Plumbing “Myth Busters” You Must Know



As Homeowners ourselves, we have done our share of “DIY” projects that we really had no business trying to do or tackling ourselves. I recall about 15 years ago attempting to install an HVAC system in our rental property.  We are plumbers right?  This should be simple.  Run some duct work, install a unit and make sure it has some vents and BAM its done. Not so fast!  We found out really quickly that our “attempts” at installing an HVAC system ourselves ended up costing us double what we would have spent initially if we had just hired someone to install it instead of doing it ourselves. It is safe to say we have tackled all sorts of projects around here from excavation to fence building and quite frankly most of it went ok but I can honestly say that in our attempts over the years to “save money” by DIY’ing it, we have never really saved that much and it would have been better left to the professionals!

Plumbing isn’t something that most people can do on their own.  Most can change a faucet or install a toilet if necessary but when it comes to more complicated tasks like Drain Clogs, Water Heater Installations and Pipe Work, homeowner attempts usually fail and often end up costing more money than it would have initially. We thought we would play “myth busters” incase you wanted to “DIY” and attempt a plumbing fix or repair yourself! Check out these Plumbing Myths so you don’t make an unnecessary mistake!

1. Grease is ok if you flush with hot water

Grease cools quickly once it is inside the pipes. When it does, it sticks to the inside surfaces and stays there. Grease and cooking oil will continue to build up until the pipe is completely clogged. To avoid trouble, wait for the grease to harden in the pan and then wipe it away with a paper towel. Then throw it in the trash. Never put grease down the drain!

2. A Wire Hanger Is a Good Substitute for a Plumbing Snake

An unfolded wire hanger certainly looks like it might work!  And, in an emergency if it’s the only available option, it’s better than nothing. BUT a wire hanger can damage pipes from the inside. If a hanger is the only option in an emergency, wrap it in a cloth, secured with a rubber band, so you don’t scrape the pipe.  If you cannot get the clog to resolve, there may be an issue farther down the pipe.  A plumbing snake that professionals use is designed for clearing pipe blockages. This is not a machine that homeowners typically have the know how to use even if they can rent one at a local store.  The snake drain line can easily get stuck in your pipes and with improper use, can be very costly to retrieve when they break.  The line will need to be dug up and pipe replaced which is thousands to repair.  Don’t attempt to “DIY” this one.  Leave it to the professionals!

3. Flushable Wipes Are Safe to Flush

Despite their branding, flushable wipes should not be flushed down the toilet. These include baby wipes. They are a common cause of drain blockages, as are paper towels and feminine hygiene products. Even if something looks flushable, read the label for any special disposal instructions. I know I have said this in the past,  toilet paper is the only safe item to flush down the toilet.  Nowadays with the eco friendly toilets using less water, there is less flow going downstream.  Most toilet clogs we see are the result of homeowners or guests flushing things in the toilets like Flushable Wipes that are just simply Not Flushable.  Do not do it. Save the cash and just use toilet paper.

4. A Brick in the Toilet Tank Helps Save Water

No, it doesn’t. A brick placed in the tank will force the toilet to work harder, can cause parts to break, and may require you to flush more often and use extra water. Exposure to water will cause the brick to break apart after awhile and the brick will ultimately end up in your drain and clogging your lines. Believe it or not, people still do this.

5. Lemon Peels Are Good for Your Garbage Disposal

While we all love the smell of lemon, the idea of putting something down the disposal that would make it smell good is very enticing. The scent of lemon peels may be pleasant, but its a myth that throwing them into the disposal will do the impellers any good (they’re not blades that can be sharpened). In fact, the acid can trigger corrosion, while the peel itself can clog up the unit. Running the disposal with some ice cubes or pouring a mix of water and vinegar into it can help clean the impellers. Lemon peels are NOT SAFE!!

6. Bleach Tablets Will Help Clean Your Toilet

Bleach tablets contain chemicals that is not safe for sensitive toilet components so this is a big myth. Never put them in the toilet or the tank. Always use cleaners that are labeled for use with the toilet.

Don’t take plumbing issues into your own hands by following a DIY. At Rocket, our licensed plumbers use the latest technology and repair methods to troubleshoot and fix problems, along with occasionally being myth busters. We are available 24/7 in case of an emergency, and can provide drain cleaning, plumbing work, sewer line repair, and even inspections. Save yourself the hassle and call Rocket’s Response Team at 484.986.5517 TODAY!

What Can I Do If My Water Heater Leaks?


What are some tips to follow if my hot water heater leaks? Rocket Plumbing and Drain lists several steps homeowners can take to fix a leaking hot water heater.

YES calling a professional to act FAST and diagnose the issue is the BEST option however what if I want start to tackle this myself?  Here are some great starting points!

First…..Shut off the Power Supply to the Water Heater.  In order to do so, follow the steps below:

Gas Water Heater- Find your thermostat.  Switch it to OFF or Pilot to shut off the gas and make the water heater safe to work on.

Electric Water Heater- Go to the breaker box and find the breaker labeled “water heater”, it should look similar to this, and flip the switch to shut the breaker off.

Second….Shut off the Water- Turn off the valve leading to your water heater.  Turn it to the right until it closes.  This will shut off the water and allow the heater to be worked on.

Third…Drain the water tank.  If you have a standard tank, draining the heater is the most essential step.  To drain the water heater, you need to find the drain valve at the bottom of your heater and attach a hose to it.  Run the hose outside or to a sump pit.  With the hose in place, open the valve.  Sometimes the water doesn’t flow very well so open up any hot water faucet and this will let air into the tank and allow it to drain more easily.  Once you get good water flow, it usually takes about an hour for this to drain.

Once the water heater is drained we suggest giving our Rocket Plumbing Response Team  a call but if you wanted to try to diagnose further, here are some tips below to help you “start” the diagnostic process yourself!

A number of things can be wrong.  But lets explore some different scenarios that my give you a clue…

Broken Drain Valve– While these will cause water to leak from the bottom of the tank, it is easily fixed with a replacement of the broken drain valve.  Contact the Manufacturer of the Water Heater and ask where you can purchase a new drain valve.  Once purchased, technical support can walk you through the replacement.

Corrosion- Sediment builds up on the bottom of the water heater and over time it can cause the tank to rust.  If a Water Heater Replacement is needed and if you aren’t comfortable trying this yourself, call Rocket Plumbing and Drain experts!

Loose Water Line Connections- Double check that there are no loose water lines.  If there are, you may be able to tighten the connections.

Broken Pressure Valve or Pressure Relief Valve Leaking- If water is coming out the pressure relief valve there could be a number of reasons why.  One reason could be that the expansion tank is broken and therefore too much pressure is getting to the water heater causing the relief valve to overflow.  Because there are many reasons why this can happen, it is probably best to schedule either a Virtual Consult Visit or make an appointment with our team to evaluate!

Call Rocket’s Water Heater Experts for FAST SERVICE Today!! 484.986.5517

Spring Plumbing- 8 Helpful Tips



Spring is not only a time for personal recovery from the dreary winter months, but our houses also need to recover! After months of possible wear and tear on our homes along with possible neglect to our plumbing, we need to recoup! Spring rains are coming fast and hard, check out these spring plumbing tips so you and your home can feel better and cleaner!

1) Add a few drops of food coloring to your toilet tank. If the toilet is leaking, color will appear in the bowl within 30 minutes. Try to avoid red as it can stain your toilet.

2) Check your toilet handle. If the toilet handle must be held down through out the flush or jiggled to stop the water from running you may need to replace worn out tank parts. The tank parts don’t cost much plus you’ll save money in the long run by lowering your water bill.

