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  • 3 Leaks You Can Fix Yourself | Roto-Rooter

    Leak Repair Options for Most Homeowners

    The key to addressing plumbing issues is knowing when to call for professional help so you don't worsen the problem which could lead to significant water damage. Luckily, there are a number of leaks you can address on your own that should not cause further issues.

    Here are three leaks that don't require the services of a plumber:

    Loose showerhead connections

    Leaky showerheads are among the simplest fixes. The source of the issue may be that the fixture is loose. In this case, resolving the leak is as easy as tightening the device.

    "Leaky showerheads are among the simplest fixes."

    For more complex showerhead leaks, you'll have to head to the hardware store. While you're there, pick up some Teflon or plumber tape, which will help with creating a tight seal and prevent corrosion. You wrap this tape around the threads.

    When you remove the showerhead, also check that the threads don't have lime scale buildup. If so, soak the part in vinegar and wipe with a cloth before applying the tape. Keep an eye out for worn rubber gaskets and replace them as those could also be the source of the leak.

    Pinhole leaks in copper pipes

    Though all pipework may seem too complex for amateurs, addressing pinhole leaks is not a complex task. If you're handy with a soldering iron, make the repair by cutting out the leaky section and welding in a new one. If you're apprehensive about welding, you can use pipe-repair clamps or epoxy.

    3 Leaks You Can Fix YourselfRegardless which route you take, keep two points in mind: Always shut off water to the entire house before making a repair, and ensure the pipe is completely dry before soldering, applying epoxy or clamping. If the water is left on, you will end up with water all over and a big water damage cleanup project..

    Leaks from faucets

    Leaky faucets are often the result of issues with the gaskets or washers. Simply replacing these items is usually sufficient.

    However, remember that the complexity of the faucet type can make it harder to find the leak. Also, in certain cases, it may be more ideal to replace a faucet, especially an old one.

    Call your local Roto-Rooter for all your professional plumbing needs.

     


  • What to Do if You Need to Replace Your Pipes in Boston | Roto-Rooter

    Boston - What to Do if You Need to Replace Your PipesBoston - What to Do if You Need to Replace Your Pipes

    Boston is a city with a rich cultural and political history, with many homes dating back to the 18th and 19th centuries. While there's a lot of charm in owning a house that's hundreds of years old, such a move can come with lots of drawbacks such as the water and sewer pipes in older homes are often not up to par.

    So what are Boston homeowners to do if they think they need to replace their pipes? By following these steps, Bostonians can get a better sense of the problem and have a firm solution in place.

    First, determine the scope of the problem

    Before you know what needs to be done, you have to know what the problem is in the first place. It can be helpful at this stage to call in a professional Boston plumber. Some with expertise can help you determine if that annoying dripping the bathroom or that weird sound in the kitchen is a minor nuisance that can be easily fixed with a wrench, or a major problem like galvanized steel pipes contaminating your water.

    Next, make sure you read up on local laws

    Many states, counties and municipalities have specific guidelines regarding what can and can't be installed inside a private residence. For instance, it stands to reason that many places won't allow you to put in place lead pipes or make changes that might affect the city sewer system without official approval.

    In places like Boston with many historic homes, it can be helpful to consult with area preservation societies before making any changes. For example, if a plumbing upgrade affects the exterior of an old home in some parts of Boston, then that change would first have to be approved by Historic District Commissions. When in doubt, be sure to run any and all potential changes with local officials to ensure that you are running afoul of any laws

    Then, establish a budget

    This is key, as it's important to get a sense of what you're getting yourself into before embarking on any major plumbing project. Consider not just the amount being spent up front, but also any potential issues that could spring up down the road from an initial decision.

    Remember, metal pipes contract and expand with major temperature changes, so they would be under a lot of stress in Boston. Be sure to keep all variables in mind when establishing a budget.

    Lastly, call a professional plumber to finish the job

    Replacing pipes is a big challenge in Boston or anywhere else, and it's one best left up to a professional. By calling a professional plumber to lead the effort, you can be sure that your pipe replacement work is done with professionalism and care.


  • 3 Ways to Keep Your Basement Dry | Roto-Rooter

    Tips to Prevent a Flooded Basement

    While a heavy rainfall is great for nourishing your garden, it's not so great if water starts seeping into your basement and could potentially cause significant water damage. Water soaking into your home’s foundation can be disastrous and annoying. Doing a few odd ball precautionary tasks can greatly deter your chances of a flooded basement..

    Here are three preventative measures to keep your home dry from the bottom up.

    Seal the cracks

    Cracks or holes in both the floors and walls of your basement are major sources for leaks that cause water damage. Fractures occur in three situations: if the house starts to settle, if too much water pressure is coming in from the outside or if your home was poorly constructed. Poke around your basement and check for any cracks. To control the leaks, seal the cracks and holes up with a waterproof mixture or something stronger like a cement coating and this will help prevent a flooded basement..

    Preserve your home's exterior

    3 Ways to Keep Your Basement DryTo prevent water damage, it's important to keep tabs on every inch of your home, including the outside perimeter. Oftentimes, a basement leak originates from the outside and makes its way in. For starters, check your gutters and  downspouts to rid them of any debris such as leaves or sticks. If your gutters become clogged, there is no escape route for the rain. The foundation becomes surrounded by pools of water, which then seep through any cracks and windows wells and trickle into your basement. Additionally, be sure your downspouts are directed away from your house or you may end up with a flooded basement.

    Check the sewer pipe

    Once you have checked for cracks and holes on both the inside and outside of your home, and something still seemed off. Chances are the leak is hidden, meaning you can expect a cracked sewer pipe. This type of leak typically appears when the drain is carrying wastewater. Signs to look out for are a slow drain, a gas odor, and  stains or mold on basement walls and ceilings.

    If you have a flooded basement and are looking for a water damage restoration service, contact your local Roto-Rooter professional today.


  • 5 Signs It’s Time to Replace Your Water Heater | Roto-Rooter

    5 Signs It’s Time to Replace Your Water Heater5 Signs It’s Time to Replace Your Water Heater

    What’s worse than hopping in the shower and realizing your water is as chilly the record breaking frosty Missouri temperature outside? Not much.  

    As with most home appliances, your water heater will start to deteriorate and eventually break down over years of use. No one likes a cold shower or dirty dishes, so ideally, you should be replacing your water heater before it completely stops working. Should you wait too long, you'll be left with much bigger problems - aside from a frigid shower - like a leak, which leads to major water damage throughout your home.

    Here are five clues that it's time to replace your water heater:

    Rust and corrosion

    Keep an eye on your tank and occasionally check for any rust or corrosion that might have built up over the years. There are two specific areas that you should keep an extra eye on: around the temperature and pressure relief valves, and the inlet and outlet connections.

    Water discoloration around the heater

    If you spot rusty water coming from the heater, this is usually a clear indication that the inside of your tank is rusting. This will eventually turn into a leak, so you should have your water heater replaced as soon as possible.

    Pooling around the heater

    Take a walk around the unit and look for any pooling. If you notice a little moisture, there's most likely a leak or fracture inside the tank. The reason your tank might be leaking is because as the metal heats, it expands and then cracks, forcing water out through the lesions.

    Cold or lukewarm water

    A tell tale sign of you being in need of a new water heater is if you crank the faucets up in your shower, but still experience cold or lukewarm water as opposed to your desired bathing temperature. In most cases this is a strong indication that your water heater might be beyond repair and must be replaced.

    Questionable noises

    If it sounds like there might be a thunderstorm in your basement or a stampede of safari animals, chances are something is going on with your water heater. As your tank ages, residue starts to build on the bottom. When the sediment heats up, it eventually hardens and will bang against the heater - that's where the loud rumbling noise is coming from. With the banging noises comes leaking, so it's best to replace your heater as soon as you start to hear unusual sounds.

    To extend the lifetime of your water heater, it is strongly recommended that you perform regular maintenance checkups on your system. For more information, contact your local Jefferson City Roto-Rooter professional today.


  • 3 Signs of a Broken Sewer Line | Roto-Rooter

    3 Signs of a Broken Sewer LineHow to Identify a Broken Sewer Line

    Your home’s main sewer line is buried beneath the yard, making it more difficult to identify a possible broken sewer line. Here are a few indicators that your sewer line could be broken:


    1) Easily clogged drains

    Every now and then, your toilet, kitchen sink or shower can experience a drain that gets a little plugged up, in these instances a clog can be a quick fix. However, when a clog starts occurring with unusual frequency, especially in multiple drains, or if water is draining slowly throughout your home, this could be a sign of an obstructed sewer line, according to Angie's List.

