Chemical and Mechanical Root Control

Chemicals can be an effective remedy for root infiltration in sewer lines, but cutters, nozzles, cable machines and jetters are often needed for severe blockages. Manufacturers offer a wide variety of tools for cutting out and cleaning problem roots. Here are some of the latest offerings.
Chemical and Mechanical Root Control
Product Focus: Chemical and Mechanical Root Control

Interested in Location/Detection?

Get Location/Detection articles, news and videos right in your inbox! Sign up now.

Location/Detection + Get Alerts

Root Cutters

High-speed cutter

The Supernova high-speed, high-torque cutter from KEG Technologies quickly removes roots in sewer or storm lines from 6 to 48 inches. It has a heavy-duty one-piece stainless steel body and fin assembly; two heavy-duty roller chains; replaceable jet inserts sized for the equipment’s gpm, psi and hose length; stainless steel skids and sizing plates; and minimal maintenance with no required lubrication. It is adjustable from 6 to 16 inches, with optional expansion kits to 48 inches, and can achieve operating flow rates from 60 to 180 gpm and working pressures from 1,700 to 3,000 psi. It can clear other obstacles in the line like concrete, grease, tuberculation or protruding laterals while eliminating root problems. 866/595-0515;

Compact pneumatic cutter

The Pneumatic Micro-Cutter from Nu Flow Technologies can be used to clean and remove pipe debris, calcite and roots from the inside of a variety of pipes, including steel, cast iron and Orangeburg. The system rotates at approximately 2,000 rpm in 1 1/2-inch and larger pipes in lengths up to 100 feet, and will negotiate turns of 90 degrees in pipes down to 2 inches in diameter. It runs at 40 cfm and allows for multiple cutting heads. It is available in an electric/light-duty model, and can also be used for reinstating. 800/834-9597;

Hydraulic motor root cutter

The Model 468 Root Cutter from Spartan Tool uses the flow from a hydrojetter to propel it down sewer lines to attack root intrusions and blockages. Its case-hardened saw blades combine with a high-rpm hydraulic motor to rip, tear and shred roots. It comes with an impact-resistant toolbox with quick-change skids to center the unit in 4-, 6-, 8- and 10-inch sewer lines. These circular tri-blades are sized to stay just under the pipe’s interior diameter and to attack roots, ensuring a clear pipe when the job is complete. It operates on 1/2-, 3/4- or 1-inch hose at flows between 10 and 15 gpm and pressures between 800 and 2,000 psi. 800/435-3866;

Chain root cutters

Turbo chain cutters from USB - Sewer Equipment Corporation are made of tempered stainless steel and offer continuously adjustable guide skids. The chain retainer is driven by a high-performance turbine to remove roots, grease and mineral deposits from 4- to 48-inch sewer lines. With an optimized 3-D hydromechanics design in conjunction with ceramic nozzle inserts, the cutters use recycled or clean water. They can also be used as barrel cutters with diamond bits for smooth removal of protruding laterals. Heavy mineral deposits can also be removed with carbide bits attached to the specialized chain. 866/408-2814;

Root Chemicals

Root herbicide

Razorooter II root-control herbicide from Duke’s Root Control leads to extended pipe life, reduced SSO occurrences and maximized asset value. It contains the active ingredient diquat dibromide, a product of Sewer Sciences Inc. It is registered with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. The company can customize a root-control program that integrates capacity, management operations and maintenance into each municipality’s O&M plan. If a root-related stoppage occurs within two to three years after treatment, they will re-treat the line. 800/447-6687;

Latex root control solution

Environmentally-safe Root Control from Lenzyme/Trap-Cleer can be used in drainlines and in drainfield lines to eliminate root blockages. One application treats up to 100 feet of 4-inch line with a latex formula that stays in the line for a long period of time. The solution is slow to foam, allowing for even application. It will not kill trees or bushes. 800/223-3083;

Foaming root control

Oblitiroot, a foaming sewer line root control product from Olvidium, has been formulated to use the maximum amount of the active ingredient dichlobenil currently allowed by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. It comes in two pouches which, when combined, create a sticky foam with a latex base that can be applied through the clean-out or in the toilet bowl. The latex makes it stick to pipes and roots, which causes the dichlobenil vapor to remain in the line longer to kill roots. 855/782-4531;

