How to Repair a Broken Drain Snake

Learn how to prevent drain snakes from breaking – and how to repair them in the field in minutes

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How to Repair a Broken Drain Snake

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

A. 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 customers have tried a chemical drain cleaner first 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 repair broken drain snakes on the spot and continue working to finish the job.

The specially designed spring with pre-welded female connecter 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-inch 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 800/245-6200, or visit


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