    2) Soggy spots in the yard

    A leaking sewer line can be caused by a break or collapse. However, according to Angie's List, a leak is often caused by a tree root that has penetrated the piping. Some of these leaks are harder to detect than others, especially in areas where the sewer line is buried very deep underground. While a leak in the sewer line is all but invisible, it could show itself in warmer climates where it isn’t necessary to bury lines very deep because of a shallow frost line.

    3) Unsavory odors

    You might not always be able to see a sewer line problem, but there's a good chance you will smell it. According to SFGate contributor Chris Deziel, any scent of sewer gas that is strong enough to permeate a house is a telltale sign of a plumbing problem. This could be a sign of a sewer line clog, as backups will often push smelly sewer gases up drains. However, if the odor is especially potent in the yard, the more likely scenario is that the sewer line is leaking. 

    What to do if you think you have a broken sewer line

    If you experience any of the above, and you've ruled out the possibility of a clogged drain, or a broken plumbing vent, then it's time to get help from a plumbing professional.

    The sewer solutions specialists at Roto-Rooter can easily assess the situation and perform a sewer line repair, with minimal digging and trenching, while limiting the mess and unsavory odors.

     


  • Essential Plumbing Services for Williston, Vermont

    Essential Plumbing Services for Williston, Vermont

    In just a few decades, Williston, Vermont, has transformed from a rural town into a part of the growing Burlington metro area. It is now one of the most active retail centers in the state and is strategically located in densely populated Chittenden County, not far from either Burlington or Montpelier, the state capital.

    U.S. Census data indicated that Williston grew more than 56 percent between 1990 and 2000, and another 13.7 percent from 2000 to 2010. This influx of new residents means that homes and rental units are increasingly in demand. One thing that new homeowners and landlords should always be aware of is potential plumbing issues.

    Compared with the U.S. average, Williston gets three times as much snowfall. It also sees single-digit temperature lows in the winter. With these facts in mind, here's what to look for from a professional plumber in Vermont:

    Expertise with frozen pipes

    In January, the typical U.S. city sees a low of about 20 degrees Fahrenheit, but Williston's average is a chilly 8 F. Such cold makes frozen pipes a constant risk to the area's residential and commercial properties.

    Regardless of what the underground pipes are made of, the water passing through them can freeze and then expand, causing excessive pressure that blocks or breaks the line. It is common for even a small leak to pour hundreds of gallons of water into a basement or ground-floor room.

    You can take some steps on your own to deal with frozen pipes, such as shutting off the water main temporarily and using a hair dryer to thaw visible pipes. But you should contact a professional plumber for thawing assistance in any other situation.

    Pipe and drain cleaning services

    Vermont is not called the Green Mountain State for nothing. Trees are abundant throughout the state, and many of them are quite old. In fact, a lot of them were planted in the wake of the Great New England Hurricane of 1938 that destroyed much of the region's tree cover.

    Old trees have substantial roots, which can mean trouble for underground pipes. Roots gravitate to nutrient-rich sewer lines and, if not kept in check, may eventually destroy them or at least put them under such pressure that their leaks will get out of control.

    The best way to avoid having to rip and replace a building's pipes is to get a team of plumbers to perform a regular cleanout of any drains or pipes that could be vulnerable to damage. These plumbers can deal with clogs and blockages so that they cause as little trouble as possible.

    Water heater repair

    A water heater is essential for keeping your water warm in a cold climate like Vermont. If you see it having issues or realize that it is perhaps near the end of its lifespan (e.g., 10+ years for tank heaters, up to 20 for tankless ones), consult a professional plumber for repair or possible replacement.


  • 5 Things to Know about an Underground Sprinkler System | Roto-Rooter


    Understanding Your Underground Sprinkler System

    There is nothing better at this time of year than a lush, green lawn. However, in order to keep your grass from wilting in the summer sun, you must water it often.

