preparing for plumbing emergencies
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preparing for plumbing emergencies

Do you have a plumbing repair kit in your home to make emergency repairs quickly? Having everything you need in one bucket or box can help you eliminate some of the stress that comes with plumbing emergencies. On this blog, you will find out what you should have in your kit and some basic tips about making these repairs to avoid further damage to your home. It is my hope that you will find more than enough information to keep your home dry, your drains draining, and a peace of mind and lack of stress to tackle these dreaded household occurrences.

preparing for plumbing emergencies

Understanding How A Drain Pipe Root Issue Is Found, Investigated, And Repaired

Veronica Torres

If the drainage is sluggish in your home, then it is probably quite difficult to take a shower, do dishes, and complete a load of laundry with water backing up. Fortunately, most drain lines can be quickly cleared of debris with the assistance of a plumber and a drain cleaning. However, the drain cleaning may reveal that there is a much larger issue in your main drain line. Keep reading to learn about how the cleaning can reveal tree roots in the drain pipe, and then find out how your plumber will further investigate and fix the issue. 

Wood Chips on Drain Snake

Most plumbers will use drain snakes to remove clogs, and the heavy duty varieties are often needed for major drain lines like the one that leads out to your town sewage pipe. Typically, a device called a drain machine or a drum rooter will be used that releases a snake that is three-fourths or five-eighths of an inch thick. The line can reach as far as 100 feet through the pipe as well. Usually, an open wound type of end will be used to try to force the clog to break up. If this does not work, then a sharper device that is similar to a drill bit will be used. When this type of end is needed, it signifies that there is an extremely hard and immovable object within the drain. If the sharp snake end looks as though it is covered in bits of wood, then it is likely that this object is a tree root that has grown through the drainage line. 

Investigating the Problem

Your plumber will need to determine with certainty if the main drain pipe has been clogged by tree roots. The professional will look for trees on your property near the main drain line that are known to grow long and deep root structures. White oak, walnut, sycamore, cottonwood, poplar, and evergreen figs are a few examples of these types of trees. The plumber will then investigate the drain pipe itself with a camera inspection that involves the use of a waterproof camera and a fiber optic cord. This cord is attached to an LCD monitor and shows the plumber the inside of the drain line as the camera moves through the pipe. Typically, the plumber will use the clean-out pipe that sits outside your house or in your basement when using the camera since the fiber optic cord is not usually as long as the original snake that was used to clean the drain pipe.

As the camera reaches the original clog area, the plumber will look for small tap roots that still sit in the drainage pipe. The openings where the roots forced their way into the pipe are located too.

Fixing the Issue

If the drainage issue does not look severe and there are few roots and small holes in the drain pipe, then the plumber may suggest regularly scheduled drain cleanings with high pressure water or root saw devices to trim roots as they grow. This process may need to be completed every few months, because tree roots are attracted to the water and nutrients that are abundant in sewage drain lines. Tree trimming can help to reduce the need for the cleanings, because tree root growth is dependent on the food and water needs of the tree. Trimming will reduce these needs, and roots will then stop spreading out or growing.

If cleanings need to be performed too often, if the break in the drain line is too big, or if the roots cannot be removed, then your plumber will likely suggest the placement of a new or replacement drainage pipe. In many cases, the old line can be left in place, and a new one will be secured in the earth in a location that is free of tree roots. Once this new line is attached to the main sewer system, it will be attached to the old drainage line near your home so that the entire clog, break, and tree root area can be avoided. For more information, contact a business such as Jim Dhamer Plumbing & Sewer, Inc.