3) Clean out yard drains, gutter, and downspouts. The winter can wreak havoc and make a mess for spring to deal with. Don’t forget to clean out yard drains, gutters and downspouts that may have gotten in there over winter.

4) Strain your drain. Drain strainers are a great way to stop clogging and clean your drains. They keep stuff like soap, hair, and food out of your pipes.

5) Check your water heater. It’s spring now, so no need to have hot water as high as it was in the winter! Make sure to check that the temperature setting on the water heater is not too high. If it’s higher than 120°F turn it down a bit to prevent your skin from scalding. Doing so will also save money and energy.

6) Check your sump pump, make sure it’s working how it should. These heavy spring rains can mess with your plumbing and cause a flood if it’s not working correctly.

7) Check for slow leaks. Checking for leaks is as easy as taking a reading on your water meter before bed, and then the next morning when you wake up. Without using any water overnight, the reading should be the same. If the reading is not the same something is wrong.

8) Call us! If you are too busy to follow these tips you can always give us a call and we will give your house a thorough walk-through to make sure everything is working up to par!

Toilet Clog Hacks!



Have you ever been at someone’s house and you just clogged the toilet with no plunger in site?  Or did you just clog your own toilet and your handy plunger isn’t working?  If you don’t want to call a professional and want to try it yourself, these nifty toilet clog hacks may just do the trick to unclog that toilet!  While they aren’t guaranteed to work, they work enough times that they are worth trying before spending your hard earned money on a professional!

Dish Soap

Dishwashing soap can be your best friend! Soap dissolves grease on your dishes and it can do the same thing for your toilet.  If you can get your hands on a cup of dishwashing liquid and a couple cups of hot water you could be back in business.  Pour both into the toilet bowl and let sit for 15-20 minutes and try to flush again.  Bleach is also another option if dishwashing liquid isn’t available.  (Do not use bleach in connection with the next hack because the chemicals in both do not mix well)

The Toilet Clog Volcano

The science experiment you did in 5th grade can be used to unclog your toilet!  Pour 1 cup of baking soda into the toilet bowl and pour some white vinegar over the baking soda and watch how they react to one another! Wait approximately 15-20 minutes and pour some hot water into the bowl and wait a few more minutes.  Flush once.  This is GREAT for really stubborn clogs.

Wire Coat Hanger

Get a wire coat hanger out of your closet.  Straighten it as much as possible.  Tie a rag around the wire hanger so it doesn’t end up in the sewage system.  Using rubber gloves, gently put the wire hanger in the bowl and try to unclog the toilet.  This is the quickest “make shift” toilet snake you can use in an emergency. 


Most toilet clogs can be cleared by the average homeowner using the above methods.  When the above hacks do not work, you may have a blockage in one of the lines or in your main line of your home.  If your home and toilet it still blocked, call our plumbers here at  Rocket Plumbing and Drain to clear that stubborn clog for you!

Are In Home Water Heater Estimates Necessary?

Regular Tank Water Heaters typically DO NOT require in home estimates!  Tank Water Heaters are usually replaced with other “tank” water heaters that are of the same size and type.  Unless you are changing fuel sources or going with a tankless water heater, more than likely you won’t need an in person visit.  Typically, photos of the water heater label, areas surrounding the water heater and any expansion tanks will do!  When doing a water heater estimate, we try to review the photos of your current set up for a baseline for the quote.  We look for things like inappropriate fittings or other items that may cause us some concern as well as whether or not you have an expansion tank on your water heater.  We talk with our customers about whether or not they want to keep the size that they have or size up or down based on how the current water heater is functioning for them in terms of the hot water supply.  

