Products in Action

City Workers Really Warm to General’s Pipe Thawing Solution


Frozen water lines are such a problem in Ft. Lupton, CO, that they earn a special page on the city’s web site.

“I’d like to say that residents follow our advice,” Public Works Supervisor Jose C. Reyes laughs. “But many don’t – until it’s too late!”

To fix past problems, workers laboriously dug around shallow mains entries, exposing frozen lines just ahead of water meters. Then using welding equipment, they cautiously thawed the pipes.

“That took too much time,” Reyes says. “And we needed a less hazardous method.”

So, city crews sought a fast, handy way to minimize the inconvenience and potential damage from burst pipes during Colorado’s harsh winters.

The Swift, Safe Solution
That’s when the City of Ft. Lupton got a Hot-Shot 400® from General Pipe Cleaners.

Weighing just 31 lbs. 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″ diameter metal lines.

Jose Reyes says it’s “very, very easy to operate.” “In my opinion, practically anybody can learn to use Hot-Shot.”

Simply transport 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 clean, grounded 115-volt receptacle.

The unit hums, indicating a good circuit. In minutes, Hot-Shot restores water flow to frozen metal pipes.

“We like the compact design,” Reyes adds. “Our Hot-Shot is much more convenient than dragging around welding equipment in freezing weather!”


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

“For all practical purposes, Hot-Shot eliminated those dangers,” he asserts. “It works real, real good.”

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

Hot-Shot technology puts low, 5-volt current with 400 amps through frozen metal lines for thawing 1-1/2” diameter lines up to 175 ft. long. If the unit pulls too much current in older homes, just switch to the lower power 320-amp setting. 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.

Additionally, General offers the lower powered, lower cost Hot-Shot 320 for thawing 1- 1/2″ diameter lines up to 100 ft. long.

Reliable & Versatile Performance
Reyes really values equipment dependability. “Hot-Shot is very reliable,” he says. “It has always done the job – and never let us down.”

Reyes also likes General’s safety features – like thermal overload protection and circuit breakers as standard equipment.

“That gives us extra peace-of-mind,” he says. “Workers feel very safe operating our Hot- Shot.”

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

General recommends water jet drain cleaners, that work equally effectively on grease, sediment, and other soft blockages. The 3000 psi, 4 gpm units like General’s J-2900 water jet, for instance, cuts through ice at one ft./min. in a 4″ inch line – with cold water!

“We finish jobs quicker with Hot-Shot,” Reyes concludes. “It’s a wonderful thing!”

For more information, contact the Drain Brains® at General at 800.245.6200 or by email: