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  • Roots at WC Flange

    We ran across this root infested water closet today. The homeowner installed a tile floor 8 years ago (on slab) and didn't raise the flange, consequently the WC has been seeping water for a while now. Roots actually found their way through what I assume is a crack in the slab or maybe between the lateral and slab. From the topside it actually looks like the roots penetrated between the tile and slab, but no tiles are loose and seem to be in OK condition. The lateral is ABS and we snaked it with everything perfectly clear from the flange down. Funny thing is, there is no vegetation within 25 feet of the WC!

    We installed a flange kit and now have a good seal, but I'm not sure what to do about additional recommendation for the client. We technically killed the water supply at the WC, so I assume the root will die off from here... but, maybe it could continue to prosper if another water supply is nearby (maybe 6" deep, just under the slab?).

    I recommended a 12 month treatment of Root-X with another WC inspection in a year, but I'm wandering if what I really should have done is recommend pulling up the floor (and anything else that might be needed) until all of the root structure is removed.

    What has been your experience with root persistence once the root is inside the structure? Take away the water source and the root dies? If another water source exists nearby, then maybe growth continues but in a different direction? Or, maybe the root will find the water again by penetrating the wax seal?
    Attached Files
    Last edited by spodelee; 12-19-2008, 07:54 PM.
    spodelee

    Until lions have their own storytellers, stories of the hunt shall always glorify the hunter

  • #2
    Re: Roots at WC Flange

    Interesting pics. The WC can be a wet area from leaks, wax seals pushing out, internal trap leaking, and the ever mysterious condensation.

    I would have flipped the bowl over and looked for a leak in the trap. Also, dig out as good as you can around the flange and pour in some copper sulfate.

    J.C.

    Comment


    • #3
      Re: Roots at WC Flange

      Would copper sulfate just sitting around in direct contact with the flange cause the flange to rot out if it's Cast Iron?
      INSIGHT PIPE is now Maine Drain Serving most of ME with no charge for travel! 207-431-6232 is nolonger a working # our NEW # is 207-355-1476
      Sewer main snaking (roto rooting). Sink clogs. Sewer backup. Pipe inspection/locating. No Dig trenchless repair. Root clog removal.We are NOT to replace your local Plumber, as we do not do plumbing. WE ARE YOUR DRAIN CLEANING EXPERTS!!! www.sewermaine.com waterville winslow bangor augusta skowhegan fairfield pittsfield oakland

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      • #4
        Re: Roots at WC Flange

        Good question. Don't know. I'll have to get some books out but I'm sure someone else will know quicker.

        I'm thinking not.

        J.C.
        Last edited by BobsPlumbing; 12-20-2008, 12:51 AM.

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        • #5
          Re: Roots at WC Flange

          it's actually more common than you think. the first time i saw it, i was amazed. now i'm no longer amazed.

          now the one that still amazes me is the one with roots coming over the flange on a raised foundation. the toilet dripped long enough that roots actually followed the pipe up a good 3' to grow into the pipe through the wax seal.

          rick.

          copper sulfate poured around the flange will suffuice.
          phoebe it is

          Comment


          • #6
            Re: Roots at WC Flange

            Originally posted by Gene Bickford View Post
            Would copper sulfate just sitting around in direct contact with the flange cause the flange to rot out if it's Cast Iron?
            Found no evidence of it being corrosive myself.

            J.C.

            Comment


            • #7
              Re: Roots at WC Flange

              Originally posted by JCsPlumbing View Post
              Good question. Don't know. I'll have to get some books out but I'm sure someone else will know quicker.

              I'm thinking not.

              J.C.
              I know Copper Sulfate is highly corrosive. It's one thing to use it as a root treatment "flushing" through the pipe but to sit in a pile on the pipe long term??? I don't know the answer to this. I'm just curious.
              INSIGHT PIPE is now Maine Drain Serving most of ME with no charge for travel! 207-431-6232 is nolonger a working # our NEW # is 207-355-1476
              Sewer main snaking (roto rooting). Sink clogs. Sewer backup. Pipe inspection/locating. No Dig trenchless repair. Root clog removal.We are NOT to replace your local Plumber, as we do not do plumbing. WE ARE YOUR DRAIN CLEANING EXPERTS!!! www.sewermaine.com waterville winslow bangor augusta skowhegan fairfield pittsfield oakland

              Comment


              • #8
                Re: Roots at WC Flange

                Originally posted by JCsPlumbing View Post
                Found no evidence of it being corrosive myself.

