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When will you do my Vaporooter?

I just had a phone call from Deborah wanting to know when we are doing her annual Vaporooter treatment.

Deb said “You usually come at the end of October. You’ve been coming every year since 2010.”

“Oh, my pipes aren’t blocked but, I don’t want to go back to those days with horrible sewage overflowing and my toilet won’t flush” she said.

Deb has a large fig tree growing on the nature strip at the front of her home.

Don’t worry. We’ve got you covered Deborah

Apologies for the wind noise at the start of this 2.01 min clip.

How tree roots get into pipes #2

In my last post I described how tree roots can easily travel through soil that has been loosened by excavation to accommodate your pipe installation.

Do you know why tree roots grow in sewer pipes from the top of the pipe joints?

Condensation is formed when we run water from our water pipes, through our drains; especially when we have a hot shower, wash our clothes or dishes in hot or warm water.

When the warm water enters the drains buried in the cold earth, condensation is formed, and it gathers on the inside top of our sewer pipes and drains.

The tree roots moving through our already loosened soils can now move along the top of the pipelines and are attracted to the warmth and moisture inside. All they need now is a way into the pipe.

This 1.58sec clip shows how.

I don’t want to live like this!

Sonia, from Bronte asked, “What does your Vaporooter Guarantee actually mean?” You could hear the fear in her voice!

Sonia lives on the first floor of an 8 storey block of home units. “About every 3 months we get a blocked drain caused by tree roots in the pipes under our building.”

“Depending on the type of tree, that’s not unusual,” I said.

“You don’t understand,” she said as her throat began to tighten. “When we get a blockage, all the sewer and waste water flushed by the residents on the 7 floors above, hits the blockage in the carpark and backs up through the floor drain in my bathroom.”
overflowing toilet Yuk!
“Ouch, Do you mean everything?’

“Yes, everything. Poo, condoms, tampons, cotton wool buds, toilet paper. It’s absolutely disgusting. It makes me want to throw up just thinking about it, running from the floor drain in my bathroom, out the door and all over the hallway and lounge room carpet.”

“But, why are you so upset now?” I asked.

“It’s been 4 months since it happened, so it’s gonna happen again soon. I don’t want to live like this!”

I actually had this conversation on April 8th 2016.

The Body corporate committee are getting other opinions on Tree root treatments for drains.

I feel for Sonia.

Vaporooter Helps Strata Prevent $40,000 Sewer Replacement

Tree Root Photo-1
Location: Clovelly, Sydney
Occupants: Mostly women over 40. 2 with teenage children.
Home: Block of four 2 bedroom flats 2 up, 2 down circa 1920
Trees in Vicinity: Tree lined Street, many large Hills Weeping Fig (Ficus Microcarpa Var.)

In total we have billed this client $9,772.00 for tree root cutting and repairs.

In March 2010, they finally indicated their interest in applying Vaporooter to control the tree roots in and around their sewer pipes.

The quote to apply Vaporooter is $1,586.00. This comes with a 12-month Guarantee.

The estimated cost to renew this sewer around both sides of the building and out to the sewer main in the street is estimated to be an astonishing $40,000.00.

The roots from the trees in this street are widespread and we have attended to blocked drains in houses and unit blocks up and down the street. The roots are getting stronger and without Vaporooter, a full sewer replacement will be the only (costly) alternative.

Some of the residents have indicated that instead of applying Vaporooter, they will lobby the Council to cut down the trees. That would change the entire streetscape and severely diminish their property value above the $40,000 sewer replacement and well beyond the preventative Vaporooter solution that is guaranteed to solve the problem.

This beautiful period block of flats, a 5 minutes walk from the beach is on a street lined with Hills weeping fig trees.
You know the kind; they produce the most beautiful summer shade with birds attracted to the fruit. The branch canopy stretches right across the street. But, so does the root system of these magnificent specimens.

We were first called to this property to attend a blocked drain in May 2005. The problem was tree roots from the specimens on the public footpath at the front of the property. The ground floor flats were the worst affected. Not only did their toilets back up when they flushed them, but when the flats upstairs flushed their toilet, that also came up and sometimes overflowed in the ground floor toilets.

That’s called The U-Tube (poo-tube) effect!

We recommended to the owner occupiers that Vaporooter would control the tree roots in their sewer. They declined to take up the offer.

In the 5 years since, we have attended to this sewer blocked by tree roots 7 times. We have carried out excavations to repair sections of drainage damaged by this aggressive tree root system. This unfortunately includes costly and inconvenient weekend and after hours callouts.

Street trees block drains

 

Are these Beautiful Trees in your street?

Liquid amber, London plane tree, Golden Robinia, Hills weeping fig, Brush box.

Every year as they grow a little bigger their expanding canopy adds thousands of dollars to the value to your home, bringing energy saving cool shade from the summer heat, the beauty of the colours of autumn, some, when they lose their leaves, provide much needed natural lighting and in some cases a windbreak in winter. 075

These same trees help replenish our oxygen supply and bring birdlife in abundance, a place for the kids to play, making your street one of the most sought after in your suburb.

Imagine your street without the trees.

Now if you have lived in your tree-lined street for some time, you will know that there is a downside to having these trees.

