I Have 99 Problems, but a Drain Isn’t One
As a homeowner, you probably think a clogged drain is just that; a slow running drain or just a gurgling that needs to be cleared. You pour Drain-O down your pipes, hoping it clears up. It may for a day, week, month or year, but sure enough it’s back. The cycle repeats. Your pipes are buried. As a homeowner, you may not know what is going on beneath your soil. That drain that keeps clogging may be a symptom of something else and something much bigger. This could be a symptom of roots in your drain.
A tree brings in 40,000 gallons of water in one year from the soil. If the tree cannot find the soil easily, the tree roots then search for water. Over the years the ground shifts and settles. This shifting can cause a crack in your drain pipe. The tree root finds the crack and slowly moves into that space seeking out water. The water inside your piping is rich in minerals and other nutrients that the tree needs. Over time, it invades your drain piping causing the drains in your home to back up.
Older homes have clay pipes beneath their soil. The clay piping expands and contracts with natures variances. This allows the tree root to put pressure on the piping. The newer homes (or if your home has had the drain line replaced in recent years) use PVC piping. When the pipe cracks, it is usually difficult to remove just a section of the piping. As a result, this can be quite an expense for homeowners.
To help minimize the risk of tree roots invading your home’s drain system, a common resource is Copper Sulfate. This is an inexpensive compound that can be found from most drug stores and garden centers. You place the sulfate in a ½ cup of water and pour the mixture down the toilet. This should never be poured down your drains; it can ruin your plumbing. The sulfate will not kill or hurt the plants it is affecting.
As a homeowner, you should be aware of your laterals. This just means where your trees lay on your property. Your trees should never be located less than 10’ from your sewer line to minimize intrusions. You should have your sewer laterals regularly cleaned.
Think you have roots?
The only way to tell if the constant drain issue is related to roots is to have a plumbing technician come to your home. The technician can use a camera that is on a long snake and camera your line. This will give a better visual as to how severe the situation may be and where it begins. Could it be a crack in the piping or do you have roots? Having a licensed technician investigate the main drain will allow the homeowner to gain a clear perspective over what needs to be done.
Here at Papalia Plumbing & Heating, Inc., our techs are extensively trained on these exact situations. They can advise you on your options and guide you to results. Call Papalia today to inspect your home. 978.897.1701