Not necessarily. If you have an older house constructed before 1990, you most likely have a clay service. These clay services consist of short sections of pipe in which tree roots typically intrude the pipe at the joints since they are not air-tight. This does not mean that the structural integrity of the sewer is compromised or broken. This is a very common maintainable defect that requires only periodic annual maintenance, if done properly.
On the basis of tree root intrusion alone, it is more common from an economic standpoint to perform periodic maintenance on the service rather than a full replacement or lining. Spending a few hundred dollars a year to rod a service through an exterior large access cleanout may be far cheaper than total line replacement or even lining the service.
Only in specific applications. For performing tree root removal in most cases, it may not be as effective and economical as standard rodding. Rodding is the most effective way to ensure tree roots are removed. Hydro-Jetting, however, may be very effective in removing debris, grease, and sludge from sagged or ‘bellied’ services that collect settled solids over time.
To ensure you do not have any back-up issues, it is recommended to have a service rodded annually, preferably from an outside cleanout. Outside cleanouts typically provide a larger access to insert larger rodding cutter heads to cut roots against the pipe and remove the full diameter of roots in the pipe.
Inform the rodding contractor if your sewer service has an outside cleanout. This should factor in their service price since it eliminates the labor of carrying equipment into a basement or crawl space. If a 6” diameter cleanout is available, ask what size cutting blade that contractor uses ultimately. The contractor should be using the maximum size blade that the cleanout will accommodate, in this case a 6” diameter blade. Technicians may have to start initially with a smaller blade and then graduate to a larger blade to avoid getting the blades stuck in the service line, but it should be possible to use the largest blade eventually. Finally, ask if they warrant their rodding work and for how long.
Prices can vary tremendously among contractors. Therefore it is always recommended to call at least three places to get estimates. It is also recommended to call local contractors as they are more familiar with your municipality’s ordinances and programs. For services under 110’ long in the Chicago suburbs, expect to pay between $250 – $500 when rodding from the outside. There are many factors that influence the price including, but not limited to, ease-of-access, the length of the sewer, emergency hours/holidays, and how severe the sewer blockage is.
2710 Curtiss Street
P.O. Box 1412
Downers Grove, Illinois 60515-0703
Phone: (630) 969-0664
Fax: (630) 969-0827
Monday-Friday: 8 a.m. - 4:30 p.m.
Saturday and Sunday: Closed