Roots in Sewer

Why Are Roots In Sewer Pipe?

Tree roots in sewer pipes cause damage and are one of the main reasons why sewers backup.  Roots can enter sewer pipes through cracks or loose joints in the sewer line.  In most cities, half of the tree roots in the cities sewer system enter through defective private lateral sewer pipes.  (“Lateral sewer pipe” is the underground sewer pipe that runs from your home or business to the city sewer main; normally it is your responsibly to keep your “lateral sewer pipe” in good condition.  Once your lateral sewer pipe ties into the city sewer main, the city takes responsible for the pipe from that point on.)  Most cities require that property owners inspect, maintain, repair and/or replace private lateral sewer pipes to help reduce sewer overflows and protect their lateral from further damage.

What Causes Roots to Grow in Sewer Pipe?

Roots are attracted to water vapor that escapes through cracks or loose joints in sewer pipes. This means roots will move towards and penetrate through cracks, loose joints or any openings in sewer pipes. Once the roots get into the sewer pipe, they feed off the water and began to grow inside the pipe.  This happens even in the winter when trees appear to be dormant!!

Once inside, roots will continue to grow and fill the sewer pipe to create a root mass that can become matted with grease, paper and other solid matter.  This is what eventually causes a clogged sewer; normally it takes a large root mass in your sewer to finally clog the system. Once a root clog happens, you will more than likely need a sewer expert like San Francisco plumbing to remove the roots and be sure your sewer and lateral pipe are both still structurally sounds and in good working condition.

If you know you have roots take prompt action to get them under control – As roots continue to grow within a sewer pipe, they begin to expand and exert pressure at their point of entry.  This can result in a sewer pipe rupture; a ruptured sewer pipe can be very costly to fix or replace.

Signs that a sewer is becoming blocked include slow flowing drains, gurgling sounds from a toilet bowl and wet areas around washing machine floor drains.  Eventually a root that enters the sewer pipe will continue to grow; then it’s only a matter of time before it will become completely blocked and may rupture the sewer pipe.

Do note delay if you suspect you have roots in your sewer pipe.

Sewer Pipes Susceptible to Root Damage

Certain pipe material is more resistant to root intrusion than others. Vitrified clay pipes, for example, are more susceptible to root penetration and damage when compared with Schedule 40 ABS and PVC pipes that have fewer and more tightly fitted joints.  However, over time settling ground; surface vibrations; freezing & thawing; mild earth tremors (earthquakes) and nearby construction all contribute to all types of sewer pipes becoming susceptible to root intrusion.

What Can Be Done to Combat the Tree Root Problem in Sewer Pipe?

The most common method to remove roots from sewer pipes is to use augers and water powered saws to safely remove the roots in the sewer line. Plumbing Professors® are ROOTER1® Certified Sewer Specialist; so we have the heavy duty augers & high pressure water jetting units that can remove the roots from your sewer lines.  We will even put a high tech video camera into your line so you can see the root obstruction for yourself, then, once we clear the sewer line for you we’ll put the camera back into the sewer line so you can see that we have removed the roots.

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