Did you know their luxurious canopy is fed by a root system that is fed nutrition from the non-stop supply running through that main artery from your home, also known as your sewer pipes?

Tree roots are growing around the clock; they don’t just grow overnight. They start, finer than the hairs on your head, searching for that hint of moisture or condensation on the top of your sewer pipes. (Condensation is caused as the water running through the sewer is slightly warmer than the pipes and the earth they are laying in).

Their task has been made easier by the trench excavation, breaking up soils to fit the pipes in the first place. Backfill and compaction is still way easier for tree roots to penetrate than virgin soils.

Once the fine hairs get in through the slightest crack in old earthenware or terra cotta pipe joints, they feast on the nutrients available, and grow constantly. They can end up as thick as your arm with a horse tail attached.

Amazing!

We have cut tree roots from sewers that fit this description and up to 8 metres in length.

As the roots grow in length they grow in diameter and can actually crack the earthenware pipes as they grow.

They don’t just grow overnight.

Who knows how a tree thinks?

Once they get in the pipe and have a constant source of moisture and nutrients they will keep coming back for more. Having their roots cut by drain cleaners is like pruning the roots. As any gardener will tell you, pruning makes them grow thicker and stronger. Think hedges or Rose bush.

It’s the same with the root system.

How Blocked Drains Happen

Sewer and drain pipes may not be very attractive to you, but tree roots love them. Tree roots are lured towards your pipes because of condensation. Moisture builds up around the pipes, more so in summer because the water in the pipes is much cooler than the surrounding environment . Thirsty tree roots lock onto the trail of dampness and creep toward your pipes.

The roots will grow along the pipes until they reach a crack, they may even pry open a loose joint. Once the pipe is breached, the root will grow into it to take advantage of the nutrient-rich material inside.

As the root continues to infiltrate the pipe it grows a bundle of thin root-masses. These masses make the blockage worse by trapping kitchen grease, food oil, and large pieces of drain debris such as toilet paper.

The tree roots will eventually exert so much pressure on the pipe that they will simply destroy the section that they have grown into. The pipe may crack or burst from the outside, or the pressure of the roots on the outside could cause the pipe to collapse in on itself.

Tree roots are not your everyday drain blockage. Most blockages can be quickly cleaned out by your local plumber. The blockages caused by roots that grow into pipes are much more complicated. Even if a plumber is able to eel out the blockage, there will still be damage to the line.
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No more Blocked Drains?

Did you know……….

85% of all blocked sewer drains are caused by tree roots?

Simply put, there is a way to prevent blocked drains from happening ever again.

It’s easy, it’s safe and it Works!

It’s called Vaporooter

Tree Root Photo-1

Did You Know Blocked sewer pipes blow the Council budget?

Did you know many blocked sewers are caused by the tree roots from Council street trees?

This is becoming a very big issue for many local councils. The council owned trees that make some of our more sought after suburban streets very special, are creating havoc underground by repeatedly blocking the sewer pipelines from many of the homes in those streets.

Councils are fighting a losing battle trying to bring the tree roots under control. The budgets of many local councils are strained as they just can’t keep up with the demand of their ratepayers to attend to their sewer blockages, caused by these street trees.

Vaporooter Kills Roots. Period!
#14

Vaporooter stops tree roots in Council drains

Tree lined streets in big cities and country towns across Australia have many benefits, but there are also negatives.

Tree roots from street trees invade the council and water authorities mains, reducing the flow and block the sewer mains.

When it comes to blocked drains, Council manpower and budgets are stretched by tree root affected drain maintenance.

There is a safe alternative! Vaporooter Stops Tree Roots. Period!

Tree roots in sewer mains? Vaporooter kills roots. Period!

Why do I need a Sewer Service Diagram?

A Sewer Service Diagram, drainage diagram or “helio” (for plumbers over 30 years old) is a map that shows where the sewer pipes run throughout your home, or commercial property.

This sewer drainage diagram is available from Sydney Water, the Water authority in your capital city, a reputable plumber’s supplier or your local Council, depending on where you are in Australia!

In NSW a sewer drainage diagram is a normal inclusion in a “Contract of Sale” for your home.

The sewer diagram shows a line diagram  of your property, including the boundaries of the property with the outline of the dwelling and associated buildings, with all plumbing or sanitary fixtures shown.

Whenever the sanitary or sewer drainage on a property is either modified or added to by a licensed plumber or drainer, the local water authority is booked to inspect the work and modify any existing drainage plans and upgrade the sewer diagrams of each individual property.

The sewer diagram will show if your sewer pipeline runs through other properties, if it is connected to a common sewer with multiple properties on the line and where your sewer line joins the Water Board or Municipal or Council sewer mains.

Be aware, some inner city suburbs like Paddington and Balmain have rows of terraces with up to 20 homes, and in some cases more, running through the one sewer line across the back or front of the properties.

Whenever you have a blockage in a joint or common service, it’s imperative that all parties on the common line realise that the problem is the responsibility of all parties on that common line.

That means the costs of any repairs or service  to this common line should be borne by all parties on the line!

A current drainage diagram will show who is connected to the common sewer line and who isn’t.

If you have a hint of a blocked drain and you need to stop tree roots in drains, have a sewer diagram within easy reach!

Costs of this diagram will vary, dependent on the source and may range between $16 and $60.00