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  • 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
    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


  • Why is Thanksgiving the Cause of So Many Plumbing & Drain Problems?

    ThanksgivingIt happens like clockwork every year, the week of Thanksgiving rolls around and the phone starts ringing at Roto-Rooter. Early in the week, a significant number of homeowners expecting guests have the foresight to call a plumber to deal with their slow drains because they can sense trouble waiting to happen. These are the wisest homeowners who’ve possibly experienced ill-timed sewer clogs in the past and don’t want to chance another clog when they have a house full of holiday guests.

    Thanksgiving Day tends to be fairly quiet at Roto-Rooter. The number of calls is below normal but we keep enough plumbers on standby to handle the few service calls that do come in. We know from experience that most of the clogs actually occur on Thanksgiving but most homeowners dread the thought of calling a plumber on a holiday because they fear having to pay outrageous holiday service charges. So instead of dealing with the issue, they suffer through it and call us on Friday. In fact, many, if not most Roto-Rooter locations do not charge extra for service calls at night, on weekends or holidays. So if you’re experiencing a clog, why not call us for help? If extra charges are a concern, simply ask the local office if they charge extra for a Thanksgiving service call. They’ll tell you upfront so you can decide whether to delay service until Friday.

    The Friday after Thanksgiving is known as “Black Friday” in retail circles but it is “Brown Friday” for plumbers. It really is the busiest day of the year for Roto-Rooter, whose 7000 service technicians and plumbers across the country will be on the job and battling America’s clogs.

    To help you learn how to avoid Thanksgiving clogs, we created this entertaining and informative dramatic video. And if you want even more detailed tips and information, watch this video.

    The major types of clogs we see at Roto-Rooter around Thanksgiving are (in ranking order):

    1. Kitchen sink clogs / jammed garbage disposals

    2. Main sewer clogs

    3. Toilet clogs

    Learn what not to put down a garbage disposal. And to learn how to manage most kitchen sink and garbage disposal clogs, click here. And if you’ve tried everything and it’s time to call in a professional to resolve your sewer and drain problems, schedule service online or call 1-800-GET-ROTO.


  • Halloween Can Be Tough on Your Home’s Plumbing | Roto-Rooter

    Roto-Rooter pumpkinYou wouldn’t think Halloween and your plumbing system would have anything in common. But if you ask any plumber, you’ll learn that traditional preparations for Halloween are responsible for a great number of drain clogs. Especially in the kitchen where many homeowners like to carve their pumpkins into Halloween jack-O-lanterns then push all of the sticky pulp and seeds down into the garbage disposal.

    If you’ve ever carved a pumpkin, you know how slimy pumpkin guts are. But what you may not know is what happens to the goop when it’s allowed to harden and dry. It has a glue-like quality so it sticks to any surface and dries as hard as fiberglass. It has to be scraped off of whatever it’s stuck to, so you can imagine what happens to a garbage disposal and sink drain full of pumpkin pulp.  The only cure is a Roto-Rooter machine, which “twists and turns and shaves lines clean.”

    The Best Way to Carve a Pumpkin

    • Spread out a thick bed of newspaper

    • Scoop out the pumpkin pulp and pile it onto the newspaper

    • Wrap up the mess inside the newspaper and throw in garbage can or compost pile

    • Don’t wash your hands in the sink. Use the outside faucet or wipe hands with paper towels until clean

    • Even a small amount of pumpkin pulp can damage your disposal and pipes

    Your Roto-Rooter sewer and drain technician is well equipped to clean your pipes if you suffer a clog from pumpkin pulp. He carries a professional grade drain cleaning machine that is specially designed for sink clogs. It has a sharp blade on the end of the rotating cable that scrapes away any clog right down to the pipe walls so your drains will be as good as new.

    For more Halloween plumbing tips, check out the Halloween section of our plumbing videos.


