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  • Water Jet Sewer Cleaning Explained: What It is and When You Need It

    Water jetting serviceSewer lines are critical for sending waste and water away from a home, business or other structure, but sewer pipes are not impenetrable or impervious to blockages. Trees are a significant culprit, as their roots can penetrate sewer lines at pipe joints or damaged sections. Roots gradually obstruct the flow of sewage and eventually can cause a complete blockage of the pipe. Clogs caused by grease, tampons, wet wipes and other items can also build up on their own over time if the sewer line isn't maintained properly. Water jet sewer cleaning is a clear answer to these issues.

    What is it?

    Water jet sewer cleaning leverages a high-pressure hose with a specialized nozzle on the end. The hose is connected to a machine that pressurizes water, directing it through jets on the nozzle head to thoroughly clean and clear out the pipe. High-pressure water jetting effectively breaks up the debris that may have accumulated in the pipe and flushes it out. It's recommended to get a camera line inspection before doing commercial and municipal sewer cleaning in order to identify the location of the blockage and determine what other repairs may be required, especially if there are tree roots in the vicinity. Standard mechanical sewer cleaning with a Roto-Rooter cable machine is still the best and most affordable option for residential sewers. Water jetting is only needed to resolve the most serious residential sewer clogs. However, commercial sewers and municipal pipes are a different matter. Their larger diameter and capacity often make high-pressure water jetting a better option.

    Why you should use water jet sewer cleaning

    A blockage in your sewer line could mean that the drains inside the structure begin to backup  and overflow. Sewer pipes within your property are your responsibility to maintain, and water jet sewer cleaning is an extremely effective way to clear out the most serious clogs. The water jet is often described as working like a laser beam. It’s incredible pressure can direct streams of water to cut through virtually anything, even trees roots, dried concrete and even wood. The water jet pulverizes most any material into tiny bits and washes them away. Water jetting is also the best solution for eliminating any grease or grime buildup that may be clinging to the pipe walls. This ensures that your sewer line will be thoroughly cleaned right down to the pipe walls to prevent future clogs.

    Water jet sewer cleaning can also be more economical and more environmentally safe than other commercial sewer cleaning options. Water jetting is environmentally safe because it doesn't use any chemicals to get the job done, just plain water blasted at incredibly high pressure levels.

    Businesses must maintain the sewer lines within their property to ensure optimal performance. Water jet sewer cleaning can help keep sewer lines open longer in a very effective, cost-efficient manner. Jetting is also useful for cleaning out driveway culverts and outdoor drainpipes. Call a Roto-Rooter professional today to set up high-pressure water jet sewer cleaning for your lines.


  • Low-Flow Showerheads Won't Negatively Water Pressure

    Modern low-flow showerheads offer enough pressure to wash shampoo out of your hair.Typically, the first step to limiting your water use or living a more sustainable life is to invest in a low-flow showerhead. What makes a showerhead low-flow is the amount of water that it expels per minute. The average shower head releases anywhere from 3 to 8 gallons per minute, while a low-flow one uses as little as 1.5 gallons per minute.

    We've all seen the bit on the hit comedy, "Seinfeld," where everyone in Jerry's building has flat hair because the new low-flow shower heads don't provide enough water pressure to wash away their shampoo. Many people are under the impression that investing in a shower head like this will have a negative effect on their water pressure. While this may have been true back when that episode aired in the '90s, that isn't the case anymore. Here's what you should know about modern low-flow showerheads and water pressure.

    Aerating vs. non-aerating

    There are two types of low-flow showerheads, both of which make a point to ensure that users get to enjoy ample water pressure. These are aerating and non-aerating. Aerating showerheads expel a mix of water and air, so the flow of water stays constant. Non-aerating showerheads maintain their pressure with pulses. However, while the pressure stays constant in aerating showerheads, the water temperature can be affected, dropping the temperature between 5 and 15 degrees, so it may not be the best choice for people who like a hot, steamy shower.

