Help! My garden is blocking my main sewer line!

Tai Irwin
1 Mar 2015

BY Tai Irwin / 0 Comments

A mysterious, rotting smell coming from your drain is probably near the top of the list when it comes to things you don’t want to wake up to. Worse than the smell is knowing that it’s merely a symptom of a larger problem, most likely one that involves a blocked or broken sewer pipe or an issue with your main sewer line. While a number of factors can cause sewer pipe issues, our beautiful North Shore gardens and large, willowy trees, can often be the primary culprit.

Trees, especially the larger varieties, have a bad habit of shooting their roots out across a large diameter. Sometimes, these roots make contact with underground pipes. It’s estimated that in some cases, errant tree roots are responsible for up to 75% of sewer blockages! That’s a lot of tree root based damage! It only takes a tiny gap in the join of two pipes or a crack in the older style terracotta pipes which many properties still have for a tree root to make its way in and start causing havoc.

 

What issues can tree roots cause to main sewer lines?

 

Tree roots either interfering with or entering a pipe causes what we term a ‘sewer choke’. A sewer choke occurs when something makes its way into a pipe and stops it working properly. Usually this will either cause a blockage or a broken sewer pipe. You don’t have to be a plumbing expert to know that this isn’t going to be great for your property. A blocked pipe can cause overflow in your drains and toilets and depending on the source of the blockage, can affect a select number of drains or the whole house at once. Regardless of how it starts, once a blockage has made its way through to one pipeline, the plumbing throughout your home will be affected.

 

What should I do if I think our main sewer line has a problem?

 

Quick action is key when it comes to minimising damage and getting the problem under control. Our experienced plumbers are sewer pipe repair specialists and have seen their fair share of blocked and broken pipes. Being North Shore locals ourselves, we know the area (and its trees!) very well and have the knowledge, expertise and equipment to be able to get to the bottom of the problem quickly.

 

How is the main sewer line problem fixed?

 

When you contact us about a sewer pipe repair or suspected issue, we can get a technician out to you pronto to conduct a thorough inspection of your property to locate the problem. We often use a CCTV plumbing camera to see exactly what’s going on beneath the surface and tailor the situation accordingly. Depending on what we see on screen will guide us towards an appropriate course of action. If the problem is a blockage and not a broken sewer pipe, we may use equipment like an electric eel or ‘sewer snake’ to remove blockages. If the eel isn’t suitable, your plumber may use a high pressure cleaning hose to dislodge especially stubborn blockages. We may also use an industrial strength drainage cleaner to completely flush your pipes.

 

If we discover that your pipe has rusted or broken away, our plumbers can replace the pipes, eliminating blockages and future problems in one go. Sewer pipe repairs can be a delicate business and it pays to use a licensed and experienced expert who knows exactly what they are doing and can fix the problem quickly and effectively while preserving the existing plumbing and minimising any damage or disruption.

 

If you need help with your drains or want to discuss your plumbing needs with our friendly staff, please don’t hesitate to give us a call. We are your North Shore sewer line repair specialists and have experienced plumbers available 24/7.