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  • Roto-Rooter Jingle Turns 60 | Roto-Rooter Blog

    Can you sing the Roto-Rooter jingle? If you can’t we bet your parents can. As far as we can tell, the Roto-Rooter jingle is the oldest continuously-used jingle in advertising history and it turned 60 years old this year. Out of all the products and services out there, who would have guessed that a plumbing and drain cleaning company’s jingle would outlast all the others?

    I recently read an article claiming the Oscar Mayer Weiner jingle (I wish I were an Oscar Mayer Weiner…) was the oldest continuously used advertising jingle but, in fact, Roto-Rooter’s jingle was already in use for eight years before it appeared on the scene. Another article claimed the Slinky jingle (Slinky, Slinky, oh what a wonderful toy…) held the crown. But Slinky’s jingle made its debut in 1962, the same as Oscar Mayer’s.

    Captain Stubby and The BuccaneersThe Roto-Rooter jingle was written and performed for the first time in 1954 as a live commercial at WLS Radio in Chicago by Captain Stubby and The Buccaneers. It became successful because it
    so perfectly described the Roto-Rooter service and was catchy to the point that it’s almost unforgettable. Once you hear, it stays in your brain forever! Roto-Rooter never stopped using the jingle in its radio and TV commercials. And you’ll find the jingle in almost every video the company has on its robust YouTube channel, Roto-Rooter TV. Make sure you stop by our YouTube channel to see a fun video about our famous jingle and the Roto-Rooter jingle that preceded it.One thing worth noting is that only the last couple of lines of the jingle made it into most of the commercials. In fact, the full length jingle was a commercial in and of itself back when it made its debut on WLS. So for those of you who don’t know every word, here it is the 1954 jingle lyrics in their entirety:

    Roto-Rooter is quick first aid for clogs, sewers and stopped up drains. The wonderful Roto-Rooter machine twists and turns and shaves lines clean. Call Roto-Rooter, that’s the name, and away go troubles down the drain…Roto-Rooter!

    Years later, an additional verse was added to the jingle. Here are the lyrics to the new verse:

    When Roto-Rooter comes, that’s when your troubles go. When Roto-Rooter’s here, that’s when your troubles disappear. Call Roto-Rooter, that’s the name and away go troubles down the drain…Roto-Rooter!


  • Thanksgiving Plumbing Tips from Nation’s Top Plumbing and Drain Specialists | Roto-Rooter

    The day after Thanksgiving is the single busiest of the year for Roto-Rooter’s residential plumbers. Big holiday meal preparation and cleanup can lead to a lot of unwanted waste in the kitchen drain and garbage disposal. Also, holiday house guests who require additional laundry loads, showers and toilet flushes put a strain on household plumbing.

    “Often, the case is that a house already has partially clogged drains that go unnoticed, until holiday guests arrive and overwhelm the system,” said Paul Abrams, spokesman for Roto-Rooter. Hectic houses full of people and frantic hosts quickly and easily lead to plumbing problemsClogged kitchen sink drain trap
     throughout the holiday season. “Even more problematic is that virtually every traditional Thanksgiving dish is a drain clogging culprit,” Abrams continued.

    Incoming calls to Roto-Rooter for service will jump 50% above the average Friday. The four-day Thanksgiving weekend averages a 21% increase over any other Thursday through Sunday period during the year. Roto-Rooter is prepared with additional staff to address the expected increase in calls and jobs, saving customers from long waits and outrageous holiday service charges.

