Roots can cause major problems for your sewer lines. They can cause clogs and make your yard smell from the sewage getting out of the pipes. You definitely want to fix that problem as soon as possible. Water softeners can help with this.
How Do You Know If Roots Are The Problem?
You can know if the reason behind your clogging system is roots or not if you get the clog cleared away and it comes back. If you clear a clog and it stays away, it likely isn’t because of roots. You can also tell if your problem is roots if you have multiple toilets clogged at the same time or if there are fully grown trees near your sewer line. Some other indicators are if your sewer line is made of an older material, like clay or iron, you have sewer odors in your lawn, and more.
What Causes Root Problems?
Contrary to popular belief, roots don’t cause breaks in your pipes. Roots won’t know there’s water there unless there’s already a hole in your pipes from age or impact or pressure for them to penetrate through. Roots grow where there are resources available, not towards anything. They’ll grow into pipes if oxygen and water supplies are adequate.
Roots don’t go hunting for water and nutrient-sources; they are just drawn to resources they already detect. There’s no such thing as shallow or deep-rooted trees, it all depends on the soils and the oxygen and water levels beneath the surface. For example, if a tree has very deep roots, these are going to the water table, and help keep the tree alive in periods of drought.
It is true that sometimes the pressure of a root system will cause the pipe to crack. If you have a hole in your pipes, roots are going to be drawn to it as a water and nutrient source. Killing the roots is a temporary fix, as the hole is still there, and the moisture and oxygen will attract more plants to your pipes.
How Can A Water Softener Help?
Softened water is deadly to plants because of the salt. The high sodium levels starve the plants of the oxygen they need in order to survive. A water softener helps with root problems through all the salinity the water gets through the process water softeners conduct.
How Does Water Softening Work?
People generally soften water for cleanliness. Softened water is best for bathing and cleaning, as softening water involves a process called ion exchange where the magnesium and calcium that cause the scaling and ‘dirtiness’ of hard water in water is swapped out with sodium. This eliminates the issues of build-up and crusty deposits hard water can bring with it. Hard water will generally not cause major scaling and soap film as long as the hardness level is under a certain point, but if it gets over that point, it certainly can. Soft water keeps things cleaner and reduces buildup on your appliances and dishes and the like and leaves your hair and body softer too.
What Does Water Softening Do To Roots?
In short: it kills them. Flushing your pipes with water softener will kill your root problem because of the high sodium levels of softened water. This is why it is better to have a faucet in your garage with hard water to use in order to water your plants, so that you don’t kill them.
Improper use of water softener can kill trees, not just roots. Also, natural tree grafts are common with the same kind of tree, which means that a killed root in one can lead to killed roots in ones that were not affected, as well as the branches over the root. Water softener will temporarily take care of the problem, but it doesn’t fix the breaks that allowed the roots into your pipes in the first place.
While it can solve your root problems temporarily, it’s best to use water softener for its intended purpose, especially since it is not a permanent solution. However, if you need something to starve off the roots while waiting for a more permanent solution, you may consider having your pipes flushed with water softener to temporarily stave off the roots.
How To Fix Root Problems
Hydro-jetting is a more environmentally friendly alternative than water softener for root problems, as it blasts the roots away without killing them. If you have a lot of trees around, and you suspect pressure from the root system may be causing those breaks in your pipes, you can have someone come out and cut them out with a sewer machine which cuts the roots away from the pipes.
You can also try to remove or relocate trees, however you may need a permit in order to do this, or be required to plant another to replace it.
However, these are all temporary fixes, as they don’t help the fact that there are those breaks in your pipes for more roots to get in through. The best way to prevent roots in your pipes is to replace an affected pipe.
Preventing Root Problems
Prevention is the best course of action for keeping roots out of your pipes. It is not a good idea to plant big trees near home as those root systems can cause enough pressure on your sewer lines to make them crack – opt for smaller ones instead.
Regular inspections can also be a preventative measure against root problems. It is always better to address a problem sooner rather than later, to catch it early before it has a chance to get serious.
Do You Have Questions About Water Softeners Or Root Problems?
Here at S & B Plumbing, we want to keep your pipes in the best possible shape and prevent clogs. If you are having any issues with clogging and suspect it may be from roots, we can help you out. Contact us at S & B Plumbing today for expert care for all your plumbing needs!