Preventing Blocked Sewers

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Septic System Crisis

Roots Block Sewer Pipe

Money Down the Drain?

In the last 2 years I have had to have our sewer Roto Rooted several times. This is more than we have had to have it done in the last 20 years. Is there something we can put down the sewer that will keep it open? I know my grandfather told me years ago that if you put salt down your sewer, it will keep the sewer free of tree roots. I know that tree roots are not the problem. Can readers help me with this problem?

Professional Advice

I am in the septic tank pumping business and deal with all kinds of sewer problems. I am assuming this person is on a city system, however, clogged drains happen as a result of many things. Toilet paper, yes, quilted is nice, but doesn't break down, forming problems. Dishwashers, too, are big culprits due to the grease buildup in pipes. The "grandfather" is correct about salt. We recommend rock salt, flushed monthly to prevent root buildup. Another problem is sometimes at the city main. The resident's lines make a deep dropoff into this main line and the main system may have roots, etc. at the intercepting point.

Commerical Product

There is a product called Root-Tone. It is a powder that is used to keep your sewer lines free of tree roots. We had 2 large chestnuts in our yard for several years. Tree roots were a real problem But this Root-Tone really worked. You have to use maintenance doses every year or 6 months. I got rid of the trees several years ago so I have not needed to use it.

Watch What You Flush

We had a problem like this once and found out that we had family members ditching used dental floss down the toilet. The plumber told us that this was one of the most common causes he found for sewer blockages. Dental floss never deteriorates and just wraps around even the smallest root or other possible obstruction and makes things worse.

Digestive Aid

Last year, when the Roto-Rooter worker was cleaning out our septic tank, he told me to pour the contents of one package of Fleischmann's yeast or any grocery store yeast in the toilet, and the septic tank would remain cleaner and clearer, and you wouldn't have to purchase those more expensive septic tank powders.
J. J.

Preventive Maintenance

At the place I work we have been having terrible problems with our sewer lines. Our service tech with Mr. Rooter told me to pour 1 1/2 cups of baking soda and 1 1/2 cups vinegar down each drain. Let it sit for about 20 minutes then run hot water for about 5 minutes. He said this will help keep the drains flowing freely.

Take the Next Step

  • Try Roebic FRK-6 Foaming Root Killer to help get rid of roots.
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