    Test it before committing

    Most showerheads have multiple settings, some of which offer more pressure than others.  If you're not sure if your shower head is low-flow or not, you hold a 1-gallon bucket beneath your showerhead, turn the faucets to the setting you would normally use, and see how long it takes to fill up the bucket. If it takes fewer than 24 seconds, it's not low-flow. If you purchase a new shower head that is low-flow, but it doesn't seem to have the pressure you desire, chances are simply changing the setting to a stronger stream will be all it takes for a satisfactory flow.

    There is a host of ways to conserve water in your home or business. Low-flow showerheads play an important role and with today’s modern, well-engineered low-flow showerheads, you won’t sacrifice comfort or quality when taking a shower.


  • What Do Kitchen Grease Traps And Interceptors Do? | Roto-Rooter

    Grease traps are vital for any restaurantModern plumbing ideas and techniques can be traced back hundreds of years to various civilizations.

    An early idea that is still widely used today is the use of grease traps and interceptors. These pieces of equipment are instrumental in helping to protect sewer systems from backing up and causing serious plumbing issues.

    What are grease traps?

    Grease traps are plumbing devices whose purpose is to collect grease and other solids before they enter wastewater systems. A large buildup of thick substances, like fats and oils, are known to cause sewer backups.

    Where are interceptors used?

    Kitchen grease traps are basically mainly used in restaurants and other places where there's a lot of cooking.

    Restaurants and food service kitchens are usually responsible for producing the highest amounts of grease. These establishments have to take into account the many sources grease can come from. Cooking appliances are major producers of grease, but so too are dishwashing areas.

    Interestingly, it's not uncommon for municipalities in the U.S. to require kitchens and food service areas to install and maintain grease interceptors. To ensure these plumbing devices are working at optimal levels. Restaurant management staff and municipalities should routinely inspect these systems.

    Types of grease traps

    There are three different types of grease traps.

    The most common interceptor is known as a passive grease trap. These are plumbing devices found under sinks with three compartments. While passive interceptors are the most common, most residential households do not have grease traps because they simply don't produce enough kitchen grease to need one. Instead, grease traps are common at restaurants.

    Grease recovery devices are the second subset. Essentially, a GRD will remove grease automatically once it's trapped. Grease can then be collected and recycled with waste vegetable oil collected from a deep fryer.

    An in-ground grease trap is the last type, and second most commonly used in restaurants. According to the Webstaurant Store, these devices not only capture grease, but also oil, sediment and lint, among other solids.

    In-ground interceptors are typically constructed out of steel or fiberglass and large enough to handle the needs of large restaurants and even hospitals or school cafeterias. In most instances, larger grease interceptors usually need to abide by certain health and safety codes.

    Help with the interceptor

    Due to the importance of grease traps, it's important for grease traps to be regularly maintained. If restaurants or other commercial services need help with cleaning or liquid waste pumping, they should contact Roto-Rooter for professional help.


  • What to Expect During a Backflow Preventer Inspection

    Backflow inspectionBackflow is bad news. Whether it comes in the form of backpressure backflow or backflow siphonage, the unfortunate occurrence of non-potable water streaming back into the usable water supply is a serious potential health crisis situation. If the pressure in the hoses changes for any reason due to pipes freezing, water main bursts or when multiple fire hydrants are opened at once, there is a greater chance for there to be a flow reversal.

    To prevent this undesirable circumstance, a backflow prevention device is required, in addition to regular checkups. Backflow testing, therefore, is a critical part of the annual maintenance you should undertake for your business. In some places, such as Ohio, businesses (and some residences) with commercial sprinkler systems are forced to have their backflow prevention assemblies tested annually by a certified backflow inspector. What should you expect during such an inspection?

    Types of backflow prevention devices

    In terms of the equipment that will be checked, there are two possible options: a reduced pressure principle device or double check valves. Both include a mechanical backflow preventer – essentially, a physical barrier to the backflow.

    In order to prevent backflow siphonage, which is the reversal of a normal septic system flow, you should have professionals determine the pressure within your plumbing and see if it's in any danger of causing a problem like this.

    What should you know?

