Roto-Rooter Blog

  • Have you Hugged Your Plumber Lately? Hug a Plumber Day is April 25th

    techwithboxNational Hug a Plumber Day. It’s a real thing. Really. We’re not sure who started it but we think we understand the sentiment behind it. Plumbers do important work and the NHAPD designation is to get the public to pause and think about all the great work plumbers do to keep clean water flowing and bad water flushing and draining. Our plumbers seem to enjoy the attention and the hugs, as demonstrated by this fun video as well as this other Hug a Plumber video.

    Most people don’t give plumbers a second thought until they desperately need one. What if you woke up tomorrow and used the toilet, as you do every morning, only this time the toilet won’t flush. What if you go to your sink to brush your teeth but no water comes out of the tap? What if your shower does start but only cold water comes out of the showerhead? Are you beginning to get the picture?

    The fact is, there is a shortage of plumbers in America. This most underappreciated trade is facing a slow death because too few young people are choosing to become plumbers. Somewhere along the way, Americans decided college is the only path to a successful, well-paying career. But that’s an incorrect notion. Plumbers can earn a great living. Many master plumbers earn six figure incomes because they possess a skill set that is in demand and increasingly rare. Plumbing is a rewarding job that can never be outsourced and can never be replaced by machines or computers. And careers in plumbing don’t require a college degree or the student debt loans that go with one. If you would like to learn more about the advantages of a career in the plumbing trade at Roto-Rooter, click here.

    The fact is, Roto-Rooter has plenty of work available but not enough plumbers to do it all in a timely manner. We would hire 500 repair plumbers tomorrow…if there were 500 skilled plumbers available to hire. Nearly every other plumbing company in America is facing a similar shortage, so this shortage is not unique to Roto-Rooter.

    Just imagine a future with all the same plumbing problems every home and business experiences today but without enough plumbers to fix those problems. What will it mean? Probably longer delays for service and higher prices for everyone. Who wants that? Nobody! So let’s all show some appreciation for plumbers. They keep the world out of deep doo doo – literally and figuratively and we owe them a debt of gratitude. All things considered, a hug hardly seems adequate.

  • 4 Reasons You Need an Emergency Plumber | Roto-Rooter

    4-Reasons-You-Need-an-Emergency-PlumberPlumbing Issues – When to call in the experts


    Plumbing emergencies can happen at any time. Whether you have reduced water flow, a clogged toilet or a leak that needs immediate attention, sometimes professional service is needed. The plumbing experts at your local Roto-Rooter are just a phone call away, offering quality service at an affordable price.

    There are many times when you can “do-it-yourself” when it comes to your home plumbing. However, when plumbing issues reach an emergency level, sometimes it’s best to call in the experts. Some emergency plumbing issues that require professional attention include:

    Major flooding

    Whether the flooding is the result of a water heater, sewer backup or a clogged toilet – any of these can result in an immediate water emergency requiring prompt service. From sump pumps that aren’t working properly to plumbing fixture failures, many of our Roto-Rooter locations now provide water clean-up and restoration services to quickly get you on the road to repair.

    Freezing showers

    A cold shower is often the result of an issue with your hot water heater. Sometimes, the solution can be as easy as checking the breaker box on your electric heater (for gas, check to see that your pilot light is on). However, if you hear rattling noises and the issues aren’t resolved with the simple flip of a switch, call the plumbing professionals at Roto-Rooter. A good rule of thumb – if your water heater is over 11 years old, it will be due for replacement sooner than later. 

    Wet yard

    Are you noticing small wet spots scattered throughout your yard? If so, this indicates that your main water supply line is probably leaking onto your lawn. A foul smell indicates a leak in your sewer line. Situations like these are best left to the professionals as your water and sewer lines may need major repairs or even full replacement.

    Check outdoors

    Check your water spigots first. If you see any signs of dripping even when the faucet is turned off completely, it's possible you have an internal leak, possibly caused by exposure to freezing temperatures during winter months. This can be a serious issue because the supply pipe that leads to the hose bib may have also suffered damage and it could be leaking into your wall or basement, leading to water damage, mold and other problems.

