Gen-Eye Shows Why Clogged Sewer Line Drove Homeowner 'Batty'

Find out how a Florida plumber used a Gen-Eye camera inspection system to identify and retrieve a baseball bat from a clogged sewer line

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Gen-Eye Shows Why Clogged Sewer Line Drove Homeowner 'Batty'

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The sewer line of a Tallahassee, Florida, residential property suffered constant clogging. And repeated snaking failed to break the blockage.

That’s when the professionals at McNeill Plumbing arrived with their Gen-Eye video inspection equipment from General Pipe Cleaners.

For 35 years, family-owned McNeill Plumbing forged a matchless reputation for competence, dependability, excellence, honesty and “100% customer satisfaction” throughout the greater Tallahassee area.

“We are the largest pure plumber in Tallahassee,” says McNeill Plumbing Special Projects Manager Keith Walker. “If there is a problem, we can handle it — any time, any day.”

Camera system quickly spots the problem

But that often starts with pinpointing problems. And that’s why McNeill Plumbing’s equipment arsenal sports several Gen-Eye video inspection systems. 

Running the camera between street and house clean-outs, McNeill’s crew rapidly traced the true trouble: a baseball bat in the line.

“It was obvious that someone intentionally put it there,” Walker recalls. “The Gen-Eye image was so sharp that we could clearly read the logo on the bat itself.”

Gen-Eye accuracy aids problem removal

McNeill’s professional crew then faced two options: dig down 9 feet to retrieve the baseball bat or use the camera, somehow, to help remove it. 

Keith Walker chose the second, less disruptive path: “Using some wire and rope, I was able to make a loop and — with our Gen-Eye guiding me — slide it over the baseball bat.”

The tedious procedure worked. And Walker’s ingenuity spared the property owner considerable cost and inconvenience.

“Thanks to good Gen-Eye camera equipment, we were able to extract baseball bat from the sewer without digging up the front yard.”

Key to the professional’s equipment mix

“We’ve relied on Gen-Eye systems since their introduction,” Walker says. McNeill Plumbing has used the Gen-Eye GL that records on a DVD and the Gen-Eye SDN that records on an SD card.

General’s newest sewer inspection camera system is the Gen-Eye X-POD Plus with a USB port to record on a flash drive. An upgrade to the Gen-Eye X-POD, the X-POD Plus includes the Gen-Pack battery adapter, Wi-Fi transmitter, and an on-screen distance counter as standard equipment to boost productivity and profitability.

The built-in Gen-Pack battery adapter lets users operate the camera system for up to 12 hours in remote locations with limited access to power.

X-POD Plus makes sharing inspections easy too. The built-in Wi-Fi transmitter lets contractors view and record work on a cellphone or tablet. And the on-screen distance counter shows how far the camera has travelled down a line in feet or meters. For optimum accuracy, settings can be adjusted for full size or mini-reel configurations.

General’s powerful X-POD Plus Command Module packs other standard features, too, including:

  • A big 7-inch LCD color monitor with a sunscreen for easy viewing in any location   
  • “One-touch” recording for speed and convenience
  • 4X digital zoom for close-up inspections
  • Voice-over recording for job site commentary
  • Date and time stamp for work documentation

Systems include a self-leveling color camera that automatically keeps pictures right side up, letting professionals and customers clearly follow the action as the camera glides through the line. 

Versatility meets business needs 

Another big part of McNeill Plumbing’s business is underground natural gas piping. 

“We’re No. 1 in Tallahassee residential gas pipeline installation,” Walker says. “That’s why we also added the Hot-Spot digital pipe locator from General.” 

Superb for all plumbing and drain cleaning needs, versatile Hot-Spot eliminates guesswork when inspecting and tracing sewer and drainlines, septic tanks, active power lines and buried utilities. 

No need to decipher numbers and bar graphs. No juggling multiple tracking screens. The simple, menu-based interface makes Hot Spot simpler to use than other locators. 

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. 

Hot-Spot also offers superior battery life — more than twice that of competitive locators. The automatic shutdown feature saves power. And the USB port lets users upgrade software or grab screen captures. 

The bottom line 

With Gen-Eye and Hot-Spot inspection equipment, McNeill Plumbing’s excellent professional image is batting a thousand. 

And Keith Walker likes the results. “We are sold on — and have always used — General equipment.” 

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

Visit the General Pipe Cleaners Storefront


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