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Yearly Archives: 2011

Sewer snake is an Anaconda

Last week we removed this large tree root from a drain in Kingsford Sydney.

In fact, it was a tree root anaconda, measuring 6.3 metres long and it had completely blocked the pipeline. After removing the tree root from the pipeline and carrying out a “Drainoscopy” to determine that there was nothing else wrong, our client elected to have Vaporooter sewer root control applied to his pipeline.

He understands the Vaporooter Guarantee:

” If you have a blocked drain caused by tree roots after an application of Vaporooter, we will clear your blocked drain for free”

Now, will someone call a reptile handler and have this beast removed!

Nightmare Christmas…will this happen to you?

Christmas is fast approaching…

…and I’ll let you in on a little “trade secret”…

…that I guarantee will make me very unpopular with a lot of emergency plumbers!

You see, Christmas tends to be a busy time for emergency plumbers getting called out to deal with blocked drains caused by tree roots!

Why?  Well when you think about it, blocked drains almost always happen at the WORST POSSIBLE TIME!

For example, at holiday times when the whole family is at home…

…and when you’re in the middle of a big get together, BBQ or party.

And when it’s an EMERGENCY or “after hours” you know that fixing the problem can be very costly.

Now, of course, at the “Lone Drainer And Pronto” we  provide emergency and after hours service and we know how to Stop tree roots in drains.

And our customers are very happy indeed with our service.  For example, here’s what Georgia Cleary in Sydney has to say…

“Thank you again for all your assistance (at all hours-weekends and whenever was required) over the past 10 years. You have dealt with some very difficult plumbing problems and always found a solution, without fuss and fanfare. This has been greatly appreciated.”

But my business philosophy is that we’re here to help you with the best and most cost effective solution for your plumbing and drain problems.

And in the case of tree root blockages in your pipes and drains…

…that means Vaporooter.

Vaporooter is the proven and effective solution that stops tree root damage…

…and continues to protect pipes and drains so you can sleep peacefully at night.

And it’s dead easy to make sure that you’re not at risk of having your Christmas ruined by tree roots causing blocked drains or (even worse) clogged sewers.

Get your pipes and drains checked out with our CCTV survey…

…the Vaporooter “Drainoscopy”.

It’s inexpensive and if you call now we can arrange to carry out the survey quickly.

Simply call me on 1 800 637 600.

If you have trees on or near your property, then you’re at risk of tree roots penetrating your drains and pipes and causing a blockage.

Why risk having Christmas ruined by an ugly drain overflow or similar problem?

Call me on 1 800 637 600.

Summer brings mysterious outbreak of blocked drains across Sydney suburbs…

…as well as NSW and the rest of Australia.

With summer now here and the weather getting warmer…

…there is one BIG PROBLEM that rears its ugly head at this time of the year.

Mysteriously, there is often a surge in the number of cases of blocked drains and clogged sewer pipes. Some years it’s so bad, you can rightly call it an epidemic (even a plague)!

And it has serious consequences for property owners and public authorities.

This epidemic is not often talked about. Most people are completely unaware of the problem until disaster strikes and they find themselves facing severe inconvenience and often costly repair bills.

And the cause of this huge headache for property owners and householders? It’s the penetration and invasion of sewer pipes and drains by tree roots.

That’s right. The roots of those lovely trees that grace many of our neighbourhoods and public places are silently causing havoc as they grow more rapidly in spring and summer. Blocked drains, backed up sewers and damaged foundations are just the most obvious consequences.

Now, of course, if you’re protected by Vaporooter, you can sleep soundly and not have to worry about the problem. That’s because Vaporooter is the proven treatment system that keeps tree roots away from drains and sewer pipes, without harming the tree itself. It was originally developed in California in 1967 to deal with a serious problem of tree roots blocking public sewer pipes.

Today, the patented Vaporooter system removes tree roots to protect the vital infrastructure of cities and towns, as well as residential homes and commercial property around the world.


• Is 100% safe; tried and tested around the world for over 40 years
• Deals with ONLY the tree roots in pipes and leaves the rest of the tree and surrounding plants healthy and intact
• CONTINUES to protect pipes and drains so property owners can sleep safe at night and not have to worry about waking up to crushed pipes and collapsed drains

Tree root damage is a growing problem. Here at Vaporooter Australia we’re having to deal with emergency calls pretty much every day (including the weekends).

The harsh truth is that if there are trees anywhere near your property, sooner or later the tree roots will be attacking the drains and sewers. Every single client we’ve had to rescue in an emergency wishes they had known about the potential problem and done something about it. Firstly, because of the huge cost to deal with the damage and secondly, because of the massive inconvenience of the mess and chaos that follows…often for days and sometimes weeks.