                J.C.
                I could very well be wrong, it has happened once or twice.
                My mind works in odd ways.
                I'll look into it.
                As always, I reserve the right to be wrong, in the interest to learn
                INSIGHT PIPE is now Maine Drain Serving most of ME with no charge for travel! 207-431-6232 is nolonger a working # our NEW # is 207-355-1476
                Sewer main snaking (roto rooting). Sink clogs. Sewer backup. Pipe inspection/locating. No Dig trenchless repair. Root clog removal.We are NOT to replace your local Plumber, as we do not do plumbing. WE ARE YOUR DRAIN CLEANING EXPERTS!!! www.sewermaine.com waterville winslow bangor augusta skowhegan fairfield pittsfield oakland

                Comment


                • #9
                  Re: Roots at WC Flange

                  I think that Copper Sulfates contact with Iron doesn't really cause "rust" of the less noble material. Rust is iron oxide and you can't get iron oxide from copper-which is one of the main ingredients of Copper Sulfate.

                  J.C.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Re: Roots at WC Flange

                    PHYSICAL PROPERTIES AND GUIDELINES

                    Boots, protective gloves, and goggles should be worn by anyone handling this material (13, 17). Skin should be washed immediately if contaminated, and work clothing should be changed daily if it is reasonably likely that it is contaminated with copper sulfate.
                    Copper sulfate is blue and odorless. It gives off moisture when exposed to air (22). Copper sulfate is classified for shipping purposes as a hazardous substance or hazardous waste. It may pose unreasonable risk to health, safety, or property, when transported (13). Copper sulfate is highly corrosive to plain steel, iron and galvanized pipes. All metal in contact with solutions of this material should be 304 stainless steel, monel or plastic (6). It should not be stored in metal containers. Copper sulfate is also incompatible with acetylene gas and with magnesium metal (13). Containers of this material should be kept tightly sealed (20). It is indefinitely stable when kept dry and is stable to heat, cold, or light (19). However, there is slight decomposition of copper sulfate at temperatures above 200 degrees C. Above 400 degrees C, it decomposes, giving off sulfur dioxide gas (13).
                    http://pmep.cce.cornell.edu/profiles...lfate-ext.html

                    I'm not sure this is the same type of Copper Sulfate that we would use for root control though. I have searched MSDS etc and have been getting conflicting info. ???????
                    I'm not trying to prove you wrong JC, I just have a need to know things, rather than assume. Right now I assume Copper Sulfate sitting in a pile next to a Cast Iron Pipe would rot it away. At the risk of looking like an a$$ I would like to know this rather than assume, so I am more then willing to ask.
                    INSIGHT PIPE is now Maine Drain Serving most of ME with no charge for travel! 207-431-6232 is nolonger a working # our NEW # is 207-355-1476
                    Sewer main snaking (roto rooting). Sink clogs. Sewer backup. Pipe inspection/locating. No Dig trenchless repair. Root clog removal.We are NOT to replace your local Plumber, as we do not do plumbing. WE ARE YOUR DRAIN CLEANING EXPERTS!!! www.sewermaine.com waterville winslow bangor augusta skowhegan fairfield pittsfield oakland

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Re: Roots at WC Flange

                      Not offended if you prove me wrong. I need to know definitely myself. Just....TO KNOW!

                      J.C.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Re: Roots at WC Flange

                        Galvanic corrosion

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Re: Roots at WC Flange

                          Copper Sulphate or commonly known a "Bluestone" will corrode unprotected steel. It has been long used in solution (mixed with water) to spray grape vines. The tanks used to hold the solution used to be zinc, tin or lead coated. These days we use plastic or stainless. Having said that...I will say it will take a long time to corrode through cast iron pipes.
                          Last edited by Chemeng; 12-20-2008, 05:15 PM. Reason: spelling

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                          • #14
                            Re: Roots at WC Flange

                            I'm going with what the chemical engineer says

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Re: Roots at WC Flange

                              Hello, new to the forum. I saw your problem with the roots and wondered if you ever considered using rock salt instead of the copper sulfate? Down here (southeast Louisiana) we use rock salt somtimes to kill roots.

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