If your sewer drain is clogged several months after you had it cleaned out with an auger, it may be time to take a look inside the pipe. Instead of a clog of paper and grease, the line might be infiltrated with tree roots. Hydro jetting might be a better method of getting rid of the roots. Here's an overview of the problem of tree roots in drains and why hydro jetting is a good way to eliminate the root clog.
The Problems Tree Roots Can Cause Drains
Tree roots are always in search of water and nutrients under the ground. If they find your home's sewer pipe and the water and nutrients inside it, the roots will work on the pipe until they get in through seams or cracks. Over time, the roots can completely fill a drain, but you'll probably have trouble with slow drains and clogs before the drain is full of roots.
How A Drain Snake Deals With Tree Roots
A drain auger will open up a pipe filled with tree roots. The end of the snake has a chopping blade that slices through the clog and creates an opening in the roots that allows water to drain freely, even though some roots remain attached to the sides of the pipe.
A drain snake can't eliminate tree roots completely due to the way it's designed, so the roots start growing back right away. When you have a problem with tree roots in your drain, you might have to snake out the pipe every year or two to prevent clogging.
Why A Hydro Jet Is Often A Better Choice
Instead of using chopping blades, a hydro jet uses strong streams of water, sort of like a pressure washer. The water jets can go all the way to the sides of the pipe so every bit of the roots are torn off the sides of the pipe and flushed away. Hydro jetting does a more thorough job of eliminating roots so there are none left to grow back. However, it's still possible for new roots to find their way to the crack and get inside the pipe eventually.
When you hire a residential drain cleaner to get rid of the roots in your sewer drain, ask about ways to keep the roots out permanently. Get an opinion on whether root-killing additives are a good idea or if you should consider having the pipe lined to seal off the seams and cracks.
It may not be too much bother to have the drain cleaned out every few years, but there is always a possibility the roots will cause so much damage that they cause the drain to collapse, and then you might have a plumbing emergency to deal with.