Roto-Rooter Blog

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

    Kitchen FaucetHow to Repair a Leaky 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.

  • Recover Jewelry Stuck in a Bathroom Drain | Roto-Rooter

    How to Retrieve Jewelry from a Bathroom Drain

    jewelry_and_drainWhether you took your ring off to wash your hands, or placed it on the counter where it slipped down the drain, losing jewelry in your bathroom drain can happen to anyone.

    When you are trying to recover jewelry from a drain, you can consider the DIY method or call your local Roto-Rooter plumbing expert for professional assistance.

    Here are two ways to recover jewelry stuck in your drain:

    The magnet trick

    Try retrieving jewelry stuck in your drain with a heavy duty magnet. Simply tie the magnet to a piece of string and slowly lower it down the drain. Fish around until you are able to pull up the jewelry.

    Dismantle the P-trap and J-bend

    Sometimes dismantling the P-trap located underneath the sink can be the easiest and most effective way to recover jewelry from a drain. Dismantling the P-trap and J-bend can actually be quite easy and on plastic drains, it can be done without using tools.

    *Always remember to turn off the main water supply off first to help prevent the item from being flushed into the sewer line.

    Locate the P-trap, which is the J-shaped pipe under the sink. Place a bucket underneath the J-bend to help capture any water that flows out. Next, unscrew the trap by loosening the slip nuts (an object allowing a flexible yet watertight connection between drain pipes and their traps) on either side of the J-bend. Once the nuts are removed, the pipe will become loose and (along with the obvious debris, hair and grime), you will hopefully find your jewelry.

    For more information, view Roto-Rooter’s helpful tips to locate and retrieve jewelry from sink drains online. Our informative video on How to Recover Jewelry from a Drain demonstrates a few retrieval methods from the professionals.  

    For additional help on how to dismantle the P-­trap and J­-bend, contact your local Roto-­Rooter professional or schedule service today.

  • 5 Things Your Port St. Lucie Plumber Wants You to Know

    5 Things Your Port St. Lucie Plumber Wants You to Know

    Part of being a homeowner is making sure everything in your house is running smoothly, and that includes your plumbing systems. You may not think twice about your toilet or faucet when everything is working correctly. However, if something goes wrong in one of your systems, it can really throw a wrench into your everyday life. The last thing you would want is to get back from a long day at the beach, covered in sand and sunscreen, only to discover your showerhead isn't working.

    While no one can truly predict a pipe bursting or a water heater breaking, there are some precautions you can take to help your plumbing fixtures stay in tip-top shape. Here are five things your Port St. Lucie, Florida, plumber wants you to know:

    Keep miscellaneous items out of toilets

    Plumbing systems can be incredibly sensitive, especially if you're close to big bodies of water. Toilets are a part of our everyday lives, and because waste usually just disappears, it's tempting to flush anything down there. But some things can be damaging to both your plumbing systems and the environment. For example, lots of families with children toss baby wipes down the toilet. However, these can clog sewer systems. Be sure to check on the back of the label to see if the wipes you're buying are compatible with your plumbing fixtures. There also are some items that should never be flushed, like tampons, paper towels and cotton balls. All of these products do not break down when traveling through the sewage systems and can cause backups down the road. Lastly, don't flush prescription medicine down the toilet, either. These drugs can be harmful to wildlife because they can destroy helpful bacteria in the water.

    If you aren't sure what is OK to flush and what isn't, give your Roto-Rooter plumber a call, and he or she will break it down for you.

    Don't ignore the problem

    If you notice that something in your house is a little off, like the faucet is dripping or your shower water isn't staying hot very long, do not ignore it. The quicker you act, the less likely the repair will be expensive and extensive. In addition, something like ignoring your faucet drip will do you more harm than good in the long run. For instance, a leaky faucet will slowly increase your water bill if it's not fixed. If you see something that's broken, or on its way to breaking, be sure to get it fixed. In the same vein, there are some fixtures that can break without you even realizing it. Have your local plumber come out for routine checks to make sure everything is in order.

    Be careful what you throw down your garbage disposal.

    Don't bite off more than you can chew

    With so many resources at your disposal, you may think you're Mr. or Mrs. Fix-It. And while some projects lend themselves to the do-it-yourself craze, there are also some that can do more harm than good. Simple tasks like unclogging a toilet or drain can be done from home. However, be sure not to mess too much with your plumbing. You don't want to find yourself with an overflowing toilet or a burst pipe - both of which can be very pricey repairs. If you're not sure what you're doing, contact a professional beforehand.