    Thanksgiving hosts can avoid a visit from their plumber over the holiday weekend by following these clog-preventing tips:

    • Never pour fats or cooking oils down drains. They solidify in pipes. Instead, wipe grease from pots with paper towels and throw in trash.
    • Avoid putting stringy, fibrous or starchy waste in the garbage disposal. Poultry skins, celery, fruit & potato peels, for example, cannot be sufficiently broken down.
    • Make sure the disposal is running when you put food into it. Don’t wait until it’s full to turn it on.
    • For homes hosting weekend guests, it’s a good idea to wait ten minutes between showers so slow drains have time to do their job.
    • Never flush cotton balls, swabs, hair or wet wipes down a toilet. They don’t dissolve and will cause clogs. Place a waste basket in the bathroom so these items won’t be flushed.
    • Try to address any plumbing problems before the holiday and before guests arrive. However, in the case of holiday plumbing emergencies, don’t hesitate to ask a plumber, up front, about extra holiday service fees. As always, know your DIY limits. Often, minor plumbing problems turn into plumbing catastrophes if not handled properly.

    Reporters who are interested in covering this information as a news story should contact Roto-Rooter’s public relations director, Paul Abrams at O) 513-762-6434 or on cell at 513-702-5631.


  • Fix Roots in Your Sewer Pipes Without Killing Trees | Roto-Rooter Blog

    Tree roots are to blame for millions of sewer clogs each year but too often homeowners swear revenge against the offending trees then follow through by cutting them down. But that’s an extreme reaction and not necessary! Your sewer pipes can coexist with your trees – and we’re not just saying that because we’re in the plumbing and sewer cleaning business and our name is Roto-Rooter. We love trees, and not just because they help us make money! They’re beautiful and they’re good for the environment.

    Modern trenchless sewer replacement methods allow us replace underground sewer pipes without digging up your yard. And the sleek new pipeline that we use to replace your old broken sewer pipe is more or less permanently impervious to root infiltration. It’s immune, untouchable and you’ll never again need to worry about a sewer backup caused by tree roots the way you did with old clay, Orangeburg, concrete or iron pipes. The manufacturers of some of the modern plastic pipe estimate that the new plastic pipelines will probably last 100 years! Pipe bursting and pipe relining is something we’ve been doing at Roto-Rooter for more than a decade so we’re well versed on its merits. The cost for trenchless sewer replacement is a bit higher than a traditional sewer excavation job but it’s still cheaper than having a few trees removed and you won’t need a year to get your lawn back in order. For the most part, there won’t be much physical evidence that our crew was ever there.

    But chances are you don’t need to replace your sewer at all. If the pipe is still in fair condition, you can manage tree root infiltration by calling Roto-Rooter when you start to notice more than one drain in the house draining slowly. We’ll mechanically clean the line and remove all roots and obstructions. Having more than one slow drain in the house is an early warning that a sewer backup is coming. Better yet, if you know your home experiences a sewer backup about once a year, call us, we’ll put you on an annual schedule and remind you when it’s time for your annual sewer cleaning. We can do this at whichever intervals meet your needs. The cleanings are affordable and you won’t have to sacrifice the beautiful shade trees in your yard that are probing your sewer line for water and nutrients. 


  • Plumbing Maintenance in Your Home Winterizing Routine | Roto-Rooter Blog

    Have you ever had a frozen water pipe in your home? Sure, it’s a nuisance when you turn on the tap and discover your plumbing isn’t working. But that’s not the end of the ordeal. A hard freeze turns water inside the pipe into ice, which expands and creates pressure that often cracks or splits the water pipe, no matter if it’s made of copper, plastic or cast iron. The real trouble starts when the pipe begins to thaw and pressurized water begins spewing out of the crack and into a wall cavity! If your home has a basement, it could soon turn into an indoor swimming pool if the leak goes unnoticed for an extended period. If you want to avoid these scenarios, winterize your plumbing now, before the temperatures drop into the sub-zero range.

    Frozen PipesInsulation is the key. If you have exposed pipes in a crawl space, beneath pier and beam or trailer homes or even in attics and unheated garages, you need to insulate the pipes with foam insulation sleeves. Be generous with the insulation. There is no “less is more” when it comes to avoiding frozen pipes. Look at the sinks, toilets and bathtubs in your home. Do the supply lines for these fixtures run along outside walls? If so, those water pipes could be vulnerable if our winter is particularly cold. Take steps now, while you still have some reasonably warm weather on your side. For helpful winterizing tips, watch Roto-Rooter’s winterizing video.