Root intrusion formula

Registered with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, RootX can be used by sewer departments to enhance their pipe maintenance programs and by drain cleaners as an effective tool and profitable add-on service. The foaming action lifts the root-killing active ingredient to the top of the pipe where 90 percent of intrusion occurs. It also sticks to the top of the pipe and roots to keep blockages caused by root regrowth from occurring for up to 12 months. 800/844-4974;

Root-killing formula

The Vaporooter scientific formula destroys roots on contact and inhibits regrowth for years to maintain free-flowing lines at a fraction of the cost of cutting roots. It uses a combination of metam sodium and dichlobenil to create a one-two punch on roots. Metam sodium penetrates root cells, destroying roots on contact, while dichlobenil bonds to pipe walls, joints and cracks, preventing new root growth from blocking pipes for years. 800/841-1444;

Cutting Nozzles

Towable jetter nozzle

The Cnt-r-KUT “TOW HOOK” towable jetter nozzle from Arthur Products allows for pressurized water to be applied by the integration of a towing nozzle that can be pulled through the line. The technician can also pull a line from point “A” to point “B” if required. It is flexible enough to conform to damaged or deformed lines and can easily be trimmed in the field to fit virtually any line from 2 to 8 inches in diameter by attaching a 3/8- or 1/2-inch NPT hose to one end. It is available in standard and mini sizes. 800/322-0510;

Low-maintenance cutting nozzle

Root Rat cutting nozzles from Chempure Products are used with jetters from 11 hp to large truck-mounted models. Manufactured of hardened stainless steel, they come with a toolbox with two interchangeable rotors – one with cables and the other with chains. The combination kit includes extra chain, cable and bearings. They need no repair or rebuilding other than bearing replacement, which can be completed in less than two minutes with minimal parts. 800/288-7873;

Video nozzle

Deployed on any 3/4- or 1 1/2-inch jetter hose, the JetScan HD video nozzle from Envirosight allows cleaning crews to determine what tools and setup to use, identify blockages during emergency call-outs, and document the outcome of cleaning operations. It captures valuable HD video footage from underground that can be viewed immediately afterward on a tablet. As it advances down pipe 8 to 24 inches in diameter, it records 720p HD video in MPEG format to an onboard SD memory card. Immediately afterward, the card can be removed and video viewed on an iPad or other SD-compatible device. Twin high-output LED lamps ensure bright, vivid footage. It lasts four hours on rechargeable lithium-ion batteries and stores up to eight hours of video. 866/936-8476;

Turbine nozzle

With operating flows as low as 13 gpm at 2,000 psi, the Golden Jet 10.125TR turbine nozzle from Enz USA maintains high torque for effective pipe cleaning in lines ranging from 5 to 12 inches. Because of its sealed bearings, this nozzle can be operated with both clean and recycled water while being relatively maintenance free. It is a powerful root remover and can be used to remove grease, solids, mineral deposits, concrete and grout. The kit provides a selection of pre-cut chains, skids and two head styles. 877/369-8721;

Low-torque cutting nozzle

Lumberjack low-torque, variable-speed, multipurpose cutting nozzles from NozzTeq are powered by common sewer jetting or combination trucks. The cutting chains rotate at speeds of 10,000 to 50,000 rpm, depending on pressure and flow rate. The cutter is designed to cut roots, clear out concrete, tuberculation, grease, protruding laterals and other obstructions. Low torque means it won’t get stuck, harm host pipe or spin off the hose end. They have sealed, grease-lubricated bearings, and are water-cooled so they don’t need daily maintenance. The cutter drive shaft and turbine are made of hardened steel, and the supply tube is made of stainless steel. Six models clear pipes from 3 up to 48 inches. The kit includes the turbine, water supply tube, chain plate/pull plate, tow ring, cutting blade, sleds, five sets of chain per sled size, propelling nozzle with jets and adapter, spanner wrench, hand tools and tool box. 866/620-5915;

