Your beautifully landscaped yard could be hiding a ticking time bomb underneath it. Invasive root systems from trees and bushes pose a big problem for your plumbing pipes, and it's only a matter of time before the issue raises its ugly head. Read on to learn more about taming those invasions and protecting your plumbing pipes.
Understand the Danger
The main plumbing line that carries your waste to the street pipe system is vulnerable. It seems that roots are just naturally drawn towards this important passage, mostly due to tiny leaks that attract them. The roots, over time, will actually invade the pipe and totally block the outflow of sewage from your home to the main street line. In most locations, you are responsible for keeping this pipe free of clogs, not the city. The roots are not alone to blame for the clog, but they contribute their part by trapping toilet paper, oil, hair, and other unpleasant objects which eventually clog the pipe.
The waste from your toilets, sinks, washing machine, dishwasher, tubs, and showers flows into one pipe under your home, called the lateral pipe. The first signs of problems with this pipe often comes in the form of strange gurgling sounds and a slow-to-empty toilet when flushed. The problems with this clogged pipe will only continue to worsen, and will ultimately demand your attention when raw sewage begins to "back up" into the drains and toilets in your home. This is definitely a nasty wake-up call to take action.
Call the Plumber
Some minor plumbing issues can be addressed by a savvy do-it-yourselfer, but this is not one of those issues. Professional plumbers have access to the specialized equipment needed to locate the clog, evaluate the problem and make the repair. Sometimes a tiny camera is used to inspect the area and the ground above the pipe is opened up. A combination of root sawing and high-pressure flushing may be enough to remove the clog. For more serious invasions, the damaged pipe may need to be removed and replaced.
Prevent the Invasion
Begin by pinpointing the exact location of the lateral pipe. Your local utility may be able to assist with this.
Remove bushes and trees that are anywhere near the pipe.
Search out plants that have less-aggressive roots.
This irritating plumbing problem is preventable with wise planting practices and quick action by a professional plumber. Contact a local plumber at the first sign of trouble and nip the root problem in the bud. Companies like Angeles Plumbing may be able to help.