Tree Roots & Your Plumbing
Each spring, as the grass gets greener and buds to turn to bright green leaves on tree branches, something is happening beneath the soil. Millions of thirsty tree roots are eagerly seeking water and clogging household sewer lines.
Root infiltration is a major concern for homeowners, and it’s one of the main reasons why homeowners experience problems with their drainage systems, especially in the spring and in neighborhoods with old homes and mature trees.
Tree roots are having a love affair with sewer pipes, and they’re a match made in heaven. Since a well-sized tree needs over 150 gallons of water each day, it only makes sense why a leaking sewer pipe is a convenient source of water.
It can be frustrating for a homeowner to discover that a city’s or neighbor’s tree is dining in their front yard, but it’s a problem they can’t ignore. Heavy root infestations can be a common problem in certain neighborhoods.
Often, a cleaning can last about a year, but if the situation is severe, it could come back. The reason is that roots thrive in moist areas, areas around a leaking pipe. Even when roots inside are cut, the ones on the outside can later grow back in.
One of the ways to slow root re-growth in the pipe is to introduce copper sulfate through a clean-out plug or a toilet. The product does not harm the tree itself, and the best time to use this product is after the roots have been cut by snaking. Still, this is a temporary fix.
Eventually, the roots will come back, just waiting for the first stray object to come down through the pipes and snag. Because of this possibility, don’t flush paper towels, sanitary napkins, diapers or anything other than toilet paper down the drain. See what not to flush.
If the problem comes back, one option is to replace the entire sewer line, however, that can be a costly expense. Another option is to dig up the section that’s damaged. That’s why we use video cameras to go down into sewers.
Using Video Cameras to Locate the Roots
One of our Kansas City plumbers can insert a miniature video camera into the main drain to figure out where the problem is located. It’s a reel that we push through while we’re watching a TV screen.
It actually resembles a medical procedure. This equipment comes in very handy and allows us to determine where the problem is, and the most cost-effective solution.
Do you have an issue with tree roots that are causing your pipes to clog? If so, contact A-1 Sewer & Septic Service Inc. to schedule a TV inspection!