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August 9, 2023

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TREE ROOT INTRUSION IN YOUR SEWER LINE SYDNEY | How To Dissolve, Clear And Repair Your Blocked Drains

Tree roots are one of the biggest causes of damage to sewage pipes.  So whether you live in a leafy suburb of Sydney or simply have one or more trees in your garden or nearby, it is important you understand the symptoms of tree roots in your sewer line and the best methods to dissolve tree roots, clear any other blockages and repair your blocked drains, so as to avoid costly plumbing repairs in the future.


How Does Your Plumbing System Work?

All of your plumbing fixtures, floorwastes, toilets, drains and pipes are connected. Together, they all drain into the biggest and most important piece of plumbing in your home, your main sewer line. These in turn drain into the Sydney Water sewer main.

Knowing what causes blockages in any part of your sewer lines and the warning signs to look out for can help prevent you from ever having to deal with major repairs to your home plumbing system.

How Do Tree Roots Infiltrate My Pipes?

If you live in the leafy, beautiful suburbs of the North Shore of Sydney, such as Wahroonga, Turramurra, St Ives, Killara and Gordon, you are probably aware of the need to keep your drains properly maintained. Tree roots have a way of infiltrating even the smallest crack or weakness in your drain pipes which can be very expensive if left untreated.

Sydney’s North Shore plumbing systems are usually buried deep underground, below a wealth of trees and vegetation. The roots will search for the water and nutrients it needs to survive. Tree roots are drawn to the water source particularly during the warmer months and the spring season.

But tree root infiltration problems are not just confined to the North Shore.  Older homes built in Sydney have sewer lines that are made from terracotta, earthenware, cast iron, or other porous piping that can crack, collapse, or corrode due to age as well as shifting or movement of the ground.

As these older sewer lines crack, collapse or corrode, it creates easy accessibility for tree roots to intrude into your sewer system, creating a blocked sewer.

What Are The 2 Ways Tree Roots Can Damage Your Drains?

There are 2 ways tree roots can cause damage to your drain system.  The first and most obvious is when they get into your system directly, known as internal root intrusion.  However, tree roots can cause damage before they even infiltrate your sewage system, referred to as external tree root damage.

What Are The 2 Ways Tree Roots Can Damage Your Drains?

Fine hair-like roots (fibrous) can enter microscopic fractures or gaps in your sewer pipes or stormwater drains if they are present. Once inside, these microscopic roots can congregate and obstruct the drain by growing into a mass. Older terracotta or earthenware pipes are prone to minor flaws like tiny fractures, which act as invitations for those root systems, resulting in serious blockages.

External Tree Root Damage

Tree roots can cause your aged plumbing system to collapse even when it has not yet been breached. As there are no drain openings or entry points, the root will instead wrap itself around your pipes. causing a pipeline to become restricted and if left untreated ultimately collapse, resulting in a blockage.

What Happens If Tree Root Damage Is Left Untreated?

Solid tree root obstructions can become major blockages if they are left untreated. Any additional debris that enters your drains will become entangled in the root system, aggravating the blocked drain. Food crumbs, hair, cat litter, coffee grounds, foreign objects, cooking oil, or even wet wipes can all be sources of contaminants. A developing root system inside your drains will cause this debris to clog sooner and more frequently than anticipated, placing even more strain on your already damaged pipes.

Solid tree root obstructions can become major blockages if they are left untreated. Any additional debris that enters your drains will become entangled in the root system, aggravating the blocked drain. Food crumbs, hair, cat litter, coffee grounds, foreign objects, cooking oil, or even wet wipes can all be sources of contaminants. A developing root system inside your drains will cause this debris to clog sooner and more frequently than anticipated, placing even more strain on your already damaged pipes.

What Is The Process For Clearing Blocked Drains Caused By Tree Roots?

While some drain cleaning and maintenance tasks can be safely performed by a homeowner, main sewer line maintenance, repair, and replacement due to root infiltration should always be performed by a certified, professional plumber. Sewer Surgeon is an expert at clearing blocked drains and repairing broken pipes having all of the latest technology available to first identify and then fix your issue. Our licensed plumber will effectively assess your blocked drains and all the signs associated with it.

CCTV INSPECTION

The first step is a non-invasive sewer and drain camera inspection which will give you a precise, quick, and in-depth view of the state of your underground drains. Since drains are mainly out of sight, it could be difficult to determine the nature and depth of the issue. By using state of the art CCTV camera equipment, your local Sewer Surgeon plumber can locate any tree root obstruction or other cause of blockage in a drain without digging or damage to your property.