    In circumstances where the backflow prevention device should be inspected annually, be sure to partner with a backflow trained and licensed professional who has plenty of experience in the area. When testing the device, the backflow certified plumber will first turn off the downstream shut-off valve and wait for a few minutes, and then he’ll test the pressure in the system by hooking up test kit hoses. The plumber is basically looking for areas where the pressure isn't what it should be.

    The cost of having your backflow preventer inspected varies based on your location and the companies you may choose from. In order to make sure contaminants from animal feces, pesticides and fertilizers aren't getting into your drinking water, however, it's critical to partner with a company that's been around for a long time and has a stable of experienced certified backflow professionals at its beck and call.

    For more information about our backflow preventer inspection services and to learn why backflow prevention devices are critical for public health, contact your local plumbing experts at Roto-Rooter today.


  • 5 Signs It's Time to Call Your Septic Pumping Service

    It's a fact of life: If you own a septic tank, you'll have to clean it at some point, as proper maintenance is key for making sure your septic tank and everything else in your home runs the way it's supposed to. Make sure you pump your septic tank once every few years. If you don't clean it regularly and instead leave it to its own devices for decades, you could have an expensive problem on your hands when you finally do decide to have it cleaned out.

    When should you call your septic pumping service? Here are five signs you should watch out for:

    1. Has it been two or three years since the last time the tank was pumped?

    A good rule of thumb when it comes to having your septic tank pumped is to determine a baseline for how often you want to clean it out. Depending on how large your tank is, how many people live in your household and how old your septic tank is, there could be different protocols for how often you need to pump it.

    2. Will you have a lot of visitors in the very near future?

    If you're anticipating heavy septic system usage for an extended period of time, and your tank hasn't been pumped in a while, it may be a good idea to go ahead and have it cleaned out in order to prepare for the heavier influx of sewage.

    3. Do you suspect tree roots are clogging your Drainage tile lateral lines?

    It's important that you make sure any trees on your property aren't causing mayhem underground. Tree roots are a leading cause of pipe blockages, and your septic tank is no exception. You should call a professional to help you determine whether trees will affect the sewage system.

    4. Does your lawn have a bad odor?

    If your septic system is failing, you'll know it. Pay attention to how the lawn smells – if you haven't cleaned the tank out in a while, your lateral field may become overwhelmed, spewing nasty gases into the air.

    5. Is your yard wet, even though it hasn't rained?

    Look for soggy patches of grass and even standing water, as well. This could be an indication that a septic system overflow or failure has occurred.

    These are all signs that you should contact a plumbing expert sooner rather than later. For more information on our septic pumping services, get in touch with the professionals at Roto-Rooter.Septic field


  • Trenchless Pipe Bursting | Roto-Rooter

    Trenchless pipe burstingYou have called a local plumber over for what you once thought was a small clog but the problem has been diagnosed as sewer failure and is causing raw sewage to backup into your home. Images of dirt mounds, large equipment and a destroyed, dug up yard begin to fill your mind. What can be done so your home doesn’t look like a construction site? Roto-Rooter’s trenchless pipe bursting and replacement service is the answer.

    Depending on your local codes, your pipes could be anywhere from 6-12 feet below ground and sometimes even deeper! Sewer failure can cause major disruptions for home owners and businesses. Thankfully, your Roto-Rooter plumber steps in to calm your nerves and explain their new trenchless pipe bursting and replacement service that won’t demolish your lawn.

    Roto-Rooter has created a helpful infographic for our website that showcases the process of trenchless pipe bursting and replacement. It details and illustrates the innovative and simplistic approach Roto-Rooter uses for replacing underground sewer pipes. The purpose of the infographic is to explain how trenchless technology allows plumbers to replace your sewer line without digging up yards, landscaping and sidewalks. In the trenchless pipe bursting infographic you can see how this process is cleaner, faster, and more convenient than traditional pipe replacement.

    Before you create more mess than you need too, check out our infographic about trenchless pipe bursting and replacement. Your yard will thank you.


