Damage Tree Roots Can Do to Sewer Lines

Tree Root Damage

Beautiful trees not only enhance your landscape but help reduce air pollution, absorb carbon dioxide, and provide important shade during hot summer days. However, when tree roots start to grow into the cracks of sewer lines, it can lead to costly, messy sewer backups.

Why Tree Roots Grow into Sewer Lines

Trees like sewer line cracks because sewer pipes contain all the elements that are essential for tree growth: oxygen, nutrients, and water. The warm water that flows inside a sewer line creates a vapor that escapes into the cooler surrounding soil. Tree roots are attracted to this vapor. If there is a crack in a pipe or a loose joint, the root will enter at these points to get to the good stuff (nutrients, moisture, etc.) to grow.

What Happens When Tree Roots Enter Sewer Lines

First and foremost, tree roots do not invade healthy, well-kept pipes. But when there is a crack, a hole, or an improperly-sealed sewer pipe, it leaves the sewer lines vulnerable to tree root growth. As these roots grow, they combine themselves with grease, toilet tissue, waste, and other debris traveling through the sewer lines causing toilets, sinks, and other drains to become sluggish, back up, and eventually, the pipes break.

How to Prevent Tree Roots in Sewer Lines

The best control of tree root issues in sewer lines is prevention. Be proactive by installing preventive growth barriers between trees and pipes. Preventive growth barriers are wall-like structures placed around tree roots to prevent and redirect the spread of root systems. Working with a landscape professional can help you find dense soil and discover slow-growing plants and shrubs that do not have extensive root systems. Additionally, here’s what you can do to stop tree roots growing in sewer line drain systems before it happens: 

    • Locate sewage lines – Know where the underground pipes, lines, and cables are buried. This will assist in future landscaping and planting.
    • Landscape wisely – Avoid planting trees directly above or near the pipe. Limit the number of trees you plant close to your sewage lines. 
    • Regular maintenance & inspections – Hire a licensed plumber to inspect your sewer drain system every other year. When conducting maintenance on a regular basis, any threatening issues can be handled before they get worse. Aside from this, major sewer lines should be cleaned regularly which prevents roots from seeping into vulnerable spots. 
    • Know the Signs
      • Slow running drains or gurgling toilets
      • Bad odors coming from drains, toilet blockages, water backups, and overflow
      • Visible sinkholes in the yard  
      • Frequent clogs
      • Sewer flies

Tree roots can cause significant damage to a sewer line system without you realizing something terrible is wrong. If you suspect there may be tree roots in pipes or would like to rule out any other kind of damage to your plumbing system, have one of our professional plumbers inspect your sewer system today! Our experts will show you the current condition of your pipes and identify any problems or potential problems. From there, you can take appropriate steps to help keep your plumbing in top shape for years to come. Contact the professionals at Tony’s Drain & Sewer Cleaning, our goal is to solve your plumbing issues and repair them in a timely manner. Contact us today!


Common Causes of Sewer Backups

Sewer Backups

You probably never think about your sewer system pipes until they don’t work properly. Sewage problems, like sewage backups, can happen to anyone, in any building, and at just about any time. When wastewater isn’t draining properly and not addressed immediately, wastewater will continue to fill the sewer lines and drainpipes, resulting in a backup. A sewer backup is something that you want to avoid as much as possible.

Plumbing systems have to handle everything that goes down the drain. These systems catch hair, grease, laundry detergent, paper towels, feminine hygiene products, and garbage disposal waste. When these items go down the drain, these items can clog pipes and cause a sewer backup. There are other causes of sewer backups that can be unseen, lurk beneath the ground and floors of a home or business.

