Chicago Flooding Worse Than Hurricane Areas In Past Decade

Chicago Flooding Worse Than Hurricane Areas In Past Decade

Check out a recent Chicago Tribune story with the headline:

Flooding in the Chicago area has been so bad in the past decade that only places ravaged by hurricanes sustain more damage

The city’s sprawling network of sewers, most of which were laid out during the last century, quickly fills to capacity during intense rainfall like the April 2013 storm and more recently when a month’s worth of rain fell in less than five days starting on April 27. Even a typical summer shower can trigger sewage backups in some parts of the city.

The story delves into the politics of funding and executing fixes to Chicago’s aged sewer systems. It goes on to say:

The region remains vulnerable despite $3.8 billion spent on one of the most expensive public works projects in U.S. history: the Deep Tunnel, a labyrinth of cavernous underground pipes connected to massive reservoirs intended to “bottle up rainstorms” and keep Chicago and Cook County suburbs dry.

Chronic flooding in the Chicago area likely costs billions more than government data indicates, the new report’s authors concluded, noting that damages aren’t assessed unless the president approves a disaster declaration. Researchers are only beginning to understand the cumulative effects of neighborhoods flooding and sewage backing up into basements time and time again.

Here at Rocket Plumbing, we have been upping our game with new Drain Cleaning technologies, and sending out the warnings to our customers who have basements to ensure their Ejector/Sump Pumps are in working order.

It looks like the Tribune story is saying that for the foreseeable future, we Chicago residents will need to be aware of the challenges with our current sewer system. We can vouch for the story, as since Rocket Plumbing started in 2012, the emergency plumber sump pump and flooded basement calls have been a near constant percentage of our on site assessments, both residential and commercial.

If your home or business seems to be vulnerable to flooding when we have any of our rainstorms, it could be the sewer system it is attached to is not up to handling the volume. Give us a call, there might be something Rocket Plumbing can do.

Read Adam E.‘s review of Rocket Plumbing on Yelp

April 2019 Products From Moen, Chicago Faucets, Rinnai

We took a look at some of the newest products from the Plumbing Manufacturers High On Our List and have posted below what we thought looks very promising to make our lives a bit easier, cleaner, and at a good price.


First up is a neat shower head from Moen, Magnetix Handheld Showers.  Here is a sample model from this line of faucets:

Engage Magnetix Chrome Six-Function Handshower And Rainshower Combo

Inspired by patterns found in nature it offers a distinctive design which is at home in any transitional décor. Gracious and uncomplicated style features give the Engage collection an ageless yet fashion-forward presence. Tailored yet relaxed, the Engage collection is an exercise in design balance. This lustrous collection works seamlessly with today’s lifestyles.

  • chrome finish is highly reflective for a mirror-like look that works with any decorating style
  • showerhead with handshower
  • magnetix™ technology features an innovative magnetic docking system
  • six-function downpour; massage; relaxing massage; rinse; wide coverage; soothing massage
  • meets EPA WaterSense® criteria to conserve water without sacrificing performance
  • limited lifetime warranty
  • features a 60″ kink-free metal hose that extends reach and flexibility
  • 6-1/2″ diameter rainshower spray face

We certainly love the magnetic attachment for easy use in the shower. And don’t forget, that’s one less thing to worry about dropping in the shower which ultimately translates into better safety in the shower.

We like manufacturer Chicago Faucets. Sturdy design, fairly priced. Check out this Pre-Rinse Fitting with 613-A Adapta-Faucet:

  • 8″ Body, Adjustable Arms 7-1/4″ – 8-3/4″
  • 99-AS – 1.25 GPM Max. @ 60 PSI Water Conserving Pre-Rinse Spray Valve
  • 369-PR – Vandal Proof 2-3/8″ Lever Handle, Sixteen-Point Tapered Broach
  • XTAB – Quaturn Compression Operating Cartridge
  • GCAB – 3/8″ Offset Inlet Supply Arm with Integral Check
  • Secondary Control Valve
  • Adapta-Faucet
  • L9AB – 9-1/2″ L Type Swing Spout
  • E1ABRCF – Full Flow Quixtop Outlet with Single Screen Design
  • 369-PL – Vandal Proof 2-3/8″ Lever Handle, Sixteen-Point Tapered Broach
  • XTAB – Quaturn Compression Operating Cartridge
  • 2 5/16″ Diameter Slip Flange
  • 60″ Flexible Stainless Steel Hose
  • Compatible with Fisher and T&S Hoses
  • Chrome Plate Finish

These high powered faucets are just… fun.  This is a nice upgrade to a backyard sink. Pictured below.

