Roto-Rooter Blog

  • How to Manage Water Damage in Your Home | Roto-Rooter

    How to Manage Water Damage in Your Home-POSTHow to best manage water damage in your home

    Even just a few inches of water can do serious harm to your home. The plumbing experts at Roto-Rooter specialize in water restoration. We also offer helpful DIY advice on how to deal with a water emergency and protect your home for the future.

    Water damage is the second most filed insurance claim in the United States with billions of dollars in property losses spent each year as a result of water damage.

    Follow these 4 simple steps before you begin troubleshooting:

    1. Turn off the water supply in your home

    2. Turn off all power

    3. Move furniture

    4. Call Roto-Rooter for professional plumbing assistance at any time.

    Why a water leak constitutes an immediate emergency:

    • A 1/8 inch crack in a pipe can cause as much as 250 gallons of water released per day!

    • Mold can grow in an untreated, damp environment within the first 24 to 48 hours

    From burst pipes, to clogged toilets, sewer backups and water heater failures, water emergencies can happen at any time. Roto-Rooter’s helpful infographic is designed to walk you through simple troubleshooting to address your water emergency as soon as possible.

    Whether it is your water heater, toilet or any other plumbing or equipment that needs service, Roto-Rooter’s trained plumbing professionals are here to help you with all of your residential plumbing needs.  

    Water damage can be put into three categories:

    • Uncontaminated, clean water that does not pose a threat (water from a kitchen sink or tub being an example).

    • Grey water from sump pump pit water or discharge from a dishwasher could contain contaminants and exposure could result in illness.

    • Black water from sewer backups or floodwater can cause serious illness or even death from exposure.

    Learn more about how you can do your part with Roto-Rooter’s helpful infographic, as well as our extensive list of DIY conservation tips online. Our simple facts about household leaks with be sure to save you money on your utility bill while also helping you to be more environmentally conscious.

    Preventative Maintenance - DoIt Yourself

    Keeping your home safe and dry can be an easy process if you follow these simple steps:

    1. Frequently inspect your water lines and seals on washing machines, water heaters, dishwashers and ice-makers.  Replace if needed.

    2. Drain water heaters every six months to prevent sediment buildup.

    3. Prevent frozen pipes by maintaining the heat in your home.

    4. Inspect the water shut-off valve regularly and replace if needed.

    5. Test your sump-pump at least once a year.

    In addition to our helpful infographic, see our online information targeting the plumbing basics to help you to maximize your plumbing’s efficiency throughout your home and address water leaks immediately.

  • 5 Ways to Protect Your Home in Reno, Nevada | Roto-Rooter

    Being a homeowner isn't always smooth sailing. If something goes wrong, you can't just call up your landlord to take care of it. Either you have to fix the problem yourself or call a professional. Such issues in your house are inevitable - especially as the seasons change. However, there are steps you can take to avoid unnecessary plumbing issues. Here are five ways to protect your Reno, Nevada, home:

    Start with your toilet

    protect-your-home-reno-nvThere are some things that just should not be flushed. In fact, the only things that belong in your toilet are toilet paper and waste. Everything else - pitch it in the trash. Your pipes aren't made to withstand other items. For example, feminine hygiene products, like tampons and sanitary pads, are made to absorb  liquid. Therefore, if flushed, they can back up your fixtures and cause serious damage.

    You might have been told to flush pills down the toilet instead of tossing them into the trash. However, antibiotics can eliminate harmful bacteria in our sewage systems and can pose a threat to the environment. Put them in the waste basket instead.

    If you are one to have people over at all times, it can be difficult to ensure your guests aren't flushing the wrong materials. It might be helpful to put up a sign like they do in restaurant bathrooms, just to protect your home and plumbing.

    Protect your pipes

    Regardless of the type of climate you live in, your pipes need a little extra warmth during the winter. Be sure to head out to your local hardware store to pick up some insulation (the pink material found in unfinished basements and attics). Cut the insulation, and wrap it around all the exposed fixtures in your home. This will help keep them toasty, even in the colder months of the year, and prevent freezing.

    Don't ignore the problem

    Most people expect plumbing issues to go away on their own. You might be able to initially unclog a toilet, but if it keeps getting backed up a couple of times a week, it may mean there's a bigger problem. If you notice something is off, don't just ignore it. For example, a leaky faucet may seem relatively harmless. However, over time, it can increase your water bill and grow harmful mold in your sink. Give a professional a call to come in to fix the problem.

