Q: My sewer has blocked up for the 3rd time, and it always seems to happen at this time of year. Is there something that causes this?
A: This is a question that comes up around autumn every year. The short answer is yes, there is something that causes this problem, and it will keep happening if action isn’t taken.
Tree roots are normally the cause. During long dry periods the root systems ‘sense’ even the smallest traces of moisture, and will seek out the source. When you get a long dry spell, followed by regular heavy rain as we do in autumn, the roots grow quickly and invade pipes. Any foreign matter that is then flushed through the pipes then gets snagged on the roots, and blockages form.
The blockages can be cleared relatively easily most of the time, but they will continue to come back until a permanent solution is found.
There have always been two permanent solutions to this problem. The first is to remove the trees, and the second is to replace your existing pipes with new PVC pipes. Both of these solutions can cause a lot of upheaval to your backyard and for people with established gardens and landscaping they can be a real pain.
There is a third and relatively new option though – pipe relining. A fairly new weapon in the plumbers arsenal relining root damaged, cracked or collapsed earthenware pipes brings your sewers or storm-water back to looking like new. A resin is inserted inside the existing drains with no need to dig up your whole yard. Once the resin hardens it leaves your old pipes ‘relined’ with a completely new pipe.
Relining isn’t always the solution, but it can save you a lot of time and worry. Give your local plumber a call and ask them if relining is right for you.