Roto-Rooter Tips

14Wondering how to keep your drain and sewer line trouble-free? The best way to prevent trouble from ever starting is to follow a simple preventative maintenance program. These tips will help you keep drain, sewer or septic tank problems to a minimum for years to come:

Kitchen Drains

When we wash pans, dishes and utensils in the sink, grease, soaps and detergents build up on the inner walls of the pipes. Eventually, a blockage will occur and the sink will no longer drain properly. Food and other materials can also easily clog the kitchen drain if not watched carefully.

Kitchen Drain tips
  • Don’t pour liquid grease down the drain—hot or otherwise. Before washing pots and pans, wipe out the grease with a paper towel to minimize the amount that will ultimately go into the kitchen drain.
  • Have a garbage disposal? Run plenty of water through it while the disposal is clearing itself and for several moments after you shut the disposal off.
  • Never put fibrous or stringy fruits and vegetables down the garbage disposal. Celery, corn silks, potatoes, rice and banana peels easily clog drains. They need to go in the garbage can—never in the sink.
  • Use Roto-Rooter® Pipe Shield in kitchen drains once a month. Caustic drain cleaners can damage plumbing.

Laundry / Washer Drains

One of the most common causes of clogs in your washer drains is lint. The other may surprise you: soap, which builds up in the pipes.

Washer Drain Tips
  • Use moderate amounts of soaps and detergents
  • Use a biodegradable detergent appropriate for your machine type
  • If your washer has a lint trap, clean it out regularly
  • Use additional lint and hair traps where possible. For example, a piece of women’s nylon stocking secured tightly to washer hose can be used as an extra trap
  • Be sure to clean these traps and filters regularly
  • Use Roto-Rooter® Pipe Shield in drains once a month


Nobody likes it when a toilet backs up, and for good reason. Many back ups can be prevented however. Most are caused by attempting to flush small objects or bulky paper products.

Toilet Tips
  • Store small objects away from the toilet—especially toys and other items children may toss in the bowl
  • Only use toilet paper; even some products that indicate they are “flushable” will cause toilet back up
  • Diapers, tampons, facial tissue and other bulky products should be placed in the trashcan, never the toilet
  • Keep the toilet working properly; the tank should always fill with water to the level recommended by the manufacturer for optimum use

Tubs and Showers

Clogs are generally caused by a combination of bath soap and body oils building up over time in the pipes. Hair is also a frequent cause of clogs.

Shower Tips
  • Fit each drain with a strainer that catches hair and soap chips, then clean the strainer regularly
  • Use Roto-Rooter® Pipe Shield in the drain once a month
  • Clean the showerhead by placing one cup of vinegar in a plastic bag, securing it over the shower head and let it stand overnight. It removes many of the mineral deposits that may restrict water flow.

Sewer Lines

Sewer line problems can occur for many reasons, such as structural problems or because the lines begin to age, deteriorate, settle and break. Roots growing into the main sewer line are also frequent culprits causing back-ups and other problems.

If you believe you have problems with your sewer line, the best tip is to call Roto-Rooter as soon as possible. Catching problems before serious damage is done can save you thousands of dollars in the long run. A regular maintenance plan will also give you advance notice of potential problems.