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Palm trees wreak havoc on Vegas pipes

Palm Trees Wreak Havoc on Vegas Pipes

In the past couple of months, I have been to three homes in Henderson that had the same problem, slow flushing downstairs toilets. Yesterday I went to an older home in Las Vegas with the same problem.  I used my toilet auger, but it did not help. When I pulled up each toilet, there was a tree root growing up the pipe and into the toilet. When I yanked on the roots, I was able to pull up to two feet!
This was somewhat baffling to me because we used to see this quite frequently years ago when sewer lines were made of cast iron pipe with lead joints. The tree root would seek out the tasty sewer water, punch through the lead and grow into the pipe. Lead joints were discontinued years ago and they began using rubber grommets to make the connections. The problem became less frequent because the roots didn’t seem to like the taste of rubber and no longer penetrated the joints.
We now use ABS or PVC plastic pipe for sewers and it was thought that roots can’t possibly penetrate them. However, what I have found is that if there is a slight crack in the pipe the root will work its way in, expand the crack and grow into the sewer line. It will just keep going until starts to come out the toilet, which sounds horrifying… a science fiction movie!

What I have discovered in many cases with homes that were built in Henderson and Las Vegas, is when sewer line trenches were back-filled, care was not taken to make sure there were no rocks present. Over time, the rocks can work their way down to the pipe causing cracks that will allow tree roots an opening.

The culprit in every case has been palm fronds due to palm trees planted close to or directly over the waste line piping. In each instance, there were palm trees within ten feet of the sewer line.  Unfortunately, as was the case yesterday, the palm tree was directly over the pipe and there is no way to make the repair without first destroying two trees planted close together within five feet of the house.

So if you’re toilets are not flushing properly, there may literally be a “root cause”.
Call Village Plumbing at (702) 460-8682.

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