Preventative Plumbing Maintenance Program

Many people are unaware that sewer line backups can be prevented when they are caused by root growth. Unlike other clogs, roots are alive and grow and are therefore somewhat predictable. This predictability means you can do something to intervene to prevent a sewer back-up. Here are the top questions we get regarding Sewer Line Preventative Maintenance and Care.

What is Sewer Line Preventative Maintenance?

When talk about preventative maintenance in regards to drain lines, we are referring to the ability we have to minimize the likelihood of a back up caused by regular root growth in the sewer line.

How Does it Prevent Roots in My Sewer?

Preventing sewer roots isn’t actually the goal. Rather, preventative maintenance clears the roots out of the line before they cause a back-up. So, it doesn’t stop, hurt or inhibit tree growth (such as chemicals that kill the tree or expensive sewer liners that block growth).

Does Sewer Line Preventative Maintenance Help with All Clogs?

No, it is designed to specifically clear roots. Other clogs are man-made, such as excess toilet paper, construction debris, or flushing items that shouldn’t be. Roots are predictable so we can clear them to reduce the likelihood of a back-up, but if a homeowner consistently abuses the line, we can’t prevent that.

A special note on this however- preventative maintenance can be used in the case of a home sale where the buyer wants the sewer line cleared prior to moving in so they don’t experience a back-up due to the line having clogs.

How Often Should I Get My Sewer Line Cleared of Roots?

This depends on how fast the roots in your area grow and how many trees are growing into the line. It can also depend on how many people are in your household, if there has been lots of rain or drought, and more. The best suggestion is to ask your drain cleaning technician their recommendation. They may come twice a year and then reassess the situation.

Homeowners will clean their sewer line every 3 months, every 6 months, every year or every 2 years as preventative maintenance. The most common are every 6-12 months.

Is There Anything Else I Can Do to Prevent Roots in My Sewer Line?

Yes, but you will need to determine what the best option for you will be. Other options include: Removing the culprit tree, using a non-toxic product such as RootX®, or replacing your sewer line with a non-porous product.

We suggest drain cleaning with a bladed machine and the application of RootX for the least environmental and financial impact.

How Do Roots Get in My Sewer Line and Why Should I Clean Them Out?

Most sewer lines in Denver and surrounding areas are made of concrete, which is porous. Because sewer lines contain water and “fertilizer”, tree roots search for and invade the sewer line to reach this nutrition.

The roots are rather thin, but they can ball up, act as a net to catch other debris, or even break a sewer line. It’s for these reasons we suggest you clean them out. Clogs lead to sewer line back-ups and breaks are expensive to repair, messy to fix and extremely inconvenient (imagine not being able to use your bathroom for a week).

How Does Cleaning the Line Help?

Cleaning your sewer line clears any obstruction either created by the roots themselves or the collection of other debris due to them. The roots, and any additional debris are either pulled out of the line or pushed through to the main city sewer line or to the septic system.

By maintaining regular sewer cleanings, you can reduce the chance of back-ups and sewer line breaks due to root growth in the line.

Why Don’t You Jet the Sewer Line?

There are two main types of machines used for cleaning sewer lines: Water based (sometimes referred to as jetters or mini-jets), and Blade based (sometimes referred to as a snake or rooter). Water based machines use high pressure water to blast clogs from the line. They are really good for clearing grease, construction debris and other types of items that are “sitting” in the bottom of the line.

Blade based machines use a rotating blade on the end of tightly wound cable. The blades spin around the entire circumference of the sewer pipe and cut away any debris, which is why they are idea for clearing root growth. Remember, roots can grow in at any point on the sewer, so being able to clear the entire circumference is important, and the blades should be long enough to reach every spot.

If you have additional questions about sewer line preventative maintenance including cost, frequency of service, or to get scheduled, please contact our office.


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