Here in the Northwest, we all love nature and the beauty of our trees. But when they invade your sewer piping they can become much more of a hassle than they’re worth. A simple tree root can cause repair charges of up to $30,000 in damage. Our friendly neighborhood plumber's tip from Fox Plumbing & Heating is to take the necessary steps to ensure that your pipes are cleaned regularly.
Last month we had a job for a customer in Kirkland who had this exact situation happen to them. They were a home owner whose sewer pipe had broken underground because a fir tree’s roots had grown into a joint and split the line completely. As you can see in these pictures, our Fox Plumbing & Heating Specialist had to completely replace several joints and a section of the pipe, which was over 9 feet deep in the ground. The Kirkland home owner had to have their favorite tree removed to prevent this from reoccurring in the future. In these types of cases the home owner is responsible for the sewer line from the house to the city saddle (the point where the sewer line from the house connects with the city’s sewer line).
You might ask, ‘How do I know if I have a possible root problem in my sewer line?’
The first and most noticeable problem would be that your toilet and/or shower are quickly backing up. If you have this problem that means that there is something blocking your sewer line. A sewer line can stretch from 3 feet up to 500 feet depending on where you live, and how far you are from the street. In this specific instance, the plumbing repairs alone cost the customer over $16,000. But there is a way to be sure that this isn’t an issue and to ensure that your pipes remain clear. First, you should have a professional plumber do an annual sewer scoping. A sewer scoping is when you have a professional plumber place a camera in the line, and runs the camera along the pipe to help pinpoint any problems that your sewer line might have. Sewer scoping is something that should only be done by a licensed professional, like the professionals at Fox Plumbing & Heating.
Once you’ve done this, if there is an issue with your lines then they can be maintained by having regular sewer snaking or hydro jetting to ensure that the sewer stays clear. Please don’t forget to check out the super friendly plumbing glossary from our friends in Georgia for any terms you don’t understand. These types of preventative measures can help to ensure that you don’t have these types of costly repairs in the future.
We talk about a lot of problems and give specific solutions, but this isn’t to say that this is the only reason that you might find that you need to replace your sewer line. In some cases it might be that you have older pipes. These older pipes are sometimes made out of clay or concrete and can breakdown over time. That’s why it is important to have a professional plumber come and check your lines to ensure that small problems don’t turn into ‘Big Emergencies.’
Fox Plumbing & Heating has provided complete plumbing, heating and air conditioning services in Seattle, Bellevue, Issaquah, Sammamish, Mercer Island, Kent, Federal Way, Auburn, and all of King County for 50 Years. To find out how we can help get you ready for spring, contact us 24/7 @ (206) 767-3311.
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