    And the number one thing you need to do now if you live in the Northeast or Midwest is disconnect garden hoses from outside faucets. Then cover the faucets with Styrofoam insulation kits. If you live in the south, do this before the end of November! When water inside a garden hose freezes, it expands ice and pressure right into the faucet itself and into the water pipe that supplies it. That’s the most common place where water pipes freeze. And if you have a leaking outside faucet, fix it before winter arrives. If you can’t do it yourself, call a plumber. If you don’t those drips will surely freeze and create a bigger problem this winter. A plumber can also inspect your plumbing system and show you where your may have vulnerabilities to extreme cold.


  • Water Damage: The Need for Speedy Repair | Roto-Rooter Blog

    Water Damage: The Need for Speed!

    Water damage can be caused by many things: sewer line and toilet backups, sump pump and water heater failures, broken pipes, washing machine and dishwasher leaks, ice maker problems, flooding due to heavy rain, ground water seeping into the basement and natural disasters.

    But it doesn’t take a lot of water to cause tremendous damage. Just an inch or two can destroy carpets and dry wall, warp wood floors, damage building components, and trash home furnishings and personal items, including photo albums and family heirlooms.

    Even after the water seems to disappear, excess moisture can hide in your floor coverings, foundation, wood structures and walls—causing major damage to your property and creating the perfect environment for mold and other fungi growth.

    But if you catch it in time, you can ward off a lot of the damage and save money and headaches down the road. It’s important that water is quickly removed and the property dried, ventilated and disinfected to inhibit the growth of bacteria, fungi, mildew and other microorganisms that are harmful.

    The key is having the phone number for a Washington, D.C. plumbing and water restoration team you trust ahead of time, so you can take care of the problem quickly. Here are a few things to look for before choosing a water restoration company:

    • A well-trained and knowledgeable team. Each technician should have received an Institute of Inspection, Cleaning and Restoration Certification (IICRC) and perform water restoration services in compliance with the IICRC S500 standards for professional water damage restoration.
    • State-of-the-art equipment/techniques. Ask the company if it uses efficient dehumidifying units and air movers to eliminate moisture and prevent secondary damage to furniture, walls and flooring, as well as extraction processes with both suction and compression, which bring water to the surface and suctioning it away, so it cannot be re-absorbed into the carpet or pad.
    • Vehicles should be fully equipped with state-of-the art extraction, drying and moisture testing equipment for all types of water problems.
    • Professionals should work directly with your insurance carrier so you’ll have one less thing to worry about.
    • They should be available 24-hours a day, 365 days a year, including holidays.

    Most importantly, know who to call before something happens. Researching a local plumber who’s licensed and insured ahead of time… and having their phone number on hand… can save you time and a lot of headaches if you should ever experience a water leak.

    For more Washington, D.C. plumbing tips, as well as instructional videos, visit ROTO-ROOTER Washington, D.C.  and our Google+ page.Water Damage: The Need for Speed!

    Water damage can be caused by many things: sewer line and toilet backups, sump pump and water heater failures, broken pipes, washing machine and dishwasher leaks, ice maker problems, flooding due to heavy rain, ground water seeping into the basement and natural disasters.

    But it doesn’t take a lot of water to cause tremendous damage. Just an inch or two can destroy carpets and dry wall, warp wood floors, damage building components, and trash home furnishings and personal items, including photo albums and family heirlooms.

    Even after the water seems to disappear, excess moisture can hide in your floor coverings, foundation, wood structures and walls—causing major damage to your property and creating the perfect environment for mold and other fungi growth.

    But if you catch it in time, you can ward off a lot of the damage and save money and headaches down the road. It’s important that water is quickly removed and the property dried, ventilated and disinfected to inhibit the growth of bacteria, fungi, mildew and other microorganisms that are harmful.

