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Plumbing FAQs

Find the answers to some common plumbing questions! Have a question not listed? Contact us today and we'd be happy to help!

How can you tell if your drains need cleaned?

If your drain is draining slower than usual or clogging frequently, it’s time to get the drain cleaned. If this issue is occurring with two or more drains there is likely an issue in the main sewer, which requires professional drain cleaning services.

How often should drains be cleaned?

How often you clean your drain depends on the type of drain and how often you use it. If you noticed more drain clogs or slower draining, it might be time for a drain cleaning. Even if you don’t notice any drain issues, an annual drain cleaning is always a good idea. 

How often should you clean out your sewer line?

The length of time between each professional sewer cleaning depends on several factors such as the condition of the pipes and the amount of root infiltration in the pipeline. A good rule of thumb for a professional sewer cleaning is once a year. 

How long does pipe repair take?

Pipe repair times vary depending on the extent of the repairs needed and the type of material the pipes are made of. Simple repairs to PEX may only take a few minutes to complete, whereas copper pipe repairs behind walls may require an hour or two. Underground pipe repair or pipe replacement requires anywhere from several hours to several days. 

What are the warning signs that my main sewer line is backing up?

Warning signs of a clogged sewer line include sinks draining slowly, a gurgling sound when you flush the toilet, toilets frequently needing to be plunged, and/or a smell coming from your drains. 

Do I need a video camera sewer line inspection?

If you experience repeated sewer or drain line backups, slow drains, or frequent toilet clogs, it may be a good idea to have a video inspection performed to determine the underlining problem. Sewer inspections are also recommended to prospective homeowners before buying a new home to detect any potential costly sewer repairs. 

What is the response time for a plumbing emergency?

Typically, our emergency plumbers arrive onsite within two hours of your call. Roto-Rooter's response time for a plumbing emergency depends on whether the emergency is confined to one building or to the entire community. 

Will Roto-Rooter fix any plumbing emergency?

Roto-Rooter’s emergency plumbers are highly experienced in dealing with a wide variety of both residential and commercial plumbing issues and come fully equipped with the necessary tools for any plumbing emergency. 

How to determine whether or not a faucet needs replaced or fixed?

Signs you need a new faucet include:

  • Calcium stains and/or mineral buildup 
  • Handles too lose or too tight
  • Leaking faucets 
  • The faucet is more than 8 years old
What is a sump pump?

A sump pump removes collected groundwater from a basement floor basin and pipes it to a storm drain or detention pond. A perforated water collection pipe called a drain tile is installed in the foundation footer around the perimeter of the home. Groundwater falls into the drain tile and is directed by gravity flow through the pipe to the sump crock at the lowest point of the basement floor. As the collected water level rises in the sump pit, a float switch activates the electric sump pump, forcing the water out of the pit, through a pipe, and safely away from the home.

How many years does a sump pump last?

The life expectancy of a sump pump depends on how often it operates. If your sump pump runs often, you should replace it every five years. If your sump pump barely ever operates, you can expect it to last around 7-10 years. 

What is the life span of a water heater?

The average lifespan of a conventional water heater is around 11 years, while tankless water heaters last around 20 years. Routine water heater maintenance is key to making your water heater last longer. 

How do I maintain my water heater?

There are different maintenance requirements for different types of water heaters. Check your manufacturer's recommendations and follow them carefully. However, in general terms, you'll want to drain sediment from your water heater tank on an annual basis and tankless water heaters will require at least an annual descaling to keep them operating efficiently.

How long do garbage disposals typically last?

The lifespan of your garbage disposal depends on the type of garbage disposal you have and how often you use it. On average, a garbage disposal lasts about 10 years before needing replacement. 

What is the most common commercial plumbing problem?

Clogged drains are the most common commercial plumbing problem ranging from kitchen sink clogs, floor drain clogs, and toilet clogs to main sewer clogs.

What is the difference between commercial and residential plumbing?

Businesses and homes have many of the same plumbing issues, but plumbing appliances are different. For instance, many commercial bathrooms feature urinals and flushometer toilets instead of residential-style toilets with a water tank. Additionally, commercial-grade water heaters tend to be larger and more robust than their residential counterparts.

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