This past December, Rinnai released their ThermaCirc360 and here is how it works. They have conveniently provided two videos that tell the story…

Extreme Cold Conditions And Burst Pipes By Rocket Plumbing In Today Show

This past week here in Chicago we had temperatures in the -40s.  Now, that’s not news to our Chicago readers, hey… you lived it!  Here at Rocket Plumbing headquarters in early January, we tried to get the word out to our customers about how to prevent the kind of repairs that need a lot of money to pay an emergency plumber to fix.  We put out the word through our weekly email directing everyone to our page: Preventing Frozen Pipes BEFORE Freezes In Chicago about a particularly effective tip to dodge a frozen or even worse, burst pipes.

Our own Brian McMahon grabbed the attention of Today Show reporter Miguel Almaguer and was included in his story for Today Show about how we here in Chicago can brace up for the worst this new Polar Vortex would throw at us.




Unfortunately for people that are not Rocket Plumbing customers, they probably did not get the word before the Freeze about these money saving tips.  And our inbound phone calls show it.  We are as busy as we may have ever been in our 6 years of being in the plumbing services business here in Chicago, running our 3 Piping machines out to homes with burst and frozen pipes.  Here is a sample video of a Burst Pipe in a residential home so you can see the scope of the property damage a burst and leaking pipe can do.  Poor water quality, warped and stained walls, invasive black mold, and flooding are the major repercussions of a burst pipe.

And just because your home has avoided a burst pipe so far, does not mean you are safe yet.  Bear in mind, when warmer temps arrive again, the expansion of your pipes by going from Cold to Warm, could cause leaks around the joints.  We also have tips on Thawing Your Pipes at our Prevent Frozen Pipes page.

Don’t hesitate to  call Rocket Plumbing at (773) 219-1200 for all your plumbing repairs.

Not just any Plumber in Lombard Illinois

As plumbers driving our Rocket Plumbing service trucks around Lombard, we see a lot of this beautiful suburb of Chicago.  Here are some Factoids about Lombard:

Lombard is a village in DuPage County, Illinois, United States, and a suburb of Chicago. The population was 42,322 at the 2000 census. The United States Census Bureau estimated the population in 2004 to be 42,975. The village’s challenge to the Census Bureau regarding its official 2010 population was accepted, revising the official population of the village from 43,165 to 43,395.

Originally part of Potawatomi Native American landscape, the Lombard area was first settled by Americans of European descent in the 1830s. Lombard shares its early history with Glen Ellyn. Brothers Ralph and Morgan Babcock settled in a grove of trees along the DuPage River. In what was known as Babcock’s Grove, Lombard developed to the east and Glen Ellyn to the west. In 1837, Babcock’s Grove was connected to Chicago by a stagecoach line which stopped at Stacy’s Tavern at Geneva and St. Charles Roads. Fertile land, the DuPage River, and plentiful timber drew farmers to the area.

Sheldon and Harriet Peck moved from Onondaga, New York, to this area in 1837 to farm 80 acres (320,000 m2) of land. In addition, Peck was an artist and primitive portrait painter who traveled to clients across northeastern Illinois. The Peck house also served as the area’s first school and has been restored by the Lombard Historical Society. In 2011, the Peck House was inducted into the National Park Service’s Network to Freedom—a list of verified Underground Railroad locations.

The 1848 arrival of the Galena and Chicago Union Railroad provided local farmers and merchants rail access to Chicago, and commercial buildings soon sprang up around the train station. Lombard was officially incorporated in 1869, named after Chicago banker and real estate developer Josia Lewis Lombard.

On April 6, 1891, Ellen A. Martin led a group of women to the voting place at the general store. She demanded that the three male election judges allow the women to vote. The judges were so surprised that one of them had a “spasm,” one leaned against the wall for support, and the other fell backwards into a barrel of flour! They did not want to let the women vote, so a county judge was asked to decide. He agreed that the women were right. Ellen Martin then became the first woman in Illinois to vote. In 1916 Illinois women could vote in national elections, but the 19th Amendment (the Women’s Suffrage Amendment) was not passed until 1920. In 2008, the city of Lombard, Illinois declared April 6 to be “Ellen Martin Day” in commemoration of Ms. Martin’s historic victory for women’s suffrage.


Click this link to see our Plumber Reviews in Dupage County

Rocket Plumbing is Dupage’s Hydro Jet service

This Glen Ellyn Plumber has their own Hydro Jet

Did you know that most plumbing companies don’t own their own Hydro Jet machine?

That may lead you to ask… what IS a Hydro Jet machine?

Our Hydro Jet machine, we happen to use the Mongoose Hydro Jet, is the latest plumbing system innovation to help thoroughly clear clogged sewer drain lines. It replaces in some cases what most people know as Rootering or Snaking.  With rootering or snaking, a flexible steel rod is pushed thru the line to attempt to remove the blockage… most often grease buildup.

The constant problem with using the rootering tool is it’s not reliable enough to know whether the blockage was entirely removed, or a hole in the blockage was left.