We may or may not recommend changes to the size of the tank depending on your life/home usage situation.  Firstly, we look up your model number and serial number and see how old your water heater is and if it is under warranty.  If the tank is leaking, we advise immediate replacement.  If your water heater is more than 10 years old we generally advise replacement as most water heater manufacturers warranties expire after 6-10 years.  We will typically discuss how the existing water heater has functioned for the homeowner and if they ever noticed issues with a lack of hot water.  Based on that discussion, we will recommend sticking with the existing size or changing it and the reasons for our recommendations. If a customer elects to go with a tankless water heater, Rocket Plumbing and Drain will recommend an in person visit.  There are certain electrical requirements for tankless water heaters and we need to verify the availability of the proper electrical resources for installation.


Our Virtual Estimate option is another great way to get a visual on your existing water heater set up.  We can arrange a Facetime or Zoom call to meet our customer and visually look at the existing water tank and piping configurations to determine the best course of action with replacement.  Either Virtual Consultation or Photography is a great way to get an estimate without having to schedule an in person estimate in your home.  With COVID we have all had to adapt to new ways of doing business and we have created some innovative ways to get you the quote FAST and Safely!  Call Rocket Plumbing today for your FREE Estimate on your Water Heater TODAY! 484.986.5517

Bradford White- Most Reliable Water Heater!

The name Bradford White is synonymous with the words “respected” and “reliable” as they manufacture, in our opinion, the best residential hot water heaters. They have been around since 1851 and offer a wide variety of products that satisfy every need. Rocket Plumbing, unless specifically asked to install another brand of hot water heater, exclusively sells Bradford White for Residential use.bradford-white-water-heaters-hot-best-reliable

Bradford White is a Premium Product without the BIG price tag

They use only the best materials and components to manufacture Bradford White water heaters but don’t charge a hefty price tag for it. You’ll find that these water heaters are very fairly priced and offer the best in terms of quality. Bradford White water heaters represent great value for money, meaning the performance you receive will hugely exceed the low price you pay.  They last longer than any other water heaters hands down and offer the least service calls in the industry.

Quality and Reliability

Each and every product that’s made by Bradford White is the result of the continued examination, analysis, and improvement. This is how the company ensures the highest standards are met across the board. It’s why the company has such a fantastic reputation for quality and reliability. Every Bradford White hot water heater is built to be the best as they are built for daily operation over the course of many years.

Highly Efficient Water Heaters

More and more people are concerned about the efficiency of the appliances in their homes and rightly so. If you want to make sure that your home is as efficient as it can be, take a look at Bradford White’s Energy Star range of water heaters. They’re designed with efficiency in mind and they’re suitable for all kinds of homes and homeowners. And best of all, you’ll save some money over the long-term.

Hydro-Jet Total Performance System

Bradford White water heaters all come with the Hydro-Jet Total Performance System, which is exclusive to the brand. The system prevents the buildup of sediment, which is important to keep the water heater efficient. It will also aid overall performance and ensure the user gets value for money from their Bradford White water heater. You’ll get more hot water without having to pay more for it.

Defender Safety System

The Defender Safety System is a feature of Bradford White’s gas-fired water heaters and it is there to offer protection to you, your family, and your home. It ensures that flammable vapors can never ignite from a spill outside the water heater. This is done by detecting those vapors and shutting down the water heater to ensure there’s never a risk of ignition.

A Selection of Ultra-Low Nox Water Heaters

Lots of people are concerned about their impact on the environment, and that’s why Bradford White offers a selection of ultra-low Nox water heaters. They make use of cutting edge technology to ensure the burner produces lower emission levels. By choosing Bradford White, you can reduce your carbon footprint and still experience the best in terms of water heater performance.

Six-Year Warranty

No one wants to be endlessly worrying about their water heater breaking at an inopportune moment in the future. Well, you don’t have to when you choose a water heater from Bradford White. You’ll receive a six-year warranty for all parts and the tank. That’s because we know the quality of these products and are sure they’ll be reliable. You can also upgrade to a 10-year warranty if you wish.

