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 percent 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,” says Walker. “The Gen-Eye image was so sharp that we could clearly read the logo on the bat itself.”

Gen-Eye systems offer plumbing and drain cleaning professionals everything necessary to troubleshoot 2-inch through 10-inch lines, including:

  • On-screen distance counter 
  • Date and time stamp 
  • Voice-over unit 
  • Built-in titler 
  • AC/DC power option

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.

Gen-Eye accuracy aids problem removal 
McNeill’s professionals then faced two options: dig down 9 feet to retrieve the baseball bat — or use the camera, somehow, to help remove it.

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 the bat from the sewer without digging up the front yard.”

The professional’s equipment mix 
“We’ve relied on Gen-Eye systems since their introduction,” Walker says. “In fact, we just bought another — a Gen-Eye SDN.”

Weighing just 12 pounds, the versatile, rugged Gen-Eye SDN offers all the features of full-size video inspection systems in a compact, lightweight package. Use the docking arm to mount it on a full-size reel to trouble-shoot 3- to 10-inch lines, or on a mini-reel for 2- to 4-inch lines.

Part of the popular “SD” family, Gen-Eye SDN enhancements include a:

  • Larger, 10.4-inch LCD screen 
  • Built-in waterproof keyboard 
  • Integral SD recorder 
  • All in a new, heavy-duty Pelican case

The SD card reader stores video or still images, a 1 GB card recording approximately two hours of video. The generous 10.4-inch LCD color monitor provides crisp, clear pictures. And the full-size, waterproof keyboard permits nine pages of on-screen titling.

General also offers the Gen-Eye SDW version adds Wi-Fi capability.

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 a new Hot Spot Digital Pipe Locator from General.”

Superb for all plumbing and drain-cleaning needs, the 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 easier 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 1-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 final score
Gen-Eye systems help buttress McNeill Plumbing’s excellent professional image. And 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


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