See the picture below for a good comparison:

As you can see, Hydro Jet leaves nothing behind. For video of a Hydro Jet in action, with Rocket Plumbing proprietor Brian McMahon explaining how it works, below:

How A Hydro Jet Works

Call us at 630-219-1299 in Lombard, Elmhurst, Addison, Downers Grove, Glen Ellyn, Westmont, and even Oak Brook.

Click this link to see our Plumber Reviews in Downer’s Grove

Rocket Plumbing is Chicago’s Hydro Jet service

This Plumber in Elmhurst Will Handle Your Plumbing Repairs

Have you ever searched on your mobile device for “Plumber near me“?  Do you need clogged drains cleared out by our Hydro Jet in Elmhurst?

We absolutely can do that for you.  Did you know that Rocket Plumbing is one of the few plumbing services that even owns their own Hydro Jet?

We handle the small projects to, like cleaning tub drain clogs, replacing Garbage Disposals, and bathroom fixtures, and of course, checking your plumbing systems for leaks.

Here are some factoids about Elmhurst:

Elmhurst is a city mostly in DuPage County and overlapping into Cook County in the U.S. state of Illinois, and a western suburb of Chicago. As of the 2010 census, the city had a total population of 44,121.

Members of the Potawatomi Native American people, who settled along Salt Creek just south of where the city would develop, are the earliest known settlers of the Elmhurst area. Around 1836, European-American immigrants settled on tracts of land along the same creek. At what would become Elmhurst City Centre, a native of Ohio named Gerry Bates established a community on a tract of “treeless land” in 1842.

The following year, Hill Cottage Tavern opened where St. Charles Road and Cottage Hill Avenue presently intersect. In 1845, the community was officially named Cottage Hill when a post office was established. Four years later the Galena and Chicago Union Railroad was given right-of-way through Cottage Hill giving farmers easier access to Chicago. The community changed its name to Elmhurst in 1869. In 1871, Elmhurst College was organized and currently has 3,500 undergraduates and about 300 graduate students. Elmhurst was incorporated as a village in 1882, with a population between 723 and 1,050, and legal boundaries of St. Charles Road to North Avenue, and one half mile west and one quarter mile east of York Street. Elmhurst Memorial Hospital was founded in 1926 as the first hospital in DuPage County.

The Keebler Company’s corporate headquarters was in Elmhurst until 2001, when the Kellogg Company purchased the company. The city is home to the headquarters of Sunshine Biscuits and McMaster-Carr Supply Co. Famous Amos cookies are also distributed from Elmhurst.

In 2014, Family Circle magazine ranked Elmhurst as one of the “Ten Best U.S. Towns for Families“.

Call us at 630-219-1299 in Lombard, Elmhurst, Addison, Downers Grove, Glen Ellyn, Westmont, and even Oak Brook.

Click this link to see our Plumber Reviews in Downer’s Grove

The Best Addison Plumber Near You? Here’s why

To our Addison, Illinois neighbors… we have a Rocket Plumbing location near you.

Addison is a village located west of the Chicago Metropolitan Area, in DuPage County, Illinois, United States. The population was 36,942 at the 2010 census.

The community itself was originally named Dunkley’s Grove after the settler Hezekiah Dunklee, and was renamed after a town in England or Addison, New York. Adventureland amusement park was located in Addison (Lake and Medinah) during the 1960s and 1970s. The Addison Industrial District was the proposed location for the reconstruction of Comiskey Park in the late 1980s before this was voted down.

The Village of Addison lies on Salt Creek, a tributary of the Des Plaines River. Addison is located at 41°55’54?N 88°0’8?W (41.931573, -88.002221).

According to the 2010 census, Addison has a total area of 9.98 square miles (25.85 km2), of which 9.77 square miles (25.30 km2) (or 97.9%) is land and 0.21 square miles (0.54 km2) (or 2.1%) is water.

Addison is home to Addison Trail High School and to Indian Trail Junior High School. The Elementary schools are: Wesley Elementary, Lake Park Elementary, Fullerton Elementary, Army Trail Elementary, Lincoln Elementary and Stone Elementary. St. Philip the Apostle, a private Catholic school and parish, is located in Addison and serves students from pre-kindergarten through 8th grade. Driscoll Catholic High School was located in Addison before closing in 2009. DeVry University and Chamberlain College of Nursing also call Addison home.

What services do we handle?

Water Heaters (Tankless)
Drain & Sewer Lines
Toilets (Garbage Disposals)
Water Testing & Filtration
Hydro Jet Clogged Drains

Drain Cleaning
Tubs, Kitchen Sinks
Replace Disposals
Tune-up & Inspections
Maintenance Rodding

and much more.

Call us at 630-219-1299 for the Best Plumber in Dupage County.

