Plumbing Pro’s Business Heats Up With Pipe-Thawing Machine

See why this plumber relies on the Hot-Shot for dealing with frozen pipe emergencies

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Plumbing Pro’s Business Heats Up With Pipe-Thawing Machine
The easy-to-operate Hot-Shot 400 quickly and efficiently thaws up to 175 feet of 1 1/2-inch-diameter metal lines.

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Time is critical to Steven May, owner of Steve’s Plumbing Service in Petoskey, Michigan.

“In both our commercial and residential work, speed is important to maintaining our business,” he says. “The longer we take, the less professional we look — and the less money we make.” 

And in the harsh winters of northern Michigan, rapid response with the right equipment is critical to customers with frozen metal pipes. 

“I have to work fast,” May says. “Otherwise, inconvenience aside, customers risk far greater damage from burst pipes the longer freezing continues.” 

Excellent for emergencies 

That’s why the 20-year plumbing veteran prefers the Hot-Shot 400 pipe-thawing machine from General Pipe Cleaners.

Weighing just 31 pounds and generating 400 amps of power, the lightweight, easy-to-operate device safely, quickly and efficiently thaws up to 175 feet of 1 1/2-inch-diameter metal lines.

Simply transport the Hot-Shot 400 to the job, stretch out two cables, and clamp them to either end of the frozen section. Then plug the unit into a 120-volt receptacle. In minutes, Hot-Shot restores water flow to frozen metal pipes.

Forget tearing up floors, breaking through walls or digging in frozen ground. And forget the liability and fire dangers of risky blowtorches and welders — both of which can melt solder joints, triggering line failure. 

The safe, effective Hot-Shot 400 warms metal pipes only enough to thaw outer ice layers. Water pressure then melts remaining blockage. 

Hot-Shot puts low, 5-volt current with high amperage (400 amps) through frozen metal lines. Low voltage effectively eliminates risks of accidental electrocution when touching metal pipes during operations. But amperage is still strong enough to heat conduits without risking fire or collateral line damage. 

General also offers the lower-powered Hot-Shot 320 for thawing 1 1/2-inch-diameter lines up to 100 feet long.

“I like the small compact design,” May says. “Hot-Shot doesn’t weigh a whole lot, and it’s a pretty powerful unit in a small container.” 

Results-based performance

May also values its reliability. “Hot-Shot hasn’t let me or my customers down,” he says. “It’s always done the job.” 

One recent job involved a farmhouse with frozen lines in a crawl space. May clamped his Hot-Shot 400 onto one line and, in less than 10 minutes, had water to the kitchen. After repositioning the machine on another line, he restored flow to the bathroom 10 minutes later. 

“In less than 20 minutes I had water flowing to the whole house — with no breaks, no damage and one happy customer,” May says. 

He also likes the switchable output current. “Some older structures only have 15 amp breakers,” May says. “So switching my Hot-Shot from 400 mps down to 320 amps to only 14 amps makes it really handy on lots of residential and commercial jobs. It’s great for thawing boiler loops, too.” 

The results boost his company’s reputation. “I take pride in my professionalism, my experience and my ability to do the job as quickly and economically as possible for our customers. Hot-Shot gets jobs done fast and makes us look good.” 

Safe, versatile solutions

May especially likes General’s safety features like thermal overload protection and circuit breakers as standard equipment. 

“Electrical reliability is very important to me,” he says. “I feel very comfortable operating my Hot-Shot.” 

But what about thawing plastic pipes, stacks or waste lines? 

General recommends waterjet drain cleaners, that work just as effectively on grease, sediment and other soft blockages. The 3,000 psi, 4 gpm units like General’s J-3000 waterjet, for instance, cuts through ice at 1 foot per minute in a 4-inch line with cold water. 

“We get more jobs done quicker with the Hot-Shot,” May says. “It’s fast and efficient. Customers love it. And it brings us business.”

For more information, contact the Drain Brains at General Pipe Cleaners at 800/245-6200, or visit

Visit the General Pipe Cleaners Storefront


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