    Be gentle with your garbage disposal

    5 things your Port St. Lucie plumber wants you to knowMany people are too liberal with what they put down their garbage disposal. This appliance is helpful in breaking down and getting rid of scraps of food. It's an alternative to the garbage can, which can get odorous over time. However, there are plenty of items that shouldn't be thrown down your disposal. Here are some of them:

    • 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 from meat.

    • Non-food items.

    Any of these products can cause your garbage disposal and plumbing system to break or get backed up.

    Protect your pipes

    Your home's temperature can plummet during the winter. As a result, your pipes will need a little more warmth than usual. When the colder seasons roll around, be sure to insulate your pipes. Head out to your local hardware store to pick up insulation (the pink material found in unfinished attics and basements). Then, wrap it around your exposed fixtures. Don't forget hidden ones, like underneath bathroom and kitchen sinks.

    Whenever you find yourself in over your head, be sure to give us a call at Roto-Rooter. Our plumbers have the skills, experience and tools to make sure your plumbing issues are gone in a jiffy.

  • 2 Important Ways to Conserve Bathroom Water | Roto-Rooter

    Two Important Ways to Conserve Water

    Despite the fact that 70% of the world is made up of water, this valuable resource is not infinite. According to the Environmental Protection Agency, the average family uses 400 gallons of water every day. Seventy percent of this water is used indoors, with the bathroom being the major source of indoor water usage.

    To help conserve water, consider these two water-saving techniques:

    Don’t leave your faucet running.

    Kitchen FaucetWe often let the water run while brushing our teeth. Every time we let the water run, we are wasting about two gallons of water. To help conserve water in the bathroom, always remember to turn the faucet off while brushing your teeth, which will save you more than 200 gallons of water a month.

    Examine your faucets. If you notice a constant drip from your faucet, you might need to replace a washer or faucet cartridge. If water is streaming out at the rate of one drop per second, you could potentially waste approximately 2,700 gallons a year. A leaky faucet is not only a waste of fresh water, it will also put a strain on your septic system, as well as your water bill. Replacing your less-efficient model with a low-flow faucet can also make a huge difference.

    Update your toilets and showerheads

    By updating your toilet to a more efficient model, you and your family could potentially cut your water usage by 60%. Switching to toilets that use only 1.28 gallons per flush (rather than the 3.5 to 7 gallons per flush of an older toilet) will not only save on water usage, but also make a significant impact on your utility bill. It is also important to check for toilet leaks, since a running toilet can waste about 200 gallons per day. Your local Roto-Rooter plumbing experts can help to identify any leaks in your home and offer immediate repair service to start saving you water as soon as possible.

    The standard showerhead can use up to 2.5 gallons of water a minute. By switching to a more efficient, low-flow showerhead, the average family can save up to 2,900 gallons of water over a span of 13 days.

    For additional information about converting your appliances and fixtures to more water efficient models, visit the EPA online to learn more about the WaterSense partnership program.

    For the best in plumbing service and repairs, contact your local Roto-Rooter plumbing professional to help start conserving water today.

  • How to Save Water in Your Bathroom

    Save Water in Your Baltimore Bathroom

    When you're looking for ways to save water in your Baltimore home, you may be wondering where you should start. You likely use water in many ways every day, and they are all important. The truth is, though, you don't necessarily need to change your habits – just the way you carry them out every day.

    A great place to start conserving is the room in which you likely use the most water – the bathroom. Between showers, hand washing and toilet flushing, this room is rarely occupied when the water isn't running.

    Luckily, there are tricks to start saving water with each of the three main fixtures in your bathroom: the shower, the sink and the toilet.

    Saving in the shower

    Some people prefer baths while others prefer showers. Depending on how long you take to bathe, you could save water by switching methods. The average tub can hold 42 gallons of water, and most people use about 30 gallons for their baths, according to the Sacramento Bee. On the other hand, the typical shower expels about 2.5 gallons of water per minute. If you take a 10-minute shower, you'll be using less water than the typical bath-taker. If you like to take a longer time, a bath might use less. However, the best way to ensure you're using as little water as possible would be to take short showers.

    Reducing sink use

    Your bathroom sink is used for many things, like washing your hands, brushing your teeth and shaving. While all of these things are important for personal hygiene, there are things you can do to cut down on the amount of water you use. You could fill the sink with a small amount of water when shaving to clear the razor without having to run the faucet every few minutes. Or you can also turn off the faucet when brushing your teeth or washing your hands. If you have little ones, teach your children the importance of turning off the faucet completely before walking away.