    The key is having the phone number for a Washington, D.C. plumbing and water restoration team you trust ahead of time, so you can take care of the problem quickly. Here are a few things to look for before choosing a water restoration company:

    • A well-trained and knowledgeable team. Each technician should have received an Institute of Inspection, Cleaning and Restoration Certification (IICRC) and perform water restoration services in compliance with the IICRC S500 standards for professional water damage restoration.
    • State-of-the-art equipment/techniques. Ask the company if it uses efficient dehumidifying units and air movers to eliminate moisture and prevent secondary damage to furniture, walls and flooring, as well as extraction processes with both suction and compression, which bring water to the surface and suctioning it away, so it cannot be re-absorbed into the carpet or pad.
    • Vehicles should be fully equipped with state-of-the art extraction, drying and moisture testing equipment for all types of water problems.
    • Professionals should work directly with your insurance carrier so you’ll have one less thing to worry about.
    • They should be available 24-hours a day, 365 days a year, including holidays.

    Most importantly, know who to call before something happens. Researching a local plumber who’s licensed and insured ahead of time… and having their phone number on hand… can save you time and a lot of headaches if you should ever experience a water leak.

    For more Washington, D.C. plumbing tips, as well as instructional videos, visit ROTO-ROOTER Washington, D.C.  and our Google+ page.


  • Pumpkin Carving Fun Often Leads to Clogged Drains

    Pumpkin Carving Fun Often Leads to Clogged Drains

    By Paul Abrams

     

    It’s a family event in late October when many American households carve a pumpkin into a Halloween jack-o-lantern. The kids delight in the whole process, especially when mom and dad let junior scoop the pumpkin pulp out of the pumpkin. But what happens next is the scary part. Often, those slimy pumpkin guts are pushed down the sink drain then the disposal is turned on to chop it into tiny bits before the water washes it away. Except, it doesn’t quite work that way because pumpkin pulp should NEVER go down the drain!

     

    Any plumber will tell you that pumpkin guts will do a number on your garbage disposal and your kitchen drain. Most disposals will choke on the sticky stuff and what does get through will stick to the walls of the pipes then dry like fiberglass resin mixed with glue! Trust us when we tell you this exercise is definitely more trick than treat for a homeowner. Roto-Rooter can cut the gunk out but it’s not quick, easy or cheap.

     

    A better idea is to carve your pumpkin on a thick bed of newspaper. And when the carving is done, toss the whole mess into your compost pile. If you don’t compost, throw it in the trash can. Oh, and in case you think you can flush those pumpkin guts down the toilet, you can…but you’ll be sorry! We’ve seen it done and the results were not pretty. Since we’ve just about seen it all, we urge you to heed our warning and listen to the experts. Check out our pumpkin carving tips video and enjoy a clog-free Halloween.


  • ‘Tis the Season for Plumbing Emergencies | Roto-Rooter Blog

    ‘Tis the Season for Plumbing Emergencies

    It’s about that time of year again… when family and friends come together for holiday meals, celebrations and parties. But crowded homes and busy kitchens can often put a strain on your plumbing system. In fact, holidays are often our busiest times of the year. Whether it’s unclogging a pipe filled with potato peelings, or fixing a flooded bathroom, our Tampa plumbers definitely have their work cut out for them!

    So, to keep the season merry and bright, be sure to follow a few basic plumbing guidelines:

    • Make sure your toilet is in good working condition before guests arrive. Holiday guests equate to lots of extra toilet flushes, which can add up to potential plumbing disasters. Be sure to put waste baskets in your bathrooms to help guests remember not to flush items like baby wipes, facial tissues and feminine products down the toilet.
    • Pipes clog because of a gradual buildup of grease, hair, soap and/ or food particles. All it takes is one major overload, like a house full of showering guests, to exasperate the situation and create a clogged drain. If you haven’t had your plumbing system inspected in a while, now may be the time.
    • Avoid pouring fats or cooking oils down the drain because liquid fats solidify in the pipes and create clogs. Wipe congealed grease from pots.
    • Never put hard-to-grind, stringy, fibrous waste into the garbage disposer (poultry skins, carrots, potato skins, celery, pumpkin pulp or banana peels). The disposer can't sufficiently grind these items and they will clog your sink drain.
    • Run cold water down the drain for about 15 seconds before and after using the garbage disposer to flush waste down the main line.
    • Turn on the disposer before adding food debris.
    • Run the dishwasher and washing machine at night or at off times to conserve hot water and maintain adequate water pressure for your guests.

