional reputation.”

Over the past decade, General extensively enhanced its popular range of video inspection and locating systems – including the compact, lightweight Gen-Eye X-POD® and Micro-Scope2® systems with USB ports to record video inspections to flash drives.

Each combines camera, reel, and monitor into one compact, convenient package. Features include a self-leveling camera, bright LCD color monitor, rugged construction, Wi-Fi, one-touch recording, digital zoom, voice-over capability, date & time stamp, and flash drive capacity indicator.

Precisely Pinpointing Problems Optimizes Productivity

Professionals also need to spot problems – fast. And they can’t afford downtime learning how to operate complicated new equipment.

About Us: General Pipe Cleaners, Manufacturers of Drain Cleaning Equipment (9)That’s why, for nine decades, General tenaciously leveraged technical progress to speed and simplify work – boosting customer productivity and professionalism.

And General’s Hot Spot® digital pipe locator – latest in the company’s long line of pioneering locating devices – offers matchless accuracy, reliability, and profitability.

With Hot Spot, users know what the problem is, where it is, and how deep to dig. General’s device eliminates guesswork when inspecting and tracing sewer lines, drain lines, and septic tanks – even active power lines and buried utilities.

“I use Hot Spot 10 times a week,” one expert notes. “And it’s dead-on-the-money – 100% of the time!”

It’s easy-to-use, too. On screen icons make Hot-Spot simpler to operate than other locators. Simplified readouts also eliminate the need to decipher numbers and bargraphs.

“I watched the General video that came with our Hot Spot,” a drain cleaning specialist adds. “And I used it right from the get-go. I was very pleased!” Hot Spot, another remarked, “keeps costs down, quotes competitive, and customers happy!”

Common workplace abuse can’t compromise General’s tough tool, either. Rated at IP65, Hot-Spot is dust-proof, and dirt- and water-resistant. It aced the one-meter drop test. And its screen passed the 18-inch steel ball drop test.

Innovation Cements Leadership

Other inventive, productivity-boosting General products – like the ClogChopper® cutter and unique Kinetic Water Ram® drain cleaner – claim fame as equal heirs to Abe Silverman’s pioneering legacy.

About Us: General Pipe Cleaners, Manufacturers of Drain Cleaning Equipment (10)Those innovative General technologies help customers maintain their competitive edge. And for over 50 years, Kinetic Water Ram has helped users handle more jobs in far less time than traditional methods permit.

The pioneering hand-held General drain cleaner safely, quickly, and cleanly clears clogged sinks, toilets and tubs with the kinetic energy of compressed air – not with electricity. It easily removes rust, grease, sediment and scale from lines up to 4” in diameter.

“I judge how good a tool is by how fast it pays for itself,” one pro observes. “With Kinetic Water Ram, General has one hell of a great product!”

Safe for system piping, Kinetic Water Ram directs 98% of the force down the line – and only 2% against pipe walls. The shock wave bypasses stacks and vents. There’s no pressure build-up. And it effectively handles stoppages on far sides of drum traps or series of tight bends – like lines in trailer homes.

That’s critical on fixed-rate commercial contract work. Using Kinetic Water Ram, another professional reports, for instance, servicing a 32-unit building in “less than half the time it takes to do the same job with conventional drain cleaning tools!”

Shape + Simplicity = Performance

The unique ClogChopper multi-function cutter also remains among General’s recent – and remarkable – drain cleaning tools.

About Us: General Pipe Cleaners, Manufacturers of Drain Cleaning Equipment (11)Affixed to General’s durable Flexicore cable, ClogChopper really digs into encrusted debris and root masses – easily grinding up stoppages, scale, and crystallized urine, without risking pipe damage. It’s especially excellent for clearing stacks, downspouts, and mains – as well as for drain lining jobs.

With six self-sharpening blades and innovative spherical design, the perfectly balanced, versatile ClogChopper easily negotiates tight bends. Connectors for most popular brands of drain cleaning snakes are also available.

“There’s nothing like it,” one customer enthusiastically reports. “It’s fantastic for clearing scale from inside lines. It flies around pipe bends!”

Past Is Prologue

Today, General boasts a full line of advanced drain cleaning tools – including reliable drum-type and sectional drain cleaning machines, gas and electric powered water jets, sewer inspection cameras and pipe location systems, acoustical water leak location equipment, pipe freezers, thawing machines, and accessories.

