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FAQ

Q: I have a foul odour coming from my garbage disposer. What can I do to eliminate this odour?

A: Foul odours occur from a buildup of food debris within the disposer. To eliminate this odour, place ice cubes and lemon or orange peels in the disposer and run for 30 seconds. Next, squirt a little liquid dish detergent into the disposer while it is still running. Finally, run cold water for about 30 seconds to rinse all the debris away.

Plumbing systems are designed to prevent foul odours from entering the house by means of the trap attached to fixtures. Traps contain water to seal out foul odours; if the water seal evaporates, the odours enter the house. To solve this problem, pour a bucket of water in each trap, sink, shower and floor drain. This will prevent the odours from entering the house.

Q: I am getting a foul odour from a bathroom in the basement. We hardly ever use this bathroom except when we have company. This is embarrassing. What can we do?

A: Plumbing systems are designed to prevent foul odours from entering the house by means of the trap attached to fixtures. Traps contain water to seal out foul odours; if the water seal evaporates, the odours enter the house. To solve this problem, pour a bucket of water in each trap, sink, shower and floor drain. This will prevent the odours from entering the house.

Q: We live in northern B.C. Winters are cold and we were told to turn off the outside faucets in the fall before the freezing weather arrives. We did this, however the pipes leading to our outside faucet still froze and broke. What did we do wrong?

A: Turning off the water is not enough. You must also disconnect the garden hose connected to the faucet to allow the water in the pipe to drain out. This will allow the piping to withstand the cold weather.

Q: How do roots grow?

A: Tree and shrub roots require oxygen and water to grow. Growth rate is variable and is affected by the soil depth, water supply, aeration, mineral supply and temperature.

Root systems are made up of large, permanent roots for support and stabilization, and many small, temporary feeder root and root hairs. These small roots are the primary water and nutrient absorbers. Most roots can be found in the top 6 to 18 inches of soil, where water, nutrients and oxygen are found.

Roots generally extend up to two or three times the height of the tree, but can extend as far as seven times the height of the tree. Large, mature trees may have thousands of feet of root system searching for nutrients. Roots will be less extensive in clay soils than in sandy or well-drained soils.

Q: How does weather impact root growth

A: During drought conditions and in the winter, roots will travel long distances in search of moisture. When trees and shrubs get thirsty, they follow the trail of moisture vapors escaping from small cracks, holes, or poorly sealed joints in the water and sewer lines. The roots penetrate the opening to reach the nutrients and moisture inside the pipes.

Q: What happens when roots get inside lines?

A: If not disturbed, the roots will completely fill the pipe with multiple hair-like root masses at each point of entry. The root masses quickly become clogged with toilet tissue, grease and other debris flowing from homes and businesses to the main sewer, resulting in reduced flow and slowed drains. A complete blockage may occur if the roots are not removed and root growth impeded.

Once roots have entered the pipe, they continue to grow and expand, exerting considerable pressure at the crack or joint. The increased pressure often breaks the pipe and may result in total collapse, which requires repair or replacement.

Some pipe materials are more susceptible to root intrusion than others. Clay tile pipe is easily penetrated and damaged by tree roots. Concrete pipe and PVC pipe may also allow root intrusion, but to a lesser extent than clay pipe. PVC pipe usually has fewer joints and the tightly fitted joints are less likely to leak as a result of settlement around the pipe.

Q: How can I control roots in my pipes?

A: If roots have entered your pipes, a Roto-Rooter technician can remove the roots using powerful cutting blades. Your technician will recommend the application of Roto-Rooter® Root Destroyer to retard future root growth. Roto-Rooter® Root Destroyer will kill only the roots growing in the pipes and will not affect the rest of your tree’s root system.

Simply pour the recommended dosage into your toilet bowl and flush the product into the line twice each year.

Roto-Rooter® Root Destroyer is available only from your service technician or your local Roto-Rooter branch.

Q: How often should I have my septic system inspected?

A: Septic systems should be inspected and pumped a minimum of once every three to four years. You may not be experiencing any problem now, but a full septic tank may allow unwanted solids to flow into the drain field, which is the part of the system that consists of a distribution box, with a series of connected pipes. Each pipe allows water to flow into a bed of stone that drains into the ground. If paper and other solids flow into the drain field it becomes blocked and ineffective. A blocked drain field is costly to repair or replace.

Q: My shower head and faucet aerators have a buildup of a white substance around the area where the water comes out. Is there anything I can do other than replace them?

A: The unsightly buildup is mineral deposits. To remove these deposits from the showerhead, take a plastic bag and pour a cup of vinegar in it. Place the bag over the showerhead and use a twist tie to hold it in place overnight. In the morning, remove the bag and use an old toothbrush to gently scrub off the deposits. You might be able to remove the aerators from the faucets and allow them to soak in the vinegar overnight.

Q: Our kitchen drain has taken longer than usual to drain during the past year. Should we have it cleaned?

A: Before you have the drain cleaned, try using the Roto-Rooter brand drain maintenance products. These products are designed to remove the usual buildup of soap scum, grease and hair. We also have a product to inhibit root growth in your main sewer line. All of these products are guaranteed and are available through your local Roto-Rooter branch.