  • The Right Way to Thaw a Frozen Pipe | Roto-Rooter Blog

    Frozen pipesOne of the most common issues that people experience during the winter comes in the form of a frozen pipe. If not taken care of immediately, a frozen water supply pipe can burst and cause extensive and expensive water damage to your home. How do you know if a pipe is frozen? The biggest indicator is if you turn on your faucet and nothing comes out. If this is the case, it's time to get to work. Here's how to thaw a frozen pipe - the right way:

    Finding the pipe

    Finding a frozen pipe isn't as easy as you might think it is, especially if you have a big house. Check in the most obvious areas, like beneath pier and beam homes in drafty unfinished basements or attics and uninsulated walls - where pipes are exposed to cold air. Once you find the frozen pipe, take action. Open the faucet that is connected to the frozen pipe, and identify the area where it's blocked sometimes it will have frost on the outside but more often than not, it looks like any other water pipe.

    Thaw it

    Next, you need to put heat on the pipe – but no open flames! The fire risk is too great to risk using propane torches candles or other open flames on a copper pipe. Some people turn up their thermostat, but this isn't recommended as the only solution because it will take too long to get results. Do turn up your heat, and open your sink cabinets with pipes beneath them so the warm air circulates around pipes. However, also use handheld hair dryer to run back and forth along the pipe. Make sure you're doing this evenly: Otherwise, the pipe could rupture. You can also place a space heater nearby but keep it at least three feet away from wall materials to prevent a fire.

    You could also purchase some heat tape, sometimes called heat cable, from your local hardware store. Simply wrap it around the pipe evenly and plug it in. The cable will warm up the pipe and thaw the frozen ice. Apply heat until the water flow is restored. Be careful with heat tape. Some homeowners make the mistake of leaving on their pipes year round, which increases the chances of a fire.

    If you run into any problems thawing a frozen pipe, be sure to give your Roto-Rooter plumber a call. Roto-Rooter is equipped with professional grade pipe thawing equipment that can be employed before a pipe bursts and causes water damage.

    What if the pipe bursts?

    If your water supply pipe does burst, turn off the building’s water valve immediately to limit water damage. Call Roto-Rooter to fix the pipe and provide professional water cleanup services to fix water damage.


  • 3 Reasons Why You Should Hire a Licensed Plumber | Roto-Rooter Blog

    Roto-Rooter technicianIf you have a minor toilet clog or leaky shower head, you could always give your neighbor a quick call, but will he or she fix the problem properly? What if the showerhead is screwed on too tightly and a pipe bends? All you're left with is a busted pipe and a sorry neighbor. Although taking measures into your own hands is one way to keep money in the bank, you may end up spending more if your DIY method goes wrong.

    Here are three important reasons why you should hire a licensed plumber:

    1. Passed a background check

    When you welcome a licensed plumber into your home, you know you are safe. Plumbers must pass a criminal background check before they become qualified and receive their license. Before you let your plumber into your home, be sure to ask to see his or her license. You can even call the company and ask for a confirmation of the plumber's identity.

    2. Received proper training

    Licensed plumbers go through extensive rounds of training before being deemed professional. They study piping materials, handy tools and a range of systems including drain, water, sewer and gas lines. In order to be an efficient plumber, one must be well-trained to understand where all the parts go and which pieces fit together. Some states require basic coursework on top of passing a licensing test, while others require continuous education courses to remain updated on the latest billing codes, equipment upgrades and safety concerns.

    3. Won't cause further damage

    To prevent further damage to your pipes and drainage systems, avoid the DIY method. A licensed plumber knows the ins and outs of every system - he or she is able to locate the problem right away without fiddling around. This will save you both time and money in the long run.

    Call your local Roto-Rooter for all of your plumbing needs.


  • 3 Signs You Should Call a Professional Plumber | Roto-Rooter

    While DIY plumbing can be helpful, there are some instances when you should recognize your limits and call a professional plumber right away. Here are three.

    Many homeowners are proud of their DIY abilities. From painting and doing yard work to taking care of some minor plumbing issues, it's a great idea to see what you can fix or take care of on your own before calling in a pro. There are some instances where it's necessary to contact a plumber right away. It's helpful to know how to identify these instances so you can give Roto-Rooter a call. Here are three:

    1. If you spot a major leak

    When you come home from dinner one night and find that your toilet is overflowing it's best to call a plumber immediately. Likely your toilet's inner working are in need of some maintenance or much bigger problems are at play with your sewer system. And if it’s been overflowing long at all, Roto-Rooter has the necessary plumbing experts and water damage experts to fix the problem and mitigate the water damage, dry the affected area and prevent any chance of mold problems that could potentially cause you major trouble in the hours and days ahead.