Common Causes of Sewer Backups

  • Clogged or Blocked Sewer Pipes: The most common type of sewer backup is due to clogged pipes. Sewer clogs are easily preventable with proper care and maintenance. If a backup is affecting more than one toilet or sink, it could be a sign of an issue with the main sewer line that would require the use of a plunger or drain cleaner.
    • Use drains properly. Here are some quick tips:
      • Avoid pouring fats, oils, coffee grounds, rice, pasta, and other solids down your kitchen drain. When the grease cools down it solidifies in the pipes which creates blockages in the pipes. 
      • Do not use the toilet as a trash bin. Items such as feminine products, “flushable” wipes, diapers, paper towels, and facial tissues will all create backups in the pipes. Only flush toilet paper. If it does not dissolve almost instantly in water, do NOT flush it.
  • Old or Damaged Sewer Pipes: Sewer backups could be due to damaged, broken, or collapsed sewer lines. Sewer pipes are usually made of clay, Orangeburg, PVC, or cast iron. While these materials are durable, it’s inevitable for sewer pipes to deteriorate and eventually collapse as they age. Any one of these problems will lead to big issues for a home or building’s sewer line.
    • Get a sewer line inspection to check the condition of your sewer system every five years. The professional plumber will look for signs of damage, cracks, and clogs. 
  • Tree Roots in Sewer Pipes: Even though you may not have a tree on your property or near your sewer line, tree roots can travel far and grow into the cracks of the sewer lines. Tree and shrub roots cause damage, holes, and blockages as they flourish. 
    • How to get rid of tree roots: Contact a sewer line professional for a sewer camera inspection. This is a non-destructive procedure that will easily find the exact location and extent of the problem. The sewer line professional will then be able to get rid of the problem by cutting the roots and repairing or replacing the pipe.
  • Sewer-Sanitary or Municipal Sewer Blockage: These issues are usually detected and treated before they become a problem, however, a sewer main blockage could impact residential and commercial sewer lines in the area. When a blockage in the municipal sewer is not detected immediately, wastewater can back up into floor drains. 
    • Call a plumbing expert and contact your local public works office to report the problem if water is rapidly entering the lower level of a building or basement.

How to Prevent a Sewer Backup

  • Clean your sewer lines
  • Be mindful of what goes down the drain and flushed down the toilet
  • Get a sewer line inspection
  • Route gutters, downspouts and sump pumps properly
  • Replace old sewer lines
  • Tackle drainage issues

Do You Have Frequent Sewer Backups? 

Wondering what would make a toilet gurgle, a shower not to drain as it should, or create a smelly, soggy yard?  The best way to identify the cause of a plumbing issue or sewer backup is to have a professional plumber inspect the sewer system. They will perform an inspection, show you what is causing the problem, and determine an appropriate solution. When it comes to sewers, you want a permanent solution, not a temporary fix. Contact the professionals at Tony’s Drain & Sewer Cleaning, our goal is to solve your plumbing issues and repair them in a timely manner. Contact us today!


Sewer Line Tracing: Should I Call a Plumber or a Drain Specialist

Sewer Line Tracing:  Should I Call a Plumber or a Drain Specialist

Maintaining your home is one thing, but when there is a problem with your home, like an emergency situation, it seemingly takes over your entire life.  Knowing who to call during these situations can not only save you time but can also save you lots of money.  This is especially true when it comes to plumbing issues when it’s related to sewer lines, backup, and clogged drains.   These unexpected drain backups can develop all of a sudden, leaving you scrambling to find the right plumber.  But did you know that a plumber is not who you should call first?  Most people will want to reach out to a plumber, but let’s take a look at the difference between a plumber and drain/sewer line specialist and what makes them different, and why that is important in saving you time and money.   

What is a Plumber? (What is Plumbing?) 

So this may seem like a fairly straightforward answer and something that we discovered in elementary school. A plumber is a skilled professional who works on your water pipes, right?  The answer is yes and no. Plumbing generally involves fresh water coming into your home and water running through your pipes; therefore, a plumber will specifically handle those plumbing issues that affect the water that comes into your home.

It is fairly common to think of a plumber to be the solution for any water issue in your home.  A plumber is the professional you will want to call when you have dripping faucets, replacing toilets, installing a new sink with new water supply lines or repairing an internal pipe leak. While we often equate plumbing and drain problems as one in the same, understanding that not every plumber or plumbing company can adequately handle major drain issues can get your “plumbing” issue resolved quicker. 

What is a Drain / Sewer Expert?

Think of drain issues as water going out of your home, like when you flush the toilet or water going down your sink, for example.

Why and When to Call A Drain Specialist instead of a Plumber?

It happens all too often.  A clogged toilet that just keeps overflowing.  You plunge it out only for the water to continue overflowing.  So naturally, you think to call a plumber.  And you’re probably going to call that 24-hour emergency plumber so you can get this problem handled immediately.  Once the plumber assesses the problem, the solution, unfortunately, is that you have to call a drain specialist.  And you still have to pay the plumber a fee for just coming out and assessing the situation.  But why can’t the plumber handle this problem?  

Generally speaking, most plumbers simply do not have the equipment required to handle these large, emergency situations.  And in most cases, there is a clog or some type of obstruction in the drain causing the backup.  It could even be a tree root that has grown into the drain or perhaps a collapsed drain pipe underneath the house. These types of situations require a drain specialist who has the right equipment and tools to quickly assess the problem and give you an immediate solution.  

What is sewer line tracing? 

For every sewer drain line, there is also a tracer wire (also known as a locator wire) that has been installed.  This tracer wire is used to assist in locating pipes after they have been buried in the ground.  

