23 Nov. 2017

What is a Sewer Rodding?

A sewer rodding is a technique used by those in the plumbing maintenance industry to cut away roots or clear a blockage in your sewer lateral. The tool used is a behemoth of a machine, it usually takes two guys to maneuver in and out of the truck or up and down stairs.

The machine we use is a Spartan 1065, it is made up of a drive motor, drum belt, drum, pressure switch and 150 feet of 3/4" steel cable. The rodding machine with the cable brings the total weight to about 300 pounds. In addition, the header cable has a threaded end to attach cutting heads. The most common head sizes are 1.5", 2", 3', 4", 6" with some halves between. So there are the specs of the tool we use.

Maintenance roddings are important to extend the life of your sewer, they cut away intrusive roots not allowing them to become an overgrown nightmare. Tree roots are like hair, they keep growing, we basically give them a haircut. It is important to know the specs of the machine when choosing a company to power rod your sewer line.

Reason being is, you may see a sewer rodding ad for $115, what they don't tell you is what size cutter head they're going to use. Is that just open the blockage for wastewater to start flowing again? Does that include cutting all the way to the city sewer main? If you don't cut away the full diameter of roots then, you'll be dealing with another sewer back up and cleaning in the near future.

Also, when a company only throws a small diameter head through your sewer line, it leaves an overgrowth behind that shady salesman will use when they put their video inspection camera down your line. "See here, you have a major root problem" A couple other things you'll need to know so you're well informed of the process. The diameter of your sewer pipe differs from inside the house to the pipe outside your house underground. If you do not have an outside clean-out, then the largest cutting head that can be used is dependant on the inner diameter of the largest access point from inside your home.

The sewer pipe inground has a diameter of 6", the typical diameter of pipe inside is 4". This can leave your sewer vulnerable to roots overtime since there are 2 inches of the pipe that are not getting cut.

Drain Brothers will always show you that we will work up to the largest head possible. If a root intrusion is very thick, it may not be possible to cut them away. If we were to try and force our cable through thick roots, the cable could get stuck in your sewer line leaving no choice but to excavate, we will NOT force a cable through.

Our process includes finding the best access point, start with the smallest cutting head to try and get wastewater flowing again and go all the way to the city sewer main. Pull back then change to the next size up cutting head and repeat. We do this until we can safely reach the largest sized head possible. To finish, we show you your sewer line with our inspection camera so you can see every inch of your sewer line.

Our recommendation is to have an annual maintenance rodding done to hold back roots from completely collapsing your pipe, which would leave you no choice but to excavate. Roots compromise the integrity of your pipe and with the weight of the earth atop your sewer, it is impossible to say you will never have to have your sewer repaired, but we can make it less likely.