General Speedrooter™ Saves Thousands of Dollars and Makes Maintenance Man a Hero

SpeedrooterForBlogTen-thousand dollars! That’s what a national drain cleaning franchise wanted to repair recurring clogs in a 37-year-old Oberlin, Ohio, apartment complex.

“They claimed they had to bust up the first floor laundry room concrete and hallway to replace the pipe and fix the problem permanently,” maintenance staffer Gary Schakel recalls. “But, I had other ideas.”

The “other idea” meant trying the building’s new Speedrooter 92™ power drain cleaner first. “I had used the Speedrooter at my previous position,” Schakel adds, “And I knew it could do the job.”

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6 Tips for “Spring Cleaning” Your Drain Cleaning Equipment

Now is the perfect time to give your drain cleaning equipment a once- (or twice-) over to make sure it’s all in good working order.

Regular preventative maintenance should be performed to prevent problems. Here is a general maintenance checklist for your equipment:
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Getting the Picture

Two car garage interiorRemember when small camera systems were a novelty and only the biggest contractors in town had them? No more. Just check the phone book. Nearly every drain cleaning specialist advertises a camera system. And more and more plumbing contractors have video inspection capabilities, too.

As with computers and other consumer electronics, technical progress has enhanced the value, reliability and performance of video inspection systems. Steady advances have only made equipment cheaper, better and more convenient.

Inspection jobs and push cameras are not all created equal. Here are eight essential points to consider when choosing a camera system:

1. What kinds of lines are you inspecting? Continue reading

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Gen-Eye Saves Landlord Big Bucks

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It all started with a clogged sewer line at a Tulsa, Okla., residential property. The frantic renter immediately called a local plumber, who demanded $1,500 to dig-up and repair the problem.

But the landlord had other ideas and, instead contacted Chris Wade, owner of Precision Plumbing.

For 20 years, Precision has  guarded an outstanding reputation for professionalism, dependability and honesty throughout Tulsa’s metro area.

“We’re not fly-by-night, ‘school house’ plumbers,” Wade says.“We get 100 percent of our business by word-of-mouth. So, our six crews always make superior service and customer satisfaction our priorities.”

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General’s Mini-Rooter XP™ Is Drain Cleaning Pro’s Friend On Toughest Jobs

“That machine is my friend, and I go nowhere without my friend!”

That’s Jeff Wall on the Mini-Rooter XP™ – his favorite drain cleaning machine.

“I’ve had it everywhere – on rooftops, in basements, in crawl spaces and in yards,” he laughs. “I’ve taken it apart, transported it in sections and reassembled it in really tight spots. it always works the way I do – hard and creatively!”

Matchless Flexibility & Maneuverability Continue reading

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An Easier Way to Clear Clogged Sinks, Tubs and Laundry Drains

Q. We’ve had the same handheld power drain cleaner for 20 years and it still keeps working, but my arms get tired from holding the machine. Is there an easier way to clear clogs in small drains?

A. You’ve got a tough little machine  that was great in its day. But now there are counter top models that are a lot easier on the body than the old handheld drain cleaning machines.

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Seven Tips for Approaching Safety Like a Sea Captain

Two car garage interior

Here’s an interesting safety tip courtesy of an unexpected source: actor, Tom Hanks.

Hanks was recently interviewed about his role in “Captain Phillips,” the true story of a kidnapped sea captain. He recalled what he learned from the real Captain Phillips.

“He begins and ends his day with a walk-around of the entire ship. You’d be amazed how often a bolt is not in place or something isn’t lashed down. The next thing you know, you can lose half your cargo,” Hanks said.

Try doing a daily walk-through of your own workplace or area. Check your drain cleaning machines, and other tools, for the following key safety items:

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General’s Camera and Drain Cleaners Help Plumbing Pros Tackle Tough Jobs

The sewer line of a one-year-old Kentucky house should have run clean and free, but the homeowner kept suffering persistent back-ups, and repeated snaking failed to work.