The Best Oak Brook Plumber Near You? See who it is

If you are in Oak Brook, and find yourself searching for a plumber, Rocket Plumbing has a location specifically to handle that area in Dupage County.

Here’s a bit of history about Oak Brook:

Oak Brook is located at 41°50′24″N87°57′11″W (41.84018, −87.953079).

According to the 2010 census, Oak Brook has a total area of 8.279 square miles (21.44 km2), of which 7.95 square miles (20.59 km2) (or 96.03%) is land and 0.329 square miles (0.85 km2) (or 3.97%) is water.

Oak Brook is located about 19 miles (31 km) west of the Chicago Loop (downtown Chicago)

Oak Brook was originally known as Fullersburg, named after Ben Fuller, an early settler.

Oak Brook was incorporated as a village in 1958, due in large part to the efforts of Paul Butler, a prominent civic leader and landowner whose father had first moved to the vicinity in 1898 and opened a dairy farm shortly thereafter. Prior to incorporation, the name Oak Brook was used by local residents to distinguish their community from neighboring Hinsdale and Elmhurst, going back to the founding of the Oak Brook Civic Association almost two decades earlier.

The original boundaries were smaller than the present extent of the village, but a considerable amount of land was annexed soon after the founding of the village, including the land that is now the site of the Oakbrook Center shopping mall, which opened in 1962.

Paul Butler’s interest in sport was reflected in the Oak Brook Sports Core, which features polo fields, a golf course (which was at one time the venue for the Western Open), swimming and tennis facilities, and other recreational facilities not commonly found in a village of this size.

Rocket Plumbing in Dupage also will rush right out to handle your Plumbing Repair in Lombard, Elmhurst, Addison, Downers Grove, Glen Ellyn, and Westmont.


Grease Trap Frequently Asked Questions

Grease Trap Frequently Asked Questions (Click the link to watch the video)

Checked your Grease Trap lately?

The grease trap is a critical choke point on your outbound sewage system to your building. A backed up system here affects the rest of the productivity on your business. For businesses like restaurants, the odor alone could turn away customers permanently.
Failure to clean your trap can end up harming your organization’s productivity with future downstream repairs as well that could need the aid of a Hydro Jet cleaning service.

Q: What are Grease Traps?

A: Their purpose is to reduce the amount of fats, oils and greases (FOG’s) that enter the main sewers. They are engineered and designed boxes within the drain run that flows between the sinks in a kitchen to the often foul smelling sewer system. They can be made from different materials:
– Plastics
– Concrete
– Cast Iron
– Stainless Steel

They only have waste water flowing through them and are not served by any other drainage system such as toilets.

Q: What happens to the grease?

A: The trapped grease is stored in the trap until it is cleaned out.

Q: Do I need a Grease Trap?

A: Most Local Authorities require a system to prevent grease and fat from flowing into the main sewerage system.


For Restaurants especially, a neglected Grease Trap can fill a building with awful odors that will:
– Shut your business down for a day or more
– Turn off customers, maybe forever
– Create even more expensive repairs downstream of the Grease Trap

Q: How does a Grease Trap work?

A: It slows down the flow of hot greasy water and allowing the grease to cool as it cools, the fat, oil and grease separate and float to the top of the Grease Trap

Q: How Often Should They Be Checked?

A: Usually every 6 to 12 months (Depends on the model)

Q: What are the signs that your grease trap needs cleaning?

– An increase of roaches & centipedes around your drains
– When your Grease Trap becomes too full it can overflow or backup in your sink
– You hear bubbling sounds from the drain
– You notice the sink at your home or restaurant are having trouble draining
– And/or a nasty odor coming from your drains

(Ask Us About our $30 Discount offer on your next Grease Trap cleaning)

Why we like our Mongoose Hydro Jetter

We have been singing the praises of the best clogged pipes tool in our arsenal, our Mongoose Hydro Jet.  You can see in this picture of our Hydro jet, the largest part could be the tank used to hold water.  The water is forced out at 3,000 pounds per square inch.  That pressure is needed to break thru and empty out the toughest common useage pipe clogs.  On a recent Hydro Jet project we cleared a sewer line downstream of a local bar.   After the nozzle of the hydro jet broke thru the obstruction, the material flowed down the pipe.

We caught it on video, right here:  How Hydro Jetting Works In North Chicago

The Rocket Plumbing Hydro Jet deployed and ready

We want to send a kind word to the team at Mongoose Jetters: we have enjoyed using the tool. We being one of the few plumbing services in Chicago to even own their own Hydro Jet, can endorse it.


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If you would rather contact us thru email, feel free to contact us through our Contact Page here. We check our email constantly, we will respond!

Rocket Plumbing Now

3105 N. Ashland Avenue

Chicago, IL 60657

(773) 219-1200

Plumber’s License: BC190923