About Us: General Pipe Cleaners, Manufacturers of Drain Cleaning Equipment (12)The company’s worldwide sales & marketing efforts include French and Spanish websites, expanded social media platforms, and a YouTube channel. Yet General, its staff proudly note, sells only through wholesalers supporting its distribution channels.

Abe Silverman’s lasting legacy of innovative solutions, product reliability, and customer service continues today. And his great-grandchildren – the founding family’s fourth-generation – have now joined the business.

Moreover, better than 40% of General’s workforce remains multi-generational – with children often working shoulder-to-shoulder with their parents. Even the company’s independent sales force remarkably reflects two and three generations representing General equipment.

General continues its leadership role in innovative drain cleaning and inspection technologies. And with a nine-decade heritage, the people of General keep working hard to serve even more generations of customers to come with the “Toughest Tools Down The Line”!

For more information, contact the Drain Brains®at General at 800-245-6200 or by email[emailprotected].


What is the best chemical to unblock drains? ›

Experts agree: Drano Max Gel is the best overall drain cleaner because it works quickly to get rid of tough clogs. This reliable and effective cleaner is a thick gel that goes deep in sinks, pipes, and drains to reach the source of the clog and completely dissolve it.

What type of drain cleaning equipment do you use to clear main lines? ›

Drain Augers or Snakes

The standard drain cleaner tool plumbers use to demolish obstructions in pipes is a motorized drain auger, also known as a drain snake. An auger consists of a long, flexible coil of metal that works similar to a corkscrew. The end of the auger goes down the drain until it reaches the clog.

What do they call pipe cleaners now? ›

A: Yes, chenille stems and pipe cleaners are essentially the same things. Pipe cleaners refer to sticks that can be made from different materials, while chenille stems are only used for those that are made from chenille.

What is the best drain cleaner that won't damage pipes? ›

Best Overall

In just 15 minutes, our pick for the best drain cleaner, Drano Max Gel, will clear up clogs in sinks, tubs, PVC, septic tanks, and garbage disposals. It's safe for piping and septic systems, with a thick gel that sinks into standing water to the source of the clog.

How do you unclog the toughest drain? ›

Put half a cup of baking soda in the drain, then pour half a cup of vinegar down after it. Let this mixture sit for an hour, and then check the drain. The bubbles that form can break up some clogs. Mix together half a cup of table salt and half a cup of baking soda.

What is the best way to clear a drain pipe? ›

Simply pour some hot water down your clogged drain and follow it up with equal parts baking soda and vinegar (baking soda first), cover the drain with a plug if you have one, let it sit for 20-30 minutes, then follow it up with more hot water to clear the clog.

How do you deep clean drain pipes? ›

Mix 2 parts baking soda and 1 part salt and pour down the drain. Warm 4 parts vinegar and pour down on top of the baking soda and salt. It will bubble and fizz. Let it work for 15 minutes and then flush through with hot water.

What kind of acid is in drain cleaner? ›

Acid drain cleaners typically contain sulfuric acid or hydrochloric acid. The chemical reaction between the acid and the blockage materials, along with the heat released by the reaction ('heat of solution'), serves to break down the blockage.

What is the difference between drain clearing and drain cleaning? ›

Drain clearing refers to removing the necessary amount of clogs from the pipes to ensure water flow. Drain cleaning means removing all clogs, dirt, and any debris from the pipe and making it clean as new.

Which drain cleaning equipment uses high pressure water to clear a stoppage? ›

General's water jetters are ideal for clearing soft stoppages and ice from clogged drain lines and sewer lines. They use a stream of high-pressure water that hits the stoppage and flushes it away.

How much do pipe cleaners make? ›

As of Jun 17, 2023, the average annual pay for a Pipe Cleaner in California is $51,499 a year.

How much does a pipe cleaner make a year? ›

Pipe Cleaner Salary
Annual SalaryHourly Wage
Top Earners$55,000$26
75th Percentile$54,500$26
25th Percentile$54,500$26

What are pipe cleaners called in America? ›

Pipe cleaners, chenille stems, craft sticks, chenille sticks or craft stems, whatever you call them, craft pipe cleaners are a traditional and widely used crafting medium. With so many creative applications and product variations, knowing which variety are right for your project can be hard.

What vinegar is best for unclogging drains? ›

Pour a mixture of 1 cup vinegar (apple cider vinegar works best) and 1 cup boiling water down the drain. (Substitute lemon juice for vinegar for a great-smelling drain ? Plug the drain to keep the vinegar baking soda reaction below the drain surface.

