Roto-Rooter Blog

  • 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 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.

  • Why Do Pipes Burst? | Roto-Rooter

    Frozen pipe burstWhat causes pipes to burst? There are a number of potential reasons why pipes inside a home can experience too much stress and break open, causing major flooding and damage problems for homeowners. But there are 4 chief causes of burst pipes:

    • Frozen Pipes

    • Moving Pipes

    • Water Pressure

    • Corrosion

    Let's review some of the common causes and go over the steps to take when you encounter a pipe that has burst.

    Extremely Cold temperatures

    Cold weather can cause serious issues when it affects the water supply pipes in your home. Although cold temperatures generally cause things to contract, ice has more volume than water so when water freezes inside a pipe, it expands and increases pressure inside the pipe. The building pressure needs to escape so it literally bursts right out of the pipe. This sometimes occurs at a weak joint in the pipe but pressure can burst right out the side of the pipe wall. One way to prevent water pipes from bursting during extreme cold is to turn on your faucets to allow a slow but steady stream of water to escape. This will keep water moving through the pipes and, most importantly, prevent pressure from building up inside. To prevent frozen pipes, Insulate exposed water supply pipes with foam pipe sleeves and don’t allow the temperature in the house to fall below 55 degrees Fahrenheit. Open cabinet doors below sinks to allow warm air to circulate around pipes. For help winterizing your home, consider reaching out to your local Roto-Rooter Plumbing & Drain Service.

    Movement / Water Hammer

    If water pipes aren’t secured, they can sometimes move around inside the walls whenever water is suddenly turned on or off. If you’ve ever heard pipes clanging inside walls or floors, it’s called water hammer. The pipes move back and forth and gradually can weaken joints in the pipe until one fails and allows pressurized water to escape the pipe. The resulting damage can be catastrophic and expensive.

    Water pressure issues

    Maintaining normal water pressure is vital for your water supply pipes to function properly. A significant increase in the water pressure can lead to a burst pipe or a failed plumbing fixture such as a faucet or toilet. As pressure increases, the pipes won’t be able to contain it, causing a rupture. If you suspect your water pressure is too high, you can check it by attaching a pressure gauge to a sink spout and turning on the faucet. The pressure will move the needle on the gauge and display the water pressure in psi (pounds per square inch). The water pressure in most homes is between 30-50 psi and in most cases it should not exceed 60 psi to avoid damage to pipes and plumbing fixtures. If your home’s water pressure is too high, a plumber can install a pressure reducing valve to adjust it down to safer levels.


    Pipes are meant to last a long time, and the vast majority of them provide many decades of reliable service. However, that doesn't mean pipes will last indefinitely. Sometimes years of slow building corrosion will cause a pipe to fail. Corrosion can be caused by a pH imbalance in the water, a minor issue at first that over time becomes more takes its toll on water pipes. If you have hard water and your water supply pipes are made of galvanized iron, the minerals inside the water slowly wear down the galvanized coating (which itself can cause dangerous lead poisoning) and expose the iron pipe beneath. In time, the iron turns to rust (iron oxide) and gradually narrows the diameter of the pipe so that water can barely get through the pipe. Your pipe may burst or it may just close itself off and prohibit water flow altogether.

    If you experience a burst pipe, it is important to determine the exact cause in order to prevent the problem from recurring. An experienced, licensed Roto-Rooter plumber can inspect your plumbing, determine your home’s water pressure and make any necessary adjustments.

  • Are the Pipes Making Noise in Your House? | Roto Rooter

    Are the Pipes Making Noise in Your HouseIf you lie awake at night in a quiet house, you'll notice quite a few sounds. You get used to them over time or tune them out (unless you've just seen a horror movie and are waiting for a ghoul to come get you), but sometimes they change. Some household noises are the result of plumbing issues and pipes making noise. Read on to discover what some of these common sounds might mean:

    Banging noises
    Banging from the pipes or pipes making noise might mean they are loose and not secured well within the walls (much less exciting than a ghost). It could also mean your home has pipes that flex when the water flowing through them stops. Both of these plumbing issues can be fixed easily by your plumber, and you won't have to worry about being woken up with a bang.

    Dripping Sounds
    If you notice a dripping noise, track it down because it could be plumbing noises. It’s probably just a leaky faucet but sometimes drips are inside walls, beneath water heaters or even the icemaker water supply line to your refrigerator. Leaking water can damage your home and invite mold. While you can do your best to find plumbing issues without assistance, you may want to bring in a professional simply to be sure your idea of where the leak is and how to fix it is correct. Trying to fix a leak yourself can be very costly to repair if you don’t know what you are doing.

    Ticking isn't a noise you want to hear in your house unless it's from a clock - what's the plumbing counting down to anyway? Rest assured, though - it's likely just a noise from your water meter that's coming into the house through the pipes. It should only happen if your meter is only a few feet away from your foundation and it will only be audible when water is running. This doesn't require a fix, and your best bet here is to become accustomed to it.

    How to Quiet Creaky Pipes

  • Unclog a Shower Drain Using Household Items | Roto-Rooter

    Unclog a Shower Drain Using Household ItemsUse household items to unclog the hair from your shower drain.

