Roots in sewer

I have a recurring problem which has cost me two plumber visits per year each year since I left the home to tenants. Just outside the basement wall about four feet beyond the cleanout the pipe has a joint which appears to be a bell type joint. Roots grow through there and clog the pipe causing overflow damage to the 60 year old house. When I was close to home I would open up the cleanout and use a curtain rod bent like a J to cut the roots and pull the clog out. The roots seem to be coming in 360 degrees of the pipe and it would seem if I could get the tenants to pour in copper sulphate or some such, it would only get the roots on the bottom part of the pipe. Is there any service or product available that could correct this or is excavation necessary, which would be under concrete steps. Many TIA, Doug
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you really should think about replacement.
Replace the whole thing while you are at it if it is cost effective
Remember you can ditch that old pipe and run a new one somewhere else Just move a few feet over from the steps, dig there.
Look at the plumbing and how much room you have to redirect it while maintaining pitch.

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If removal of the offending tree is not an option, I would also suggest excavation. You may want to have the line video inspected to see if there is damage / intrusions anywhere else. If the rest of the line is in good condition, you may consider excavating a *safe* bell-hole and redoing that one joint. However, this will probably only be a temporary fix at best, and you would be digging it up again in 5 - 10 years. There are also systems available that will pull a new liner through your existing line that you may wish to investigate. Be aware that this procedure will cost considerably more than digging down and replacing your existing line. The only benefit would be that you don't have to dig the entire yard, just a small hole at each end. As far as the steps go, they're probably "poured in place" and can be moved out of the way with a backhoe, and either repositioned after or replaced with a precast model.
Aside from that, you should find out what the plumber is using for a cutting tool on the drain cleaner he's using. Generally, if the correct tool is used, it should take a couple of years for the roots to grow back (at least that's what we find in Alberta). For more information on drain cleaning tools, go to the Ridgid Tool website. Perhaps if you were only hiring a plumber every year or two, you may be less inclined to dig up your yard?
Best of luck,
Dean

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Thank you both Mr Flanders and the Wigmores for giving me more options than I had thought of and ideas that I had not heard of anywhere else. I figured that by asking this question to a forum such as this would be a good step to be better informed when I talk to a plumber and you have gone out of your way to take the time to help. I regard your responses as making this a better world to live among. And as I was reading over the other posts I found a page about slot car racing. We had a neighborhood track in the basement where the pipe in my question is and I enjoyed finding out my old hobby is still alive. Thanks all. Doug-NJ
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plumbers are just better people.
We keep the nation healthy.

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