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  • 2 Ways to Prevent a Flooded Basement | Roto-Rooter


    Flooding is not only costly to homeowners but can also cause significant damage to your home’s construction- not to mention the potentially unhealthy environment water damage can cause. The plumbing professionals at Roto-Rooter have offered these simple tips to help you to stay flood-free and avoid a potential plumbing emergency. Follow these helpful steps to prevent a flooded basement:

    1. Sump Pump Maintenance

    Your home’s sump pump is a key component in the event of a water emergency and flooded basement situation. Sump pumps are often located in basements and crawlspaces.  This crucial piece of equipment pumps water away from your basement and into nearby storm drains. Routine testing of your sump pump will ensure that it is in working order in the event of a water emergency.

    This simple at-home DIY test can easily let you know if your sump pump is working properly:

    Pour a full 5 gallon bucket of water into the sump pit. The water will activate the pump which will move it through the pump, up through a vertical pipe and away from your basement. If the water does not activate the sump pump, call one of our trained plumbing professionals at Roto-Rooter to assess the situation and to determine whether a repair or replacement is in order.

    2. Gutters and Downspouts

    The exterior of your home is just as important when taking preventative steps to avoid a flooded basement. The gutters and downspouts outside your home direct rainwater and melting snow away from the foundation of your home and basement. Keeping your gutters clean and clear of leaves and debris will ensure that there is nothing blocking the water flow. Annual cleaning of your downspouts will keep your home looking its very best while helping to ward off potential flooding situations.

    Call in the Plumbing Professionals

    For more helpful tips on home flood prevention, contact your local Roto-Rooter plumbing professional. Whether your sump pump needs service or you have additional questions regarding keeping your home plumbing and equipment working at peak performance, the plumbing experts at Roto-Rooter are equipped to handle all of your residential plumbing needs.

  • 5 Sump Pump Tips Keep Your Basement Flood-Free | Roto-Rooter Blog

    Keep Your Basement Flood-Free with 5 Simple Sump Pump Tips

    Here in Chicago, in old houses and in new, we’re no strangers to flooded basements thanks to our high water table. Even if you’ve done the right thing and installed a sump pump, that’s not always enough. In fact, ROTO-ROOTER’s Chicago plumbers replace more sump pumps than our plumbers in any other region of the country. To make sure your sump pump is doing its job and keeping your basement dry, here are five simple tips you can follow for extra peace of mind:

    1. Test your sump pump regularly. How? Pour a bucket of water into the sump pit. The pump should turn on, remove the water from the pit and shut itself off in a matter of seconds. Ensure that the float and the check valve move freely.
    2. Give it a once over. Clean your sump pit, remove any dirt, sand, gravel and other debris to increase the pump’s efficiency and prolong its life. Ensure that the discharge line opening is free of obstructions so that water can be pumped through the line and out of your basement or crawlspace.
    3. Back it up. If your home experiences a power outage for an extended period, frequent power outages or if your primary sump pump fails, it’s good to have a battery backup. There are a couple of different kinds. One uses a marine-grade battery that can power it for up to 12 hours. Another uses water pressure from your home's water supply lines to force flood water out of your sump pit. Ask your Chicago plumber to explain the different backup options.
    4. Realize that nothing lasts forever. Like any equipment with moving parts, sump pumps will wear out over time and will need to be replaced. There is no general rule on how often a sump pump should be replaced, since it depends on how often the pump operates. Be sure to have it checked periodically.
    5. Research plumbers ahead of time. The last thing you want to do is spend time finding a trustworthy plumber when you’re in the middle of a flooded basement.

    For more plumbing tips, as well as instructional videos, visit ROTO-ROOTER Chicago and our Google+ page.

  • Sump Pumps are the Last Line of Defense for Spring Flooding

    If yours is one of the millions of American homes with a basement, you’ve probably experienced the stress and worry associated with basement flooding. I myself always listen for the sump pump when I lay my head on the pillow at night. The reassuring sound of the sump pump turning on and off gives me a sense of well being and I can sleep with the confidence that my sump pump is doing its job and keeping my basement dry.


