Popular Questions


If you have red stains in your sinks, or your water has an unpleasant taste and smell, there could be a few reasons. Generally, the primary cause to yellow water is rust. Small amounts of iron and oxygen is a normal occurrence for water system, but when these are combined and in larger quantities you will have yellow water. This will result in yellow bath water as well as yellow water from faucets.

Poor residential water pressure is a frustrating problem for many homeowners. If you suspect that your home water pressure is not quite up to standard, follow these six steps from Rapid Rooter to determine if there is a problem and how to resolve it.

1. Test your water pressure

You can buy a water pressure test gauge from many local home improvement stores. Turn off any appliances inside that might be using water (such as the dishwasher or washing machine) and attach the gauge to an outdoor hose spigot. They screw onto the threads just like a garden hose. Turn on the spigot and note the reading. Anything less than 60psi is on the low side. Ideally, you’ll see a reading between 60 and 75 psi. Anything above 80 is too high and will wear down your plumbing fixtures and pipe joints over time.

2. Ask Around

You can determine if your water pressure issues are yours alone or possibly related to the city municipal water system by chatting with your neighbors or your landlord. Are they experiencing similar issues? If your neighbors also report low water pressure, give your local provider a call. They can confirm whether it is a known issue, or begin taking steps to remedy the problem on a municipal level. If you have well water, you could have issues with your well pump.

3. Check the water meter, shut-off valve, or regulator

If you’ve (unfortunately) confirmed that your water pressure problems are yours alone, start with the basics. Check your water meter and the main shut-off valve at the street to ensure that they are both fully open. Contractors may shut off water at this point to do routine or other maintenance. If you have a water presssure regulator, check that too. Poorly functioning regulators can result in gradual drops in water pressure.

4. Check for leaks

Cracked or damaged pipes allow water to slowly seep into your home, damaging walls or ceilings and reducing water pressure overall. Check for hidden leaks using your water meter. Turn off all the water in your home and record the number on your water meter. Wait at least 20 minutes, return to check your meter again. If the meter reading has changed, that means you have a leak.

If you want to try to locate the leak, check the tank parts of your toilets, especially the flapper valve; look under kitchen and bathroom sinks; look for drips from your bathtubs and showers. You should also check for puddles around your water heater, as well as possible leaks in your washing machine hoses. If you need a professional to check for hidden leaks, you can rely on Rapid Rooter’s leak repair professionals to locate and repair every type of water leak in and around your home.

5. Check your faucets

If you got a normal reading on your water pressure gauge on an outdoor spigot but still experience low water pressure indoors, take a closer look at your faucets and shower heads. Mineral buildup on fixtures can affect water flow. Loose or worn out washers can also contribute to leaks, reducing water pressure.

6. Consider clogged pipes

Years of buildup and residue inside your water supply pipes decreases the amount of water flowing through, reducing water pressure. This rarely occurs in copper pipes or PEX piping, but it’s a common problem with iron and galvanized pipes. If you are experiencing low water pressure throughout your house, you’ve thoroughly cleaned and removed mineral deposits from faucets and showerheads, and can’t find any leaks, it’s time to call in a professional plumber from Rapid Rooter to assess the pipes in your home and determine whether extensive buildup is affecting your water pressure.

Every clog is different, just like every home is different. But you can prevent clogs in your drains by taking a number of preventive measures. Whether your house is older or modern, sooner or later you will find yourself with clogged drains on your hands.

Here are some great ways to prevent clogged pipes:

  1. The first tip is simple: be careful about what you put down your drains. Some of the most common causes of clogged drains are cooking grease, coffee grounds, hair and soap scum.

  2. Buy a drain strainer that covers the drain’s opening. This should catch hair and foreign matter before it can reach the drain and create a blockage.

  3. Run very hot water through the sink after you’re done using it. Hot water allows materials such as food or oil to run through the drainpipes instead of amassing together to create a clog.

  4. Pour a handful of baking soda down the drain every so often. Then follow it with hot water.

  5. You can also pour one cup of vinegar down the drain on top of a cup of baking soda. Let sizzle for about 15 minutes and then rinse with hot water. Repeat as necessary.

  6. Avoid using caustic chemical drain cleaners. Over time, these can corrode some pipes—and sometimes they don’t even remove the whole clog.

  7. Take care of your sewer lines and septic tank. You can call a plumber to help snake your main sewer on an annual or semi-annual basis. Doing this can remove tree roots that often grow into pipes at the joint and cause sewage backups.

  8. If you have a septic tank, get your tank pumped every three to five years and regularly treat with a bacteria additive to keep the system in balance.

You can actually do damage to the plumbing by trying to unclog a drain yourself. A common mistake when trying to clear a clogged drain is exerting too much pressure. This can cause a host of problems, including cracking or breaking the pipes. Another mistake is using drain cleaner for every clog, every time. Most drain cleaners contain harsh chemicals that can damage pipes, and with time, overuse of these cleaners can cause erosion and leaks. Certain types of pipes should never have drain cleaner used in them. Be sure to read labels thoroughly before using any clog remover product to ensure its safe use.

Video camera line inspections can get to the root of the problem quickly and efficiently. When your drains are clogged in a place that is not visible from the surface, or if they clog frequently, it may be a good idea to have a video inspection performed to determine the problem and solution to clogged drain lines.

