All service providers need a system to manage their user accounts, billing, and support.

Their clients or customers also want a quick method to send emails, especially during an emergency.

Enter WHMCS Email piping. This system allows customers to send emails quickly, and it automatically opens as a ticket. But often, a wrong setup in WHMCS causes problems with email piping.

As part of Bobcares Server Management Services, we often get requests from our customers to resolve problems related to “WHMCS email piping”.

Today, we’ll see how our Support Engineers setup and solve errors related to “WHMCS email piping”.

How does email piping work?

WHMCS is a leading automation platform for web hosting. It provides features, such as signups, provisioning, billing, and support.

However, logging into the WHMCS account can be time-consuming. That’s where email piping plays a role. It helps customers to open and respond to tickets via email without logging into the customer area.

There are two popular methods to setup email piping. We will explain this further below.

1. Forwarder method

If you use cPanel or DirectAdmin, then the email piping can be applied to the same domain where the WHMCS is installed on. In order to configure email piping via forwarders, we use the following command while creating a forwarder in the web hosting control panel.

php -q /home/username/public_html/whmcs/crons/pipe.php

2. Pop3 method

This method can be used on a control panel like cPanel or if you want to pipe emails from domains other than the WHMCS installed domain.

To set up email piping via Pop3 method,

1. Create a unique email account for each support department on your mail server.

2. In WHMCS select Setup > Support > Support Departments > Edit and enter pop email access details.

3. At last, set up a cron job to run the test.php file using the “Ticket Importing using POP3 Import” command.

How we set up email piping in WHMCS

Let’s see how our Support Engineers set up email piping in WHMCS.

1. First, we log in to the WHMCS admin interface.

2. Then we click on Setup -> Support -> Support Departments.

3. From the Support Ticket Departments page, locate the Ticket Importing using Email Forwarders field and copy everything AFTER ‘home/username/’ in the path.

4. Next, we log into your cPanel dashboard.

6. And, we locate the Emails category and click on the Forwarders option > Add Forwarder button.

7. On the Add New Forwarder page, enter the support department’s email address in the Address to Forward field.

8. Now, we click on Advanced > Pipe to a Program and paste the command previously copied.

9. At last, we click the Add Forwarder button.

Top errors with email piping and their fixes

From our experience in managing servers, we’ve seen that many customers had issues related to email piping.

Let’s examine the top 3 issues and how our Support Engineers solved them.

1. Too Many Login Failures

Login failure may occur when WHMCS blocked by the mail server. This happens due to the incorrect login details under Setup > Support > Support Departments > Edit.

Our Support Engineers would double-check the details entered and correct errors if any.

2. Could Not Authenticate

This error causes when SMTP details given in the fields required are incorrect.

Then our Support Engineers verify the following settings under Setup > General Settings > Mail Tab:

  1. SMTP is chosen in the Mail Type dropdown.
  2. The related SMTP fields are filled correctly with proper values; username (user@email.tld), password, port, connection type.

3. Sending duplicate emails

Sometimes customers may send emails twice without knowing. This happens due to improper settings in the mail configuration file.

To fix this problem, we remove or comment out the “unseen” option from the exim.conf file.

virtual_aliases_nostar:
driver = redirect
allow_defer
allow_fail
data = ${if exists{/etc/virtual/${domain}/aliases}{${lookup{$local_part}lsearch{/etc/virtual/${domain}/aliases}}}}
file_transport = address_file
group = mail
pipe_transport = virtual_address_pipe
retry_use_local_part
#unseen
#include_domain = true

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Conclusion

In short, in WHMCS, email piping allows customers to send an email quickly and it opened automatically as a ticket. Today we saw how our Support Engineers set up Email piping in WHMCS and solved related errors.

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