Sewer cleaning was once known as “Rooting”, due to the need for removing root intrusion. Hence the title ‘Rooter Man” or ‘Rooter’ as the moniker to the sewer cleaning technician . Sewer and drain cleaning services were known as rooter service before the rotational sewer cleaning machine known as The Roto Rooter was invented. (Roto because of the rotational ability, verses the flat sewer tape previously in use)
Sewer cleaners of rooter service past, were tasked with removing root intrusion as the culprit for a sewer backup. Root intrusion would occur as roots grew through the bell and spigot connection of gasket pipe and created blockages. Home and business owners were then requiring the services of a sewer cleaning company to remove the roots. The rooter service or sewer cleaner arrived, knocking on the front door announcing, “rooter man”, here to remove roots!
Notice the trend? Rooter service or sewer cleaning companies? Todays drain and sewer cleaning companies garnered their registered names from the history of sewer cleaning in the context of having roots, or root intrusion in the sewer line. For what ever the reason, rarely was the blockage caused from anything else.
The words roto rooter were used earlier to describe a sewer cleaning machine originally used and still in use as a method of eliminating root intrusion from a sewer by cutting the roots from the interior of the sewer line. Sam Blanc founded the Roto Rooter Service company in 1935 as a more effective method of sewer and drain cleaning.
As we discussed earlier, root intrusion occurs as roots grow into the sewer line from a broken seal at the bell and spigot connection of a sewer pipe. Prior to the invention of the roto rooter (originally describing the first rotational sewer cleaning cable), the drain and sewer cleaner, or rooter man would visit the house to eliminate root intrusion by pulling roots from the sewer line. The roots were extracted by inserting a barbed rod (barbed for grabbing roots) through a cleanout in the sewer. The hope was to push the sewer cleaning rod down the sewer line, catching roots and tearing the roots from their beds. This was the extent of sewer cleaning until Sam Blanc fabricated his idea for sewer cleaning or rooting. Blanc thought there must be a better way for a sewer cleaner rooter service to cut roots and rid a sewer from root intrusion. He schemed a serrated blade on a rotating cable. The rotational sewer cleaning machine sent its rotating cable down the sewer with the blade turning. The rotating sewer cleaning cable would in fact cut the roots. Thus sewer line blockages generated by root intrusion were eliminated.
Sam Blanc had invented a sewer cleaning machine designed to eliminate root intrusion by spinning a serrated cutting blade on a rotating cable. Blanc traveled the country, pulling his rooting sewer cleaning machine in a trailer. On the trailer were the words, “The Roto Rooter”. That is how roto rooter sewer cleaner became a house hold name and is still in wide use today, even if the Roto Rooter Service Company is not purposefully referred to. As the need were recognized, more adaptations and modifications were made in order to expand the capabilities of the roto rooter sewer cleaner. More was written on this subject at Rooter Service on the Anchor Sewer and Drain Cleaning web page.