During a drain inspection, the drain camera’s flexible head is put into an underground drain. While the camera is propelled into the drain, it provides a continuous live video feed of the condition of the drain. By doing this, we can identify the exact location and nature of the issue, avoiding costly and unnecessary excavations (not to mention repairs).

Once the cause of your blockage has been identified, there are several methods to unclog your blocked pipes caused by root obstruction:

JET BLASTING

One of the most effective techniques for unblocking pipes is to use a water jet-blaster.  Whether the cause is grease, tree roots, or other type of obstructions, jet-blasting services are suitable for all kinds of blockages. Most blockages can be cleared by the water’s power, which will also clean the pipe’s walls. And yes, this includes tree roots.

Jet blasting offers a comprehensive cleaning solution that both take care of any blockages but also clears out all other build-up and dirt that may have accumulated in the pipe, helping to prevent future blockages. It works much faster than other pipe-clearing techniques, such as the electric-eel method, or using drain-cleaning chemicals.

Compared to other treatments, jet blasting is preferred as it is less harmful to your plumbing lines. Chemicals are frequently quite potent and can assist dissolve whatever is creating the blockage if you are using them. These corrosive chemicals can also be damaging to your pipes, especially if they are very old or if the chemicals are not properly removed from them after cleaning.

Jet blasting provides an eco-friendly solution because this method uses blasts of high-pressure water to clear any obstruction rather than relying on chemicals. Most chemicals used for cleaning end up in the waterways and, ultimately, the oceans, where it could be harmful to marine life.

TREE ROOT TREATMENT

To get rid of any external tree roots or roots which could not be removed through jet blasting, Sewer Surgeon uses RootX, a reliable, cost-effective way of killing pipeline tree roots often found around sewer lines, septic systems, and storm pipes. It uses an aquatic herbicide Dichlobenil, and is a non-fumigating, non-caustic, environmentally friendly treatment that does not contain copper sulfate, dilquat, or metam sodium.

RootX is a foaming treatment that your plumber deposits into your sewer line, septic system, or storm pipe to prevent and/or remove root intrusion.

With Sewer Surgeon’s Tree Root Treatment using RootX, there will be minimal disruption, mess and noise as well as being a cost-effective solution to fixing your tree root problem.

What Are The Best Ways To Repar Drain Damage By Tree Roots?

Now that you have cleared the tree roots out of your sewer drain system, it is important you repair any damage pipes or otherwise your tree root problem will come back.

The good news is your Sewer Surgeon plumber will already have identified the damaged and weak areas in your sewer network and has the capability to repair only the damaged areas instead of far more costly pipe excavation and replacement.

Having access to the latest pipe repair technology, including the Speedylight UV pipe relining curing method which you can find out about more here [link to Sydney Pipe Relining Technology Breakthrough | 8 Benefits Of Using The Speedylight UV Curing Method], the following options will be made available to you:

PIPE PATCHING

In come cases, only a section of your pipes has been damaged.  Your Sewer Surgeon plumber can repair only the damaged section instead of your entire network.

JUNCTION REPAIR

Often tree root infiltration occurs in pipe junctions which are more susceptible to cracks, leaks and dislodgements. We can repair these junctions. Even if these junctions are hidden under landscaping or concrete, our relining experts can cut or ‘reinstate’ the junctions using robotic, branch line, and air powered cutters.

UV PIPE RELINING

If your pipes are getting old or you are concerned future tree root damage is likely because of the area in which you live, the cheapest long-term solution may be to pipe reline your entire sewer drainage system.  This will significantly strengthen your pipes and ensure tree roots are kept out permanently.  Backed by a warranty of up to 50 years, this can give you peace of mind your drains will be flowing freely for years to come, provided you follow our simple tips to keep your drains free from everyday blockages such as hair, grease and food scraps which you read more about here [link to https://sewersurgeon.com.au/blocked-drains/]

Ready To Stop Further Tree Root Infiltration From Clogging And Damaging Your Drains?

Contact your local Sewer Surgeon plumber today to know you are receiving the latest expert blocked drain advice.  We provide the finest service possible to our customers by utilising cutting-edge technology, saving time, providing a superior end result and providing the most affordable solution.