Rapid Rooter is able to assist you with drain cleaning in every part of your home. We will unclog your drain, recommend a maintenance product and provide tips for keeping your drains flowing freely.


General Questions


Experts at Roto-Rooter say there are several steps to take when your toilet clogs:

  • First you need to stop the toilet bowl from filling up and spilling onto the floor.

  • You can do this by taking the lid off of the tank and closing the flapper valve to ensure no water can enter the tank.

  • Try lifting up the float to stop water from flowing in then reach down and turn off the water supply valve.

How do you know when you need to call a Rapid Rooter plumbing expert? If you see water backing up in the sinks or showers when you flush, that’s a sure sign you know to call an expert. When this occurs you could have a clogged branch line or even a clogged main sewer line. This type of issue cannot be solved with a plunger; Rapid Rooter plumbers are available 24 hours a day and will be there to get the job done. Just call us at (917) 932-6253 for immediate assistance with your plumbing problem.

Here are a few tips to help you unclog a toilet:


A plunger should be a mainstay tool for any bathroom. In fact, two different types plungers should be in every home. A toilet plunger and a sink plunger. A toilet plunger is usually black and has a deeper cup than a sink plunger, which is usually red with a shallow cup. Sink plungers aren’t very effective on toilets so you’ll get far better results if you’re using a proper toilet plunger. Obstructions in your toilet, sink or bathtub pipes are going to happen, so a pair of quality plungers will be a worthwhile investment. Position your plunger to make a seal with the drain opening. You should start with soft plunges at first, then use more vigorous motions to loosen the clog and push it through. It may take some time to fully force down the blockage, but alternating between steady strokes and vigorous ones will often create enough pressure to get the job done. 


If you’re not getting anywhere with the plunger, you may need some other tools to help your efforts. A plumbing snake can clear the drain of debris by either breaking it up or pulling it out. Twist and pull the snake through the obstruction to clear it. A toilet auger can deliver similar results and will effectively eliminate stubborn clogs.


Chemicals should only be used if you’ve already tried the first two options. An enzyme waste removal product can break down waste and can be found in most hardware stores but they tend to take longer than caustic chemicals. Don’t forget to wear eye protection when using chemicals. It’s important to follow the directions as shown on the bottle, and you will likely have to wait overnight for chemicals or enzymes to clear a toilet clog.

If you need a more immediate solution, hot water and dish soap can be your best bet. Carefully pour some dish soap into the toilet, wait a few minutes, then wash down with a bucket of hot water. This should help break up the obstruction enough to flush it. This method can get messy, so make sure to prepare your bathroom beforehand.

If you’ve tried all of these methods to unclog a toilet and still can’t clear the clog, it may be time to call in a professional. If a kid puts a toy down the drain or another object ends up in your drain system, a plumber can easily find and remove the item

What you have is more than a temporary toilet clog – it’s likely a branch line blockage between the bathroom and the main sewer. You’ll probably need to hire a professional plumber to clear and clean the drain line. If you don’t have a clean-out port big enough to accept a cable with 3-inch blades, the service technician will have to pull up the toilet in order to thoroughly snake the line.

We have two bathrooms, one on the second floor above the other. The top one flushes fairly easily but the bottom one doesn’t seem to flush everything down consistently. It does not empty without plunging, which makes me think that my toilet is clogged and/or our pipes need to be rooted out. What should we do?

Unclogging a toilet that is blocked that often may mean that you need to have your main sewer line cleared. To test it, flush the problem toilet five or six times in a row without leaving. If it backs up then you likely have a main line problem and you need a professional to come and clear it out.

You probably have a clogged drain and need to schedule a professional cleaning. These lines get clogged with grease, food particles and soap scum. Eventually the buildup is so thick that the internal diameter of the drain is reduced and water cannot pass quickly through the pipe.


Plumbing noises can be very irritating. There could be a couple of things causing these loud sounds. Your noisy faucet could be due to what is called water hammer. Water hammer can occur when you turn off the water at a faucet or an appliance rather quickly. As water flows through pipes and the valve is shut off quickly, it causes the water to stop abruptly in the pipes. If the pipe is near wood, it will bang against it.

There are a few possible reasons you are hearing these water hammer noises:
Loose pipes. If you have loose pipes in your walls, anchor them with metal or plastic clips to limit movement.

Damaged air chambers. These lengths of pipe, installed behind fixtures like your faucet, hold air that cushions the shock when flowing water is shut off quickly. If these air chambers get filled with water, they will not work properly.

It is also possible that your water pressure is too high. If it is over 80 psi, you may have a problem. There are water pressure test gauges you can get to test the pressure yourself, or you can hire a professional plumber like Roto-Rooter to test the pressure for you and make necessary adjustments to reduce your home’s water pressure to a more appropriate level.

Sometimes faucets making whistling or squealing sounds. It’s possible your noisy faucet is due to a washer that is either the wrong size or is not held securely to the stem. Adjusting the washer or replacing it should eliminate the noise. If you do this repair yourself, remember to turn off the water supply to the sink before starting the job.

Additionally, if you live in an older home with iron or galvanized water supply pipes, it’s possible your pipes have scale buildup. The remedy for severe buildup is to replace old water supply pipes. Extensive plumbing repairs of this type should only be done by a licensed professional plumber.


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