How to Find and Prevent Roots in Your Sewer Line
Trees are an integral part of the landscaping for most yards. They add beauty throughout the year (particularly during autumn with their striking foliage), provide shade during the warmer months, provide habitat for wildlife, and remove carbon from the atmosphere. If only we didn’t have to rake up their fallen leaves each fall!
Besides dead leaves, another downside to trees is roots that get into your sewer line looking for water and nutrients – this can result in serious damage to your sewer line. Here are a few tips on how to find roots in your sewer line (and prevent them from getting in in the first place).
Know Where Your Sewer Lines Are
The first thing you need to do is determine where your sewer lines are located. If you don’t know, it’s best not to dig up your lawn trying to find them – you could damage your utility lines. If you need help trying to find them, contact your local sewer department for the information, or schedule a sewer locate service provided by Garvin’s Sewer Service (or similar company).
Don’t Plant Trees By Sewer Lines
Location, location, location – it’s key when buying a house, but also when planting trees. Don’t just plant them anywhere in your yard – plant them away from the sewer lines. There are several types of trees that grow slowly and have smaller root balls, which means that they are less likely to penetrate sewer lines than trees with widespread root systems. Consult with your landscaper to determine which types of trees are less likely to have roots that will invade your sewer line.
Get A Sewer Camera Inspection
If there are already trees near your sewer line, you can have a plumbing professional conduct a sewer camera inspection (also known as a sewer scope) to determine if there are roots in the line, and if so, how bad the problem is. A sewer camera inspection can also determine if there are bellies, breaks, or holes in the line.
If there are indeed roots in the sewer line, many people assume that the entire line must be replaced. This assumption is false – often the roots can be cleaned out by a plumbing professional, saving the consumer thousands of dollars.
One way roots can be removed from a sewer line is to use a special bladed machine that cuts them out. Another way is to use a product that will chemically remove them, such as RootX. RootX kills roots using an aquatic herbicide called Dichlobenil. Although it is non-toxic, it’s best applied by a professional.
If you’ve got a root problem and you want to prevent it from getting worse, consider removing the culprit tree. Yes, your yard may not look as nice, but you’ll be keeping your sewer line from being invaded by roots.
Prevent The Problem In The First Place
If your sewer line has been damaged by tree roots, then it might need to be replaced; this can cost thousands of dollars. With our Preventative Plumbing Maintenance Program, you can keep the problem from happening in the first place. We clear the roots out of the line on a regular basis, usually every 6-12 months. By maintaining regular sewer cleanings, you can reduce the chance of back-ups and sewer line breaks due to root growth in the line.
If you’re having problems with your plumbing and suspect tree roots are the cause, contact us – we can inspect your sewer line to determine if there is a root problem and advise you on how best to fix it. We can handle other plumbing problems, as well, so if you’re in need of a dependable plumbing professional, call us!