    Take care of your drains

    All too often, people let things go down the drain that don't belong there. For instance, you should install a hair catcher in all of your showers and tubs. That way, hair won't back up the pipes, as you can throw it in the garbage after you bathe. Another place where many people run into issues? The garbage disposal. Although these kitchen features can come in handy, they're also very sensitive to the wrong materials. Here are some items you should never throw down your garbage disposal:

    • Fibrous foods, like lettuce, carrots, onion skins and potato peels.

    • Greasy foods or grease from cleaning.

    • Food that increases in size with water, like pasta, rice and other grains.

    • Bones.

    • Non-food items.

    Call a plumber

    Although there are plenty of websites that can guide you through snaking a drain or fixing a dishwasher, sometimes you can do more harm than good. Don't risk causing more extensive and expensive problems to you home; instead, just give a plumber a call. Ring us over at Roto-Rooter and we'll send out a professional and experienced plumber to fix anything you need.

  • 4 Types of Sewer Linings for Cracked Pipes | Roto-Rooter

    sewer-linings-for-cracked-pipes4 Types of Sewer Linings to Rehabilitate Your Cracked Pipes

    Sewer linings can help to repair cracked pipes without having to completely replace your sewer lines or destroy the area around them.

    If you are looking to replace an existing underground sewer pipe that has started to leak, first consider your options. A full sewer pipe replacement may not be necessary. Often, relining your existing pipes is a better option. If your sewer lines are beneath trees, near extensive landscaping, sidewalks, driveways or other semi-permanent features, total sewer excavation can cause a great deal of collateral damage (and expense) to the surrounding area.

    In many cases, pipe relining is great alternative to replacing your sewer pipes. There are four types of pipe relining systems to successfully get the job done. All the materials will rehabilitate the interior of your pipes without having to completely replace them.

    Here are the types of pipe relining systems available today:

    1. Cured-in Place

    Cured-in place piping is a method used to repair trenchless relining systems. Professional sewer and drain companies like Roto-Rooter are able to remotely line the section of the pipe that is cracked without having to dig a trench. After the interior of the pipe is cleaned and dried, the installers will apply the lining to the problem area. The liner is cured in place with jets of hot steam as it molds into all the cracks inside the pipe.

    2. Pull-in Place

    Pull-in place is the best lining method for pipes that have larger gaps and cracks. The material is fixed into the pipe using heat, like steam. The epoxy-saturated liner is then pulled into place (the place being the area of the pipe that needs repair). To pull the liner through the desired location, two access points are needed: one to feed the liner and one to pull it through. Air is introduced into the pipe to open the sleeve and hold it against the inner walls of the pipe until it dries in place.

    3. Pipe bursting

    The pipe-bursting method is used on pipes that are severely damaged, for replacing an entire pipe system, or for repairing larger sections of sewer pipeline. The installers need physical access to the pipe in order to begin repair, which includes two four foot square access pits at either end of the pipeline. The installers begin by placing a "bursting head" at the access point on one end of the pipe. Hydraulic power is used to drag the head through the pipe. As it makes its way through the system, breaking the old pipe apart and drawing in a new seamless pipe behind it. The pipe is a plastic material that will be impervious to root intrusion for up to 100 years.

    4. Internal pipe coating

    Professional installers use internal pipe coating to repair an existing sewer pipe that has started to leak into surrounding soil. To prepare the area for treatment, they will completely drain the pipes to get rid of any water. A thick epoxy coating is sprayed on the inside of your pipes to permanently seal the leaks and cracks throughout the pipeline.

    All of these pipe relining techniques leave behind a smooth, seamless pipe that is designed to last for generations.

    Call the Plumbing Professionals at Roto-Rooter

    Pipe relining requires the work of an experienced professional and is not a do-it-yourself job.  For more information on sewer pipe replacement options, contact your local Roto-Rooter Plumbing & Drain Service professional today.

  • 4 Plumbing Tips from Your Eugene Roto-Rooter | Roto-Rooter

    four-plumbing-tips-eugeneMost people forget how much time, effort and money goes into being a homeowner. You can no longer ring your landlord when something goes wrong. As someone with a house, you have full responsibility for either fixing it or hiring someone to take care of things.

    One aspect in your home that needs to be taken care of? Your plumbing. Of course, problems are sometimes inevitable, but there are conscious steps you can take to keep your systems in working order. Here are four things your Eugene, Oregon, plumber wants you to know:

    Garbage disposals are not the trash

    Most people are too liberal with what they put in their garbage disposals, when in fact these systems are incredibly sensitive. They're a great way to get rid of food scrap, because unlike garbage cans, the materials don't sit and produce odor. Instead, they disintegrate in your plumbing systems, where you no longer have to worry about them. However, these appliances can't break down everything, and if you throw the wrong material down your disposal, you could risk backing it up, breaking it and harming the environment. Things such as bones, vegetable peelings, grains and grease should never be thrown down your plumbing. Instead, pitch them in the trash.