    For more Tampa plumbing tips, as well as instructional videos, visit ROTO-ROOTER Tampa and our Google+ page.


  • Checking Your Appliance’s “Blood” Pressure | Roto-Rooter Blog

    Do Your Appliances Have High “Blood” Pressure?

    As a part of staying healthy, all of us need to check our blood pressure from time to time. But could your appliances be suffering from high “blood” pressure, as well? The lifeline of many of your appliances is water… and if the water pressure at your home goes unchecked, it could be a St. Paul plumbing emergency waiting to happen. Too much pressure can erode or wear away many materials and cause water heaters to leak, water pipes to bang, faucets to drip, pipes to leak, as well as excessive dishwasher and clothes washer noise and breakdown.

    The good news is that high water pressure is easily fixed and the cost to do it is pretty reasonable (especially compared to the damage you could face if it’s not corrected!) So, what can you do?

    If the water pressure in your home is above 60 pounds per square inch, it could be harmful to your plumbing system. You can contact your local water authority to find out what the water pressure is on your street. If it exceeds 60 pounds, consider installing a pressure reducing valve (PRV) that will limit the water pressure within your home. You can pick them up at most hardware stores for around $80. If you’re not comfortable doing it yourself, call a professional plumber to help.

    Aside from warding off potential plumbing disasters, installing a PRV can also save you big bucks. Here’s how:

    • Reducing the system pressure by as little as 10 to 20 psi can save thousands of gallons a year in a typical home.
    • Saving water also contributes to saving up the wastewater load, lowering sewer bills/taxes.
    • Since 30% of the water used in households is heated, a pressure regulator can cut down on the amount of hot water you’re using, too, saving energy costs.
    • PRVs can help minimize the cost of plumbing service calls caused by problems with dishwashers and clothes washers, leaky water heaters, leaking water pipes and the potential water damage that could result.
    • Since many residential plumbing fixtures are designed for pressures no greater than 75–80 psi… some manufacturers void their warranties if pressures are above this range! That means, if high pressure caused the problem with that new water heater, dishwasher, refrigerator icemaker, or pressure-assisted toilet, it could be your problem to fix.

    For more St. Paul plumbing tips, as well as instructional videos, visit ROTO-ROOTER St. Paul and our Google+ page.


  • Choosing the Right Water Heater for You | Roto-Rooter Blog

    Choosing the Right Water Heater for You

    From tankless to traditional, solar to hybrid—there are more choices than ever when it comes to water heaters! So how do you decide which one is best for you? Here’s the scoop on all your water heater options from the ROTO-ROOTER Seattle plumbing experts:

    Conventional Water Heater

    These are the water heaters we all know and love. They store water in a tank, heat it up, and are available in a variety of gallon capacities, depending on your family size and personal needs. The drawbacks? They’re big, taking up a lot of space, and they consume energy whether water is needed or not, making them less efficient than some other options. A conventional electric or gas water heater should last about 11-15 years and they cost about $300.

    Tankless Water Heater (a.k.a. Instant or On-Demand Hot Water)

    A tankless water heater is generally considered more energy efficient because it only heats water as it is needed. When the tap is turned on, the heater goes to work and supplies continuous hot water. It’s smaller and can hang on a wall—but it can require larger gas lines and special venting—all of which can be expensive. However, a tankless water heater has a life expectancy of 15-20 years and may reduce water heating bills by as much as 30 percent. They’re pricey, though, costing $700-$1500.