    1. If you smell something foul

    Clogged drains and hidden leaks can cause some unpleasant odors to drift throughout your home. They may also lead to mold, which can add another bad odor and respiratory dangers. If you smell something that may be water-related, contact Roto-Rooter. We'll check all your drains and other plumbing implements to check for clogs and potentially identify leaks or problems that are causing mold or damage.

    1. If your pipes freeze

    During the wintertime the weather can grow so cold it actually freezes the water supply pipes in your home. This unfortunate incident can cause serious damage to your home. The pipes can crack and even burst, causing major water damage to your home and belongings. And as we say in the business, “it’s not so much the freeze that causes the biggest problems, it’s the thaw.” It's not a good idea to try to fix this issue yourself since often the pipes run behind walls and beneath floors. A professional Roto-Rooter plumber has specialized equipment to track down the breaks with minimal access holes in your walls. Going at it alone could result in massive damage to walls and floors as you hunt for the leaks. If you find your pipes are frozen, call a plumber right away and they will assess the damage and get your plumbing back to proper working order without causing unnecessary water and property damage.


  • 4 Things To Stop Doing Before Calling A North Little Rock Plumber

    You may think all of your plumbing problems can be solved with a simple plunge or quick tightening on a loose faucet. However, it only takes one wrong turn of the wrench, and suddenly you're left with a broken pipe and a suspended system. While some of these mistakes may be minor and accidental, you might end up with sever damage and an empty wallet.

    Here are five things your North Little Rock, Arkansas, Roto-Rooter plumber wishes you avoid doing:

    1. Use toilet fresheners

    While drop-in toilet fresheners smell lovely and make your toilet bowl look like a tiny swimming pool, they really aren't all that beneficial for the pipes. As these tablets begin to deteriorate, they can get stuck in the flush valve and inhibit the toilet from functioning properly. Additionally, the bleach and other chemical cleaners in these fresheners will cause the enamel on the toilet bowl to decay over time.

    2. Stuff your garbage disposal

    Your garbage disposal is not a turkey, so there's no need to overstuff it. Avoid tossing fibrous food items like corn husks, celery stalks and onion skins down the disposal. The fibers in these products have the power to tangle and jam the disposal's motor, which causes drain blockage. Pouring grease down the disposal should also be avoided, as it will solidify and create buildup that will cause obstruction.

    3. Fail to replace a hose

    Rubber hosePlumbers recommend that you replace a rubber hose - be it on a washing machine or dishwasher - every five years. Just like most rubber products, hoses don't last forever, so you have to account for wear and tear. If you wait too long to replace a hose, it can lead to flooding.

    5. Rely on harmful chemical cleaners

    Chemical cleaners are dangerous all across the board - they can damage your pipes, your skin and the environment. They are highly toxic, so the slightest touch of the chemical can cause irritation and burns. The hydrochloric acid eats away at the system, and all you're left with is a pipe that looks like a piece of Swiss cheese. Lastly, residue from the chemicals winds up in landfills and the water supply system, which is harmful to the environment - humans and wildlife included. Instead opt for a environmentally friendly drain cleaner!

    Leave the extensive plumbing tasks in the hands of an expert and call your North Little Rock Roto-Rooter professional today.


  • How To Know If Your Water Is Contaminated | Roto-Rooter

    Water contamination is a serious health risk, and homeowners should know the signs that they're dealing with this issue in your Denver, Colorado home.

    Lead contamination is particularly dangerous even with low levels of exposure. While the effects may not be as dire for adults, children are at risk, according to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. In some cases, lead in drinking water results in learning disabilities, hearing impairment, stunted growth and other negative health outcomes in young children.

    The dangers of water contamination are clear, but it's also crucial to understand what constitutes an issue, as not all changes to water quality indicate a health threat. Here's some information to help you determine if it's time to call for professional help:

    What sensory cues mean

    Discolored waterChanges in the smell, taste or color aren't necessarily an indication of contaminated water that could lead to health problems. However, these signs may mean it's time to contact your municipal water authorities. If the issue appears to be local to your home, contact a plumber as well. Also, keep in mind not all forms of water contamination will have a sensory cue.

