Roto-Rooter Plumbing was founded in 1935 in Des Moine, Iowa, by Samuel Blanc, who was frustrated with a clogged drain at his son’s apartment. Blanc designed a drain/sewer cleaning machine that used a motor from a washing machine, a cable, and a child’s wagon to carry it on. He called his device the Roto-Rooter and he began to sell his machine to individuals for $250.
Today, Roto-Rooter is owned by Chemed Corporation, who purchased it from the Blanc family in 1980. Roto-Rooter remains one of the largest providers of plumbing repair, sewer and drain cleaning, as well as water cleanup in both the US and Canada. The company has more than 3,600 employees.
The company still has headquarters, and a manufacturing plant, in Des Moine, Iowa. The manufacturing plant makes plumbing and drain cleaning tools and equipment for both its employees and other plumbers in the industry, as well as a variety of drain cleaning liquids.