    Roto-Rooter – The Trusted Plumbing Professional

    From leaks and drips to addressing a faulty water heater – plumbing emergencies can happen at any time. Your local Roto-Rooter plumbing professional is here to help 24/7 including holidays, offering prompt and reliable service when you need us most. Roto-Rooter is equipped to handle all of your residential plumbing needs

  • Spring Plumbing Tips for Santa Fe, NM | Roto-Rooter

    Spring Plumbing Maintenance Tips

    Santa Fe’s sunny climate makes an ideal environment for outdoor living. Prepping your Santa Fe home is crucial in maintaining your home’s plumbing performance.

    Preparing your home’s plumbing for the spring season is easier than you might think. Roto-Rooter offers the following simple tips for indoor and outdoor spring plumbing maintenance this season:

    Inspect and clean your home’s gutters and downspouts

    Although it’s not often, when Santa Fe does get rain, it can come down hard and fast. It is crucial to make sure that your gutters and downspouts are clean and free from debris. Make sure your gutters and downspouts are in good condition, sturdy and stable. Check your downspout and storm drains to make sure they aren’t clogged and will direct rainwater away from your home’s foundation. Maintaining your home’s gutters and downspouts will help you to avoid any potential spring flooding.

    Spring clean the interior of your home

    Examine the highest-volume areas of your home, like your kitchen and bathrooms. Clean all of your fixtures inside and out while also taking the time to clean your appliances, drains and disposals. If you notice your toilet running, changing the flapper valve on your toilet is also a good idea. Changing out the flapper valve is often the simple and easy solution to repairing a running toilet.

    Maintain outdoor plumbing fixtures

    Prior to the winter, it is best to roll up your hoses and move them indoors. Come spring, you can bring out the hoses once again (while remembering to inspect them for any leaks). It is also good practice to turn on the outside faucet without a hose attached to ensure that water is coming out normally. If water is not coming out of your outside faucet as it should, one of the pipes may have frozen or burst during the winter months.

    Examine your septic tank

    Spring is also a great time to make sure that your septic tank is working properly. Treat your septic tank with an enzyme product that is specifically designed for septic tanks. It is always a good idea to perform a routing septic pump if you haven’t done so over the past few years. Doing a routine pump can help you to avoid a backup. Whether you have questions regarding your DIY plumbing maintenance or would like to schedule service with a Roto-Rooter plumbing professional of Santa Fe, our plumbing experts are available 24/7 including weekends and holidays to answer questions or to service your home’s plumbing.

  • Unclog a Drain Naturally | Roto-Rooter

    Unclog your drain naturallyUnclogging your drain the natural way

    If you have standing water in your shower, sink or bathtub you might have a clogged drain. Things like hair, dirt and debris can easily create back-ups, causing clogs.

    Make a home solution

    Often a cleaning solution is needed when you have a clogged drain. While most chemical drain cleaners are toxic and can be harmful to ourselves and the environment, there are simple eco-friendly and non-toxic ways to unclog a drain that include:

    Self - cleaning

    Assess the situation and try to clear the blocked drain by hand.  Unscrew the plug stopper while using a handy tool like a wire coat hanger to search for any debris. Remember to use gloves during this cleaning process as much of what you will pull out will be black, messy and odorous.

     All natural cleaning solution

    When a simple hand drain cleaning isn’t enough, sometimes, a natural drain cleaning solution will do the trick. Making a chemical-free cleaning solution can be done easily with just a few simple, common household items. Follow the steps below to unclog a drain naturally:

    • Pour half a cup of baking soda into the drain.

    • Pour in a cup of vinegar (let it work on the drain for about 15 minutes).

    • During this time – boil a pot of water.

    • Pour boiling pot of water down the drain.

    • Repeat the process another time or two if necessary.

    Call in the plumbing professionals

    When you have tried everything and self-cleaning and homemade drain cleaners just aren’t working, it is time to call in the plumbing professionals at Roto-Rooter. We are here to help 24/7 including holidays when you need service most. Our team of expert plumbers are here to handle all of your residential plumbing needs.  We will come out to assess the situation and give you a timeline and cost for repairs.