Exclusive Control Technology

Bradford White has an ICON System that uses an Intelligent Fast Control Valve. It’s an exclusive control technology that offers the most advanced temperature controls and keeps water temperature levels consistent. It can even help plumbing professionals fix any problems you experience faster and more easily, which is a nice bonus for owners.  Bradford White has a great technological support line and can assist in any support items necessary.

Vitraglas Enamel

All Bradford White hot water heaters are protected against deterioration thanks to the Vitraglas enamel lining that’s used. It’s the best and most advanced water heating lining, offering reliable protection, and ensuring your water heater lasts as long as it possibly can. Without it, steel tanks can become irreversibly damaged by the hot water that’s stored inside them and that’s not what you want to happen.

American-Made Products

All of Bradford White’s water heaters are made in America, so when you buy one of these water heaters for your home, you’ll be supporting an American brand and a team of the very best American workers. Bradford White allows you to support an American brand while accepting nothing but the best in terms of quality.

If you’re looking to improve your property’s hot water heater, don’t hesitate to contact us here at Rocket Plumbing and Drain and get an instant quote where our reliable team of water heater experts will help you find the Bradford White water heater that’s right for you.

Frequently Asked Questions! (FAQ’S)

We get a lot of questions about our plumbing services so we wanted to answer the most common ones here for you all! Don’t hesitate to contact us if you have any other questions!
Question: How quickly can you service our plumbing problem?
Answer: For emergency repairs we can usually get to our customers within 2 hours.  For jobs that can be scheduled, we can typically do same day or next day service as long as our schedule allows.
Question: Can I get a quote for my plumbing repairs?
Answer: Most plumbing repairs require either a Video or On-Site Inspection/Diagnostic to see what the most cost effective solution for your home or business is.
Plumbers do not come out and do diagnostic work for free so typically there is a Service Call Fee involved in figuring out what is going on with your plumbing problem.
Question: What areas do you service?
Question: What type of Payment do you Accept?
Answer: We Accept Visa or Mastercard and we offer consumer financing on anything over $100 and up to $15,000.
Question: Are you licensed and insured?
Answer: We are licensed in each State that we work in.

Sewer Machine- Root It Ralph!!

sewer-cleaner-root-it-ralph-milwaukee-machine-benefitsRocket Plumbing is proud to announce our new WICKED machine “Root it Ralph”!  We are one of THE ONLY plumbing companies to have purchased the BRAND NEW Milwaukee MX Fuel Sewer Machine! We invested in this crazy COOL machine because of the many benefits it has for our customers!!  It has lift assist technology that eliminates the need for (2) people on a job because the sewer machine can climb stairs” allowing for one person transportation which ultimately saves our customers money!  We can clear Roots up to 200’ in and out of 3”  to 8” sewer lateral lines which gives us another option before having to go to the more expensive “TOP GUN Jetter” to clear clogs!  The drum is fully enclosed which is fabulous for our customers because it keeps the mess inside the machine and not ‘flinging” sewage all over your homes or businesses!  There are no more cords to run through your home because we can run this machine on a battery for the entire time we are using it!  How great is this?  Rocket is always at the forefront of new technology and equipment that benefits our customers!

CALL Today to meet Ralph!  484.986.5517

5 Signs You Need A New Water Heater?

  • An Old Unit… sometimes finding the year your water heater was manufactured can be difficult. All water heaters have a label that lists important information such as model and serial numbers. It includes the manufacturers name, warranty, wattage, gallon capacity, BTU’s, and more. If your water heater is older, you can find its exact age by looking for the serial number on the manufacturer’s sticker near its top. Below you will find our help in decoding your water heater label.

