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Tree Roots In My Sewer Line

Although this is an extremely common problem, it can be very costly and frustrating to deal with. Independently of each other, tree roots and sewer systems both contribute highly to our health and well-being. When these two systems come into contact with each other, they must be separated as soon as possible. There are many factors that should be considered when faced with this problem, the most crucial being information. Here are the answers to the top three questions asked when dealing with roots in a sewer system.

How do I know if I have roots in my sewer line?

Most commonly there are two ways to identify roots in your sewer line:

You had a backup and there were roots removed during the sewer cleaning process.
When a backup in your main sewer line occurs, it needs to be handled quickly and efficiently. A professional company will clear the line through use of a sewer snake. Sewer snakes are long cables that have different attachments added to help in clearing a sewer clog. The cables are attached to electric motors, which will spin a drum that holds the cable. Sewer snakes come in a variety of sizes of lengths. With the right length, diameter and attachment for the cable, you can clear most root intrusions. When the cable of the sewer snake is removed from the line, it will have roots attached to it that came from inside your pipe. This is the most common way homeowners identify they have roots in their sewer line.

You had a video inspection of your line and saw the roots.
A video inspection is one of the most useful ways to gather information about your sewer line. It can tell you where the line is, how deep it is and what condition it is in. To have a video inspection done, your sewer must not be clogged. Video inspections are generally performed after there was a sewer clog or prior to selling a home. Be sure to ask the technician performing the inspection for a recording. Professional sewer and drain companies will be able to record the inspection and electronically send the file to you.

Who will fix it?

As a homeowner, it is important to determine the right contractor for the job. The most important qualification for a contractor is the equipment they have available to them. Professional contractors will invest in different types of equipment for handling these situations. If your contractor is able to provide you with options and different solutions for addressing the roots, then you’re definitely in good hands. The qualified contractor should be able to provide at least two of the three options listed below. Along with options and solutions, it is recommended to check their online reputation to see what other customers have experienced.

 How will I fix it?

There are a few different options available when it comes to sewer repairs:

This is the most invasive and disruptive method. A conventional dig will require the use of heavy machinery, an excavator or backhoe. A trench will be dug from the foundation wall to the curb line. The trench will be the same length and depth as the sewer line and will generally be at least 3 feet wide.

“Cured In Place Pipe Lining” is a much less invasive process than Conventional and generally requires one to two small holes being dug. The holes will serve as access points to insert the lining equipment. A bladder which is covered in resin will be inserted into the sewer line, and then the resin will then be cured using air or water. As the resin cures, it attaches itself to the walls of the existing damaged pipe, acting as the structure, and fills most cracks or voids. This is considered a Trenchless Lining option.

Pipe Bursting
This method is also a much less invasive process and requires the digging of one to two holes. These serve as access points to insert the new pipe into the ground and will not require digging the entire length of pipe. A bursting head attached to a steel cable will be inserted into the existing damaged pipe and will also have a HDPE (High Density Polyethylene) pipe attached. It is then pulled through the damaged pipe, breaking it apart as it moves. The brand new pipe follows the bursting head and completely replaces the old damaged pipe. Since the existing damaged pipe is only used as a conduit for the bursting head to follow, this process will leave you with a brand new pipe in the ground. This is considered a Trenchless Replacement option.


Repairing a sewer line that has been compromised by an intruding tree root is a complicated process, so choosing a contractor who specializes in these types of repairs is vital. You do not want to compromise the health of yourself and your family by not having the issue dealt with properly. That is why it is very important to have an industry professional, like TLC Drain & Sewer, come out and resolve the problem correctly as soon as possible. We are full-service contractors, specializing in drain and sewer cleaning and repair, serving residential and commercial customers in the tri-state area and beyond. For more information or to schedule a service with us today, call (855) 852-4897 or contact us through our website. With qualified technicians and 24/7 Emergency Service, the TLC Guys are your go-to for all drain and sewer related issues!


How To Avoid Common Holiday Drain and Sewer Problems


How To Keep Your Garbage Disposal In Tip Top Shape This Holiday Season

Anything that can make kitchen cleanup a little easier during the holiday season is always a good thing. This is one of the many reasons we love our garbage disposals. However, if the wrong things are repeatedly put down the disposal, break downs, blocked and clogged drains are only soon to follow, leading to potentially expensive damage. Since it’s putting in overtime this time of year, here are some simple things you can do to keep your disposal in tip top shape…

1.) Always make sure a strong flow of COLD water is running down the drain as you’re grinding food waste. This ensures that, if there’s any grease, it has a better chance of solidifying and being chopped up by the blade. Don’t turn the water off until the grinding is complete.
2.) Do NOT attempt to put a large amount of food down the disposal all at once.
3.) Rather than using harsh chemicals like drain cleaners and bleach to clean your disposal, pour some dish soap in and rinse down with cold water.
4.) Use ice cubes to sharpen the blades. Drop a few cubes down the disposal and turn it on for a few moments. You can also do this with frozen cubes of vinegar. This not only sharpens the blades, but freshens and breaks up grease deposits.
5.) Naturally deodorize your garbage disposal with either lemon or lime. Cut the fruit up into smaller pieces and grind them through your disposal with cold water on full blast.
6.) Regular maintenance from a professional can help avoid a total disposal replacement or pricey plumbing emergency.

Storm Drain Video Inspection

A local Montgomery county municipality utilized TLC drain and sewer to do a storm drain video inspection under one of their major roadways. The project was completed promptly as per direction of Township Pubic Works Director. All Nassco recording reports were sent the following morning. All projects sent to TLC by municipalities are handled with urgency and priority.