    Conserving with your toilet

    save water in your bathroom baltimoreYour toilet uses a lot of water. Older toilets might use between 3.5 and 7 gallons of water with every flush. Newer ones, especially those designed to be more environmentally friendly, may use as little as 1.6 gallons per flush, but some still use quite a bit more.

    To save water when flushing the toilet, you can raise the level of water in the tank. Fill a plastic soda bottle with sand and put it in the tank. This will cause the water to run for less time after the flush. However, if you already have a model that only uses 1.6 gallons of water to flush, you may impede proper toilet functions. Be sure to find out before adding the sand.

    Saving water in your Baltimore home is important, but it's not always easy to know where to start. Conserving water in your bathroom isn't hard, and is a great place to begin, considering how much water use goes on in it. If something goes awry in the bathroom though, be sure to call your local Roto-Rooter for help.

  • 3 Common Objects that Cause a Clogged Toilet | Roto-Rooter

    Clogged ToiletHow to Avoid a Clogged Toilet

    A clogged toilet can be a real headache. Not only can a clog become an unsightly mess, but it can also cause problems for everyone in your home. While excess toilet paper is the most common cause for clogged toilets, take a look at three other reasons your toilet might be backing up:


    Excess hair can often turn into a clog over time, which is why you should avoid flushing hair down the toilet, tub and shower drains. Place clippings and excess strands into the trash. Chemical solutions can typically unclog drains due to hair clogs. However, repeated hair buildup will probably require professional plumbing services to get your drain back in working order. Pet hair should also be tossed only in the trash as it is one of the most common causes of drain clogs.


    Always avoid flushing leftover grease. Keep a sealable jar or old coffee can to store it. Once the container is full, toss it is the trash. Hardened fat from cooking grease presents challenges when it comes to the kitchen sink drain and garbage disposal. Much like hair, grease builds up over time in your drain lines and main sewer. After time, this sticky goo will halt all drainage.

    Toys and other foreign objects

    From small kids’ toys to the many times you have accidentally dropped things in the toilet, there are a variety of objects that can end up in your toilet drain. Often, you can use a plunger to retrieve these items. However, if foreign objects become lodged in the drain, call your Roto­-Rooter plumbing expert to remove the culprit and get your plumbing working properly again.  

  • How to Keep Your Shower Looking Clean

    Keep Your Bathroom CleanHow to Keep Your Shower Looking Clean in Arvada

    When you want to get clean, you head to your bathroom. When you walk out of the tub or the shower, you feel cleaner. This is why it can be a bit unnerving to look around your bathroom and see telltale signs of grit, grime and mold.

    Keeping your bathroom clean can take some work, but it's well worth it.

    Handling hard water

    Your Arvada, Colorado, home might have hard water. If you aren't careful, hard water can have a lasting effect on your bathroom fixtures, particularly the shower and tub. According to, hard water can leave behind some unattractive residue. With the right tools and some determination, you should be able to clear away those stains. However, if they're left on glass for too long, hard water can damage the material. Etched glass might look pretty in patterns, but when caused by hard water, it's more likely to just look dirty.

    The best tool to keep hard water off your glass shower walls is to use a squeegee. Carefully remove all water from your walls and shower door after each use. A microfiber towel can also work, but it could become saturated during the process. If it does, you can wring it out and continue.

    Martha Stewart pointed out that shower curtains require special attention when cleaning. Be sure to keep these as spread out as possible, especially when wet. Water kept in warm, damp places like your bathroom is the perfect place for mold to grow. Air out your bathroom whenever possible to prevent this.

    Do away with dirt

    Arvada, Colorado, has plenty of outdoor activities for people to participate in. Residents and visitors alike appreciate the 125 miles of hiking, biking and horseback riding trails in town. However, your shower can suffer because of them.

    All of that dirt can stain your shower floor. If you have a habit of taking off your shoes and going barefoot, the floor is even more at risk. suggested washing your feet with a washcloth before getting into the shower. If you don't want to take the time to do this, put a cloth on your shower floor to stand on while you wash. Most of the dirt will be soaked up by the cloth instead of running all over the tub floor. Be sure to wipe away any excess dirt that might otherwise get forgotten on the tub floor when you are done.

  • Is a Built-In Shower Seat Right for You? | Roto-Rooter

    luxury showerBuilt-In Shower Seats

    There are many reasons why someone would want a built-in seat or stool for their shower. A built-in seat in your home shower not only creates a more luxurious environment, but for those with mobility issues, it is a matter of necessity. A built-in shower seat can easily transform a basic shower space into a more relaxing, spa-like experience for everyone.

