There are tree roots growing in my sewer line. It was snaked last year, and we've put copper sulfate down the line a couple times since, but we're having backups again.
I plan on a DIY approach this time around because I really can't afford a plumber. Read on, and tell me: what are the flaws in my plan?
Last year, RotoRooter was out and pulled tree roots out of the sewer, temporarily solving our problem. Since then, we've twice treated the line with copper sulfate crystals. However, we just started having backups again this week. (The backups only happen when there's heavy water use, like in the mornings when the toilet is flushed repeatedly and everyone takes a shower.)
I just learned from my wife that the work was done via a 1.5" cleanout from the kitchen stack rather than from the main cleanout. I suspect that's the reason we're having problems already -- all the plumber did was punch a small hole through rather than clear it out. I've looked at the main cleanout myself and am terrified of trying to open it. It's below the basement slab, accessed through a 6" hole in the concrete, mostly covered with dirt that's near impossible to clear away, and probably hasn't been removed since before I was born. There's no way to get a wrench on it, so I'd have to chisel it out and then hope there were no problems getting a new plug in.
The only other way of accessing the main line would be to remove the toilet. I'd really rather not do that if I don't have to, but I think it would be better than messing around with that cleanout.
So. My plan is to treat the line with RootX
for now to try to restore the flow. I'd plan on a second application in the spring.
Come spring, I'm also planning on drilling some holes in the yard
to apply copper sulfate directly around the outside of the sewer line -- I know where it runs, and there's only one tree that could be the culprit, so I'm not worried about getting a camera down the line.
So, here are my questions:
Will RootX help clear the blockage on its own? The website suggests it will, but I'm taking that with a grain of salt. Should I go through the work and expense of properly snaking that line no matter what? I figure it's at least $100 and a full weekend of work -- probably more. What other problems exist that I'm not thinking of?