What should you avoid putting down your drain this holiday season?

They say the kitchen is the heart of the home, especially during this time of year! We spend a lot of time preparing holiday treats for friends and family, so naturally the well-being of our drains and garbage disposals is most likely one of the last things on our minds. However, these “harmless” things we toss down our drains without a second thought can be the cause of household turmoil down the road. So to prevent this from happening, here are some of the biggest offenders that are better off disposed in our trash cans than down our pipes…


1.)  Grease, Fats and Oils – Though essential to most of your holiday recipes, components such as butter, olive oil and fat from meat are one of the worst things you could carelessly discard via the garbage disposal. Why? Because they solidify when cooled, therefore clogging the drain. Also, they can decrease the sharpness of the blade due to stuck on residue.
2.)  Starchy Foods – Similar to grease and fats, starch enriched foods, such as pasta, rice and potatoes, become sticky and clog the drain, making it difficult for water and other waste to pass through. This occurs because, when they come in contact with water, they expand and stick to the sides of the drain.
3.)  Egg Shells – They may seem completely harmless, but don’t be fooled! The thin membrane within the shell can latch onto the blades of the disposal and weaken their performance. And on top of that, the remaining little grounds adhere to the gunk already in the drain, making the obstruction even worse.
4.)  Coffee Grinds – Along with grease, coffee grinds are your drain’s worst nightmare. They create a sludgy blockage that is almost impossible to penetrate. Rather than dumping them into the sink, they can be used as an absorbent for unpleasant smells in your fridge, a natural exfoliant for your hands and body, or even an insect repellent in your garden.
5.)  Bones or Shellfish – What are you going to do with the remains of the wishbone after breaking it at the Thanksgiving table this year? Throw them in the trash can and NOT down your drain! They are often too hard for the blade to grind thoroughly, possibly leading to a broken blade or a dullened motor. Even after being ground, the pieces might be too big to go down the drain with ease.The TLC SewerSnake™ is our drain cleaning tool that snags the clog or pushes it through to a larger pipe where it can flow into the sewer. Give us a call or fill out our form online to setup an appointment.

Drain Clog Prevention Tips

The kitchen and bathroom are the number one places for your drains to get clogged at. Don’t dread another costly visit here are some tips to prevent clogging in the kitchen and bathroom:

Drain Cleaning Tlc


  1. Avoid pouring grease into your drains. Instead pour the grease into cans and throw them away in the garbage. The grease collects alongside of the pipes and then the food particles can get stuck on the pipes causing them to become clogged. Too much grease can eventually cause sewer blockages since the system cannot break down the grease, creating a potentially costly fix.
  2. Garbage disposals:
    1. Be careful with what you are putting down your disposal. Make sure when you are running your disposal you are running plenty of cold water to flush the food particles down the pipe. If you aren’t using enough water the particles will collect along the sides of the pipes and cause a bunch of problems for your pipes.
    2. Throw a lemon or orange peels down the disposal. This will help with any odors or anything coming from your drain.
  3. We know you love coffee but your pipes do not like the grounds! Avoid emptying coffee ground in the sink.
  4. Pour boiling water down your drain once a week to melt away any fat or grease that may have collected throughout the week.


  1. Clean up the pop-up stoppers in the sink and tub/shower frequently. Hair often collects here and can cause drain and clog issues.
  2. Avoid flushing heavy paper products down the drain. Excess paper can clog the toilet and the whole sewer system, making for one giant mess.

Drain Cleaning TLC Drain & Sewer


  1. Avoid dumping chemicals like paint, paint thinner, or hot wax down the drain.
  2. Have your septic tank inspected every two or three years.
  3. Every six months, keep your drains clear by using a non-caustic drain cleaner like Drano or other products like that.

Taking preventative measures to make sure your drain and sewer stays clear can save you money and stress in the long run.

Do you know how to shut off your water supply in an emergency situation?

Did you know, the water from a pipe burst will continue to flow into your home until its main source is shut off? If this were to happen to your home, would you be able to find the main shut off valve before the water causes too much damage? If your answer is no, don’t be ashamed. A majority of people would be in the same situation you are in. Many people do not know where or how to shut off the water supply. Whether you are in an emergency situation or just heading away on vacation for a while, it is important and beneficial to know how this works.

The main water supply valve is the valve that you need to be able to locate in an emergency. Find it before an emergency occurs so, when you’re in a pinch, you know where it is. This valve is usually in the basement or on an outside wall in a utility area of the house. In many homes the hot water heater is near this valve. Follow the cold water supply line to the hot water heater; this will lead to the main shutoff valve. The main shutoff valve allows a full flow of water through the pipe when it’s open. Turning off this valve (by turning it clockwise) cuts off the water supply to the entire house.

The main shutoff valve in your house probably has one of two designs:
·       Gate valve: Gate valves are very reliable and last for years, but they become difficult to turn after not being turned for years. If you haven’t closed the main shutoff valve since you moved into your house, do it now. Better to find out that you can’t turn it with your bare hands now than to wait until you’re standing in 6 inches of water.
·       Ball valve: Houses with plastic or copper main water pipes leading into the house may have a full-flow ball valve. This valve is open when the handle is aligned with the pipe. To close it, turn the handle clockwise 1/4 turn so that it’s at a right angle to the pipe.

Just remember!
If you have a leak from an appliance or pipe, don’t panic! The best thing you can do it shut off the water supply to your whole home and call us immediately.