  • Signs Your Dishwasher Water Line May Need to Be Replaced

    Dishwashers may make our lives easier, but if there is a common issue with the water line leading to this appliance, it can cause headaches for any homeowner. To avoid this situation, look for these signs that your dishwasher water line may need to be replaced:

    1. Not filling with water

    If your dishwasher doesn't fill with water, the issue may stem from a variety of sources, but a bad water line may be the true culprit. If there's no water at all, you'll want to make sure that the water inlet hose is connected properly and that its valve is in the open position. If the hose is hooked up correctly and there are no kinks, it should fix the problem. However, if the dishwasher still doesn't fill with water and the other parts of the appliance have been examined, it may be time to replace your water line.

    2. It's frozen

    A frozen pipe can lead to major long-term complications, and this is true for your dishwasher water line as well. If water isn't flowing freely from your line, that could mean that it's frozen. It's important to remedy this issue before the pipe bursts or results in damage to your plumbing infrastructure. If your water line is frozen, it may be necessary to replace it. You also want to check your dishwasher drain to determine if it's frozen as well. Note that the risk of a dishwasher water line freezing is limited to pipes that are located along outside walls in uninsulated or unheated areas.

    Dishwasher3. Leaking

    If you see water coming from under your dishwasher, the first thing you should do is check your water line. Ensure that its connections are tight and secure, and work out any kinks that might be in the hose. If this doesn't fix the problem, there could be a hole in the water line, which should be replaced immediately. Leaks not only can cost a significant amount of money in wasted water, but they can also require extensive repairs to recover from the water damage.

    Dishwashers are a luxury for many homeowners, but when something goes wrong, it may be time to call in a plumbing expert. Roto-Rooter plumbing professionals are equipped with the skills and tools necessary to diagnose problems with your dishwasher and replace the water line if necessary. To schedule a consultation for your plumbing needs, contact Roto-Rooter today.


  • Commercial Sewer Cleaning is Just the Beginning | Roto-Rooter

    When you own a business, for better or worse, it can become like a second home. That's why it makes sense to take maintenance and repairs just as seriously at your workplace as you do at home. Roto-Rooter is trusted around the nation for its full spectrum of commercial plumbing services for businesses of all shapes and sizes. Whether it's a routine drain cleaning or a plumbing emergency, the experts at Roto-Rooter are on call to help.

    Drain servicesEvery business needs a reliable plumbing professional to diagnose issues.

    Keeping drains clean and clear is vital for a number of industries. Roto-Rooter offers commercial sewer cleaning and a host of other services for businesses, including:

    No matter what the issue may be, your local plumbing professionals will have the best tools for the job. To diagnose major issues deep within drains, Roto-Rooter technicians utilize high-tech camera systems to spot blockages several feet beneath the surface. Once they've spotted the problem, they can then use high-pressure water jetting to penetrate through thick grease, sludge or roots that may be disrupting water flow. All of this is done non-invasively and without major disruption to business operations.

    Water damage restoration and cleanup

    When a flood or sewer backup strikes, it can spell disaster for any building. Just a couple inches of water can cause serious damage and potentially harmful health hazards.

    Water damage restoration experts at Roto-Rooter are capable of not only cleaning up after these accidents, but making sure they don't happen again. In the event of a broken pipe or sewer backup, certified restoration professionals can perform a range of cleanup services to remove dangerous wastewater, bacteria and odors.

    Once things are looking like new again, it's vital that steps are taken to prevent the same issue in the future. Restoration experts can then search for hidden water leaks and repair them accordingly. This includes basic pipes and plumbing, as well as sewers, drains, slab pipes or plumbing hidden behind walls. Using the best tools of the trade, it's possible to get a business up and running quickly while being assured that everything is safe.

    No matter what your business needs, Roto-Rooter can provide it. Call your local Roto-Rooter commercial plumbing professionals to learn more.


  • 5 Signs It's Time to Call Your Septic Pumping Service

    It's a fact of life: If you own a septic tank, you'll have to clean it at some point, as proper maintenance is key for making sure your septic tank and everything else in your home runs the way it's supposed to. Make sure you pump your septic tank once every few years. If you don't clean it regularly and instead leave it to its own devices for decades, you could have an expensive problem on your hands when you finally do decide to have it cleaned out.