    If you are considering installing an underground sprinkler system, we have gathered a few tips from the experts to ensure that your installation goes smoothly:

    Provide the manufacturer with the right specifications

    This Old House noted that manufacturers will usually ask homeowners for certain information prior to installation of an underground sprinkler system, to ensure that the system designed matches their requirements. Requested information often includes the exact needs of your grass or garden, as well as a detailed plan of the area and landscape where the sprinklers will be installed.  According to This Old House, you'll need about 30 to 35 pounds per square inch of pressure, as well as 10 to 13 gallons per minute of water flow for a typical sprinkler system.

    You can easily measure water delivery with a 5-gallon bucket. Popular Mechanics states that the best way to measure water delivery is by placing a bucket under your outdoor tap and letting it run for one minute. Measure the water in the bucket and send this information to the manufacturer, along with a scale drawing of your property.

    Dig trenches according to your water source

    You will need a special tool to help you dig the trenches where the sprinkler pipes will go. However, before you break ground, it's important to know where the main water source is located. Typically, the main water supply pipe is located near your water meter. The water meter is usually located at the front of your home, near the curb or in your basement.

    PVC is usually best

    Plastic PVC piping is typically the best option for underground sprinkler systems in most areas of the country. Depending on the freeze and thaw cycles of the local weather, some regions might call for polyethylene pipe, a flexible alternative to PVC. If you're unsure of which piping material is best for your area, contact your local plumbing professional for advice.  

    Don't forget a backflow preventer

    As Popular Mechanics pointed out, it's critical that when the sprinkler system is installed, you don't forget to include a backflow preventer. Because the sprinklers will be hooked up to your home's main water source, it's critical to have a backflow preventer in place to ensure that the potable water supply isn't contaminated by the new sprinkler system.

    Get help from the experts

    A sprinkler system is great to have as long as it is installed properly. This Old House rated installing a sprinkler system as moderate to hard, in terms of difficulty. It would be best to have the assistance of a plumbing and sprinkler installation expert who's tackled this type of installation before.

    Plumbing installations are often best left to licensed plumbing experts with years of experience.


  • 6 Ways to Unclog Your Shower Drain


    6 Ways to Unclog Your Shower Drain in Port Charlotte FL6 Ways to Unclog Your Shower Drain in Port Charlotte, FL

    You look down and spot a slight puddle starting to form around your feet in the shower - your drain must be slowing down. You hop out, take a peek at the drain and are forced to step back. Now you're looking at a clogged drain. Looks like all the sand you washed off from those Port Charlotte, Florida, beaches finally accumulated in your drain. Take care of this quickly, because your pipe could be moments away from rupturing.

    Here are six ways to unclog your shower drain:

    Boiling water

    Simply boil a pot of water and slowly pour it down your clogged drain. Leave some space between sequences of pouring out the water. This will allow the hot water to fully trickle down your pipes for several seconds between each pour. It doesn't get much easier than this.

    Baking soda and vinegar

    This is probably the second-easiest tip you'll come across and definitely more sustainable for the environment than your standard cleaning solutions. Pour a cup of baking soda down your drain followed by a cup of vinegar. These two products create a fizzy reaction that will help remove buildup surrounding the drain. Let it sit and work its magic for a couple of hours and then flush it out with hot water.

    The wet/dry vacuum

    It's time to pull that wet/dry vacuum out of your storage closet and put it to use. This is the best method for dealing with sand in the drains. Before you begin, be sure the device is set to vacuum liquids. Next, create a suction by placing the end of the hose around the clogged drain. Turn the vacuum on and hold it there for a couple of minutes. This can be a powerful tool that sucks up some of the material trapped in the pipe. You can also try this method with a traditional plunger. To create a better seal around the drain, add a bit of petroleum jelly around the edges of the vacuum hose or plunger.

    Bent wire hanger

    Now you finally have a use for those flimsy hangers you continue to save from your dry-cleaned shirts. Do your best to straighten out both ends of the hanger. Next, bend one of the ends to create a small hook. Slowly finagle it past the drain cover and start fishing and poking around. This is a great method for removing clumped-up hair.

    Soda pop

    Surprisingly enough, carbonated beverages like Pepsi and Coca-Cola can be effective in terms of tackling a clogged drain. Pour a two-liter of either brand down the drain and let it settle in for about an hour or two, then rinse by running hot water. The phosphoric acid in these products is strong enough to eat away some of the gunk.