    Now that spring has finally arrived, heavy and unpredictable storms are the norm. For many, the risk of spring flooding brings on a sense of unease. Savvy homeowners begin checking the sump pump more often, put a plumber on speed dial and start thinking about backup systems because at any time, that sump pump could fail. The float switch could wear out or the impeller could suck up rocks and debris or (in my case) a piece of a plastic grocery bag (don’t ask!) and be rendered useless. So in that sense, your sump pump, your home’s protector and guardian is also your home’s Achilles heel. If the pump is inactivated, ground water will gradually flow into your basement via floor cracks and an overflowing sump crock.


    The good news is that there are two backup systems available for your sump pump. Your Roto-Rooter plumber is familiar with both and can handle the installation in an hour and a half or less. The most common remedy is a battery backup sump pump that uses a marine grade battery that looks like the one in your minivan. If the primary sump pump fails or a storm knocks out electrical power, the battery will engage and power a backup pump for up to 12 hours, depending upon how often it has to turn itself on to handle the flow of water into the sump pit. The second backup option is called a Venturi backup pump. I’ll describe the advantages and disadvantages of the Venturi system in next week’s Roto-Rooter blog.

  • Roto-Rooter Can Fix Your Plumbing Problems

    One of the most frustrating things when you are doing the dishes is when the water won’t drain. Sometimes this occurs when the dishwasher is running and you come in to find dirty water overflowing from the sink. You hurry and flip on the garbage disposal hoping the water will go down and you get sprayed in the face. You are having plumbing problems in Indianapolis, and the culprit is a clogged pipe.

    Usually, the first thing you try is a liquid drain cleaner. You pour it in and wait 15 to 30 minutes, praying it works. When it doesn’t, you run to the garage for the pipe snake, only to find it isn’t long enough to reach the blockage. If you are very stubborn and determined, you may hurry to the hardware store for a longer snake or a pressure attachment for your hose. When these measures fail and you are mopping up water from the kitchen floor, you finally give in and call Roto-Rooter to come and clear out your pipe. At this point, it dawns on you that it would have been a good idea to call them sooner, before you spent your money on ineffective fixes.

    The real villain in this situation is the garbage disposal. Insufficiently ground up waste gets into the pipe, along with grease and other debris, and the next thing you know, the sink won’t drain. If you are going to have a disposal in your home, then some instruction to your family members who use it is in order. The water needs to be running fairly fast and the disposal needs to run long enough to completely grind up everything to clear itself out. Do not pour bacon grease or other fats down the drain. Scrape dirty plates into a garbage can, not your sink.

    Remember, frequent use of chemical drain cleaners can be hard on your pipes and actually make them clog more easily. A friendlier solution is to regularly use an enzyme product that will aid in keeping your pipes clear. You will find that your plumbing problems in Indianapolis will decrease if you follow these easy steps. It’s nice to know that Roto-Rooter is available 24 hours a day to solve these issues.

  • Tips for Tackling Foul Odor Issues | Roto-Rooter Blog

    The Los Angeles plumbers of Roto-Rooter would like to provide some tips to address foul odor issues. Foul odors can occur because of a number of reasons. A common place for foul odor to arise is your kitchen sink, which is typically linked to your garbage disposal. To eliminate odor coming from your sink, you can run ice cubes and squeeze lemons or oranges down your drain while running the disposal for about 30 seconds. Then, follow up this process by squirting liquid dishwashing detergent while the disposal is running. Lastly, run cold water down the drain to clear leftover debris and your sink should be left odor free. A few tablespoons of baking soda may also prove helpful.

    Basements can also harbor foul odor smells. If you are getting a foul odor coming from a basement bathroom, it is most likely caused by trapped water in various fixtures of your plumbing system. Plumbing systems are designed to prevent foul odors from entering your home, but occasionally, the water seal of a trap can evaporate and allow odor to enter your home.  This plumbing problem has an easy solution, which can be done by dumping a bucket of water down the shower, sink or floor drain within your basement.

    If you would like assistance with this or any other plumbing or drain service in the Los Angeles area, feel free to call us at (800) 438-7686 or visit our Los Angeles plumber Web site for online scheduling and additional information.

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