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Responsibility for sewer pipes

Did you know homeowners are responsible for their sewer pipes up to and including where they meet the Sydney Water sewer mains?

A lot of people are shocked to find out this piece of information.

If you need to renew your sewer pipe line because it has been damaged by tree roots and those pipes are out in the middle the road, then the homeowner is responsible for all costs associated with that renewal, including Council road opening fees.

How do tree roots get into pipes? #2

In my last post I described how tree roots can easily travel through the soil loosened by excavation for 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.

How do tree roots get into pipes?

Tree roots grow through trenches dug for plumbing pipes.

When plumbers excavate a trench in virgin soil to lay our pipelines to take the waste water from your home, we till the soil.

The simple method of excavating the soil with a shovel or even a mechanical excavator like a backhoe actually breaks up the soil.

See the tree in our attached pic?

Its root system will be able to grow through the trench looking for weakness in the pipe line.

After we complete our excavations and lay the pipes in the trenches, we back fill the trench, putting the excavated soils back.

Sometimes we water in the soil and quite often use a compactor to help with the back fill process.

Excavations are often back filled with an aggregate like blue metal gravel.

The back filled trench is never as compact as the virgin soil.

It provides the roots of nearby trees a much easier path to “wander” along in their search for water and nutrients.

Do tree roots grow in PVC pipes?

Do tree roots grow in PVC pipe?
Yes they do!
The PVC pipe shown here in this Youtube clip has tree roots growing in through the wall of the pipe in three different places.
There is a significant Norfolk pine tree and a Paperbark tree within two-three metres of the pipe.
The roots were cut from this pipeline about 8 weeks ago.
This survey was taken before applying Vaporooter to the pipe line.
Vaporooter will NOT fix a broken pipe.
Vaporooter stops tree roots in drains!
In this case, we are only keeping the roots at bay until the necessary repairs are undertaken.

Sewer overflow makes Coogee a “smelly place”

Coogee means “smelly place” and yesterday the beautiful beach, just 500 metres from our HQ lived up to the name given it by indigenous Australians. The smell and subsequent beach closure was brought about by a Sydney Water  blocked sewer main in nearby Dudley Street.

The overflowing sewer main spilled into the storm water system which then discharged into the surf just near the Coogee Surf Club. Randwick City Council closed the beach and drained the Ross Jones pool that sits adjacent to the surf club and the storm water discharge.

Sydney Water maintenance crews cleared a blockage in the sewer main that was caused by tree roots.
The tree root blockage and sewer overflow was completely preventable. The beach has been re-opened today.

Clipping from Sydney’s Daily Telegraph:
2016 04 14 Cooge sewer spill Daily Telegraph article

See it for yourself – Drainoscopy

Today our post is simple.

A new client from Bronte called because since Christmas they’d had 3 blocked drains causing the downstairs toilet to overflow throughout their basement. YUK!

The plumber they had been using didn’t have a drain camera and it was suggested that the pipes were broken.

We were able to clear the blockage quickly, then, give the pipes a Drainoscopy. That’s Lone Drainer speak for “put a specialised drain camera in the pipes and see what is really going on”.

The pipe was full of tree roots. That’s all! We cut out the roots and had another look. A simple Vaporooter treatment will keep the roots away. With a Guarantee!

Yes, the pipes are old clay pipes. You can see where the roots have been cut out. But, they work and will for some time to come.

The best way to find out is to see it for yourself.

Get your pipes checked…. I did!

November is Mens Health Month and my reminder came in the mail. “Its time to get your pipes checked again” said the friendly letter from my Colorectal surgeon. It spelt out the process, the fasting, the preparation, the costs, the procedure on the day, what to expect afterwards, the discomfort but most of all…….. the benefit!

So on Sunday I began the preparation for a colonoscopy on Monday. After a healthy and hearty breakfast on Sunday morning it was a time of fasting. No food! Then, from early afternoon into the evening I had to take not 1, not 2, but 3 doses of fairly unpleasant medicine that would clean my internal pipes so the surgeon could put his camera through them.

Now all this makes sense to a 54 year old male and father of 3 healthy and happy sons whose father, after being diagnosed with Prostate cancer passed away a few years ago.

So, I hear you ask, why is your plumber telling you this? If your body is a temple as mine is, and your home is your castle, then it’s appropriate to get your pipes checked, especially if your castle has a history of problems or blockages in your sewer pipes. There are many parallels between a Colonoscopy and a Drainoscopy.

To get a Drainoscopy is easy!

