This article will address the pros and cons of chemical tree root killer and when it’s time to call a plumber for clay pipes clogged by tree roots. In Northeast Ohio a great choice is Reliable Contractor Services. If you own an older home, there’s a good chance you will eventually have to deal with tree roots invading your clay sewer pipes. This can be an especially common problem during long periods of drought, since trees are searching for sources of moisture, including water flowing through your sewer pipes. One supposed solution to this problem is pouring a chemical tree root killer down your toilet and letting it kill those roots for you. Since we are talking about your properties’ main sewer lines, a potentially expensive and difficult repair or replacement project it is wise to discuss this problem in more detail. Tree Root Killer & Sewer Pipe Clog Facts.
Finding The Root Of The Problem
First of all, it’s important to identify the cause of the sewer drain clog before just assuming it’s tree roots. If you have access to the site plans for your home, determine where your main sewer line runs toward the street and see if there are any trees growing along that path. Larger trees can have root systems that travel for many feet underground, so take that into consideration when surveying the area. Also, try to determine if your sewer lines are clay. If your home was built prior to 1970, chances are good you have clay sewer lines. If not, there’s a chance your lines are PVC, and tree roots will not be an issue. Of course, older homes may have had the lines replaced in the past, and some newer homes may have had clay lines installed despite PVC being the industry standard, so digging down to the pipe may be the only surefire way to find out that answer yourself. If you do have clay pipes and you have trees within thirty feet of your main sewer line, there’s a good chance your clog is caused by tree roots.
What are the Warning Signs of a Main Sewer Line Clog?
Various chemical root killers are available from your local hardware or plumbing supply, and all of them work on the same basic principle: the chemical is poured down a drain, most commonly the toilet, and the corrosive properties of the chemical kill the roots when it comes in contact with them in the drain pipe. Since you are working with potentially dangerous chemicals, it’s vital to read and follow the directions on the package you choose and abide by any safety precautions recommended. Not only may the chemical be harmful to your skin and eyes, it may also have potentially harmful environmental effects as well. For example, in years past, copper sulfate was used extensively to free clogs and kill roots in drains. However, this practice has been stopped because of the long-term corrosive effect this chemical has on your sewer pipes and the fact that it will kill beneficial bacteria in your septic tank, if applicable.
Knowing When To Call a Plumber
If there is any question in your mind as to whether or not tree roots are causing your clog, or whether a portion of your clay pipe may have collapsed due to the invasion of roots, you would be well served to hire a professional plumber to bring a bore scope (a drain snake with a camera at the end) and determine what’s causing the clog once and for all. A plumber will also be able to offer some other solutions that may prove more effective with less potential hazard, such as trenchless sewer line replacement of a section of pipe that has collapsed or localized removal of the roots by means of a snake and cutting head.
Even more importantly, a professional can provide you with the peace of mind of knowing you’re handling this repair as efficiently and effectively as possible, preventing another messy clog and protecting your single largest investment: your home. Ken Weaver, President of Reliable Contractor Services, states, “A video camera quickly pays for itself. “One of the things we discovered immediately was that anything we expected was usually 10 times worse. “You can show it to a homeowner and say, “We suspect you have this problem, and here it is.” If you stop roots re-entering your pipes you will save yourself the expense of having to keep clearing and maintaining them. You will also be going a long way in protecting the environment by keeping storm water out of the sewer.
Contact the Professionals at the Reliable Contractor Services
In the Cleveland, Ohio area a good choice to call is Reliable Contractor Services. We are fully licensed and insured for all of your plumbing, water, sewer and drain needs. Our technicians are clean-cut, polite, friendly, arrive on time and are background and drug tested for your peace of mind. Reliable Contractor Services provides expert Northeast Ohio residential, commercial, municipal and industrial plumbing, drainage and foundation waterproofing services. With Over 10,000 customers since 1999, we have a Better Business Bureau A+ rating and are a multiple recipient of the Angie’s List Super Service award. OH license #23730.
We also provide new technology solutions in Trenchless Pipe, Sewer Jetting Vacuum Services, and General and Hydro Excavation. 24/7 Emergency Services available. Other services include sewer cleaning and backflow devices, septic tank repair/replacement, water heaters, sump pump and PumpSpy sump pump monitoring system certified installer, video pipe inspection and high pressure jetting.
Schedule your appointment today by calling 440-324-2380 or schedule online.