In one recent case, a property owner was faced with a potential bill of over $40,000 for sewer replacement. And it could all so easily have been avoided.

To find out if you have a problem with tree roots invading your pipes, give us a call on 1 800 637 600 to arrange a Vaporooter “Drainoscopy”.

A “Drainoscopy” is a CCTV survey that will quickly reveal if there are tree roots in your drains or sewer pipes. It’s not expensive. Better to be safe than sorry as every day you delay can make the problem worse.

Call us on 1 800 637 600.

A tale of two drains

These 2 sewer drain  pipes with their lids removed are taking the discharge from neighbouring properties. They are surrounded by different species of large trees. Tree roots are growing into the sewer pipe through the pipe joints

The drain on the left belongs to a client who, after many years of tree root blockages to her sewer pipes, grew tired of the sewer overflow running through her home.

The pipeline runs underneath her marble tiled entrance and the suggestion to renew the pipeline would mean excavating the black and white tiled floor. Matching the tiles would be difficult!

The drain on the right is as we found it. We told the owner about Vaporooter!

The images below show the inside of each pipe.

Guess which drain has had Vaporooter?

Protecting Your Pipes And Drains From Tree Roots

If you’ve ever had to deal with tree root blocking your plumbing, you know that it’s an experience that no one would want to have twice. Drain back up leads to health hazards and removing tree root blockages can be costly.

Many home and business owners attempt to prevent future root intrusion through pipe maintenance and preventative measures.

Much of the root removal process includes measures that protect your plumbing from roots growing back into your pipes. Defensive measures include chemicals or chemical foam, such as Vaporooter,  that coats the inside of your plumbing with root killing herbicide.

Other methods of plumbing maintenance include routine pipe and joint replacement or a complete overhaul of your plumbing (known as relaying). This protective measure is considered undesirable because it’s a very expensive maintenance option.

Mechanical plumbing maintenance might include regular pulling or rodding, which clears root obstruction before it grows to completely block pipes. This sort of maintenance keeps tree roots and other obstruction at bay, but it’s not a complete protective measure.

Protecting you pipes could be as simple as regular chemical treatment of your plumbing system. Chemical powder, liquid or foam is applied to the pipe to reinforce plumbing and prohibit future tree root intrusion. However, many home and business owners are nervous about dumping chemicals down their plumbing.

The best preventive measures often include a combination of several maintenance techniques. For example, regular mechanical maintenance followed by chemical treatment is a popular way to support plumbing.

Even careful pipe maintenance may not be enough to keep tree roots out of your plumbing, epically if you have numerous tree roots growing near your underground pipes.

The best solution is one that’s discussed with, and executed by an experienced plumber. A good plumber will help you decide the management method that’s ideal for your plumbing needs, such as Vaporooter.

Vaporooter Is Safe And Guaranteed To Stop Tree Roots From Damaging Your Pipes And Drains

Tree Roots in Pipe And Drain Joints

So, how did the tree roots get into your plumbing in the first place?

Pipe Joints – Protect Them With Vaporooter

It’s possible that the three roots found their way in through a damaged pipe or a weak spot in your plumbing system. Most likely, they first infiltrated through pipe joints, which are one of the weakest points in the drainage system.

The joint is the part of the plumbing system that connects one pipe to another. Tree roots seeking food and moisture will travel along the outside of a sewer pipe until it finds a defective area that can be used to infiltrate the pipe.

Pipe joints are often made of one of three materials, rubber, cement or an unplasticized polymer material know as UPVC. Each kind of material has a different level of resistance to tree root intrusion.

Cement (or mortar) joints are not very stable, and lend to the exact ruptures and cracks that let tree roots right in.  Cement is unstable because it’s so rigid that any movement of the surrounding soil can cause it to fracture. Cement joints cannot be treated with root fighting chemicals because the chemicals can cause the cement to degrade. On the upside, if they don’t crack or degrade, cement joints offer good resistance to roots that would degrade other types of joints.

Rubber ring joints are both easy to install and flexible enough to withstand shifts in the surrounding soil. But, they are an easier material for the roots to penetrate. Rubber joint’s resistance to roots rests on factors such as the quality of the ring installation and chemical treatments to the material. For example, some manufactures treat the rubber rings with root fighting chemicals.

UPCV pipe joints are the plumbing joint superstars.  These plastic-like pipes offer huge resistance to root intrusion. They offer the same tree root resistance as undamaged cement joints and like rubber joints, they can be treated with resistant chemicals.

