Roots in my sewer line, how to prevent?

A couple of weeks ago we had sewage coming up our floor drain pipe in the basement. Called the sewer department and they ran a camera thing in the pipe from the manhole. They told me that roots were blocking the drain and it wasn't there problem and I needed to call a plumber. They did put a stake in the ground where the obstruction was. Of course I couldn't get a plumber to come out the same day and of course I wanted it taken care of that day. I ended up calling Roto Rooter and they did come the same day and fixed it for me. The sewer department said my clay pipe didn't look to have a crack in it or a hole and the Roto Rooter guy said my pipe felt smooth (what ever that means) and the roots were most likely coming in a joint. He did tell me that now that the roots have started coming in I would most likely have to get this done yearly. This was a long way to get here, but one of my neighbors told me that putting rock salt in the toilet once a month and of course flushing it could stop this. He said this has worked for him. Has anyone tried this? Does this work? Thanks Margo
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They cleared the obstruction, they did not fix it.

Unless you fix it. Rototill does not really want you to fix it because they will make money every year if you don't.

It may or may not, it also may or may not be against local code.

You really need to fix it. If it did not have a hole or crack and if the joints were tight, it will not have a problem. You really need to have it properly repaired, which will likely mean digging and replacing it.
Another alternative is to remove all plants including trees in the area that might cause problems (note the tree roots may continue to be a problem for some time after the tree is removed.
--
Joseph E. Meehan

26 + 6 = 1 It's Irish Math
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in my experience you will never fix the problem. trees and plants like water there is water in the pipe and they will go after it. Clay pipe will sweat in when wet, even in the ground. You might try redirect the plants in question by drilling 2" holes in the ground, then line with thin wall pvc, say 5 feet deep, away from the line like 10 feet or more but with in the drip line of the plants. Then water these pipes and try to draw the roots away from the source of your problems. I did this with a tree, worked until it died of city canker. Having roto come out once a year, does not sound so bad unless your really into xerioscapes.
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I own a couple of apartment buildings, and in one I was having the same problem a while back. Drains backed up and tree roots were found to be the problem by the plumber. The plumber suggested getting them in every year and clearing the drains out which we have done. They also suggest either replacing the drain ($6000+) or getting a liner put in and moulded to the drain with steam. A slightly better option ($2000+). Anyway, back to your problem, I found a product in our local Home Depot (in Ontario), this stuff comes from the States and a few poeple have mentioned to me that they use it and it works. Time will tell of course. It is copper sulphate that you put down the drains every 6 months. It is guaranteed to kill the roots and then they rot and fall away. As you may or may not know, plant life and copper don't like each other so hence from our point it is perfect. The product is called Root Clear and the company has a web site. http://www.ironout.com/products/drain_septic/root_clear.html (for the product) and www.ironout.com for the home site. Just remember that this is more of a preventative treatment as once the drains are clogged with roots this is too late as it takes a while to do its job. Rob

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WELL
i have this problem too, same pipe, etc
for 10-15 years now
get roots maybe every 6-18 months
and used to get the rooter guy
but finally started renting the machine and can get it done in less than 2 hours inc pu and cleaning for less than $40
so at that rate a year i would have to live here for 100 years to equate to a $4000 sewer dig up
also tried the copper sulfate? ehh not sure it did anything and the roebic stuff, that lasted the longest but after 18 mths it also let the roots in
your best solution might be to buy a 50 foot rooter from harbor freight, just saw them at $179 and diy
pays for itself in two calls to the rooter guy
my problem is 70 feet down so??
the rental store is my ans
hope this helps
bill
On Fri, 09 Jan 2004 13:29:06 GMT, snipped-for-privacy@removeeeyahoo.com wrote:

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Options:
1. Replace the sewer line from the house to the city. Ck local codes on what to install. Can be expensive but you won't have the problem again if you use a sealed pipe like PVC or HDPE. There are other options then just digging up the pipe. Blow in liner or trenchless pipe replacement. Get a good plumber
2. Spot repair.. Dig up the bad spot and replace that section. With clay pipe the chances are you will get another root intrusion some other place in the future.. they like that sewer water!
3. Root treatment - there are a number to chose from .. Copper Sulphate is an every 6 mo or so treatment and you might have to call the Roto-Rooter guy back every couple of years. There is other products like Rootx that are foam that seem to get a better line coat.
Randy "Ask The Plumber"
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The digging up and repairing is not a financial option at this time.
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