  • Lexington, SC Outdoor Plumbing and Gutter Tips | Roto-Rooter

    Check your gutters and downspout drains this spring

    Spring in Lexington, South Carolina can often bring showers which is why clearing out any dead leaves, twigs or other debris from your gutters is so important. Cleaning your home’s gutters and downspouts will ensure that all that rain will be directed away from your home. Use your hose to rinse away any remaining dirt or mud. Aim your water sprayer toward each downspout to clear off debris while directing water away from your home’s foundation.

    Here are a few simple tips to keep your outdoor plumbing, gutters and drains working at peak performance all year long:

    Clear out leaves and debris

    Clear away leaves and debris with your hands or a small tool, like a trowel. The job can sometimes get dirty, so remember to wear gloves. Addressing any roof debris will also help keep new leaves from accumulating into your gutters and potentially blocking water flow. Always remember to clean your gutters and downspouts before the rainy season.

    Using a high-powered hose

    High - powered hoses can often do most of the cleaning for you. The heavy water pressure can clean out the interiors and exteriors of your gutters in no time. You can test your downspouts to ensure that they are working properly by aiming the jet of water down each downspout. It is important to make sure that the water pressure is not set too high as it could potentially crack or dismantle some lightweight plastic gutters.

    Check your downspout drain

    Check all of the downspout drains around your home to ensure that nothing is lodged in them. All of the drains should be set up, directing rainfall away from your home's foundation - a key step to help avoid flooding.

    Call a Roto-Rooter plumbing professional

    Often times, it is best to call in the plumbing experts at Roto-Rooter. We can address your downspout issues and get them working again in no time. Your local Lexington Roto-Rooter plumbing expert can perform all of your routine outdoor plumbing maintenance promptly, all while at an affordable price.

  • 3 Frequently Asked Plumbing Questions | Roto-Rooter

    Common plumbing questions – Ask a plumber


    From water heaters and clogged drains to backed-up sewer lines, plumbers often run into many of the same problems on the job each day. Understandably, your most frequently used plumbing fixtures are often the source of plumbing problems. Here are three of the most common plumbing questions people ask plumbers about the fixtures in their homes:

     1. How can I extend the life of my water heater?

    A water heater is an important investment in your home and a crucial factor in keeping your home’s plumbing working properly. To extend the life of your water heater, regular maintenance is key. Either you or a Roto-Rooter plumbing expert can regularly empty the water heater to clear it of any sediment. Replace the anode rod to prevent the bottom of the machine from rusting.

     2. Clogged drains

    When a drain gets clogged in your home, whether it is in your kitchen, laundry room, bathrooms or basement, it is important to address the issue right away.  Preventing clogs is easier than you think.  Here are a couple of tips:

    • Use drain covers that can catch food scraps, hair or any other materials before they enter your pipes.

    • Avoid throwing anything down the drain or into the toilet that could cause blockages - this includes being cautious with your garbage disposal and always tossing out grease or oil in the trash can. Be careful what you put down your garbage disposal.

    3. Running toilet

    A running toilet is not only a nuisance but can prove costly with the added expense to your utility bill. If your toilet is running, it is likely that you have an issue with one of three things:

    • Fill tube

    • Flapper chain

    • Flapper

    Examine your tank when it is running to see if you can identify the issue. Sometimes a repair is as simple as tightening the flapper chain or adjusting the fill height. When professional service is needed, the plumbing experts at Roto-Rooter are here to help 24/7 including holidays, when you need service most.

  • 4 Reasons to Avoid Chemical Drain Cleaners | Roto-Rooter

    Chemical Drain Cleaners – The Disadvantages

    Many chemical drain cleaners can clear a clogged drain quickly. However, there are many reasons why Seattle residents should avoid chemical cleaners at all costs, here are just a few:

    Highly toxic

    Chemical drain cleaners are not only high in toxicity but are an extreme health hazard. Chemical drain cleaners produce hazardous fumes that get released into the air. Fumes can linger for hours, creating irritation to your lungs, eyes, nose, throat and skin.  Chemical cleaners will not only incite a reaction in humans, your pets are just as vulnerable. Toxins end up in landfills and water supplies, which is harmful to both humans and the environment.

