(206) 949-5683, Top Rated Plumber, Seattle
Results 1 to 15 of 27

Thread: Roots stopping toilet...$1400 to fix?

Hybrid View

  1. #1

    Default Roots stopping toilet...$1400 to fix?

    One of my two toilets is clogged by oak tree roots and I have a slab foundation.
    Everything else seems to be fine. I'm a first time homeowners and know little about plumbing. Basically the plumber came over, used his hand held snake, pulled out some roots and said 'thats bad'. So he says he needs to jackhammer the floor, replace some pipe etc for $1400. Says if I don't my foundation will be ruined. Doesn't seem like I have bad leaks or I think the water bill would be worse but I dunno.

    I thought roots in pipes were somewhat common and thats what folks like roto-rooter etc (they didnt give my quote) did...clear the pipes. With the economy being bad I always suspect repair situations to be over exaggerated and honestly dont know how to trust someone when they say in 5 minutes in need expensive work. Not that I don't trust plumbers of course its just dang 1400$!?

    Any way any suggestions or what I should expect or know before I call someone else for an estimate? Thanks

  2. #2
    Forum Admin, Expert Plumber Terry's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2004
    Bothell, Washington
    Blog Entries


    There are outfits that will run a camera down the line and give you a DVD on the interior of the line to look at.

    People that work on main lines, don't use hand snakes.
    That equipement will have a large barrel for the cable and the cutter will either be a 3" or 4" for cutting roots.

    There are products for killing invading tree roots.

    All in all, he does seem to have a scary story though.
    I wonder how often that one works.
    Last edited by Terry; 08-04-2009 at 07:42 PM.

  3. #3
    Illinois Licensed Plumber SewerRatz's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2008
    Chicago, IL


    I would call around and get a few other opinions. A good quality plumber that knows how to clean drains can get the drain cleared, and run a TV down the line to see what you are up against.

    I have had to open up slabs to make sewer repairs in the past, so it is not unheard of. Just question a guy using a hand snake only and not using a power rod. One question what state are you in?

  4. #4
    Master Plumber Redwood's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2007


    Sounds like you need a second opinion...

  5. #5
    Semi retired master plumber freeflow's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2009

    Question roots

    It sounds crazy but I once ran an extended auger (general) down a toilet and pulled out roots.I pulled the toilet and found roots growing in all around the flange.With a sharp knife and hammer and sharp chisel I cut all the roots out that I could see and poured rock (ice creme salt) all around the flange,then reset bowl.HO didnt want to pay me to cut out around flange and seal with anchor cement so I guess the roots grew back over time who knows I havent been back ????

  6. #6


    Hi thanks for your input. I live in Texas by the way, DFW area. Foundation problems are common here so if true I will fix it. But mentioning foundations around here is a nice way to scare people for sure...thats what I'm afraid is going on. So the plan is to look for another plumber who will clear line, look for legitimate leaks, and possibly prove if I need heavy duty work is needed etc...sound good? By the way if a leak was bad enough to screw up a foundation wouldnt I see that in water bills or on the meter? Thanks again

  7. #7


    I would definitely get that second opinion on that repair so your plan sounds good.

    No, you would not see it in your waterbill unless the roots grow into your supply lines, this is a drain line. It would have to be a bad leak to cause major damage to the foundation, and then that would only occur over time. One thing you might get it seepage into your foundation and maybe sewer gas which smells bad and is not real good for you. A water drain leak might attract fireants and termites to hang out under your foundation when in drought conditions since they like moisture, so fixing it is probably a good idea.
    Last edited by rwcarpenter; 08-05-2009 at 09:00 AM.

    I'm a DIYer, not a pro

  8. #8
    Moderator & Master Plumber hj's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2004
    Cave Creek, Arizona

    Default Plumber?

    That is not a "plumber" it is a shyster. No one can run a "handheld" snake down a sewer line and tell you ANYTHING about it. Much less, that it has massive roots and needs to be excavated. The only thing "not good" about it is HIM.


Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts