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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.

  • 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.

  • 3 Signs a Sewer Backup is Coming

    It is the heart of the summer and aren’t most people determined not to let anything ruin the last full month of the season? With summer storms, added excessive hot temperatures, and Mother Nature’s indecisiveness, it is repeatedly a recipe for disaster that could put a damper on the end of the season. These conditions can strain main sewer lines.

    Summer storms regularly backup main sewer lines, and in addition to excessively high temperatures during summer months, weather conditions promptly lead to clogged main sewer lines and damage to homes. It is not the weather by itself that causes the problems. It’s the aggressive growth of tree roots inside sewer pipes that causes the sewer to clog and household drains to backup.  

    But how can you tell whether or not your main sewer line is truly backed up? Three major signs of this problem are 1. A foul stench coming from drains 2. Slow draining bathtubs or laundry lines, or 3. If the use of other fixtures associated with your main line lead to water backup in places such as toilets or showers. Find your local Roto-Rooter Plumbing & Drain Service location at and have them send one of our expert service technicians as soon as possible if you’re seeing these symptoms in your home.

    Though backups and damage to a main sewer line may seem like a problem that is able to be put off onto the backburner, it absolutely is not. If sewer lines get choked off and are not promptly cleared of roots, raw sewage can backup into your bathtubs and sinks, causing significant collateral property damage. Since the main sewer line is the pipeline that carries waste away from all of your household drains to the sewage treatment plant, sewer maintenance and upkeep is especially important. Fortunately, sewer backup and damage to main sewer lines is something that can be fixed by an experienced sewer solutions specialist from Roto-Rooter. So, lookout for early signs of a sewer backup during these last weeks of summer and make it the best, most stress-free month yet!

  • 3 Signs of a Broken Sewer Line | Roto-Rooter

    3 Signs of a Broken Sewer Line

    Your home’s main sewer line is buried beneath the yard, making it more difficult to identify a possible broken sewer line. Here are a few indicators that your sewer line could be broken:

    1) Easily clogged drains

    Every now and then, your toilet, kitchen sink or shower can experience a drain that gets a little plugged up, in these instances a clog can be a quick fix. However, when a clog starts occurring with unusual frequency, especially in multiple drains, or if water is draining slowly throughout your home, this could be a sign of an obstructed sewer line, according to Angie's List.

    2) Soggy spots in the yard

    A leaking sewer line can be caused by a break or collapse. However, according to Angie's List, a leak is often caused by a tree root that has penetrated the piping. Some of these leaks are harder to detect than others, especially in areas where the sewer line is buried very deep underground. While a leak in the sewer line is all but invisible, it could show itself in warmer climates where it isn’t necessary to bury lines very deep because of a shallow frost line.

    3) Unsavory odors

    You might not always be able to see a sewer line problem, but there's a good chance you will smell it. According to SFGate contributor Chris Deziel, any scent of sewer gas that is strong enough to permeate a house is a telltale sign of a plumbing problem. This could be a sign of a sewer line clog, as backups will often push smelly sewer gases up drains. However, if the odor is especially potent in the yard, the more likely scenario is that the sewer line is leaking. 

    What to do if you think you have a broken sewer line

    If you experience any of the above, and you've ruled out the possibility of a clogged drain, or a broken plumbing vent, then it's time to get help from a plumbing professional.

    The sewer solutions specialists at Roto-Rooter can easily assess the situation and perform a sewer line repair, with minimal digging and trenching, while limiting the mess and unsavory odors.


  • Discover How & Why Tree Roots Can Cause Sewer Damage

    How and Why Tree Roots Clog and Damage so Many Sewers

    By Paul Abrams

    The Roto-Rooter sewer cleaning machine got its name because it rotates a spinning cable with sharp blades on the tip through underground sewer pipes cutting away tree roots that can clog a sewer and cause sewage backups. Tree roots might seem like fragile little stems but they can grow to monstrous proportions and are incredibly resilient and strong! Roots can cause lots of damage to underground pipes but it takes a long time for the damage to show itself.

    Thirsty trees and shrubs send tiny feeder roots out through the soil in search of water and nutrients. When the roots find water, they begin sipping it and pumping it back to the tree. One of the easiest places for roots to find water is an old sewer pipeline made of clay, concrete, iron, Orangeburg or other imperfect materials. When the sewer pipes were laid, their sections were joined together tightly to prevent roots from getting inside. Each section of pipe has a male end and a female end. Clay and concrete were usually “pitched” together using tar pitch or a similar material that helped seal the joints. The problem is that the seals don’t last forever and as the seals fail over time, those little feeder roots work their way inside to infiltrate the sewer pipe and discover the moisture and nutrients they were sent to find. Mission accomplished!