    Before you begin altering your shower, it helps to take a step back and consider what you really want. Prior to any work being done, it's helpful to first answer these four questions:

    1) Seat or bench?
    The space restrictions in your bathroom will determine whether a shower seat or bench is ideal for your current space. Do you have the space for a bench? Will just one person be using the shower at a time, or does the shower need to accommodate multiple individuals?

    2) Wall-mounted seat or corner seat?
    Whether you prefer a wall-mounted or corner seat will depend on personal preference, as well as the design and size of your shower. Corner seats are an ideal option when trying to best utilize limited space in your shower.

    3) Folding shower seat or no?
    A folding shower seat will keep things open in the shower, allowing standing or sitting room, depending on your needs. However, it is important to remember, a folding seat is not always as sturdy as other non-folding options.  

    4) What do you do if something goes wrong?
    While installing a built-in shower seat is usually a simple endeavor, it can affect the existing plumbing in the shower. For instance, a drill bit going into the wall could hit a water pipe. When installing a built-in shower seat, it is best to consult a professional plumber prior to installation, in the event that something goes awry.

  • Four Things You Should Know About Plumbing in Santa Cruz

    Four Things You Should Know About Plumbing in Santa CruzNo one ever said that being a homeowner was easy. There are rooms to decorate, bills to pay and if something goes wrong, you can't just call up your landlord to get it taken care of. Instead, you have to take matters into your own hands by fixing it yourself or calling a professional to get the job done for you.

    Problems are sometimes unavoidable, but there are precautions you can take to help make sure your home stays in prime shape. Here are four things your Santa Cruz, California, plumber wants you to know about protecting your home.

    Protect your pipes

    Santa Cruz doesn't see harsh winters like the Midwest, but that doesn't mean you shouldn't take initiative to protect your home during the colder months. The biggest issue in winter comes in the form of frozen pipes. This is when the water in your pipes freezes, stopping the flow all together. That means you might not get any running water, from your kitchen sink to your bathroom showerheads. Unfortunately, by the time you notice that your pipes are frozen, it's already too late. However, there are plenty of steps you can take to ensure that your pipes don't freeze.

    Swing by your local hardware store to pick up some insulation. That's the pink padding found in attics and unfinished basements. Cut and wrap this material around your exposed pipes. The insulation will help keep them warm when the temperatures drop.

    Although insulation can help keep your pipes from freezing, there are other areas of your home to come into play, as well. For example, insulation won't do you any good if your heat isn't working. Sure, southern California probably doesn't get much, if any, snow during the colder months of the year. However, your home should be set to a comfortable heat so your pipe fixtures aren't too cold. In the same vein, make sure that your vents are actually producing hot air. Test run your ducts by putting your hand underneath the vent and feeling the temperature and pressure of the air blowing (or if its blowing at all). Make sure that no pieces of furniture or decor (like a side table or a rug) are shielding your vents from blowing air.

    Use your garbage disposal the right way

    Garbage disposals are a great way to get rid of food scraps and waste without the odor that comes with tossing them in the garbage. However, these appliances are sensitive as far as what materials they can actually disintegrate. Although it may seem like common sense, only throw items in the disposal that can be broken down easily. Materials such as bones, vegetable peelings, grains and grease may cause your plumbing to be backed up and may even break your appliance.

    If you find yourself wondering if something can be broken down, just toss it the garbage just to be safe.

    Take care of your toilets

    Bathrooms are a mundane part of our everyday routine, so it's tough to imagine life if one in our home isn't working. Luckily, if you take care of your toilets, you won't have to discover how big of an inconvenience non-working plumbing can be. Be sure that you, you family members and guests aren't flushing the wrong materials down your toilet (aka anything but waste and toilet paper). Things like wipes, matches, sanitary pads, tampons and cotton balls don't break down in sewage systems. These items can pose a threat to your plumbing system and our environment as a whole. Just to be safe, take precautions by pitching everything in the trash instead. If it makes you feel better, hang a sign in your bathroom noting not to flush these materials down (like the ones in restaurants). That way, you can help prevent any issues down the road.

    Give us a call

    Many people think that whatever goes wrong in their home they can fix themselves. Although there are plenty of credible websites that talk you through fixing things step-by-step, sometimes you can do more harm than good. If you ever have a problem, just give us a call over at Roto-Rooter. We'll send out a professional and experienced plumber to take a look and get your home fixed and back in working order in a jiffy.

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