Keeping Roots Out of Your Drain Pipes
May 30, 2022
When you think about plumbing problems, you probably think of hair clogging the shower drain or toilet paper blocking the flush pipes. What you may not know is that tree roots can also do a lot of damage to your plumbing system. Root structures are very strong and can be quite a hassle to deal with on your own.
In order to avoid this problem, it’s good to know how to keep roots from damaging your drain pipes. In this blog, we’re going to discuss how roots clog up our plumbing systems and how to fix it. We’ll also talk about a couple of ways of preventing root infiltration.
How Roots Cause Damage?
Tree roots are strong enough to break through any sort of structural weakness in your pipes. This could be dents in your PVC pipes, corrosion in your steel pipes and softened walls in older clay pipes. In some cases, roots can also penetrate through poorly installed joints and seals.
Once a root breaks through, it can continue to grow until the flow is completely blocked. Root growth can also cause more cracks in your piping system, leading to leaks and other plumbing problems. This can be a huge concern to most homeowners as, according to Goulburn Valley Water in Victoria, the cost of damage to pipes can be extremely high.
Because of the amount of damage tree roots can cause, it’s important to understand how to prevent this problem and what to do when it does occur.
How To Get Rid of Tree Roots?
If your pipes have already been infiltrated by roots, there are few things that you can do to clear the blockage.
Cutting is perhaps one of the simplest ways of getting rid of tree roots. To do this, you will need a mechanical drain auger. An auger is essentially a large drain snake that has a drill-like head on one end. This head will rotate as it makes its way through the pipe, cutting up roots and other types of debris in the process.
One downside of this method is that the roots will eventually grow into the pipes again.
- Chemical removal
There are also various chemical products that are designed to kill the roots clogging your pipes. Copper sulphate treatments are quite popular. However, in some cases, this solution can erode lighter metals and cause all sorts of plumbing damage.
Foaming root killers are considered to be safer in comparison. They contain the organic compound dichlobenil and usually produce faster results than copper sulphate products.
- Hydro jetting
If you don’t want to handle chemicals, you can also use a hydro jetter. A hydro jetter is a device that produces pressurized water and feeds it through the pipes. The pressure will be able to clear the roots and allow proper sewage flow.
- Call plumbing services
The best way to handle any major plumbing problem is to call a professional blocked drain plumber. Though the methods discussed above might seem simple enough, one amateur mistake can actually cause even more damage to your pipes.
Incorrectly using augers can damage the piping material and using the wrong chemical can cause plumbing and even personal health issues.
To avoid this, it’s best to call plumbing services so that you can get the problem diagnosed and fixed properly.
How To Prevent Roots from Infiltrating?
As mentioned before, structural weakness is one of the more common causes of root infiltration. Because of this, it’s important that you have a professional plumber inspect your plumbing system every two to three years. Regular inspections will allow you to identify and fix any piping issues before they become a major problem. It will also give the plumbers a chance to identify any joints that have been improperly installed or seals that need to be replaced.
It can also help to install a root barrier into the ground to prevent the roots from reaching your pipes in the first place. Most root barriers nowadays are made of plastic and will confine the roots into a smaller local area.
Our plumbing systems are a crucial part of our daily lives and should be treated with care. As such, if you have any questions or concerns about root infiltration, you should speak to a qualified plumber. Don’t leave it to the last minute. It’s best to catch a plumbing problem early on before it becomes a serious issue.