When there is a drainage problem within the sewer line, the first step is to trace that sewer line from the home to the main sewer line.  It is this tracer line, known as Sewer Line Tracing, that helps identify sewer line location,  where it’s running from, as well as the sewer line’s depth.  The only way to locate the sewer tracer line is by using specialized locator equipment. Unfortunately, this is equipment that very few plumbers have on hand – which is why you will be referred to a drain specialist. 

A drain specialist is highly-trained to use a top-of-the-line handheld locator, which is receiving a signal in real-time from the camera in the sewer line.  This sounds pretty simple to most of us; however, it does take specialized training to operate the camera that will be flowing through the drain lines which can often be buried up to 12 feet underground.  The locator will provide the technician with the exact location and depth of the line, that way the drain specialist can pinpoint the exact location of the sewer line.  This will also show where the clog or obstruction is located and help to identify the next steps to take for drain repair.  

Some Common Plumbing Problems

Here are a few of the top situations you would call a plumber:

  • A leaky or dripping faucet
  • Low water pressure
  • No water at all
  • Sprinkler System Leaking
  • Shower Leaking
  • Replacing hot water heater
  • Installing a new sink and changing supply lines
  • Internal leak 
  • Continuously running toilet
  • Overflowing toilet of clean water

In any of the situations above you can feel confident that a plumber and plumbing company can help take care of your situation quickly.

Some Common Drain Line or Sewer Line Problems

The following situations are a good indicator that you need a drain specialist, not a plumber:

  • Slow or clogged drains from a sink, toilet, shower, kitchen, or washing machine 
  • Water does not empty from the sink, tub, or washing machine
  • There’s a sewer line break
  • Septic tank break or leak
  • Lift Station 

Knowing the difference between plumbing and drain issues will save you time and money because you’ll know the right questions to ask. Because not every plumber performs drain work, you wouldn’t want to call a plumber out to your house thinking it was a plumbing issue, only to find that plumber doesn’t perform drain work and that you’ll have to begin the whole process again of finding someone to fix your problem. 

Drain issues aren’t the sort of thing that you want to have to deal with for several days…if you know what we mean. Plus, when you use a company that specializes in both plumbing and drains, you’ll know that you’re not only getting the right person for the job but someone who is skilled enough to diagnose the problem and get the job done quickly and efficiently.

Drain Specialists, such as  Tony’s Drain & Sewer Cleaning, specialize in other services including hydro-jetting, sewer pipe cleaning, and plumbing camera inspection services.  If you’re having some draining issues, don’t hesitate,  give us a call today.  We can have one of our trained technicians come out for an onsite assessment.


Sewer Camera Inspection

Sewer Camera Inspection

Hidden behind your walls, trapped in your foundation, and buried underground is your home’s plumbing system. To keep your home clean and happy, these pipes give and take twenty-four hours a day. Because it is hard to know what kind of condition your sewage system is in or if there are any underlying problems, a sewer camera inspection is used to navigate these hidden pipes to show you what they look like.

What is Sewer Camera Inspection?

Using modern technology, a plumber will operate a sewer video camera to inspect the pipes and record what’s going on in your sewer system. This plumbing system inspection involves a flexible cable with a small waterproof video camera that is snaked through the sewage system and pushed through the pipes. Using a monitor, the plumber can watch the camera as it moves through all of your plumbing lines. The plumber will only need a small entry point where they can insert the camera directly into the main sewer line from several access points. Sewer camera inspections are able to identify issues within your sewer line before there is a backup event.

Problems that could cause a backup event are:

  • Clogged/blocked sewer pipes
  •  Root intrusions
  •  Cracked/broken sewer pipes
  •  Flushing or disposing items down your drains, including:
    • Paper towels
    • Feminine products
    • “Flushable” wipes
    • Excessive toilet paper
    • Facial tissue

Taking proper care of your sewer line can help your sewer system last for years to come. The worst thing you can do if your plumbing is acting weird is put off having a sewer camera inspection done. When small issues are caught early, they can be remedied before they become large, expensive problems.

Plumbing cameras also help plumbers locate leaks. While some leaks leave obvious indications of water damage, the ones hidden behind walls or under your home’s foundation aren’t so easy to find. Using a sewer inspection camera can help your plumber quickly pinpoint the location of a leak. Undetected and untreated plumbing leaks cost money and create serious damage to your home.

Buying a Home?

If you are buying a home, it is highly encouraged for home buyers to hire a qualified plumber to do a sewer line inspection. Most home inspectors don’t offer this service as part of the general home inspection process. Knowing the condition of your new plumbing system today can save you from a plumbing emergency and a costly repair tomorrow.