That’s when Jarboe’s Plumbing, Heating, Cooling, Electric & Remodeling sprang into action. The Louisville-based plumbing professionals marshaled an arsenal of General Pipe Cleaners equipment to diagnose and fix the problem – quickly.

Among the area’s largest, most respected providers of plumbing and kitchen & bath remodeling services, Jarboe’s routinely calls on General solutions for, “big city service with small-town pride and professionalism.”

“Serving eight surrounding counties, including a lot of rural customers, we have to come prepared for everything,” technician, Dan Powers, notes. “So, our tools include a range of General video pipe inspection camera and drain cleaning equipment to do the customer’s job right – the first time!”

CAMERA SYSTEM SOLVES THE MYSTERY Continue reading

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Four Questions to Consider When Choosing a Pipe Inspection System

Two car garage interiorPipe Inspection and location systems represent a significant investment for most small businesses. In return, they offer unique diagnostic and marketing potential that can either save or earn a tremendous amount of money for your company.  Choosing the right system for your needs is a task that should be taken with  serious attention to detail in order to avoid a costly mistake. So, here are some points to ponder before shelling out your hard-earned cash:

  1. What size pipes/drains/sewers are you likely to be inspecting?

The great divide in pipe inspection systems is between push rod and tractor pull style systems. Which style do you need? Continue reading

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The Call for Infrastructure Updates in the Plumbing World

GWS 85th Group

Much to my wife’s embarrassment, I love talking about sewers. I love telling people that five thousand years ago, the ancient Indus River civilization, the Sumerians and Egyptians all had flush toilets. I love quoting physicians and health officials who say that a safe and effective waste water infrastructure saves more lives than penicillin. And finally, I get very, very worried when I hear firsthand stories about the challenges facing our waste water systems today.

Our biggest problem right now is our underground utilities leak like the proverbial sieve! When it rains, these leaks cause a deluge of fresh water coursing into the sanitary sewer system. What do you get when you mix a gallon of rain water with a gallon of sewage? Two gallons of sewage! The end result of this process is a huge surge in water volume, which overwhelms the local treatment plant’s capacity and ends up spewing raw sewage into local waterways.

Overflows have become more and more common over the past few decades and threaten to erode public health and safety. The Environmental Protection Agency, working with the Departments of Environmental Protection at the state level, have been laboring long and hard to shore up the leaks in the public portion of our infrastructure. Unfortunately, their efforts haven’t yielded the expected results.

A couple of weeks ago I spoke to a local DEP administrator about the situation. According to him, the past ten years have seen significant progress toward reducing leaks in the public sewer systems. Industry standards have been adapted, repair specifications have been created, inspection protocols have been acknowledged and measurable progress has been made. The experts agree; the public sewer system is as water-tight as it’s been in decades. However, the incidence of sanitary sewer overflows and combined sewer overflows (SSOs and CSOs in EPA lingo) have not diminished. Why? In a word: laterals.

Lateral sewers are the pipes that link our private homes, businesses and institutions with public infrastructure.  Laterals are private property and are the responsibility of the building’s owner. If they leak, it is the responsibility of the property owner to repair them. If the French drains are plumbed into the sewer pipe, it is the responsibility of the property owner to correct them. Local building codes and municipal statutes have been enacted all over the country to protect the integrity of the sanitary sewer system, but in the real world, out of sight is out of mind. According to the Department of Environmental Protection, privately owned laterals are the Achilles heel of our underground infrastructure system.

The first line of defense in the fight against leaking laterals are plumbers and drain cleaners. The EPA recommends that contractors be extremely proactive in replacing or fixing all leaky and out-of-code pipes in order to cut down on inflow and infiltration. This recommendation gives official government sanction the opportunity of a lifetime to drain cleaning professionals. It’s estimated that several trillion dollars will be spent in private underground infrastructure improvements over the next decade. Every major metropolitan market will see expenditures of several billion dollars. That’s billion with a “B!”

Invest in a jetter and a pipe inspection system and join the fun!

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