    Protect your pipes

    Some of the most dangerous issues in the home can happen during winter, and it comes in the form of frozen pipes. If your pipes aren't properly protected, the water inside of them can freeze, stopping your water systems all together. Unfortunately, most people don't realize their pipes are frozen until it's too late (either when their showers don't work or the pipe bursts causing extensive and expensive damage to the home). However, there are plenty of precautions you can take to ensure this isn't the case for you.

    First, head out to your local hardware store and pick up some insulation (that pink material found in unfinished rooms). Next, cut the insulation and wrap it around your unfinished pipes - especially the ones found in laundry rooms, basements and attics. This material stores the heat so the cold doesn't harm your pipe fixtures when temperatures drop; it's like a jacket for your pipes! Although insulation can do a lot, it doesn't do you any good if your heat isn't working. Before winter hits, make sure your heating systems are working just fine. Test all your vents to make sure the right temperature and pressure of air is blowing. In addition, check that there are no pieces of decor (rugs, side tables, etc.) covering your vents.

    If it's in the dead of winter, you may also want to run your faucets on a daily basis. This consistent water flow will diminish your chances of the water freezing. This is particularly important in faucets that don't get much attention, like a basement shower head or laundry room sink.

    Be cautious of what you flush

    The pipes connected to your toilet are more sensitive than you think. In fact, there are plenty of items that you shouldn't be flushing (i.e. anything but waste and toilet paper). Any feminine products like tampons or sanitary pads are made to absorb liquid, so they will not properly break down and can cause blockage to your systems. The same thing goes for cotton balls and baby wipes. In addition, if flushed, pills can eliminate the necessary bacteria in our water and pose a threat to wildlife and the environment.

    Don't flush anything except waste and toilet paper.

    Although you may know about what you should and shouldn't flush, that doesn't mean all your guests do. Just to be safe, consider hanging a sign (like the ones in restaurants) noting what should and shouldn't be flushed down the toilet to protect your home the best you can.

    Call a professional

    Sometimes problems are simply out of our hands. Instead of risking making it worse by trying to fix something yourself, just call someone to get the job done for you. Our experienced and professional plumbers at Roto-Rooter can tend to any of your plumbing needs - even if it's just answering a simple question. Don't hesitate, give us a call!

  • Making sense of WaterSense-labeled low-flow faucets

    When it comes to finding more efficient fixtures for your home, it can be difficult to know which options provide the best value for the environment and your utilities bills. Luckily, the U.S. government has programs to make the decision easier, and its WaterSense program is one of your best resources when seeking out new high quality faucets that use less water without seeming like it. This represents the very latest in faucet evolution.

    This information is particularly useful in areas that have strict conservation demands. In these states, a low-flow faucet may be the only option. So whether you're contending with regulations or simply want to be more efficient in your water usage, check out this overview of WaterSense-labeled low-flow faucets:

    What is the WaterSense program?

    Companies that wish to label their products as WaterSense compliant must sign an agreement with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. Then, these companies produce faucets, showerheads, toilets and other plumbing fixtures that have water efficiency exceeding the average flow rate by at least 20 percent; have a third-party certification and meet other criteria. This arrangement is similar to the Energy Star program for appliances and electronic devices.

    "WaterSense products exceed average efficiency by at least 20%."

    The level of required efficiency can change as the industry sees more overall innovation. As of 2016, the EPA listed faucets that put out no more than 1.5 gallons per minute as sufficient for a WaterSense label. The average flow rate for faucets at that time was 2.2 gallons per minute.

    Another key criteria of the WaterSense labeling program is realizing savings shouldn't impact performance. This means you get the same quality of product along with more money in your pocket when it's time to pay the water bill.

    What do you get with a WaterSense-labeled faucet?

    Of course, the most important question for any homeowner would be in regard to hard figures about water conservation. What exactly does that 20 percent boost in efficiency translate to? Here's a look:

    • When converting that percentage to the amount of water saved, the average family can cut its annual water consumption by 700 gallons.

    • As for cost savings, this collective reduction across the U.S. could total $1.2 billion in savings each year.

    • For water utility bills in particular, the EPA estimated a possible national savings of $350 million.

  • 4 Things You Should Never Flush Down the Toilet | Roto-Rooter

    Four Items you should never flush down the toilet

    Your toilet is a not as hearty as you might think. In order to maintain superior plumbing performance throughout your home, it is important to always be mindful of what you flush down the toilet. Human waste and toilet paper are truly the only things that you should be flushing down your toilet. Flushing things like Q-tips and hair from your hairbrush can cause clogs and backups over time.