    When it comes to smells, malodorous aromas aren't the only cause for concern. Sweet smells can also indicate contamination. Any change in color or consistency - yellowing, cloudy water, foamy appearance - is a sign there's a problem. Color considerations extend to porcelain tubs or sinks, which contaminated water can stain. Many experience the chlorine taste of tap water, but keep an eye out for metallic or chemical tastes.

    When to get a water quality test

    If you experience any of the aforementioned changes to your water or see any other indicators of an issue, schedule a test. These reviews look at factors such as levels of bacteria, chemical contaminants, acidity and more.

    If you suspect your home has lead or galvanized pipes, call your local Denver Roto-Rooter to come out for a free inspection and estimate.


  • A New Meaning For 'Snaking A Drain' in Palm Bay | Roto-Rooter

    Like any place, Palm Bay, Florida, has its fair share of critters. From time to time, any homeowner has to escort one of these unwelcome guests outside.

    However, the issue may not always be as easy as using a sheet of paper to send a spider back out into the world. In fact, you may find a few animals roaming around in your plumbing. This is because they have a number of access points, including a home's vent stack and main drain. Some craftier creatures can make a route even if one isn't easily available.

    Certain animals seek a warm place to nest, while others hunt for food. Most plumbing and the associated vents have barriers like mesh to keep intruders out without restricting water flow. Yet with enough initiative or older plumbing, it's not hard for a number of creatures to get inside the pipes.

    Here's a look at a few of the critters that may try to call your plumbing home:

    Snakes

    Occurrences of snakes in pipes - particularly the toilet - often fall to the realm of myth. Despite the many who see this happening as nothing more than an urban legend, many plumbing professionals have at least one story of a snake taking a dip in a toilet bowl.

    Rats

    Rat in toiletThese rodents are possibly the most common culprit of home invasion by sea. Rats are drawn to the smells of food, which often travel outside via pipes leading from the kitchen sink. While rats are crafty, they can get lost in the plumbing and end up at any number of exits.

    It's easy for rats to ascend via a toilet. These critters are good swimmers and have a ton of flexibility, which means they slip through toilet plumbing with ease.

    Frogs

    Considering Palm Bay's near-tropical weather, it's not hard to believe a frog would make its way into a home. While not as frightening as a rat or a snake, few would like the idea of seeing a frog in the toilet during a late-night bathroom trip.

    Squirrels

    Similar to rats, squirrels often enter plumbing through roof vents. They also have flexible bodies, so they can make their way into a home via a toilet.

    If these or any other critters go for a swim in your plumbing, it may be time to call animal control and plumbing services to prevent future intrusions.

    If you are suffering from critter damage such as a cracked pipe or clog, contact your local Palm Bay Roto-Rooter professional for help.


  • Dealing With Low Water Pressure In Your Pasadena, TX Home | Roto-Rooter

    Low water pressure can be a major issue. Between washing dishes, taking care of laundry and showering, homes need water to work full steam at various intervals throughout the day. So what are some causes of this problem?

    Water pressureClogs

    The pipes in your home could become blocked as a result of sediment buildup. This source could also be the reason behind specific faucets with a weak flow rate. Typically, a solution of water and baking soda dissolves any buildup in faucets.

    Mineral deposits and corrosion are particularly a problem in galvanized iron plumbing that's typical in older properties. You'll need to seek professional help to determine the extent of the problem, as there isn't a DIY remediation solution.

    Leaks

    If there's a leak in your pipes, much of the water you need for sinks and showers will divert to the opening. Look for obvious signs of leaks, such as water damage throughout your home. Another option is to shut off the water to the house and see if the meter increases after waiting a few hours. Simply repair the leak or call a professional for more complex leaks.

    Closed valves

    Homeowners adjust their water shutoff valves for various reasons. Maybe they had a leak and turned off the water, or they simply closed the valve by accident. Whatever the case, it's important to make sure valves are completely open. Often, difficulties with water pressure are as simple as a partially closed valve.

    Faulty municipal systems

    Sometimes, the issue lies outside of your home. If you hear your neighbors mentioning low water pressure in their properties, give your city hall a call to send out maintenance crews to rectify the problem.

    If none of the aforementioned solutions work, call your local Pasadena Roto-Rooter professionals today for advice and guidance.


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