We clear your pipes and then put a specialized drain camera through the pipes to find out what is actually going on in there. Then we take the vision and put it on our YouTube channel with a description of what is going on in the pipes. You can see it, you can share it, you can get a second opinion, you can evaluate the information and understand exactly what is going on underground or in your pipes.

Yes, it is a little uncomfortable. But now I know that after Dr “L” has treated 2 areas of interest and checked my prostate, my pipes are in good condition. I’ve seen the pictures. And at the appropriate time, he will send me a reminder for my next Drainoscopy er Colonoscopy.

So to end on a high note watch this fun YouTube clip.

Why use an electric eel

Dateline: March 21st 2015

Less than 5% of blocked drains in Sydney are cleared by electric eel. The rest are cleared and cleaned by high pressure water drain cleaners that operate by pumping clean water at very high pressure through a series of hoses into a sewer pipe to clear the blockage.

Over 85% of blocked drains are caused by tree roots and we can show you how to Stop Tree Roots in Drains. Watch this short 2 minute YouTube video to see how we use the “Rattlesnake” drain cleaner to clear your blockage!

Blocked Pipes and Council Trees

Did you know many blocked sewers are caused by the tree roots from Council street trees?
Tree crushes sewerThis is becoming a very big drain on the budget of 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 sewer blockages caused by these street trees.

There is an economical way for local councils to Stop Tree Roots in Pipes and ease the burden on the budget and the ratepayers who have regular tree root blockages.
Vaporooter Kills Roots. Period!

Happy Plumbers + Great Service = Happy Clients

We have a great team of plumbers here at The Lone Drainer and Pronto! They are good at their job. They Love their work. We call it “Furk”! Having FUn..at..woRK

So on Monday afternoon, 27th October 2014, I got this email.

Hi Dave,
Thank you so very much for taking my phone call early this morning and organising Chris and Leigh to come to my house so quickly.

Chris and Leigh arrived, knocked on my door, introduced themselves with smiles and put me at ease that my sewerage problems would be fixed.

Such a relief. I could not have had nicer people to arrive on my door step. Both well mannered and very pleasant people to talk to.

I also had a problem with my kitchen sink tap. Unfortunately I had to leave Chris at the kitchen sink as I had to go to work. He did a good job and I now have a brand new tap looking at me! Both men were very efficient.

Again, thank you for being so prompt and getting the job on its way.

Kind regards,

Julie B. Randwick NSW

Leigh and Chris with Plunger

Leigh and Chris with Plunger

Don’t play Noughts and Crosses when you have sewer problems

Take the guesswork out of excavation!
Today’s post comes courtesy of Dr Marc Dussault, The Exponential Growth Strategist. At his recent Exponential Business Building Bootcamp, he showed a series of “impossible pictures” from Swedish Artist Erik Johansson. This photo was of particular interest. This is what we want to avoid with the use of Vaporooter when tree roots get into and block your pipes and drains.

Sydney Water fight tree roots in sewer pipes

Sydney Water the guardians of our main sewer pipes are constantly waging war against tree roots in our main sewer lines!

Many clients from Double Bay, Rushcutters Bay, Edgecliff, Woollahra, Paddington, Rose Bay, Point Piper and Darling Point, residents with lots of trees and tree roots growing in the sewer pipes around their homes, report Sydney Water are systematically surveying the mains around their neighbourhood.

If you have a tree root problem on the branch to the sewer pipes for your home, they will advise you.

To cut tree roots from your sewer pipes before it becomes a plumbing emergency follow their advice.

To keep the tree roots out of your sewer pipes you should seriously consider using Vaporooter.

Drainoscopy technology works for a shoe fit!

All plumbers know that apart from looking after our hands, our feet are equally as important. No feet, no action!

I was busy speaking to the smart Real estate property managers of Bondi Beach about the benefits of having a great plumbing team like The Lone Drainer and Pronto, look after their emergency plumbing repairs and the benefits of using Vaporooter for sewer tree root control.

As I walked down Gould street I came across The Running Company Bondi. The owner Chris Chapman had a smile as big as Bondi and it was only minutes before he had me on his treadmill, filming my walking/running gait with some simple, but powerful video tools.

Buying shoes from someone who actually knows about running shoes makes a huge difference. Chris’ advice was so professional and made so much sense. Chris had me on his treadmill in each different shoe I tried on, to check how my feet were landing with his video equipment. Buying running shoes from a shoe expert who is also a runner makes a lot of sense. I have been suffering with knee and hip pain whenever I run since suffering a bad lower leg injury about 14 years ago and when Chris showed me the running analysis he uses I realized why.