    Here are four things you should never flush down the toilet:

    Feminine hygiene products

    Feminine products soak up moisture while causing expansion, which is the very reason tampons, applicators or sanitary pads should never be flushed down the toilet. Overtime, flushing feminine hygiene products will make it difficult for these items to pass through the sewer pipeline, as well as your water treatment plant.

    Dental floss

    Dental floss may seem harmless, but over time, flushing dental floss can cause a backup while getting stuck in the middle of your pipeline, catching on tree roots or on an offset section of a pipe. Floss is also not biodegradable, which means it will end up in a landfill and can be harmful to both humans and our environment.

    'Flushable' wipes

    Contrary to what the packaging reads, you should never flush wipes down the toilet. Wipes can get caught on pipes and cause blockages and backups. Flushable wipes are also not biodegradable as many are made of plastic. Always remember to toss face wipes in the wastebasket – not your toilet bowl.

    Kitty litter

    Kitty litter is another product that should never be flushed down the toilet. Not only are you flushing fecal matter and urine, but also clay and sand, which should never be flushed. Cat waste can carry toxins and parasites, which means you are flushing bacteria through your local water system. For questions or concerns about your home’s plumbing and what not to flush, call your local Roto-Rooter for answers to all of your plumbing questions. 

  • 3 Simple Ways to Prevent Water Damage in Manchester, NH

    3 Simple Ways to Prevent Water Damage

    Knowing the warning signs of water damage in your home and how to curb these issues from even happening in the first place will forever help you as a homeowner.

    You aren't expected to know the ins and outs of plumbing by any means. However, to prevent a catastrophe in your Manchester, New Hampshire, home, it is strongly recommended you familiarize yourself with the basics.

    Here are three simple ways to prevent water damage in and around you home:

    Check your water bill

    If you never check your water bill, now is the time to start. This is a simple yet vastly effective way to see if you have a cracked or leaking pipe. We know what you're thinking: "How is my bill going to tell me if I have a leak?" Easy: If your bill suddenly skyrocketed, this most likely indicates water is constantly running somewhere throughout your home. With the number of pipes that are hidden behind the walls and beneath the floorboards, you may never even know when (or where) there might be a problem. A higher bill is a definite warning sign that there's a leak somewhere.

    Clean your gutters

    This is another straightforward way to prevent water damage that often gets ignored. During fall and winter, your gutters, spigots and downspouts collect leaves, sticks and other debris. These items block the flow of water and clog the gutters. The result? Excessive overflow that leads to flooding and possible damage. With spring comes heavy rainfall, so don't forget to do this before the first storm hits. Skip it, and you might be left with a leaky roof or a pool in your basement.

    Watch where you garden

    You may have never thought about this one before, but it will definitely be beneficial in the long run - for both your home and wallet. Shrubs and trees that have invasive roots (like weeping willows) can cause major damage to your outdoor plumbing systems. Their tough roots might grow into your sprinkler system, drainage field, sewer pipes or even hit your septic tank. Keep your deep rooted plants away from water lines and a relatively large distance from your sprinkler systems.

    For more information on how to prevent water damage, contact your Manchester Roto-Rooter professional today.

  • 3 Ways to Fix a Clogged Garbage Disposal | Roto-Rooter

    Fix your clogged garbage disposal

    Your garbage disposal keeps rotting food smells out of your kitchen and it also ensures that excess waste does not end up in landfills. The garbage disposal in your home requires regular cleaning, care and maintenance in order to continue to work properly. To avoid costly garbage disposal repairs or replacement, Roto-Rooter offers these helpful tips to fix your garbage disposal:

    Reset your disposal
    If your disposal isn't working at all, it probably isn’t getting any power. Look for (and press) the reset button located on the underside of the fixture - Give it a few seconds and then try the power switch to see if your disposal starts running again - If this doesn’t work, try unplugging the disposal from your outlet and trying another outlet. If your disposal gets power from another outlet than you need to look at your circuit breaker panel and reset the breaker switch.

    Clear the jam
    Food can often get stuck in your garbage disposal, causing a jam. If you flip the switch and the motor is running but the disposal doesn't grind, you could have something stuck, preventing the disposal from rotating. Unplug your fixture and try to pull out (by hand) anything that feels stuck in the disposal. Sometimes, kitchen tongs can be helpful in accessing things that your hands cannot. For step-by-step instructions on clearing your clogged garbage disposal, watch our video.  Always remember to unplug the garbage disposal before reaching for any items that might be causing a jam.  

    Check your plumbing
    If your sink has standing water it could be an issue with your drain, not your disposal. For issues that require professional service, call the plumbing repair experts at Roto-Rooter. We can assess any drainage problem or repair promptly and get your plumbing working at peak performance again in no time.


  • How to Prevent Drain Clogs in Sarasota, FL | Roto-Rooter

    How to Prevent Drain Clogs

    The best way to avoid drain clogs is to be mindful of what you put in it. Instead of using harmful chemicals to clean your pipes, follow these simple tips to help keep your drains clear:

    The Kitchen Sink with a Garbage Disposal

    Avoid tossing thick or sticky items into your kitchen sink. Food like thick fruit, vegetable peels, eggshells and pasta do not grind well and can cause a drain clog. Remember to toss your used coffee grounds or excess food scraps in the garbage or a compost pile rather than down your kitchen sink.

    When using your garbage disposal, run a heavy stream of water down the drain, which will allow any waste material to run entirely through the drainage system. Clean your system out weekly by pouring boiling water down your most used drains.

    For the Kitchen Sink without a Garbage Disposal

    Never pour excess cooking grease in the garbage disposal or down the sink drain. Grease can stick to the inside walls of your pipes, leading to a drain clog. To prevent drain clogs, always dispose of grease directly into the trash can.

    When you don’t have garbage disposal, a drain strainer will help prevent food scraps from trickling down the drain.

    Once a week, pour boiling water down your drain to clean out the system, which will help melt away the weeks' worth of grease that has accumulated inside your pipes.

    The Bathroom  

    In your bathroom, it is best to use a screen or drain grate that covers the drain’s opening. A screen or drain grate will minimize the amount of hair and soap scum that accumulates in the shower and/or bathtub drain. Routinely clean these screens and grates to ensure that water doesn’t pool up due to all of the excess hair and scum on the screen.

    In addition, always be mindful of what you flush down the toilet. Certain paper products like paper towels or baby wipes can easily cause clogging throughout your entire sewer and drain system.

    Universal Suggestions

    Call your local Sarasota, Florida Roto-Rooter plumbing expert annually to inspect your home’s plumbing system. Your service professional can snake all the drain lines in your home to remove any potential buildup before any severe clogging can occur. Depending upon how many people live in the house, your septic tank should be pumped every few years. If your home is attached to a municipal sewer system, your main sewer pipe should be cleaned periodically to prevent drain clogs. Older homes are more susceptible to clogs because they have sewer pipes that are made of clay, concrete or cast iron. Plastic pipes are less likely to experience root intrusion so they have fewer clogs.

    Periodically, toss a handful of baking soda down the drain, followed by a stream of hot water. This combination will allow food particles to run down the drain and not stick to the side of the pipes. Baking soda also helps to absorb foul odors. You can also use vinegar to clean your sink, as it contain acetic acid, which helps in removing build-up. Pour 1 cup of vinegar down the drain and let it sit for about 30 minutes, then thoroughly rinse out the pipes by letting hot water stream down your sink.

    Ultimately, to prevent drain clogs, do not treat your disposal, toilet, sink or shower like a dumpster. Pipes are narrow which means they are not meant to accommodate the size of every item you are attempting to flush. Always be mindful about what you're tossing into your drain.

  • Environmental Impact of a Leaky Faucet | Roto-Rooter

    Fixing a leaky faucet

    Sometimes the solution to a leaking faucet is easier than you might think. Leaky faucets can be caused by loose fixtures or faulty seals that often need tightening or replacement. As with anything that gets frequent use, your faucet parts can wear over time.

    Roto-Rooter’s team of skilled plumbers are trained to easily identify what needs to be repaired or replaced to get your dripping bathroom faucet back to running at peak performance. Often times, simply replacing an O-ring or an inlet or outlet will do the trick.

    It is always important to address a leaky faucet as soon as possible. Not only can a leak be a nuisance but it will also cause an increase on your utility bill- not to mention wasting one of our most precious resources. Learn more helpful water conservation tips at Roto-Rooter online today.

    Interested in some DIY home plumbing repair? Roto-Rooter also offers helpful tips when you are trying to fix your leaky faucet yourself. Our detailed information and step-by-step instruction will walk you through the process.

    Faucet Repair Services

    Whether you need a faucet repaired or you have a more general plumbing issue, the professionals at Roto-Rooter are here to help.  Our team of plumbing experts offers reliable service that you can depend on every time. Call our customer service representatives today to make an appointment or schedule service online.

Copyright © 2006-2016, Roto-Rooter Group, Inc. All rights reserved.
All services may not be available from all locations.


We use your ZIP code to give you local services and offers.