Get to the Root of Your Pipe Plumbing Problems

July 8th, 2012

What to do if you have roots in your Sewer Pipes?

So, you had a plumber over to your home to clear a drain blockage and you end up finding out you have a drain pipe full or tree roots. What now? Well, depending on how bad the root problem is, you may or may not have to replace the main sewer pipe. Yes, you read that correctly – you don’t always need to replace your drain if you have roots. A knowledgeable Plumber Salt Lake City will be able to save you lots of money by suggesting alternatives to sewer pipe replacement.

Plumbing is no easy business, but it’s a necessary one. Simple plumbing activities, such as snaking the pipes or using chemical treatments for drain cleaning are easy enough for the average home owner, but sometimes more serious problems arise. This is when a professional plumber should be called to the scene. With the latest tools and technology at their disposal, they are specialized in diagnosing and taking care of any plumbing problems your home or business may be experiencing.

Common Drain Blockages

Common drain blockages in the home are caused by grease, leftover food, hair, soap scum and more. The buildup of these simple things over several months or years can great a serious problem for your plumbing, causing the drains to slow down significantly. Not only can a professional plumber effectively remove any blockages that you may not be able to take care of yourself, but they can also get rid of years of debris that you may not have noticed over the years. This will make the drainage in your pipes flow more smoothly than ever before.

Another cause for slow moving or clogged drains is a blocked sewer line of your home or business. Most of the time this isn’t anything serious to worry about, but it can be a huge problem depending on what is causing the blockage. Tree roots, damaged pipes, improper sewer installation, and construction debris are all popular causes of a blocked sewage line and can create substantial plumbing problems for business or home owners. This is when calling Plumber Salt Lake City is absolutely necessary.

How does Weather Impact Growth of Roots?

When trees and shrubs get thirsty, they follow the trail of moisture vapors escaping from small cracks, holes, or poorly sealed joints in the water and sewer lines. In cold climates roots might travel along way to reach water. In sub-tropical climate roots grow fast in dry winter season by nature.

What Happens when Tree and Plant Roots get Inside Pipes?

If roots have entered an outside pipe, they continue to grow and expand, exerting considerable pressure at the crack or joint. The increased pressure often breaks the pipe and may result in total collapse, which requires repair or replacement. Roots can also completely fill the pipe with multiple hair-like roots. The roots quickly clog with toilet tissue, grease and other debris flowing from homes and businesses to the main sewer, resulting in reduced flow and slowed drains. A complete blockage may occur if the roots are not removed and root growth imbedded in the drain. Some pipe materials are more susceptible to root intrusion than others. Clay tile pipes are easily penetrated and damaged by tree roots. Concrete pipe and PVC pipe may also allow root intrusion but less than clay pipes. PVC pipes have less joints and these tightly fitted joints are less likely to leak as a result of settlement around the pipe.

Modern Technology Video Inspection System

Previously, digging up the sewer lines was an expensive, long, and messy task. However, plumbing technology has made leaps and bounds over the last few decades. Now, a Plumber Salt Lake City is now assisted by high tech devices that help to diagnose exactly what the problem is. A specialized plumber can now view your sewer lines without having to dig up the ground around them thanks to an underground video inspection system.

Modern plumbers are very effective. The technology that assists them in their job takes the guesswork out of diagnosing and repairing a problem. This often results in faster service times, a cheaper bill, and a happier customer. If you’re unsure of what the next step is in your plumbing repair, don’t hesitate to call in the professionals to make sure the process goes as smoothly as possible.

You have Roots. What’s the Next Step?

Well, a proper video inspection of the sewer pipe is needed to determine the best course of action. If the pipe itself has any large cracks, is split, broken or otherwise compromised, any plumber will suggest replacement and I would agree. However, if the pipe appears to be in good shape (other than the small cracks where the roots are coming in) and the roots haven’t completely blocked the pipe, then you have an option.

The proper drain cleaning tools combined with a chemical root treatment will take care of a minor to moderate root problem. Depending on how long the problem has been present, it may take some time to properly clean the drain of roots, but it is very possible and your plumber can discuss your options as far as chemical treatments.

How to Control Roots Growing in Pipes?

Plumber Salt Lake City can remove the roots that might have entered your pipes and drains using powerful cutting blades and chemical root removing products. Please call us so we can share our knowledge with you and find the best solution to your root problem.

Most chemicals that are designed to unclog drains basically burn through anything that may be in your pipes. Over time and with repeated use, this can cause erosion and damage to your pipes, and many of us learn the hard way that there is a much bigger problem behind backed up drains than a clump of hair or grease. If you simply call a professional plumber to handle the problem at the first sign of trouble, you could save yourself a lot of time, frustration, and money.

Removing Roots

The method of removing roots varies depending on the location and how they are stuck in the sewer line if they are indeed attached in some way. The roots need to be completely removed, especially from the joints. If they are not removed correctly than any treatment done afterward will not work properly. Roots can be removed with root cutters or porcupines. These are used sometimes with rodding machines or other pieces of equipment. Cut the root away using the root cutters or other similar device. Use a jet or pressure washer to remove the roots completely.

Further Treatment

There are a number of treatments used for root control. These are available in both chemical and non-chemical solutions. Natural herbicides can be used in moderation but are not generally as effective as the chemical solutions. Tree removal is another method of natural control or replacing the piping.

Applying new grout and sealer is usually part of the routine but there are also other chemical deterrents that detour the roots. Copper sulfate is applied to the sewer line but this is not a short term fix. It must be applied every six months to remain effective. This method can only be used after all of the roots have been removed and the sealant is reapplied. Chemical herbicides such as bensulide, dichlobenil, and dinoseb are used as well for this treatment. These solutions are poured down into the sewer line to leech the soil of nutrients that roots feed on. Before any of these chemicals check the local codes because not all chemical treatments are permitted in certain areas knows Plumber Salt Lake City.