The plumbing system is a huge part of your home. If you’re experiencing plumbing problems and can’t figure out where they’re coming from, call the professionals at Tony’s Drain & Sewer CleaningOur affordable sewer camera inspections use the latest technology and equipment to give you an accurate and detailed view of your sewer and plumbing lines. Our goal is to solve your plumbing issues and repair them in a timely manner. Contact us today for more information about sewer camera inspections.

What Is Hydro Jetting and Why Is It Worth It?

What is Hydro Jetting?

Hydro jetting is specialized plumbing equipment that shoots high-pressure water throughout the pipes in a house or building to unclog the accumulation of grease, human hair, feces, tree roots, and other debris. Hydro jetting is an excellent solution for when a regular power rodding or plumbing snake is proving ineffective. The beauty of hydro jetting is that it not only clears out any clog, it also totally cleans your pipes and sewer lines of large-scale backups.

Most homeowners have experienced clogged or slow-moving drains and it’s likely the pipes in your home could have a more severe problem. Unclogging tough clogs and clearing pipes of debris doesn’t have to break the bank. Hydro jetting is a fairly cost-effective way to clear your pipes and sewer lines of obstructions and is less expensive than having to open up pipes.

Reasons why is hydro jetting worth it:

  • Environmentally Friendly – Other methods of clogged drain removal often require chemicals, which are harmful to the environment. Hydro jetting doesn’t use chemicals, making it safe to use near rivers and other bodies of water.
  • Fully Cleans Pipes & Sewer Lines – Using hydro jetting services to clear your pipes not only gets rid of major obstructions but clears them of ALL residue down to the particle.
  • It’s Versatile – Hydro jetting is capable of working for a variety of jobs including residential clogs, commercial and industrial drain issues, as well as severe factory clogs. Hydro jetting has the flexibility to get to those hard-to-reach places without damaging your pipes.
  • Bacteria Reduction – Plumbing pipes are a breeding ground for all sorts of bacteria. The process of hydro jetting can lend to a cleaner environment for your family. Hydro jetting clears out the grime that is trapped in your pipes and contributes to a more sanitary plumbing system overall.
  • Saves Money – Hydro jetting is much faster than using a snake and plumbers can efficiently clear clogged lines with accuracy. Additionally, it can be time-consuming and costly if damaged pipes need to be exposed in order to repair them.

Using state-of-the-art equipment, our highly trained plumbing technicians will inspect the pipes and sewer line to determine the severity of the clog, pinpoint it, and check to see that there aren’t any broken pipes before proceeding. Once it’s safe to proceed, our plumber will use the hydro jetting tool’s rotating nozzle with multiple jets and blast the clogged pipe with 3,000 – 5,000 PSI of water pressure to flush out the obstruction.

If you suspect grime build-up in your lines, don’t hesitate to call the professionals at Tony’s Drain & Sewer Cleaning to take care of your pipe and drain cleaning issues. We have the right equipment to evaluate your problem and then fix it. We work hard to clear clogs, provide excellent customer service, and leave you happy. Trust us with hydro jetting services to clean any clogged problems you may have.

Tony's Drain employee working

Is Your Main Sewer Line Clogged?

There are drain lines carrying wastewater away from sinks, toilets, showers, and tubs throughout a house. Each one of these lines leads to the main sewer line. If one of these drain lines gets clogged it is extremely annoying; however, if the main sewer line gets clogged, you can end up with water backing up out of your fixtures, widespread flooding, leaky pipes, and plumbing problems in the house.

Causes of a clogged sewer line:

Most clogged sewer lines don’t happen overnight, they happen gradually over time. There are all sorts of things that can harm a sewer line, including:

  • Tree roots – they creep through tiny cracks feeding off the nutrients found in the line. This causes the roots to grow and eventually block sewage from passing through.
  • Fat, grease, or oil – even if you run hot water when throwing these down the drain, they typically firm up by the time it reaches the main sewer line, sticks to the lines, and causes a clog.
  • Paper towels, flushable wipes, and sanitary products – none of these should be flushed down the toilet, only liquids and toilet paper should be flushed down the drains.

Signs of a clogged sewer line:

  • Gurgling or bubbling sounds coming from drains or the toilet
  • Dark, stinky, gross looking water coming up from drains
  • Slow-running drains throughout the house
  • Foul odors coming from your drains
  • Multiple clogged plumbing fixtures in the house

Being able to identify the signs of a clogged sewer line in the early stages will help you address problems before you end up with sewage water flooding the entire house. Once you realize these issues are happening, the solution is simple: turn off the water and contact the experts at Tony’s Drain & Sewer Cleaning. The ‘do it yourself’ unclogging tricks won’t solve serious sewer line clogs. Our skilled, licensed plumbing professionals provide reliable drain cleaning and sewer repair services guaranteed to get your system back up and running in no time!