What chemicals do plumbers use to unclog drains? ›

Hydrochloric acid, also known as muriatic acid, is a strong acid that is commonly used to dissolve clogs in drains. This acid works by breaking down organic materials such as hair, grease, and soap scum that can accumulate in pipes and cause blockages.

Is vinegar good for drain pipes? ›

Vinegar. Vinegar is both safe and beneficial to pour down your drain. It acts as a natural cleaning solution and can remove blockages and harmful bacteria that cause foul odors.

Can you leave baking soda and vinegar in drain overnight? ›

It is safe to leave baking soda (and vinegar) to work overnight to unclog a drain. Always flush this mixture down with boiling water—no matter how long you leave it sitting in the drain.

Why don't you unclog a drain with baking soda and vinegar? ›

While the baking soda and vinegar solution is effective in breaking down a clog, it will also cause your drain to become more damaged. The baking soda's abrasive nature will wear down your drain over time. This is why you should avoid using baking soda and vinegar solution for cleaning out your drain.

Will hydrogen peroxide unclog a drain? ›

Hydrogen Peroxide – Mix 1 cup of hydrogen peroxide and 1 quart of water. Pour this mixture down your clogged drain and let it sit for 20-30 minutes. Be especially careful as this chemical can cause burns.

How do you dissolve sludge in a pipe? ›

Use Baking Soda and Vinegar

Pour a ½ cup of regular household baking soda into the drain, then add a ½ cup white vinegar. Cover the drain if you can. Let the mixture stand in the drain for several minutes. Next, to remove grease and debris in your pipes, pour five or six cups of boiling water into the drain.

How do you break up sludge in pipes? ›

The combination of baking soda and vinegar proves effective on just about any slime. The chemical reaction of the baking soda and vinegar, which has antibacterial properties, can break up the slime. If you pour in boiling water after you dump in the vinegar and baking soda combo, it will wash away any leftover slime.

Is it better to snake a drain or use Drano? ›

Using a snake is also more invasive and time-consuming than using a chemical cleaner is, and can often become a dirty job. When it comes to getting at and removing major clogs or clogs that are deep down in your pipes, however, a plumber's snake is your best bet.

What dissolves sludge in drains? ›

Spoon 1 cup baking soda slowly into the drain. Allow the baking soda to sit for a few minutes. Next, pour 1 cup white vinegar down the drain. Cover the opening as the vinegar and baking soda creates a foam.

What is the main ingredient in drain cleaner? ›

Hydrochloric acid, lye (sodium or potassium hydroxide), sodium hypochlorite, sodium nitrate, sulfuric acid, trichlorobenzene, trichloroethane.

What pH is clogged drain cleaner? ›

Caustic drain cleaners will generally have a pH level of 12 to 14, the highest end of the scale, whereas acid-based drain cleaners will have a pH of 0 to 1, at the other end, according to Xion Lab.

What acid for smelly drains? ›

If a hot water flush doesn't work, we recommend flushing vinegar down the drain. The acidity of vinegar can be utilized to eliminate smelly drains in your living space. Warm a few cups of vinegar, and pour half of it down the drain. Run water from the sink for a minute or so before pouring the remaining vinegar.

Is bleach good for clearing drains? ›

It is not a great drain clog remover. Bleach has no effect in dissolving the common culprits of household drain clogs, like hair, food scraps and grease. Also, pouring bleach can harm the integrity of your drains and pipes. It's a lose-lose scenario.

How often should you unclog your drain? ›

Annually. Even if you don't notice any specific signs that your drains are having trouble with clogs, you should do your best to have them cleaned at least once every year.

Does drain cleaner damage pipes? ›

Drain Cleaner Can Damage Your Pipes

Drain cleaner is caustic, meaning it will eat away at your pipes — even the tougher types. If your home employs plastic pipes, use the solution sparingly, if at all. It can even eat away at metal pipes. Use the solution once to break up a clog, and you could be safe.

Can you pressure wash drains? ›

Plumbers often use pressure washers to unclog drains. It is a great way to clean drains, remove buildup, and minimize the potential for the drain to become blocked again.

How long do pipe cleaners last? ›

Pipe cleaners can be worn in as a style for up to 7 days and once taken down will reveal tight, beautiful curls that can last up to a month.

