ConcentratedH2O, OM wrote: ↑
free thoughtpolice wrote: ↑
Copper sulphate down the drain works.
Not halal for septic tanks, unless used with great care. :geek:
Can you toilet people (or "men" as Ophelia calls them) confirm that copper sulphate is safe and effective? Regular toilet, inside a house, no weird backwoods septic tanks or anything. How much and how often? Will killing the roots in the drain cause leakage where the dead roots were effectively plugging them?
IME safe, yes, effective, not so much. After we began having to snake our sewer line every few months we started putting it down our drains on a regular schedule (whatever the package the stuff comes in said to do) but AFAICT the roots were unfazed. I suspect the problem was not enough of stuff was in contact with enough of the roots for long enough to have any effect. Or it could have been that the type of trees we were dealing with had some degree of resistance. Whatever.
The crystals are very pretty though: https://www.artangel.org.uk/project/seizure/
There's also Dichlobenil, which is formulated as a foaming compound that fills up the pipe, but it may be banned where you live. In hindsight we should have tried it but didn't.
The one thing I don't recommend is doing nothing beyond fixing the immediate problem with a snake or water blaster or whatever. Eventually the roots will come back enough times to cause the line to collapse, and then you'll have to replace the line. If you can't get the problem under control with regular treatments of some kind you should consider putting a liner in - they can do that from one end of the line. It's a pretty cool process, too: Sort of like unrolling an epoxy-coated sock inside a tube.
In our case after the regular cupric sulfate treatments failed to reduce the frequency of blockages we opted for a liner. Which worked fine for about 10 years.
Unfortunately the liner has to terminate before it joins the main line - you can't have stuff protruding into the main. And even though they managed to get the liner to within an inch of the main - the guys that do this are really good at it - the roots eventually decided that was a great place to enter. So we dug it up - 14' down - and replaced the connector. This held for another 5 years.
It then turned out the connector wasn't to the actual main, but to a tributary that wasn't on the plans. And now collapse looked to be imminent. And we couldn't dig to get to it because the main is partway under Historic Route 66, and getting permission to mess with that is... nontrivial. So we ended up putting in another section of liner that protruded into the main, and then some sewer specialists flew in from wherever sewer specialists fly in from and sent a sewer-bot down the main to trim the liner and install a so-called "top hat" that seals the entire joint.
I swear I'm not making this up.
It also turned out that a separate section of the line that had never given us any trouble at all had in fact collapsed. And getting to that would have meant digging up most of our back yard, likely killing several trees in the process. Well, it turns out they have a high tech solution to this as well: As long as they can get a steel cable through what's left of the line they can pull a new line through the ground, busting out the old one as they go. (They can do this for hundreds of feet if necessary.) There's this bullet-shaped thing they put on the end of a special variety of extremely tough but flexible pipe and then they use a hydraulic gizmo to pull it through. The pipe comes in 10' sections and there's another gizmo they use to weld the sections together.
You really don't want to know how much all this cost.