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On the Job with Plumbob ........

This blog will be an accumulation of Interesting, Informative, Technical and Humorous Plumbing facts and stories. Have a good day and hope you enjoy. :)


Drain Blockages - Can tree roots get into pvc drains?


Time to take stock of the situation!

Maybe your thinking..... "But I have a new built home, surely I  shouldn't get tree roots in the drains. They are pvc!" or "We only recently had a plumber replace the old broken earthenware drains with plastic pipes."

Sorry folks but it does happen. Tree roots do get into pvc pipes, not as readily as earthenware pipes, but they do. Read on  to find out how they get in, why they get in and how to minimise the risk.


How about an example?

Here is an example of just how thick a root can be even in pvc pipes

This one entered where a smaller pvc pipe had been illegally jointed to a larger pipe using cement mortar. I cut a hole in the top of the pipe to reveal just how bad the problem was. The only solution here was to replace a short section of drain to be compliant with AS.3500

a thick tree root inside pvc pipe


  • pipes cracking, where insufficient allowances made for ground movement or pipe expansion
    • this will not happen if Australian Standards are complied with, for example drains should be bedded and packed in a granular free flowing material
  • entering through solvent weld joints, where these have not been put together correctly
    • this will not happen if joints are put together to The Standards and Manufacrtturer recommended procedure, for example solvent welding requires use of a primer to etch/soften surface of pvc before applying the solvent cement to (weld, not glue the joint)
  • entering through mechanical joints usually where joined to old existing drains of other materials
    • if the joint is not sufficiently tightened this could happen and unfortunately this maybe could still happen even if the plumber has followed Standards and manufacturer recommendations
  • objects such as posts, pegs etc driven down through pipe due to other constructions or fences 
    • always make sure to locate underground services before carrying out any construction including driving a star dropper into the ground
  • any number of other ways due to just plain and simple dodgy workmanship
    • make sure you alway choose a reputable tradesman with a good reputation, online reviews, etc

Someone decided to make their own homemade pvc coupling 

And they also did not use solvent primer 

 roots in homemade pvc join


So what can you do to minimise your risk?

  • when purchasing a pre-owned home, first, - get a drain camera inspection and report completed by a reputable plumber
  • always use a plumber and drainer who has a reputation for only doing high quality and compliant work

What if you have this problem already?

  • If you do discover that your pvc drains have tree root intrusions, don't dispair as these can be re-lined internally with reinforced epoxy and the finished product is stronger than the original

If you have drain problems, Renopipe is the absolute drain expert in the Albury Wodonga district. We can inspect your drains with a cctv drain camera, diagnose the problem with the drain, clear blocked drains and repair your drain with plastic lining.

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