septic lines clogged with roots!

Discussion in 'Plumbing Forum, Professional & DIY Advice, Tips & ' started by jessica269, Jan 17, 2008.

  1. jessica269

    jessica269 New Member

    Messages:
    3
    I am trying to buy some time before I replace all septic pipes. I am thinking of running a root killer through lines prefferlly a foam agent. I don't know how effective this will be or if I will have to clean out dead roots or if snaking dead roots out is going to damage my very old pipes Please help with any suggestions! Thank you
  2. Redwood

    Redwood Master Plumber

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    7,450
    Location:
    Connecticut
    If your line is clogged now you don't have time for the root killer to work. Snake the line clear and I would go with a yearly application of Root-X in the spring when trees come out of dormancy. It may buy you some time.
  3. jessica269

    jessica269 New Member

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    3
    Plumbers ran snake though but just one line of roots are out. I am trying to run cleaner though to the rest of roots. Will the dead roots drain themself or do I have to snake them out?
  4. jadnashua

    jadnashua Retired Defense Industry Engineer xxx

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    21,990
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    New England
    The root treatment helps prevents new shoots from forming. The roots are wood, it won't disolve them, they need to be cut out.
  5. patrick88

    patrick88 Plumber

    Messages:
    836
    Location:
    Webster Ma.
    The foaming root treatment I know of is not safe for septic. If you want time I would jet out the lines.
  6. To prevent root "hairballs" in septic drainfield lines, I've flushed a couple of cups of copper sulphate crystals down about three times a year for prevention in our 30-year-old drainfield that has a lot of shrubbery and trees planted on or near it. Never had any problems.
    However, one that already has a lot of roots in it is another story.
    Mike
  7. Redwood

    Redwood Master Plumber

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    7,450
    Location:
    Connecticut

    http://www.rootx.com/homeowners/
  8. jessica269

    jessica269 New Member

    Messages:
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    Thank you so much for all of your suggestions. I found out some new things when I investigated this problem. In certain citys the city will come out and camera your line to make sure the roots are not coming from the main sewer line and if so the city will replace all lines! After all this is done I will be doing some preventative things to insure this does not happen again. Hey this is my first home purchase so I am learning new things all the time. Thanks Jessica
  9. City?
    Is your new home on a private septic system or on a public sewer system?
    Your use of the term "septic lines" have some of us believing that your home is on a septic system, not on a city sewer system.
    Septic system drainfield lines have holes in them to drain waste water only into the ground, after the sludge and solids get "trapped" inside the septic tank. Roots can get into those holes.
    Segmented drain lines, such as cast iron (going to a public sewer system or a septic system) can get roots into them where the segments meet.
    Roots can be "roto-rootered" (cut off inside the pipe with a rotating-head root cutter tool ) and flushed out of segmented drain lines, but septic drainfield lines are dead-ended into the ground.
    Roto-rootering will only last a year ot two, and then the roots will come back in a segmented line. Replacement of the segmented drain line, preferably with white plastic PVC or black plastic ABS which have "glued" joints that will not allow roots in, is the only permanent solution for segmented lines with a root problem.
    Septic system lines can also be roto-rootered from the distribution box or rom a connection line fromt he d-box for the drainfield feeder lines (both have to be dug up, but they're usually not deep). However, most of the roto-rootred roots will end up at the dead-end of the drain lines. Around here, we don't even do that with plugged drainfield lines. We just go ahead and replace them with new perforated lines in sleeves that help prevent dirt and roots from entering the lines.
    Mike
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