    Damaging to your pipes

    Chemical drain cleaners are harmful to your pipes. The hydrochloric acid in the cleaning solution is so powerful that it can eat away at your plumbing. Over time and with frequent use of chemical drain cleaners, holes can form in your pipes. These harsh cleaners also gradually eat away at the enamel on your sinks and bathtubs, causing even more damage and at some point, the additional cost of replacement parts. Curing a minor clog can turn into a much more costly plumbing emergency. See our helpful information online to learn more about effective yet safe cleaning alternatives with our recommended residential drain cleaning products.

    Environmental impact

    Residue from harmful chemical cleaners ends up in landfills and our water-supply system, causing both harm to the environment, humans and wildlife. When toxins seep through the soil, they are resurrected through bodies of water -that same water that gets consumed by you and your family. A simple solution of baking soda and water can attack that clogged drain the eco-friendly way without damaging our environment.

    Septic system damage

    Septic tanks utilize natural bacteria to help breakdown water. Chemical cleaners that are poured down the drain kill off these natural organic bacteria, making your septic system less effective. After frequent use of damaging cleaning agents, at some point your entire septic system will need to be cleaned to counteract the damage.

    Call in the plumbing professionals

    For non-toxic cleaning advice to help with clogged drains, septic repair and more – contact your experienced Seattle Roto-Rooter plumbing professional to assist with all your residential plumbing needs

  • Fun Facts from the Plumbing Experts | Roto-Rooter

    Plumbing – Fun Facts

    Often, we don’t think about the plumbing in our home until we have problems. Here’s a look at just a few fun and interesting plumbing facts:

    • The average household wastes around 9,000 gallons of water every year from running the faucet too long. Routine maintenance on your water heater can help to prevent water waste and ensure that your water heater is working properly, heating your water in an appropriate amount of time. Your trusted Roto-Rooter plumbing expert can assess what needs to be done with a simple service call.

    • The first flush toilet was invented in 1596 by John Harrington. John called the toilet Ajax and wrote a treatise on it that was a veiled political attack. The object was real, though, and there was one in his manor.

    • Albert Einstein was an honorary member of the Plumbers and Steamfitters Union. He was once quoted as saying that if he had to choose his life path all over again, he would have become a plumber instead of a scientist.

    • Indoor plumbing dates back a lot further than you might think - at least to 2500 B.C. - and the materials have not changed very much since. Copper piping has been a popular plumbing material dating back to ancient Egypt!

    • Your leaky faucet is more of an urgent issue than you might think. A faucet leak can account for more than a gallon of water waste every week. Leaks and water waste not only cause an increase on your utility bill but also leave a damaging environmental impact as well.


    Roto-Rooter - The Plumbing Professionals

    For additional plumbing information, fun facts and more, visit Roto-Rooter online. Need plumbing service or repair? The plumbing experts at Roto-Rooter are here to help you 24/7 including holidays – when you need us most.

  • Prevent Clogged Drains and Plumbing Repairs | Roto-Rooter

    Plumbing Maintenance 101

    Keep your plumbing working at peak performance with Roto-Rooter’s simple preventative maintenance tips, designed to prevent clogged drains and avoid costly service repairs.

    Follow these simple steps to ensure premium plumbing performance throughout the year:

    1. Be Mindful of What You Are Flushing

    Your plumbing is sensitive which means flushing items on the “do-not-flush” list can be harmful to both your plumbing and the environment. Items like feminine hygiene products, cotton ball or swabs should never be flushed, these items do not break down in sewage and will end up blocking your drain lines, causing a clog. A good rule of thumb, if you don’t think it shouldn’t be flushed – don’t flush it.

    2. Protect Your Home’s Drainage System

    Place hair catchers over drains in your baths and showers. Hair catchers will catch anything that is too big to break down in your pipes. Rather than using harsh chemicals that can weaken your pipes over time, hair catchers are a simple and cost-effective way to prevent clogs.

