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Old 03-24-2008, 11:10 AM   #1
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Tree roots in Sewer


There is a big tree on the sidewalk in front of our house and it's roots broke into the sewer line a few years ago, every year we have to get a guy to snake, cut and get rid of the roots, someone told me that there are various chemicals available at home depot which we can place into the sewer and it will kill the roots, when I inquired at Home depot, I was told that there is no such thing. Can anyone here confirm this, if there are chemicals I can use to kill the roots, what are they please?
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Old 03-24-2008, 03:03 PM   #2
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You have three options.
1. Replace the sewer line with plastic
2. Get rid of the tree
3. Keep having it rotor-routed
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Old 03-24-2008, 04:39 PM   #3
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some people used to use copper sulfate crystals, i don't know what the environmental impact is though, I'm sure there's some off-the-shelf stuff, you need to just google it... read this

http://www.metrowastewater.com/docum...ews_020504.pdf

you can rent a snake and cut the roots yearly yourself for $50 or so. That is, if you don't want to get rid of the tree. I'm sure there's some long-term problems that may surface though.
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Old 03-24-2008, 06:24 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mikehende View Post
...broke into the sewer line a few years ago...
what is the sewer line made of ?
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Old 03-24-2008, 06:25 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by amakarevic View Post
what is the sewer line made of ?
My money is on cast iron, possibly clay, or asbestos.
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Old 03-24-2008, 06:45 PM   #6
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Yeah, I would say cast iron.
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Old 03-24-2008, 08:34 PM   #7
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[quote=mikehende;110320]There is a big tree on the sidewalk in front of our house and it's roots broke into the sewer line a few years ago, /quote]

Just a technicality, but tree roots cannot "penetrate" any pipe. They get into pipes by finding and taking advantage of a broken joint or crack in the pipe wall itself. That is why old clay and cast iron pipes are so vulnurable.
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Old 03-25-2008, 05:21 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by john442 View Post
some people used to use copper sulfate crystals, i don't know what the environmental impact is though, I'm sure there's some off-the-shelf stuff, you need to just google it... read this

http://www.metrowastewater.com/docum...ews_020504.pdf

you can rent a snake and cut the roots yearly yourself for $50 or so. That is, if you don't want to get rid of the tree. I'm sure there's some long-term problems that may surface though.
Thanks for the link, will look into those 2products.
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Old 12-08-2018, 09:50 AM   #9
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Dealing with tree problems and plumbing can require a number of sometimes conflicting calculations.

I agree that the roots penetrate joints or cracks in the pipe not the pipe itself. I know at least two people who solved their problem by installing plastic pipe with glued instead of fitted joints. Sometimes pipes like that can crack too though.

Often the trouble tree is appreciated for shade, etc but sometimes people get rid of theirs. That won’t always solve the problem if there’s a lot of rooty trees like poplars or willows nearby. Such a tree in a neighbor’s yard can invade your sewer line.

If snaking the sewer line requires a long and expensive snake, it might be worth considering the installation of a cleanout entrance to the pipe like the ones on a house.
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