As with advice on emergency plumbing repairs, if you’re wearing the wrong pair of trainers you could be setting yourself up for all sorts of problems in a few weeks, months or years from now. It seems most sales people at the big chain stores just don’t know this stuff, which is why it’s important to get checked now before you get injured. If you suffer from any sort of knee pain or shin splints when you run, or want to prevent future problems I highly recommend you spare an hour of your time and come along to meet Chris at The Running Company Bondi.

The importance of getting the right advice about plumbing repairs or your trainers is self evident. Oh, I made a decision about my new runners pretty quickly!

The drainoscopy camera survey makes it easier for our clients to also make an accurate decision about their plumbing problems!

An ounce of prevention will keep your drains running

Today it was a pleasure to meet “Dr Elliot”… This man is incredibly organised.

We were called to his home to run our drain cleaning equipment, the world famous “Rattlesnake”  high pressure water drain cleaner, through his house drains, downstream to the sewer boundary trap at the rear of his property, adjacent to the swimming pool.

He has had blocked drains in the past and declared he didn’t want the inconvenience of a blocked sewer pipe during the upcoming holidays when his extended family would be visiting and his old sewer line would be put under pressure.

The thought of having his beautifully manicured garden dug up or even disturbed, inspired this house proud professional to maintain one of his homes main arteries – the plumbing.

He compared our house visit to check his drains to a patient having a  health check  with their Doctor, especially as we get a little older. Pipes and people!

Dr Elliott knew where all the access points to his sewer were located, how to test his sewer and all the symptoms of a blocked drain. It was a pleasure to work with such a professional.

An ounce of prevention will keep your drains running. Oh, and if pain persists………… see your Doctor.

Plumbing Products – Bio-Clean and Vaprooter

Plumbing Products Have Come a Long Way: A Look at Some Products and Their Benefits

Sir John Harrington, the godson of Queen Elizabeth I made a new invention for his godmother. Sir John created the flush toilet and built it for his godmother. This all took place in 1596, according to history records.

Alexander Cummings obtained the first patent for a flushing toilet in 1775. Toilets started gaining popularity, and a city wide sewer system was constructed to handle the flow of refuse. As science advanced, it was recognised that poor sanitation caused diseases and in 1880 the officials of the day decided that toilets and sewer systems were not luxuries but priorities to control human waste and disease.

Jumping to modern day plumbing, the innovations and possibilities are endless when you have plumbing services like The Lone Drainer and Pronto, experts in the field of plumbing with 40 years combined experience. Any type of renovation, plumbing emergency or plumbing need can be taken care of with just one phone call to The Lone Drainer and Pronto.

Sewer lines brought whole new problems to society that it had not faced before. Many old trees had roots that stretched for a block sometimes. These roots invaded the sewer lines because the roots are attracted to the plumbing pipes where they find a constant source of moisture. Today there is a product that eliminates this problem for you. Vaporooter is 100% safe and has been used successfully for more than 40 years. Paying for repairs is much more expensive than using Vaporooter to prevent the problem in the first place. Vaporooter stops tree root blockage from occurring. Are you tired of having plumbing problems where roots have crushed, cracked or blocked your sewer pipes? It gets very expensive trying to keep up with repairs. So call The Lone Drainer and Pronto plumbing services and get insurance on your drains with Vaporooter.

Older homes with older pipes can produce a foul odour, and there is a way to solve that problem. The plumbing services of The Lone Drainer and Pronto have a product that will solve this problem for you faster than you could have ever imagined. You will no longer have to be embarrassed about the odour coming out of your pipes when you use Bio-Clean. This environmentally friendly bacteria waste eliminator will get your pipes spotless and odour free. What a relief it will be to walk into your home and smell the cut flowers instead of sour old pipes.

Bio-Clean performs several functions such as cleaning out the hair in the drains and pipes, and dissolves paper and cotton without using toxic chemicals. This environmentally green solution to an ageless problem is safe and will clear most of the obstruction in the drains and pipes and will not damage your pipes and/or fittings. Bio-clean is friendly to your plumbing pipes and drains.

Just what is your peace of mind worth when the plumbing goes on the blink and the missus is upset because your drains are blocked? Call The Lone Drainer and Pronto, and keep the peace in your household with Vaporooter and Bio-Clean.

How do Tree Roots Get in Sewer Pipes And what Damage Can They Cause?

Homes that are connected to a municipal or mains sewer system have their biggest plumbing problems when tree roots have grown into pipes. In days gone by, one of the plumbing services would be called in to clear a blockage in the pipe, getting rid of those tree roots, but the tree roots would regrow and block up the sewer up again.