    It's very common to experience backed up drains around the house. Food is probably responsible for most of the blockage in the kitchen. Luckily, flipping on the garbage disposal will get rid of that problem almost immediately. But in the shower, it's a different story. More likely than not, the hair that's sometimes shed while bathing is the main culprit. And since there's no garbage disposal in the shower, it may be time to get a little more creative when figuring out how to unclog these drains.

    Don't worry, you don't need to run out to the store to buy some product to pour down the drain. Instead, you can find all of the materials you need around your house to successfully unclog most shower drains. Here are a few different ways to do it:

    Boiling water
    This is probably the simplest way to clear a clogged drain. Simply boil water and slowly pour it down the drain. With any luck, you won't need any additional supplies or steps and you'll have a clear drain once again.

    Coat hanger
    Go grab a coat hanger from your closet. Shape one end into a small hook (using your hands or a pair of pliers if necessary). Fish it down into the shower drain to grab the built-up hair and draw it out. Depending on how long it has been since you last did this, you may want to remove the drain itself (unscrew it) so that you can more easily get your coat hanger hook all the way down.

    Baking soda and vinegar (or salt) mix
    You can do this two different ways but they will both require equal parts of baking soda and vinegar or salt (1/2 cup each). The first method is to mix the baking soda and vinegar before pouring it down the drain. You will notice a chemical reaction taking place by a bubbling or fizzing when the two substances mix together. If you prefer, you can pour the baking soda down the drain first followed by the vinegar (or salt followed by boiling water). The mixture is a great way to remove the tough grime, grease and hair that has built up. Make sure you run hot water through the shower drain before showering again, especially if you use vinegar.

    Dish detergent
    If your drain is still clogged, try using a thicker lubricant to loosen the built-up hair that has accumulated to block the drain. Pour 1/4 cup of your dish detergent down the drain followed by boiling water. The thick dish detergent should free the hairs from being stuck to the side of your drain and the water will rinse the rest of the unwanted gunk out.

  • Fixing a Clogged Drain is Easier Than You Think

    Keep your drains clearWe've all been there before, either when taking a shower that feels more like a bath, or using a sink that you can't fill up too high. Clogged drains are an everyday inconvenience, but fortunately, fixing a clogged drain yourself is usually simple. First, you'll just need to gather some basic household tools and supplies, and then get to work with your DIY clogged drain repair.

    First step: Plunging

    The most trustworthy tool in the at-home plumber's arsenal is the plunger. This time-tested device is proven to defeat some of the toughest drain clogs, but only when used properly. Many people have a plunger on hand for their toilet, but it works just as effectively on a bath or sink drain. However, you may want to disinfect the surface of the plunger before using it in these places.

    If you're plunging a bathtub or sink drain, first remove the stopper or strainer within the drain if possible. Next, run the faucet for a few seconds to build up some standing water in the basin of the tub or sink. This will provide some extra force to work against the blockage. To focus as much pressure as possible into the drain, use your hands or a towel to cover up any overflow holes in the tub or sink.

    Once you're ready, apply rapid force to the drain with the plunger, making sure not to break the seal. Run the water to test the drain out and clear away any debris.

    Second step: Chemicals

    If plunging doesn't do the trick, you might have some luck using drain-clearing chemicals that you can find at most hardware stores. These usually include directions for use, but generally you will want to make sure you pour the solution directly into the drain, wait a few minutes and then flush with hot water. You could also make your own drain cleaner by first pouring a half cup of baking soda into the drain, then dumping one cup of vinegar mixed with one cup of hot water.

    Third step: Call the pros

    If nothing else works, be sure to call  Roto-Rooter to have your drains inspected and cleared in no time.

  • Learn How to Unblock Drains Eco-Friendly Way | Roto-Rooter

    Learn How to Unblock Drains Eco-Friendly Way

    A clogged drain is a real hassle, whether it's in the kitchen or the bathroom. If you want to keep using your plumbing as usual, that clog has got to go. However, you may not want to have harsh chemical drain cleaners in your home. Children and pets may get into them and present a serious hazard. But you may also want to minimize the amount of chemicals you put into the environment via the water supply cycle. If that's the case, follow these tips to learn how to unblock drains the eco-friendly way!

    Try using a plunger first
    Using the proper kind of plunger for your drain - and yes, there are plungers that are appropriate to use on a sink. They are usually red rubber and have a shallow suction cup. Plunging the drain may be all you need to do. The suction could force the clog away, leaving you with a clear drain.

    Turn to baking soda
    After the plunger method, your drain may not be totally clear. If this is the case, pour a cup of baking soda down it and then 3 cups of boiling water. This can resolve clogs nicely, but if it doesn't, there are still other tricks to try.

    Add vinegar
    Vinegar and baking soda may bring elementary school science projects to mind, but in reality, they make a great combination for cleaning drains. Pour half a cup of baking soda down the drain, and then half a cup of white vinegar. You can also heat the vinegar first or follow up the combination with boiling water if it's a really stubborn clog. Some homeowners also swear by adding just a little lemon juice to the mix.

    One note: Don't turn to a chemical drain cleaner after you use this method - there could be adverse reactions within your pipes when you mix all these items together. Instead, if your drain still isn't clear, call a plumber or use safe drain clean products from Roto-Rooter.

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