    Solar Water Heater Systems

    These eco-friendly units use the sun’s energy to generate hot water for your home. There are two types. The first, a passive solar water heating system, is typically the less expensive option, but they're usually not as efficient. They are, however, more reliable and may last longer. Active solar water heating systems utilize pumps and controls to circulate water into the home. Most solar water heating systems require a well-insulated storage tank and a backup system for cloudy days and high water demand.

    Hybrid Heat Pump Water Heater

    A hybrid water heater combines conventional tank storage with a heat pump that extracts heat from the air and uses it to help heat the water. It uses existing water and electrical connections, and can reduce water heating costs by almost 60 percent, making them a formidable competitor to tankless units.


    Still not sure which one is best for you? For more information about water heaters, as well as Seattle plumbing tips and instructional videos, visit ROTO-ROOTER Seattle and our Google+ page.


  • 10 Easy Plumbing Winterization Preps for Cold Temps | Roto-Rooter Blog

    Is Your Plumbing Winter-Ready? 10 Easy Preps for Cold Temps

    As the leaves change color and temperatures begin to cool, we’re reminded that bitter, freezing temperatures will be creeping up on us before we know it. As you begin to pull out your winter wardrobe, don’t forget that your house needs some protection against the elements, too! After all, you don’t want to deal with the damage and costly repairs caused by frozen pipes and other winter woes. Here are some Philadelphia plumbing tips that’ll help get you prepared:

    1. Clear your rain gutters and downspouts. That pile of leaves and debris can block drainage, causing water to back up into your walls, resulting in thousands of dollars in damage. Rain water can also freeze into heavy blocks of ice, which will pull the gutters away from your home, shortening their lifespan and creating an overhead ice hazard.
    2. Disconnect outside water hoses. If left connected, water in the hoses can freeze and expand causing faucets and connecting pipes inside your home to freeze and break.
    3. Put a “sweater” on your outside faucets. Pick up a few Styrofoam faucet insulation kits from your local home improvement store. They’re very inexpensive, easy to install, and they protect against freezing temperatures
    4. Take care of dripping or leaky faucets. Either do it yourself or call a plumber, but make sure they’re fixed before freezing temperatures arrive. When leaky pipes freeze, water pressure can build – causing cracks in plastic, copper and even steel pipes. Just a tiny crack can unleash enough water to cause serious damage or flooding.
    5. Do you have interior shut-off valves leading to outside faucets? If so, close them and drain water from the outside lines.
    6. Insulate pipes in unheated areas, such as garages or crawl spaces. Apply heat tape or thermostat-controlled heat cables around pipes that are exposed and prone to freezing.
    7. Leaky doors and windows? Caulking and weather-stripping go a long way toward tightening them up and keeping out the cold air and moisture. According to the U.S. Department of Energy, the potential energy savings from reducing drafts in your home may be as much as 30% per year.
    8. Get your water heater ready. After all, it is the workhorse of the house during winter months:
    • Flush and clean your water heater (check your user’s manual or consult the manufacturer’s website for instructions)
    • Check the temperature setting on your water heater's thermostat and make sure it’s set at 120°F for optimum performance.
    • Carefully test the water heater's pressure relief valve (Danger: water is very hot) by lifting up on the lever and letting it snap back. The valve should allow a burst of hot water into the drainpipe. If not, call a professional to have a new valve installed. Caution: if your water heater is more than five years old and the pressure relief valve has never been tested, you can actually cause a leak by testing older valves that have corroded or stuck seals. A plumber should be consulted.
    1. Make sure your sump pump is ready by inspecting and cleaning it – and the pit. Pumps exposed to extreme cold can freeze, preventing it from operating.
    2. Going away for a few days? Shut off the main water valve and drain the system by opening faucets at the highest and lowest points of the house. Don’t turn your heat off! Make sure the heat is left on and set no lower than 55°F. (These tips are for people living in their homes during the winter months. Many additional steps should be taken to winterize vacation properties that sit empty for weeks or months at a time.)

    For more plumbing tips, as well as instructional videos, visit ROTO-ROOTER Philadelphia  and our Google+ page.


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