    3. Insulate Your Pipes

    Protecting your pipes from harsh winter weather conditions is another crucial preventative step you can take when trying to avoid clogged drains and costly plumbing repairs. Even if your area doesn’t see extreme winters, all it takes is the temperature to go below freezing and you could potentially have frozen pipes. Your pipes will need a little extra insulation to keep them warm and not vulnerable to the elements.

    Preparing your pipes is simple and can be done at home. Purchase pipe insulation sleeves at your local hardware store. Cut and wrap the insulation around the pipes that are most exposed to the elements.

    4. Garbage Disposals

    Since garbage disposals are designed to break down food waste, a limited amount of food scraps are meant for your disposal. However, large quantities or dense foods that don’t grind down easily should be avoided. Always avoid putting these items down your garbage disposal:

    • Non-food items.

    • Bones.

    • Grease from pans or greasy foods.

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

    • Foods that increase in size with water like pasta, rice and other grains.

    All of these materials can cause your disposal to be blocked or even broken. 

    Address Plumbing Issues Early

    Whether you have a leaky faucet or you are experiencing low water pressure, addressing plumbing issues early can save you added cost on your utility bill, not to mention the environmental impact on one of our most precious resources- water. Sometimes a repair can be a simple replacement part while other service calls might be more detailed. However serious the plumbing emergency, let Roto-Rooter’s team of prompt plumbing professionals assess the situation to get your plumbing working properly. We are available to service all of your plumbing needs - 24 hours a day, 7 days a week – including holidays.

    When to Call the Professionals

    For more do-it-yourself plumbing tips, see Roto-Rooter’s online plumbing basics for detailed information and helpful videos designed to help you maximize your plumbing’s efficiency throughout your home.

    Sometimes do-it-yourself isn’t an option and when you need to call in the plumbing professionals,

    Roto-Rooter of Sparks, Nevada is equipped to handle all of your residential plumbing needs

    Our licensed and experience plumbers will get your plumbing serviced correctly, the first time.

  • 3 Home Plumbing Tips for Boise, ID | Roto-Rooter

    Simple plumbing tips to help you save money

    Spring and summer are beautiful seasons in Boise, Idaho. Once a year during this time, it is always a good idea to perform basic plumbing maintenance to help extend the lifespan of your plumbing while also saving you money on your utility bills.  Roto-Rooter offers the following simple tips for basic plumbing maintenance:

    Insulate your water heater

    Lowering your water heater by just a few degrees can help you to save money on your utility bill. Your water heater should be set no higher than 120 degrees Fahrenheit. A water heater blanket is also a sound investment. A blanket will add insulation around the water tank, utilizing less energy to re-heat your water every time you shower or use a faucet.

    Replace existing fixtures with low-flow versions

    Whether it is your toilet, showerhead or faucet, replacing outdated fixtures with newer low-flow versions can you save you a significant amount of water each month. Water savings equals additional savings on your utility bill. Switching to more environmentally friendly fixtures is easier than you might think. Replacing an old toilet can end up saving you thousands of gallons of water per month.

    Whether you are interested in our step-by-step instruction for DIY repair or you need to call in the plumbing professionals of Boise, replacing outdated fixtures is one of the best ways to save money in the long-run.

    Perform routine maintenance checks on your drains and sump pumps

    Boise’s spring and summers are usually pretty dry. However, when it does rain, it can come down quite hard. If any area of our home is prone to flooding, water damage can be extremely costly to repair. Prevention is key when working to avoid a flood situation. Routinely inspect your home’s drains. If your home has a basement, make sure to perform regular maintenance checks on your basement sump pump to ensure it is clear of any debris and working properly.

    Perform our simple maintenance step to see if your sump pump is performing properly – pour a few buckets of water into the sump pump and if it turns on and dispels water, it is working. To have simple maintenance performed by the professionals, contact Roto-Rooter to clean and inspect your drains and sump pump and prevent costly water damage.  

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