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Plumbing in the Home/Roots clogging sewer pipe at the 45 deg bends


House is 30 years old. Had the pipe snaked by a plumber, identified from the underground sound of the snake the trouble section, the first of two 45 deg bends 6 feet from a Maple 17/18 years old tree. Since I was installing an irrigation system decided to dig deeper to this 1st 45 deg bend and saw that the 4" PVC pipe looked good, there were some 3/4 inch roots near this joint, no leaks when flushing the toilets.
What to do now with the joint fully exposed? Get a pipe barrier by DuPont, surround the pipe with cement, install a small vertical pipe over the joint to drop crystal/chemical/phosphate-xxxx over the joint to prevent root growth. Dig into the 2nd 45 dig joint 20 feet away from tree and repeat.

Hi Robert,
This is kind of odd, PVC shouldn't have roots in it.  PVC is solvent glued at the joints and is essentially "seamless" without any openings. This stuff is bullet proof, tree roots cannot penetrate it.

There is an unknown opening or break in this pipe somewhere that needs to be located and repaired. At this point, you are being reactive and trying to fix the problem from the wrong end. Effectively, you are chasing your tail! LOL

Tree roots are insidious and can travel up to 50-80 feet or more to find nutrients.

Get a plumber that has a sewer camera in there to video the entire length of the pipe and find the REAL problem, and not keep "guessing" from the sound of the snake.  Once located, you will be able to handle the problem and stop trying remedial measures that are only temporary measures that need to be repeated endlessly.

Good Luck,

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Dana Bostick


Pretty much any residential plumbing questions. For "item specific" details such as a specific model of fixture, I will need to research and there may not be any useful information available. Note: I live and work in Southern California. We do not, as a rule, use hot water or steam heating systems, oil fired boilers or private water wells so my knowledge in those areas is pretty limited. There are others here on AllExerts that can probably answer those questions better.


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