    Tree Roots Grow Larger – Causing Pipe Problems

    In time, those little roots grow fat and happy. They soon become the tree’s most important lifeline to a seemingly endless supply of water and waste nutrients (think fertilizer). As a result, the roots grow larger so they can deliver more and more water to the growing, healthy tree. As roots grow larger in diameter, they put a strain on the pipe joints and gradually break the clay, concrete or other materials away. To visualize how they do this, think of how many times you’ve seen a tree root push up a section of sidewalk. It’s a slow but steady pressure that gradually defeats the concrete and shoves it aside. The same thing happens to your sewer pipe. As the holes in the pipe get bigger, more water and sewage leaches out of the pipe into the surrounding soil. The soil supporting the pipe begins to erode and the pipe sections start to move around in the watery loose dirt. Pretty soon, the once reliable pipeline starts looking like a loose collection of pipe sections that are only semi-connected as more and more roots infiltrate the pipe and compound the damage. To make matters worse, the roots spread out like nets and catch toilet paper and waste until a clog forms.

    Roto-Rooter’s State-of-the-art Equipment & Technology Can Help with Sewer Problems

    A Roto-Rooter plumber can easily cut away young tree roots and restore flow in your sewer. Mature roots become more of a challenge but we can usually cut through those too – up to a point. Once the root mass starts looking like a tree limb, even the mighty Roto-Rooter machine can’t always cut through. And by that time, chances are good that the pipe sections are so damaged and misaligned that the sewer has just about had it anyway. Toilets stop flushing and drains stop draining and sewage has nowhere to go but into a bathtub or sink. Remember, sewers are designed to be a sealed system. If they are leaching sewage into the soil, it’s an environmental issue. Annual sewer cleanings can keep a sewer line open for years if a homeowner keeps up with root growth but eventually, the sewer will reach the end of its life and it has to be replaced. 

  • Thanksgiving creates more drain clogs than any other day

    The day after Thanksgiving is the single busiest of the year for Roto-Rooter, nationwide and for our plumbers here in Atlanta. Why? Big holiday meal preparation and cleanup can lead to clogged kitchen sinks and garbage disposals. Extra guests mean more toilet flushes, extra laundry loads,

    more showers, etc. But oddly enough, Thanksgiving itself is not such a busy day for Roto-Rooter. It's the next day, Black Friday, that gets absolutely crazy! The day after Thanksgiving is the single busiest day of the year for Roto-Rooter plumbers. Incoming calls will jump 50% above an average Friday. We'll be slammed but thanks to good planning, we've staffed up here at Roto-Rooter Plumbers of Atlanta (and nationwide). We know what's coming and we'll be fully staffed to deal with all the extra calls so we can still get to your problem FAST!

    If you want to avoid having the Roto-Rooter man over for Thanksgiving Dinner (or turkey sandwiches the next day), pay attention to these important tips:

    • Never pour fats or cooking oils down drains. They solidify in pipes. Instead, wipe grease from pots with paper towels and throw them into the trash.
    • Avoid putting stringy, fibrous or starch waste in the garbage disposal.
    • Make sure disposal is running when you put food into it. Don't wait until it's full to turn it on.
    • For homes hosting weekend guests, wait 15 minutes between showers so slow drains have time to do their job.
    • Never flush cotton balls, swabs, hair or facial scrub pads down a toilet. They don't dissolve and will cause clogs.

    Finally, Roto-Rooter of Atlanta does not charge extra for nights, weekends or holidays. It's true! So if you're dealing with a big clog and are fearful of a plumber's holiday bill, don't worry! Call Roto-Rooter's experienced Atlanta plumbers and you'll pay the same rate on Thanksgiving that you would pay on any other day. And we are a 24-hour plumbing company. Give us a call at 404-209-0001 in Atlanta. Nationally, you can call Roto-Rooter at 1-800-ROTO-911.

  • Roto-Rooter gives its customers choices

    When it comes to solving customers' plumbing problems, there are usually a few options. Sometimes, there's the quick fix or band-aid that costs less but isn't always the best long-term solution. But that decision is the customer's to make, not necessarily the plumber's. You know what you can afford, we don't. We know that plumbing problems can be expensive and that's why Roto-Rooter plumbers here in Atlanta and across the country try to provide our customers with as many options as possible so they can decide for themselves which option is right for them.

    Take the case of our core business, sewer and drain cleaning. Our company was founded on the invention of a machine that cuts rootsand debris out of underground sewer pipes. We can do that for our customers year after year and

    sometimes several times a year at hundreds of dollars per service call, without ever offering our customers a permanent solution that will fix the problem once and for all and will probably mean that the customer will never again need to call us to cut roots out of their sewer line. For many years, Roto-Rooter has been providing spot repairs and complete sewer line replacements that often cost thousands of dollars. We call this a permanent fix and wouldn't we be remiss if we didn't offer this choice to our customers who have problematic sewer pipes?

    Would you want to take your car to a mechanic for the same problem several times a year withous his ever offering you a permanent fix? Probably not. In fact, you would probably be very angry with your mechanic for stringing you along with a problem that never goes away while he continues to profit. So why should it be any different with your plumber? The choice belongs with our customers but we feel it is important to give them that choice. If you want choices from your plumber, call your local Roto-Rooter.

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