Broken sewer

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2,081
Location
California
I generally don't do sewer and drain work because I'm old, and it's more of a young man's game. Nonetheless, I got sucked into doing this one because of a long story that I won't bore you with. The camera inspection showed that the line was broken. We (that is, my employee) dug it up, and found this: On removing the broken section, we found this: I have heard of large roots in pipes, but had never seen anything like this in person. I was able to pull them out by hand, and one was over 10' long. Then we followed a crack in the next section until it ended, cut it with a diamond wheel, and replaced the broken section with ABS.
 
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6,614
Location
southeast US
How close was the tree to the pipe? The previous owner planted a crepe myrtle tree just feet from plastic sewer line. I'm thinking about cutting it before it does any damage.
 

Stelth

Thread starter
Messages
2,081
Location
California
Originally Posted By: friendly_jacek
How close was the tree to the pipe? The previous owner planted a crepe myrtle tree just feet from plastic sewer line. I'm thinking about cutting it before it does any damage.
This tree is within 10'. However, proximity to the sewer isn't usually the problem; roots in the sewer are usually caused by leaks. Roots will often run parallel to pipes, in part because the dirt is softer there, since it has been previously excavated. If the pipe leaks, the roots will of course follow the water, and/or fertilizer, right into the pipe. Then, of course the root grows, eventually breaking the pipe further. Vitrified clay pipe is very strong, and can be leak free. However, if the pipe shifts even slightly, a leak can easily develop. Clay pipe, while strong, doesn't tolerate any land movement. Since it has no flexibility, it will break rather than bend. Also, older clay pipe joints were often sealed with oakum and mortar, a joint which is much less reliable than the oakum and lead joints used in cast iron.
 
Messages
9,089
Location
Illinois
Originally Posted By: Oldmoparguy1
Originally Posted By: mrsilv04
Is that underground copper cable?
No. Tree roots. Very common. Wayne
I know tree roots are very common, I've just never seen them look so uniform in diameter and so straight. Amazing.
 
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