The Bradford White rating plate is the most difficult to decode. To find the age of a Bradford White tank, you have to understand their coding. The year of manufacture is noted by the first letter of the serial number, the month is the second letter. The decoding is based on the following format:

Year Decoder:

G = 1990; H = 1991; J = 1992; K = 1993; L= 1994; M= 1995; N= 1996; P= 1997; S= 1998; T= 1999; W= 2000; X= 2001; Y= 2002; Z=2003; A= 2004; B=2005; C=2006; D=2007 

Month Decoder:


New Rheem water heaters have an easy to understand rating plate. It includes the manufacture date, as well as information on the size and capacity. On older models, you can determine the age of your unit by decoding the water heater serial number. Some manufacturers, including Rheem, made it easy by incorporating the month and year built into the first 4 digits of the serial number. For instance, the picture below shows that this Rheem water heater was manufactured in December of 1991 (1291). Other manufacturers use different formats, but in a similar fashion.

For A. O. Smith, The month and year are built into the first 4 digits of the serial number. So in this case, it was manufactured in October of 2012. A. O. Smith puts the year first and the month second. It’s a little harder to find but it’s all there.

For American Water Heatertheir format puts the year first, then the week the tank was built. In this example, the tank was made in 2007.

  • Rusty Water... If your hot water is rusty, your water heater could be rusting on the inside, and it might start leaking soon.
  • Not Enough Hot Water…
  • Rumbling and Noise…
  • Leaks…


Keep Your Pipes from Bursting!


Why Did Your Pipes Burst? No one wants to deal with the damages, expenses, and messes caused by burst pipes. So, what causes these pipes to burst during the winter? The basic answer is that the water coming into your house from the outside is much colder than it was during the summer months. The cold water causes your pipes to contract and in weaker parts, can cause the frozen pipe to burst. This happens because the pipe becomes unable to withhold the water pressures inside it.

At What Temperature Do Pipes Freeze?

Pipes freeze at 32 degrees Fahrenheit. The pipes inside your home, however, are protected from exterior freezing temperatures through your home’s insulation. What this means is that it on days where it is 32 degrees outside, it does not necessarily mean that your pipes will freeze.

Typically, they begin to freeze when the outside temperature is at least 20 degrees.

How Long Does It Take For Pipes to Freeze and Burst?

The first thing to think about when answering this question is, what is the exact temperature outside and how long will is it predicted to stay that temperature or lower? As a general rule of thumb, in order for your home’s water pipes to freeze, the outside temperature needs to be below 20 degrees, for a total of at least six consecutive hours.

Precautions You Can Take To Prevent Your Water Pipes Bursting:

There are no practical ways of heating the ground temperature around your home, so stopping the contraction caused by the cold water is not something you can control. Our advice is to be mindful of your plumbing system as the temperatures change and check to see if you have any leaks. While we cannot stop the leaks caused by temperature drops, there are things you can do to prevent pipes from freezing and bursting.

1. Keep Water Faucets Running

If it is extremely cold outside, always keep one or two faucets dripping. Water moving through the system can prevent the line from freezing.

2. Direct Warm Air To Cold Areas Of Your Home

Often, the pipes that freeze are located near an outside wall or a window, so be sure to direct warm air to any colder areas of your home. Put radiator heaters or oil filled heaters in any room or area that stays particularly cold in 20 degrees or below.

3. Leave Your Cabinet Doors Open

If your kitchen sink is on an outside wall, be sure to leave cabinet doors open to allow warm air into the cabinet.

4. Disconnect Your Hose From The Outside Faucet

If you leave your hose connected, water is not able to drain out of your hose bib and will freeze and break the device.

5. Install Heat Tape

Use a product called heat tape that can be installed and will warm pipes as necessary during cold weather.

6. Seal Leaks That Allow Cold Air Into Your Home

Seal leaks that allow cold air into your home where pipes are located. Look for air leaks around electrical wiring, dryer vents, and pipes. Use caulk or insulation to keep the cold out.

7. Check Your Home’s Temperature

Keep temperatures from dropping below 32 degrees in any area of your home where water lines are located.

8. Call An Expert Plumber

Don’t hesitate to contact us here at Rocket Plumbing to receive tips and expertise on what you can do to prevent your water pipes from bursting.