Regrowth of tree roots and the aggressive action of repeat cleaning earthenware or clay pipes with an electric eel or other drain cleaning equipment is destructive to the integrity of the pipes.  The pipes split, crack and crumble after the roots repeatedly find their way into the pipes. The pipe then has to be replaced  at the home owner’s expense.

Tree roots are going to head for the easiest source of water they can find. A sewer pipe is the perfect environment. There is warmth, a constant stream of water and nutrients from degraded food matter. This is the perfect environment for those tree roots to take over your sewer system because the nutrient leakage through these pipes, makes it even more inviting for the tree roots, and they just keep coming.

So the cycle continues!

Several things can be done to prevent root intrusion into the sewage system.

Liquid ambar, camphor laurel, ficus (fig) and London Plane trees are the worst offenders when it comes to sending roots to a convenient water source. Do not plant these varieties close to your sewage system.

Calling  plumber services Sydney to make sure that you can identify where the roots are, where the crack in the pipes is, and how to finally get rid of your root problem, can be costly. It is a good idea to find a plumber that uses a sewer pipe camera in order to identify exactly where the problem is.

There is a chemical treatment that can kill the tree roots invading the pipes without killing the trees; by using an experienced plumber in Sydney that can provide this plumbing service to get rid of those tree roots, you can save yourself costly repair bills.

The best way to avoid tree roots in your sewer pipes is to remove any young trees that are trying to grow near or above the sewer pipe lines. Call in a professional from one of the reputable plumbing services and make sure that when you do engage that plumber, they do all the diagnostics necessary to identify exactly where the problem is before they set about repairing busted pipes and removing those tree roots that will continue to invade the pipe system.

Tree Roots Growing In Sewer Pipes

Are the Roots of my Neighbours Trees, or the Trees Growing Out the Front of My Property, Growing in my Sewer Pipes?

One of the major plumbing concerns is trees that send roots into sewer lines, especially in homes that were built over twenty years ago. Trees are equipped with water finding capabilities that send tiny roots in every direction in a quest for water. The trenches where there are sewer lines do not usually have hard packed soil therefore, roots gravitate to this loose soil. When these roots invade from trees growing out the front of your property or from across the street and get into the sewer system, it is time to call in the professionals who do plumbing that know how to deal with a blocked drain. (more…)

Eradicating tree root problems

Tree roots are a very common cause for blocked drains, however the extent of damage that roots can create before a problem is recognised can vary greatly. To get rid of a tree root problem you must know the condition of the pipes.

The Lone Drainer and Pronto has a great number of weapons in its arsenal to combat those all-invasive tree roots, but in order to decide on the correct solution for the situation at hand, it is good practice to know what is happening with the drain. In many cases we insist on the use a special drain camera to view the location of the blockage and the condition of the connecting pipes.

The drain cameras we use are an enormous cost saver and allow us to determine the condition of underground pipes. Our pipe locating equipment shows us where to dig, minimising the need for large excavations to locate them. This reduces the guesswork and helps us make informed decisions on how to treat your particular blocked drain. In 2009 it makes great sense to use the technology available to us; it helps us help you!

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PVC Pipes Blocked by Hills Weeping Fig

The Hills weeping fig (ficus microcarpar var.) is a beautiful tree which in some cases  provides a shady archway for many streets in our Sydney Eastern suburbs.

But why are the residents of these streets pulling out their hair?

The Hills weeping fig is like Jekyll and Hyde.

Dr Jekyll brings shade in summer; tree lined streets become a breezeway, cooling our homes as their majestic branches cast shade and protect us from the searing summer heat, attracting birds to feed on their fruit twice a year.

But, Mr Hyde is lurking. Those same fruit bring flying foxes…and other mysteries.

My interest in this tree is the power of its root system. Their reach is widespread, sometimes 3 or 4 or more times wider than they are high. The root system will move stone walls, lift concrete footpaths and driveways and of course invade sewer and stormwater pipes. The  roots from this tree  just keep on coming after they are internally pruned with an electric eel or “Rattlesnake” high pressure water drain cleaner.

Last week we attended  to 4 tree root sewer  blockages directly caused by the Hills Weeping fig.

The 2 blocked sewer pipes that particularly interested me were in PVC sewer pipes.

Why is that interesting, I hear you ask?

Well… tree roots don’t grow into PVC pipes! …..or do they?

The Kensington blocked drain was in an established housing estate about 10 – 15 years old. The townhouse in question had no previous blocked drain history. The Hills weeping fig was about 30 metres away. Its root system had grown up to this house and had actually grown into the PVC pipeline through a screw on cap that we plumbers call a cleaning eye. The fine  roots had grown into the cap thread and multiplied inside the pipe thus causing the sewer blockage.

