Plumbing tips from A1 Choice Plumbers in Kelowna & West Kelowna
Tree root intrusion into sewer lines is an amazingly common problem. Tree roots naturally seek out the best source of moisture and are attracted to the limitless supply of wastewater found in sewer lines. Roots enter through any joints or gaps in between pipes. As they draw moisture from the sewer line, these roots not only multiply but expand – which over time leads to structural decay of the pipe and eventual collapse. Contrary to popular belief however, there are ways of permanently solving the problem without cutting down the tree.
Why Do Roots Do This?
Tree and bush roots require oxygen to grow and are attracted to the water vapor leaving your sewer pipes. Because they thrive in warm, moist places, the nutrient-rich area inside sewers and sewer pipes is an ideal place for them to grow and thrive. Once these roots sense the presence of water vapor leaving the pipe, the search is on. They pursue the vapor to the moisture source through loose joints or cracks in the sewer pipe, and widen these gaps as they grow.
Pipes most prone to infiltration by roots are made of clay. Cast iron pipes are much less likely to suffer this kind of damage. Once the roots have moved into the pipe, they often grow into many points, not merely one spot. Hair roots, once small and fine, will develop into large roots that eventually break open the pipe. If they grow large enough to fully block the pipe, it can be incredibly difficult to dislodge the root or kill it with chemical treatments, so early detection is essential.
What to do if you Suspect you have a Tree Root in your Pipes?
You may have noticed slow drainage in your home and/or a ‘gurgling’ sound in your pipes, which when combined with a property that has one large or several small trees on it (that are close to your plumbing piping) can mean root-clogged pipe(s). Should this be the case then you need to contact a professional immediately. If you are simply concerned that your trees’ roots could one day grow into the plumbing then consider a yearly inspection.
If you suspect that your tree roots that have grown into the plumbing then you need to begin by examining the trees on either side of your plumbing pipes, up to 10 feet on either side. Do some research on how big and quickly the roots of that specific type of tree can grow. If you believe that the roots were attracted to the water emitted from a crack in the piping (often caused by pipes freezing in the winter) then you will need to confirm the diagnosis with a camera-pipe inspection from a professional plumber.
Once a professional plumber has confirmed that you indeed have tree roots in your plumbing then you will need to active immediately we have them removed, and then, moving forward, practice preventative maintenance (like replacing large-root-growing trees with slower-root-growth varieties).
How we can fix it:
There are several ways to make sure roots don’t destroy your sewer system. The trenchless repair method of pipe lining, also known as Cured-In-Place-Piping (CIPP) or lateral lining, is most effective. We begin by inspecting the damaged pipe. Once inspected, the pipe-liner material will be measured and cut exactly to the size of the original. Then, the epoxy resin is poured into the liner. Now the pipe-liner is ready to be inserted into the pipe using a process called air pressure inversion, where the pipe-liner turns inside out, causing the resin to bond with the existing pipe. After three hours of dry time, the pipe is ready for service.
Hydro Jetting may also be used to clean your pipes. This process removes all grease, tree roots, and everyday materials by using high speed and pressure water. Using a heavy-duty power nozzle and operating at 4,000 psi (pounds per square inch), this method destroys all blockages, leaving your pipes clear and working like new. Hydro Jetting is also a great preventative measure for blockages in your piping, in fact, most commercial businesses schedule routine hydro jetting maintenance.