Why is it called a pipe cleaner? ›

Pipe cleaners, as their name makes clear, were originally developed to clean tobacco pipes. Consisting of a wire core covered by short bristles, these long and flexible tools can reach narrow, unseen areas with ease.

What metal is in a pipe cleaner? ›

The metal teeth, or staples, inside the pipe cleaner head are made of steel which has been coated in tungsten carbide to give extra strength. Set in a thick PVC (plastic) foundation, the teeth are arranged in an offset spiral shape around the inside of the drum.

What is the highest paid type of plumber? ›

High Paying Plumbing Jobs
  • Plumbing Engineer. Salary range: $84,000-$112,000 per year. ...
  • Plumbing Foreman. Salary range: $62,500-$100,000 per year. ...
  • Residential Plumber. Salary range: $50,000-$100,000 per year. ...
  • Master Plumber. ...
  • Plumbing Designer. ...
  • Licensed Plumber. ...
  • Construction Plumber. ...
  • Journeyman Plumber.

What is the most a plumber can make? ›

The median plumber salary is $59,880. The salary of a plumber varies with experience, and typically ranges from $36,700 to $59,880.

What is the most a plumber can make a year? ›

What is the average salary for a plumber in California? The average salary for a plumber in California is $56,000 per year. Plumber salaries in California can vary between $20,000 to $121,000 and depend on various factors, including skills, experience, employer, bonuses, tips, and more.

What is pipe cleaners description? ›

a short length of twisted flexible wires covered with tufted fabric, used to clean the stem of a smoker's pipe and for various handicrafts.

How can I make my pipe cleaner stronger? ›

The green pipe cleaner will be your stem. To make it stronger, fold a whole green pipe cleaner in half, and twist it to make a thick, half-sized pipe cleaner.

Why you should never use baking soda and vinegar to unclog a drain? ›

While the baking soda and vinegar solution is effective in breaking down a clog, it will also cause your drain to become more damaged. The baking soda's abrasive nature will wear down your drain over time. This is why you should avoid using baking soda and vinegar solution for cleaning out your drain.

What can dissolve hair in a drain? ›

If your drain is clogged with hair, baking soda can dissolve hair in a drain. To try this safe and easy method at home - first, pour a cup of baking soda down the drain. Then pour a cup of vinegar (white vinegar) down. Allow the mixture to sit for several minutes.

Does pouring vinegar down the drain unclog it? ›

Vinegar. Vinegar is both safe and beneficial to pour down your drain. It acts as a natural cleaning solution and can remove blockages and harmful bacteria that cause foul odors.

Will hydrogen peroxide and baking soda clear a clogged drain? ›

Drains: Mix one cup of hydrogen peroxide with one tablespoon of baking soda. Pour it down the drain. The foam will help clean your drain and leave it smelling fresh.

Can peroxide and vinegar unclog a drain? ›

Hydrogen peroxide dissolves organic matter to loosen and flush away debris such as skin cells. It also disinfects the drain as it works by reducing germs inside your pipes and making your sinks smell fresh and clean. To use hydrogen peroxide on a clogged drain, look for a 3% hydrogen peroxide formula.

Does baking soda and white vinegar really unclog drains? ›

The bubbling reaction from the baking soda and vinegar helps to loosen the drain clog, and the boiling water in step 4 helps remove it from your pipes. Baking soda and vinegar can serve as a natural solution to unclog and clean a stinky drain.

Is Coke a good drain cleaner? ›

While the phosphoric acid found in cola can help alleviate some minor clogs, carbonated beverages are certainly not the ideal drain cleaner. Better DIY methods include a baking soda/vinegar mixture, a plunger, or a plumber's snake.

What chemical dissolves human hair? ›

Bleach dissolves hair and it takes a bit of time. If it doesn't get rid of the stoppage completely then try another application of a cup of bleach. This may not always work. There are many other things that can clog a drain line…

How do you make a homemade drain snake? ›

Homemade drain snake

Cut the bottle around the circumference of the bottle to create a long, thin strip of plastic (it will look like a spiral as you're cutting) At one end, cut a few small ridges or teeth.

Can you use hydrogen peroxide to unclog a drain? ›

Hydrogen Peroxide – Mix 1 cup of hydrogen peroxide and 1 quart of water. Pour this mixture down your clogged drain and let it sit for 20-30 minutes. Be especially careful as this chemical can cause burns.


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