    Call a plumber

    If you've tried these DIY methods and aren't seeing improvements, or are worried you might cause even more damage if you try them, give your local Roto-Rooter plumber a call. Your Port Charlotte professional will take a peek and help solve the problem. Additionally, if you have more than one clogged drain in the house, this might indicate that the actual problem is beyond the local drain and deeper into your sewer.


  • Quick Fixes for a Leaky Kitchen Faucet | Roto-Rooter

    How to Repair a Leaky FaucetKitchen Faucet

    A leaky faucet may seem like a small problem but it can actually cause bigger issues over time. Faucet leaks not only waste water, they also have a great impact on your water bill. Here are a few simple tips to fix your leaky kitchen faucet:

    Replace the Seal

    First, shut off your water supply beneath your sink. This is an important step in protecting your home from any more leaks while you work. If your shut-off valves are stuck, Roto-Rooter offers helpful online videos to assist you in addressing the stuck valves yourself.

    Once your water is turned off, you are free to work on the leak. A leak can be caused by a worn-out rubber gasket or seal that is located inside the valve. Replacing a gasket or seal can often fix your problem. Some faucets have replacement cartridges, available from your local hardware store or manufacturer.

    Dirty Aerator

    A dirty aerator could also be the culprit when trying to identify the source of a leaky kitchen faucet. Examine the aerator to see if there are any particles surrounding it. Remove any particles on the aerator to see if the leak is repaired. Remember to also firmly tighten the nozzle in the event it might be loose.

    Replace Your Faucet

    Sometimes, a total faucet replacement is in order. If your leaky faucet persists after attempting the simple DIY repair tips above, it may be time to purchase a new fixture entirely.

    Call the Plumbing Professionals

    When you have tried fixing your leaky kitchen faucet and nothing has worked, there could be a bigger issue with your plumbing. Call the experienced plumbers from Roto-Rooter to promptly address your kitchen faucet repair or any other plumbing problems in your home.  


  • How to Find the Perfect Worcester Plumber

    How to Find the Perfect Worcester Plumber

    Both within the city of Worcester itself and in surrounding Worcester County, there are dozens of licensed plumbers to choose from. When Worcester, Mass., residents need a plumber for a particular job, how can they choose? There are several things to consider:

    1) Are they licensed?

    This definitely has to be the first box to check in finding a Worcester plumber. In Massachusetts, licenses to plumbers are issued by the state Office of Consumer Affairs and Business Regulation. If you come across a Worcester plumber who is not certified by this department, then you may want to consider looking elsewhere for your plumbing needs.

    2) How much experience do they have?

    This is far from the end-all-be-all point to consider, but it is a critical factor to keep in mind. Newer plumbers can be just as professional and knowledgeable as older ones, but there’s no substitute for experience and more experienced plumbers are more proven and know how to address a wide variety of real-life plumbing scenarios.

    3) Have they worked on similar projects before?

    General experience is fine, but often what matters most is that a particular Worcester plumber has dealt with your particular problem or scenario in the past. After all, if a plumber who has been on the job for over 30 years doesn't know how to address an issue you're having, then their experience shouldn't count for much.

    Consider the state of the housing stock in Worcester. While close to 49 percent of all homes in the city limits were built before 1940, a good 19 percent or so of houses were erected after 1979. The experience needed to work in a house from the 19th century is very different than what's required on a house from the 21st century. This is why situational experience is so critical.

    4) What do past customers think about them?

    Chances are that most Worcester plumbers think they're perfect for whatever job you might have for them. But what have past customers thought about their work? Do they have a lot of repeat business because people clamor to turn to them again, or have they left a trail of fuming homeowners in their wake?

    Websites like Yelp and Angie's List can help you determine what past customers have thought about a Worcester plumber in the past via written service reviews. But, it's important to take these reviews with a grain of salt. There are always two sides to every story, and these kinds of sites only provide a narrow view. Neighbors and friends can often be more accurate sources of this information.

    5) How much do they cost?

    You never want to skimp on a plumber - you get what you pay for, after all - but it's good to establish a rough estimate before any work begins.

    6) Are they ready at a moment's notice?

    An issue with a pipe, a water heater or a sump pump can spring up at a moment's notice. Not all Worcester plumbers are on call at midnight to deal with a plumbing problem, but this is not always a major concern. In some situations, however, it can be worth it to have a plumber in mind when something breaks on a holiday or during the middle of the night.


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