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What is a pipe drainoscopy?

If you’re a regular visitor to this blog, you’ve heard of a Drainoscopy!

So what is a drainoscopy?

A drainoscopy is when our technicians survey the inside of your drains with our high-tech specialised camera equipment.

The drainoscopy equipment is inserted into your drains through a suitable opening. Having a drainage diagram on hand will help us find that suitable opening.

Via the connected cable, the camera sends pictures from the camera head to a screen set-up near our technicians chosen site.

Most property owners can’t believe what they see in their pipes and sewer. We encourage them to look over our technicians shoulder whilst he carries out their drainoscopy.

If you can’t be on-site when we are doing your drainoscopy, dont worry. We can record your drainoscopy and send you a link via email so you can see it anyway!

Click here to see a “typical” drainoscopy!

Will this blocked drain go away?

If you have a blocked drain it is highly unlikely that the blockage will simply go away.

Blockages caused by tree roots act like a strainer within your sewer pipes. Water and liquids will pass through the strainer but the poo and toilet paper and any other foreign material you flush down your sewer will get caught in the strainer.

Most busy family homes tend to have a blockage during morning or evening peak hour, or during the weekend or holidays when there are extra visitors in the house. That’s when there are multiple individuals using the shower, bath and toilet, the dishwasher and washing machine. It’s at this time that all that waste water can’t get through the “strainer” and the blockage occurs.

Some home owners will see the blockage and promise to call an emergency plumber “in the morning”.

But, when morning comes and they use their toilet and it flushes normally, many people believe that the blockage has miraculously fixed itself and they either ring their emergency plumber to call him off visiting or they just don’t ring a plumber at all.

What has happened is this; during the night, whilst everyone is sleeping, the dirty waste water has seeped through the tree root “strainer” in the blocked sewer pipes giving the appearance that the blocked drain has fixed itself. The new morning peak hour will cause the drain to be blocked again; only this time it will be even uglier.

So, get on the phone and contact your emergency plumber to clear your blockage promptly. Ask your plumber to do a drainoscopy on your sewer pipes. Its actually quite an interesting process and if its during the holidays all the family can see what is really going on in your blocked drains.

If the drainoscopy shows tree roots in pipes, ask your plumber about a drain maintenance program at the same time.

Remember, if you have a blocked drain caused by tree roots, The tide will go out overnight……but it will come back in the morning!

Peak hour!

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!

 

 

 

 

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

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.

Vaporooter

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.

5 Things You Can Do To Prevent Blocked Drains

Here are a few measures that go a long way to prevent roots from infiltrating and destroying your pipes.

  1. Use pipes made of Polyvinyl chloride (PVC) for new and replacement drains. PVC pipes are strong enough to repel the tree roots. Experts agree that PVC is the best material for reducing the risk of tree root blockages.
  2. Don’t plant trees near pipes. This seems simple enough, but many home and business owners don’t realize what constitutes as ‘near’ when we’re talking about tree roots.   Many Australian trees have roots with an incredibly wide spread.
  3. Choose proper foliage. Eucalyptus, for example, can have roots systems that spread out as much as 60 meters. Hills Weeping Fig, on the other hand, can have a root spread as small as 6 meters.
  4. Maintain your pipes. Wear and tear, cracks, and leaks can cause nutrient-rich water to seep into the soil around your pipes. This attracts tree roots like mad.
  5. Routinely check and clear your sewer drain. Though roots can be attracted to any type of water-bearing line, they are most often lured towards sewer drains. Have an expert come by and clear roots out of your pipes before they become a big problem.

 

5 Methods to Clear Tree Roots From Pipes

  1. Rodding: Plumbers stick a ratchet (a bar with teeth) down your pipe to break up the root block. They then send another bar down to cut and clear the debris.
  2. Jetting: Plumbers will use a hose with a special nozzle to direct a powerful jet of water at the block. With this method there is a big risk that the jet won’t be able to break up the blockage and you may have to pay for a more hard-hitting solution.
  3. Root Cutting: This process uses the same high-pressure water as jetting, but in this case the water is more directed, and is used to cut the roots before flushing them out. Cutting the roots usually encourages new root growth and they could grow back faster and stronger.
  4. Chemicals: This treatment is a heavy foam that contains herbicides. How a chemical treatment works depends on how bad the root block is. Less dense root masses can be forced out by the pressure of the foam as it travels down the pipe. More dense masses will have to be jetted first. The foam seals cracks in the pipes caused by the roots, and the herbicides hinder further root growth. You’ll have to treat pipes near root systems at least once a year by using Vaporooter; this is the leading product to get this done.
  5. Dig out and Repair: This method requires excavation of the pipes and roots. Although fairly permanent, this method is often only used in extreme situations, such as the total collapse of a main drainage pipe. The costs can be quite high when you have to dig to remove tree roots.

Source: http://www.docstoc.com/docs/33520788/INVESTIGATION-OF-SEWER-BLOCKAGES-DUE-TO-TREE-ROOTS-Graham-Thomson-/

Need to Safely Remove Roots in Pipes? Turn to Vaporooter

For more than 40 years Vaporooter has been the premier solution to remove tree roots found in pipes. Because the growing incidents of tree root problems threatens building foundations and the basic infrastructure of cities and towns, municipalities needed a way to mediate tree root damage. Roots in sewer pipes and penetrating foundations can cause challenging and expensive problems. Vaporooter can provide the ultimate solution to sewer root control.

This go-to solution delivers a proven product for any tree root problem as it keeps the infrastructure of cities and towns up and running. When tree roots in sewer pipes impede the free flow of liquids, the backup and associated damage demands an optimal solution for roots in drains.

In 1967, the County of Sacramento, California sought a solution to the growing tree root problem. Sewer lines were increasingly damaged and clogged drains were backing up into buildings. The current process to remove tree roots from pipes could not keep up with the rapid movement of root growth. Cutting methods to remove tree roots were also time-consuming and labor intensive.

Botanist Oliver Leonard at the University of California-Davis (UC-Davis) was enlisted by Sacramento city and county officials to determine why cutting roots to eliminate tree root damage was falling short of eliminating the problem. To get a better understanding of the science behind tree roots in sewer lines, Leonard and his UC-Davis team excavated infected areas.

By closely examining sections of infected tree roots, researchers could document and analyse the root growth patterns. It was determined that cutting to remove roots in pipes ensures the roots are exposed to nutrition, causing them to grow back bigger and faster, thereby exacerbating the problem.

With continued testing on methods to remove tree roots in pipes, researchers discovered the virtue of metam sodium. This unique chemical has been proven to be very efficient in the process of removing roots in pipes as it treats the growth of the root, without hurting the plant itself. In addition to effectively preventing tree root damage, this compound dissipates quickly without leaving behind any harmful residue.

Researchers had discovered how to remove tree roots from pipes safely and effectively, yet they still wanted a way to prevent the root from growing back into the lines. The answer came with the addition of dichlobenil, discovered by Fred Horne in 1968. This growth inhibitor helps to ensure a tree root problem in pipes would not return once treated with the chemical application.

The removal of roots in sewer pipes became easy when the herbicide metam sodium was added to the growth inhibitor dichlobenil as roots in drains could be covered with a foam application. The resulting surfactant formulation created dense foam that could thoroughly cover the tree root and pipe surfaces.

With the discovery of the effectiveness of this foam in the process to remove tree roots from sewer pipes and keep them root free for years, Vaporooter was born. The patented Vaporooter today demonstrates how to remove roots in pipes and ensure the free flow of waste fluids through the pipe line.