    When should you call your septic pumping service? Here are five signs you should watch out for:

    1. Has it been two or three years since the last time the tank was pumped?

    A good rule of thumb when it comes to having your septic tank pumped is to determine a baseline for how often you want to clean it out. Depending on how large your tank is, how many people live in your household and how old your septic tank is, there could be different protocols for how often you need to pump it.

    1. Will you have a lot of visitors in the very near future?

    If you're anticipating heavy septic system usage for an extended period of time, and your tank hasn't been pumped in a while, it may be a good idea to go ahead and have it cleaned out in order to prepare for the heavier influx of sewage.

    1. Do you suspect tree roots are clogging your Drainage tile lateral lines?

    It's important that you make sure any trees on your property aren't causing mayhem underground. Tree roots are a leading cause of pipe blockages, and your septic tank is no exception. You should call a professional to help you determine whether trees will affect the sewage system.

    1. Does your lawn have a bad odor?

    If your septic system is failing, you'll know it. Pay attention to how the lawn smells – if you haven't cleaned the tank out in a while, your lateral field may become overwhelmed, spewing nasty gases into the air.

    1. Is your yard wet, even though it hasn't rained?

    Look for soggy patches of grass and even standing water, as well. This could be an indication that a septic system overflow or failure has occurred.

    These are all signs that you should contact a plumbing expert sooner rather than later. For more information on our septic pumping services, get in touch with the professionals at Roto-Rooter.

    Septic system


  • The Warning Signs of a Main Sewer Line Blockage | Roto-Rooter

    Your sewer line is one of the most vital parts of your household plumbing – and if it becomes damaged or clogged, it could wreak unwelcome issues on your property. Offset or damaged pipes could cost a lot to repair or replace. The sooner you detect a sewer line breakage or clog, the more likely it is you'll be able to fix it without a huge hassle or cost. Damage tends to worsen over time.

    Watch out for these warning signs that your sewer line might be blocked:

    Slow Draining Sinks and Bathtubs

    When you have a sewer line problem, your sinks, toilets and even bathtub might drain slowly or not at all. Multiple fixtures may be affected by this problem. For instance, if you run the washing machine and the toilet overflows or the laundry room sink backs up, that's a definite sign of a blockage somewhere in the drainpipes – after all, the water has to go somewhere.

    In addition, if you hear gurgling sounds when you flush that could be a sign of a blockage in the drain system. In fact, these noises may be an indication that tree roots are to blame for your blockage; root systems are one of the biggest culprits of main sewer line issues. So if you have a large tree near your sewer line, its roots could be the problem. This is particularly true if you have an older sewer made of clay or concrete because roots can work their way inside the pipe via the pipe joints. Tiny feeder roots find their way inside seeking moisture. Once inside, they will grow larger, acting like a net to catch toilet paper and waste until a clog forms.Plunger

    Constant Need to Plunge

    If it seems you’re experiencing more toilet clogs than you used to, that’s an indication that the real clog problem might be farther downstream in your drainage system. The same is true with your kitchen sink. Is it clogging or running slowly more often than it used to? The fact is that if you have more than one slow drain in your house, or multiple slow drains, that’s the best indicator that the source of the problem is a clogged sewer.

    Get some help

    A sewer clog cannot be treated with a plunger or with over-the-counter chemicals. To clear the sewer line of roots and debris, a professional cleaning is required with a heavy-duty Roto-Rooter machine. These electric drain and sewer cleaning machines have a strong, stiff steel cable with a sharp blade on its tip. The cable spins as it travels through the sewer pipe so it cuts away obstructions. It will even shave roots right down to the pipe walls to restore full flow in your sewer pipe. If the Roto-Rooter machine can’t get through the pipe, your service technician can request a video camera inspection of the sewer pipeline to ascertain where the blockage is and its cause. A trained eye will then be able to recommend repair options to the homeowner.

    When the evidence suggests that your main sewer line is clogged, you should get in touch with a plumbing professional who can sort it out for you. Call Roto-Rooter today for more information.


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