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Monday, May 28, 2012

What can be done about blocked drains? We live in a suburb filled with beautiful gum trees, but our drains keep getting blocked by their roots. What can I do about this? Rebecca - Highbury

Hi Rebecca,

Tree roots can certainly present themselves as one of the biggest plumbing nightmares around the home. Tree roots are very persistent in their search for water especially during the summer months.

There are a variety of ways to deal with the problem depending on how bad the roots have become:

- The most common way of removing tree roots from drains is by the use of a drain cleaning machine. This method involves using a machine that spins a cutter down the drain to basically cut back the roots. Other machines also use a water jet to cut back the roots. This is only a preventative method as like all plants the roots grow back. Typically a drain clean should prevent the problem reoccurring for approximately 12 months however if it is bad tree root penetration it may only last approximately half a year. Many of my clients choose to have preventative drain cleans to ensure the problem doesn't occur when it is inconvenient. For example in the middle of a party on the weekend.

- In your situation if you are after a more permanent repair a camera inspection of the drain can be conducted to determine the extent of damage to the drain caused by the roots. Once the problem area is identified that section of drain can be replaced rather than replacing the entire drain. Once the drain is repaired it is very hard for the tree roots to again break through.

Please call my office on 8364 5855 if you would like to proceed with the above.

- Ken


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