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  • Feb 28, 2011, 07:04 AM
    Tree Roots in Sewer Line
    How can I kill tree roots in our sewer line? I don't want to use the copper sulfate products or foaming dichlobenil products the hardware store sells. I understand copper is hard for the water treatment plant to remove, and the diclob is a possible carcinogen.
    Someone told me just cutting the roots with Roto Rooter makes them grow back faster.
    Somewhere I read that table salt or rock salt might work. This is a recurring problem for us.
  • Feb 28, 2011, 08:10 AM
    How long is your sewer line? You might spend less in the long run if you excavate the entire trench and replace the pipe with PVC. If you already have roots in the line, you also have debris, leaks, and possible breaks.
  • Feb 28, 2011, 08:27 AM

    I agree with joy, you are past the point where this would help. The salt would serve to kill the tree, is that what you want? If roots are inside your line you already have a breach so repair or replacemnet is the correct approach. Otherwise you will have "a recurring problem for us"
  • Feb 28, 2011, 10:37 AM

    Hi Jwilkins...

    If you are unsure of the next step I would recommend that you get a drain company out to take a video of your drain line. It can be anywhere from $100 to $300 depending on where you live, but it can show you the extent and the exact location of damage to the drain pipes. Most companies provide a DVD with linear footage included in the video.

    Once you know the extent of the damage you can look into digging the area(s) up and replacing the pipe or you may be interested in RELINING the drain line.

    Care to discuss more? Let us know, OK?

  • Mar 1, 2011, 03:36 AM
    I'm located in Long Island, NY. I had the same problem. There is a very good chance that the only option you will have is excavate and replace as Joy suggested.
    In my case, the tree was tagged by the county 2 or 3 yrs prior (according to the past owner. I called the county and asked if I can have the tree removed and they said that since the tree was on the street side of the sidewalk that it is county property and there will be a $500 fine if tampered with.
    So I shot back stating that if it was county property than they are responsible for my clogged drainage.
    Here is where it gets good.. The person responded with "No. The county owns the tree and the property owner owns the roots". Hummm... Go figure.
    The outcome/ I excavated and replaced the pipe with cpvc (green) plastic pipe. I was lucky. The pipe was only 2' deep and the pipe was clay pipe so I smacked it with my hammer and removed the clogged section which was 5-6 feet long clogged solid.
    You should just bite the bullet and do it. It's really not complicated.

    Good Luck.
  • Mar 1, 2011, 06:27 AM
    Milo Dolezal

    It is almost impossible to get rid of roots completely. They always grow back. If the money is tight, you can control the root growth by snaking your main periodically, like 1x every six months or so. Otherwise, and as suggested above, the best way solving your problem is to either replace entire sewer pipe or reline.

    Replacing sewer line is all about labor. The actual plumbing is small part of the job. Relining requires special machinery and knowledge and has to be done by trained professional...
  • Mar 4, 2011, 05:12 PM
    Unexpected sewer replacement problems along with a need to repair can cause an array of inconveniences in the household. What will be first action to take?
  • Mar 4, 2011, 06:53 PM
    Comment on jrk7490's post
    Funny story about the county

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