Tree roots in drain pipes - persistent problem?

Page 1 of 2  
X-No-Archive:
For longer than I care to remember, I've been getting drainage problems because of tree/plant roots growing into my drain pipes every few months or so. I have become well familiar with the issue. If the problem isn't too bad, I usually pour a few scoops of Root Rid (Copper Sulfate) crystals into the drain, last thing at night. If the root problem is more serious, I get a plumber to clear the drains with one of those roto tools. This clears out the roots thoroughly and the drains are cleared. I then keep up the Root Rid treatment for a few more weeks. The problem is the roots grow back later. I've been dealing with this problem for years and years, and I've had enough. I want to know if there is anything that is EXTREMELY toxic to tree/plant roots. I don't just want to use a chemical that will repel them from growing in the drains - no. Rather I want to use something that will kill the offending tree/plant, or poison it as thoroughly as possible. What is the equivalent of "cyanide" for a tree or plant that I can put into my drains last thing at night? The bottom line is I don't just want to repel the roots, I want to thoroughly poison the tree.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

I've heard a few people put a 50 pound bag of rock salt in their wash tub and let it dissolve and go down the drain. Supposed to take care of the problem. Never tried it myself.
Killing the tree may cause other problems since it is a very slow process. Eventually the tree weakens and may fall on your car or house. Best to cut it down first and kill the rest.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

I suppose that's okay for someone on city sewage but couldn't be to good for a septic system.

Yep, if tree roots are growing into a drainage system the best approach is to remove the offending trees.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
I have lived peacefully for over 12 years with roots in my terracota sewer line. every joint but one has roots, even under home, some 100 feet needing replacement:( at a cost of 10 grand or more:(
first do not kill the tree, if thats what you want fine, but have it cut down. dont kill it, much bigger hazard and needs cut down anyway. tree climbers charge more for dying trees, because of the greater hazard...........
worse roots can go twice or 3 times the drip linew of the tree, you might kill a neighbors prized tree
rock salt is my friend, 25 pound bag used perhaps 5 or 6 times a year. cost under 20 bucks a year
start about now, in late winter when maximum root growth occurs. i dumb in wash tub before going out for day. dissolve most and leave for day the longer the better. our washing machine dumps in tub so it dissolves the balance
the salt kills the roots but doesnt harm the trees.
$10,000 divided by 20 bucks a year:) Lets just say its free..........
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
Does your homeowner's insurance company know about your old sewer line needing to be replaced, and that part of the sewage empties into a gravel pit under your house? :-)

Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

no but the trouble occured after we bought the home..............
so its grandfathered in
besides it cant cause a insurance loss
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

if the sewer completely backed up, it will run out the garage door and down the street. cant get much sewage in basement.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
Gas Bag wrote:

An alternative is a plastic pipe liner. Impervious to roots.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
X-No-Archive:
As much as I'd love to cut down the tree (years ago)......not an option. Well, not at the moment anyway. Same as plastic pipe liner for the drains. Not a viable option at the moment. Sounds like a good idea though.
That "big bag of rock salt" option seems a reasonable idea. Might look into that. If you can give me some feedback on it, I'd really appreciate it. Also, I am thinking about buying some Round Up and pouring a little bit into the drain last thing at night, and keeping it up for a while.
The bottom line is that tipping some sort of chemical into the drain is the only option at the moment.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
Why, its not your tree is it?
--
Sincerely,
John A. Keslick, Jr.
  Click to see the full signature.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

Round up only acts on the leaves and specifically is designed to degrade when it hits the soil.
Also may be a federal offence.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
wrote:

One could end up in the Witless Protection Program.
Oren --
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
Gas Bag wrote:

Okay... If you know here the blockage is - or can find out - dig up the pipe and repair the crack.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

PVC line is unlikely to crack or get root troubles.
terracota pipe is the most likely, and with joints every 3 feet, trust me roots are everywhere./
rock salt can easily control the roots
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
On 2/10/2008 5:27 PM, snipped-for-privacy@aol.com wrote:

If the drain is leaking -- most likely if roots have invaded it -- salt will also leak, poisoning the soil near the drain line. You will kill more than just a few tree roots.
--
David E. Ross
Climate: California Mediterranean
  Click to see the full signature.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
On 2/9/2008 4:16 PM, HeyBub wrote:

This is also my recommendation. Your problem indicates that there is a break or separated joint in your drain line. It doesn't take a tree to clog it. Any plant, even annuals, can cause problems.
--
David E. Ross
Climate: California Mediterranean
  Click to see the full signature.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
A chain saw!
--
Sincerely,
John A. Keslick, Jr.
  Click to see the full signature.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
On Sat, 9 Feb 2008 19:49:44 -0500, "symplastless"

A real prisoner chain gang! Dig it up, carry down the road and bury it :-\\
Oren --
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

Neither a forester, biologist, arborist, or tree expert. This man is a fraud.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

Given the presistence of the problem, your drain line is likely shot. How old is it?
Roots follow the water. Therefore, there are leaks, and cracks in the line that the roots can attack. In the worst cases, there is no more pipe -- just a hole in the dirt where the pipe used to be.
Chances are you're going to have to replace that line sooner or later. Ouch!
--
|~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~|
| Malcolm Hoar "The more I practice, the luckier I get". |
  Click to see the full signature.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

Related Threads

    HomeOwnersHub.com is a website for homeowners and building and maintenance pros. It is not affiliated with any of the manufacturers or service providers discussed here. All logos and trade names are the property of their respective owners.