The Bellevue Hill blocked sewer was similar.

This house was built during the year of Sydney’s 2000 Olympic games after the long term owners, were tired of having blocked sewer pipes every 3 months, and tree roots “growing up through the back of the toilet”, amongst other reasons.

During the rebuild all the pipelines were installed in PVC pipes and fittings. The house finish was state of the art plumbing fixtures, with beautiful sandstone tiles around the outside of the house. All the pipes were concealed! No cleaning eyes! Why would we need access to the pipes as they have all been installed in tree root proof PVC?  The nearest fig tree was 30 odd metres away.

Well, what started as a simple blocked floorwaste, grew to removing that beautiful toilet suite to clear the blocked sewer pipe. We used the “Rattlesnake” high pressure water drain cleaner to remove tree roots from the blocked pipeline. When the blockage was cleared we carried out a camera survey of the pipeline. About 14 metres downstream the camera showed the remnants of the cut tree roots, but just as important, our drain camera survey showed the PVC pipe had been squashed. What was a round internal pipe, was now oval shaped with a crack in at least 1 of the fittings.

Who said tree roots don’t grow in PVC sewer pipes?

Beware Mr Hyde!

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hills-weeping-fig-tree-or-monster-001-mod

Hills Weeping Fig Tree

 

Vaporooter Guarantee

Blocked drains are a major problem – any way you look at it!

Tree root invasion of sewer lines is a common cause of such blockages — BUT, when left unattended, tree roots will cause major damage to your sewer pipes (which, as you might imagine, can be far more troublesome than just any old blockage and the resulting sewerage backflow).

Replacing broken or collapsed sewer pipes can be a VERY expensive exercise …

Thankfully, there is a solution! … (but it’s NOT just a case of removing the tree roots).

The best solution available (and what we use ourselves) is Sanafoam Vaporooter. When applied to sewer lines correctly, the foam coats the interior of the affected pipes, seeping through any fine cracks which may have been created by the invading tree roots, and killing off any roots it comes into contact with. Vaporooter is so effective, that we guarantee the results for 12 months

Vaporooter: The BEST solution for tree roots in sewers!

What Happens When Tree Roots Grow In Sewer Pipes

The intrusion of tree roots in sewer pipes is probably the most destructive single element that faces those maintaining a sewer collection system today.

Sewers are ageing expensive assets that only attract public attention when they fail. There are more than 35,000 kms of water and sewer pipes in Sydney and 60% of all collection systems are made up of pipes with a diameter of 9 inches (225 mm) or smaller. The potential for tree root intrusion to inhibit flows, produce blocked drains and damage valuable pipes, is enormous.

Tree roots normally do not grow underwater and seldom cause problems where ground water covers the pipe. But in most areas, this is not the case.

Tree Roots Grow One Cell at a Time

When a seed germinates, it adds one cell at a time toward the best environment from which it might extract nutrients and moisture. The growing point of a tree moves best through loosely cultivated soil.

The most common practice used to lay sewer pipes is in an open trench. The back-filled soil offers a good growing medium for tree roots. Because the flow in sewer pipes is a higher temperature than the soil, this causes a condensation to appear on the crown of the pipe.

As the warm moisture from the sewer pipe evaporates up through the soil, the vapours offer an excellent trail for the tree roots to follow. If a vapour leak exists in the pipe, the roots concentrate its efforts at that point. Since some pipe joint compounds are of nutrient based material themselves (like rubber rings or sand cement mix), the root may entirely girdle before entering the pipe.

Roots Allow Accumulation of Debris

Once inside the sewer pipe, the root takes on the appearance of a “veil” or “horse tail” type structure. If flows in the pipes are fairly constant, the root mass hangs down like a veil to the normal flow level where they accumulate deposits of grease, slime and other debris.

Conventional methods of removing tree roots by cutting with an electric eel or a “Rattlesnake” high pressure water drain cleaner tend to increase regrowth; similar to pruning a tree. Removing tree roots inside the pipe solves the immediate problem of clearing the blocked drain, but does nothing to retard the tree root regrowth or destroy the tree roots outside the pipe.

This removal, regrowth and removal cycle of cutting and tearing roots can destroy the structural integrity of the pipe.

Herbicide Fumigants

Herbicide fumigants present  the most effective method to destroy tree roots and inhibit their regrowth without affecting the above ground plant life. Vaporooter is a root control herbicide that enters the sewer as a foam. Only tree roots within the pipe and a short distance outside the pipe are affected. Trees and shrubs immediately above ground are not harmed in any way.

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