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Thread: Tree roots too big to snake out with blade?

  1. #1
    DIY Junior Member IN2665's Avatar
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    Default Tree roots too big to snake out with blade?

    Hello all, I have a question about a main sewer line with tree roots clogging it. I had a local company out that I have used before (and been satisfied with) and they tried to snake the line with a blade in the end, but could not get through the root. They say that my only option is to dig up the cast iron line and replace it with PVC, at a cost of $4,000.

    What I'm wanting to know is how common is it that they are unable to get through the root with a blade. It just seemed like to me that they didn't try very hard. I've had some previous experience with this at a different house and that time it seemed like the plumber kept pushing and pulling the line back and forth tons of times to get it all out, whereas this plumber didn't try for very long until he gave up. I'm just wondering if I called a different company if they would be able to get it if they tried longer. I've spent over an hour searching this site and it seems to me that the vast majority of people that had to replace their main line did so due to a collapse, and that is not my issue. It seems that nearly everyone who had root problems was able to snake them out. I do realize that by not replacing it I will be dealing with this issue again in the future, but unfortunantly my budget just does not allow for a $4,000 repair. I've owned this house for 10 years with no problems, so it just kind of seems like the roots can't be all that huge if this is the first time I've had problems with them, but maybe I'm wrong.

    Should I try again with a different company, or is what they are telling me correct? Thanks in advance for your input!

  2. #2
    Moderator & Master Plumber hj's Avatar
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    Roots should NOT be in a "cast iron line", except at the end where it transitions to some other material such as red clay pipe. I do not trust their diagnosis or remedy. I have had very few root problems that the blade could not cure, and in those cases the problem had been developing for YEARS. IF you do have the line replaced, and at this time, using your information, I would not, then there is no reason WHY you should have to deal with this problem again, as long as the use the "right" PVC and not the thin green SDR which WILL cause additional problems..
    Licensed residential and commercial plumber

  3. #3
    Plumber AssTyme's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by hj View Post
    Roots should NOT be in a "cast iron line", except at the end where it transitions to some other material such as red clay pipe. I do not trust their diagnosis or remedy. I have had very few root problems that the blade could not cure, and in those cases the problem had been developing for YEARS. IF you do have the line replaced, and at this time, using your information, I would not, then there is no reason WHY you should have to deal with this problem again, as long as the use the "right" PVC and not the thin green SDR which WILL cause additional problems..


    Really............

  4. #4

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    If you cannot cut the roots out with a sharp blade and a little time, you could do a spot repair, just dig up and replace that section where the roots are. Many times a company will try half-heartedly, because the 4,000 dollar job makes them more money. If you should do a spot repair, that section will be PVC.

  5. #5
    General Contractor Carpenter toolaholic's Avatar
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    Default Guy was a bum

    My big machine is a 3/4" General Maxi rooter. My root cutters always win! Guy was usless. Ask the old timers in the Hood Who's reliable.
    Cookie's right , a section replaced at the root ball often is a long term repair.

  6. #6

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    I am woman, Tools, you know I am always right,

  7. #7
    General Contractor Carpenter toolaholic's Avatar
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    You N Elizabeth are always right !

  8. #8

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    I like that Elizabeth! See, Tim, knew I was always right... lol. I would start humming, that tune, " I am Woman"

  9. #9
    DIY Junior Member DRS's Avatar
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    If you have roots in the line, you have a broken sewer line. Roots do not belong in any sewerline.

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