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Basic Repairs for Moms


How to Remove Roots from Your Drain Pipes

The drains in your home can be susceptible to clogging from a variety of substances. However, tree roots are probably not your first suspect as to the cause for a plugged drain. While less frequent in today's modern plumbing, it is not improbable for roots to grow into your pipes.

The History of Rooter Services

The roto-rooter was originally invented as a means for removing roots from pipes that were made of iron or clay. In those days, roots commonly grew into pipes when the seals between two joining pipes became loose from shifting ground. They were the main cause of clogged plumbing because the pipes were easily penetrable and the roots flourished in the dark, damp environment inside the pipe.

From this invention, rooter service developed into drain cleaning that is able to unclog pipes for a variety of reasons. They use plumbing snakes to unclog the drain or dismantle pipes, if necessary, to manually remove the cause of the plug. Today, roots do not pose as big a problem to your pipes, but there are still some instances that rooter services are needed to actually remove roots.

Removing the Roots

You may first notice that there is a problem with your drains when the flow of water decreases. If you have roots inside your pipes and they are left untreated, they will grow and fill the pipe. This will prevent the passage of toilet paper, grease, food particles, and other debris in your drains from reaching the main sewer. The result in your home will be slow draining that could develop into a complete blockage.

A drain cleaning service can use a roto-rooter to effectively remove the roots that have grown into cast iron, plastic, or clay pipes. However, if the walls of your pipes are thin, such as those made out of corrugated iron, a roto-rooter cannot be used because it is likely to damage the pipe. Generally, the more tightly your pipes are fitted together and the fewer joints there are, the less likely a root intrusion will occur in the first place. Clay tile pipes are the most susceptible to root intrusion but roots could also enter concrete pipes and PVC pipes.

Keeping Your Pipes Root-Free

If roots grow into your drains once, you will have to continue to de-root your drains frequently. This is because the root is still in between the joint where the two pipes meet. As the root grows larger each year, it will put more pressure on the joint and it could eventually break the pipe. When this happens, dirt from outside the pipe will start entering the system.

Having your pipes inspected with a camera could give you greater insight to the extent of the root growth and damage to the pipes. Ultimately, however, there will come a time when the pipes will need to be replaced.

To prevent roots from growing back, you can flush chemical products that are specifically designed to kill the roots down your drains. The chemicals will only kill the roots in your pipes and should not harm the rest of tree.

If your drains seem clogged, do not hesitate to call a rooter service such as Guaranteed Rooter Service to have the problem inspected. They can effectively take care of the roots in your system (or any other culprit that may be plugging your drains). Removing the root intrusion can prolong the life of your pipes, but eventually the root will win and the pipes will need to be replaced.

About Me

Basic Repairs for Moms

Hi, my name is Annie Sullivan. I'm a stay-at-home mom with four kids between the ages of 1 and 7. Two of them are twins: they're 3. Let me tell you--you learn a lot as a mom that you would never expect! Not only am I chef, chauffeur, teacher, and caretaker, but I also have become an amateur repair man, plumber, and construction worker. I do more heavy lifting and repair work than I ever imagined. Do you know how many Barbies can fit down a toilet drain? It's quite surprising. Do you know how to get them out? I do. I've learned a lot of this just through trial and error--and the internet. I also had my husband teach me some tricks, since I usually can't wait until he gets home to solve the problem. Hopefully you other moms out there can learn something from this site!