Tree Root Blockage Basics

You notice that your sinks are draining slowly so you call a plumber. After investigating the issue, the plumber tells you that you don’t have an ordinary drain blockage. He says that tree roots are growing in your pipes. Has this happened to you?

What does that mean? Well- here’s a little of why it happened, and what you can expect.

Tree roots growing into and subsequently blocking plumbing, causes many health and safety issues. The blocking of drainage pipes causes back-up that leads to unsanitary conditions. Even when the pipes aren’t completely blocked, the decay of dead roots can cause noxious gasses to infiltrate your home or business.

The tree root decay also threatens building substructures such as maintenance holes and concrete pipe cases. Finally, the area available to process household drainage is reduced as slime and fungus grow onto the decayed and stuck plant matter.

Roots growing into pipes aren’t a coincidence. Tree root systems seek out your pipes as the roots are attracted to pipes because of the moisture in the soil around the pipes.

There are several other factors that can contribute to potential tree root blockages. Regional rainfall, the types of plants and trees near the pipes, the type of soil and the quality of your pipes, all come into play.

No matter how dry your soil or how pervasive your roots, tree roots will probably not be able to penetrate the pipes if they are of good quality and undamaged. On the other hand, damaged or sub-par plumbing basically guarantees tree roots access to your pipes.

Mechanically cutting and removing the blocked portion of pipe is the routine solution to roots in plumbing. But, this method often results in damaged pipes that roots just grow right back into. That’s why many modern tree root specialists recommend preventive measures and alternative root removal techniques such as Vaporooter.

Tree Roots Exposed – Use Vaporooter To Safely Manage The Roots Without Killing The Tree

Applying Root Foam To Pipes And Drains

Root foam kills small root masses, inhibits future root growth and reinforces pipes. It’s low impact on the environment and reduced toxicity make root foam an ideal option for home and business owners plagued by tree roots blocking pipes.

This is one of those ‘don’t try this at home’ situations. Unless you’re a qualified plumber, DO NOT attempt to use jet rodding or root foam application machinery. The process is delicate and misuse of equipment or chemicals could lead to environmental damage or personal injury. Even certified plumbers are required to wear safety equipment during use. Such equipment could include; safety boots, boot proctors, gloves, safety glasses, safety vests and ear protection.

If your intruding tree roots are particularly dense or thick, your plumber may feed a mechanical root cutter or jet rodder down your pipe to clear out the debris before applying the foam.

Drainoscopy Equipment Used In Vaporooter Application

On the other hand, the foam is sturdy enough to kill and flush out many smaller, looser root masses. In that case, your plumber may not have to use a mechanical root cutter.

To start the root foam process, your plumber uses a ‘Root Foamer System’ to mix the root foam chemicals with water to create a frothy mixture. The machine’s even mixing creates a uniform foam.  Consistent foam reduces the chance of harming plants by ensuring that no area receives a highly concentrated dose of herbicidal chemicals.

Your plumber will feed an application tube all the way down the pipe, turn on the feed from the foam mixer and then retract the foam tube. The foam will eject from the tube and evenly coat the inside of your plumbing as it gets pulled back through the pipes.

During the entire process, your expert plumber will constantly take measurements to ensure safe and effective chemical application.

Tree Root Inhibiting Chemical Foam – Vaporooter

If you have roots blocking your pipes, it’s likely that your plumber will recommend a substance called tree root foam to clear your pipes. If the root obstruction is too dense, your plumber may recommend mechanical removal of some roots before the foam is applied.

The thought of adding chemicals to plumbing that carries your water is a scary one. Home and business owners anxious about the effect on their foliage and soil may also be concerned about chemical side effects.


This type of root foam is made up of a combination of herbicide and root growth inhibitors.  The herbicide causes the roots to decay and eventually die, while the growth inhibitor attaches to organic material in the pipe and keeps it from growing. The growth inhibitor lasts for about three years, but annual application is required for the guarantee to be valid and prevent the start of re-growth.

Vaporooter also includes a surfactant blend that removes slime and grease from pipes and roots. The slime is nutritious to the tree which encourages tree root growth if left in pipes. Finally, Vaporooter includes a foaming agent that carries the chemical to where it’s needed in the plumbing system.

Vaporooter causes minimal damage to trees and surrounding foliage; it only affects the tree roots directly surrounding the pipes. However, if used in large amounts, Vaporooter can be detrimental to nearby aquatic plants. Also, methylisothiocyanate (MITC) may be created when some of the chemicals in Vaporooter encounter water. MITC has been reported to cause mild health issues such as skin irritation and respiratory issues. That’s why it is important to request a plumber who is a certified Vaporooter applicator.