Sewer cleaning tool

The WGR Warthog Magnum sewer tool from StoneAge has a redesigned speed control and long-lasting carbide nozzles to generate high-quality controlled jets for blasting through roots and debris. High-pressure seals effectively handle dirty and recycled water. It has a hardened steel centralizer with individually replaceable fins that can be changed as wear occurs without opening the tool body. The body design is streamlined to improve forward and reverse movements through congested pipes, and the flush style head protects the front shaft seals for longer fluid life. 866/795-1586;

Cable Machines

Mainline drain cleaning machine

The TorqueMasterTM750 mainline drain cleaning machine from Coast Manufacturing has a double-welded, powder-coated tubular steel frame and an easy-start 3/4 hp dual-capacitor motor. The main shaft drive is fabricated from stress-proof steel, with sealed ball bearings on the shaft and drive arm bearings that never need lubrication. It has a straightforward pulley drive system, 10-inch-diameter solid polyurethane tires, extra-wide rear handle for stability in the upright position, and quick and easy one-man reel changeover. 800/541-7015;

Sectional drain cables

Sectional drain cables from Draincables Direct are available for almost every brand of machine on the market. Sizes include 5/8-, 7/8- and the larger 1 1/4-inch-diameter cables, along with several choices of inner cables and various lengths with the right fittings to match specific machines. 800/421-4580;

Compact drain cleaning machine

The DM138 drain machine from Duracable Manufacturing cleans lines from 1 1/4 to 3 inches. It has a continuously welded frame, heavy-duty front bearing mount and self-aligning head bearing to ensure proper reel placement, quick reel change and longer lifespan. Designed for residential sink, shower and bathtub drains, it has a heavy-duty, 20-amp switch and revolving arm. Powered by a 1/4 hp motor that operates at 230 rpm, the machine weighs 22.5 pounds with a 7.75-pound, 14-inch reel. The reel is made of a polyethylene material that will not rust or dent, and it is easily drained with plugs located on the back of the reel. It can be operated upright or horizontal, and has non-marring rubber pads to protect the floor. 877/244-0556;

Sectional drain and sewer cleaning machine

The Model C cable sectional drain cleaner from Electric Eel runs up to 200 feet of 1 1/4-inch self-feeding dual cable in 8- or 10-foot sections that require no handling when rotating. One operator can effectively clean 3- to 10-inch-diameter lines at distances up to 200 feet. A heavy-duty 1/2 hp motor comes standard, with 3/4 and 1 hp motors available. A custom-designed gearbox ensures parts availability. A heavy-duty, safety clutch keeps cable and tool breakage to a minimum and provides overload protection. A fold-down handle allows for easy transportation, storage and use in crawl spaces. It also has a carry handle for balance and easy transport. 800/833-1212;

Heavy-duty drain cleaning machine

The Model GO 68HD heavy-duty electric drain cleaning machine from Gorlitz Sewer & Drain is available in two different versions, either with an open steel reel or enclosed polyethylene drum, and can be outfitted with an optional power feeder. The standard configuration is 150 feet of 11/16-inch hollow-core cable, which should reach most blockages with a single reel. The unit weighs 185 pounds, and a loading ramp and electric winch can be added to any vehicle to make transportation quick and simple. It is designed to clean pipes from 3 to 8 inches in diameter. 562/944-3060;

Blockage-cleaning cable machine

The 400 cable machine from Ken-Way Corporation is designed for cleaning 3- to 10-inch lines of blockages ranging from roots to grease. It is equipped with an air switch-activated 1/2 hp motor and a three-speed pulley that allows speed adjustment depending upon length of cable and the obstruction being encountered. Two 8-inch wheels, along with a set of stair climbers, aid in handling and maneuverability. It is available with an optional power feed, or as a manual feed unit. Cables of 5/8-, 11/16- and 3/4-inch-diameter are available in either hollow core or inner core in various lengths. A set of six heavy-duty root cutting blades, along with a retriever tool and flexible cable leader come standard. 800/533-0551;

Flexible leader cable

The LE151 Super Flex leader cable from MyTana Mfg. Company is a flexible cable used for leading main cables down a sewer or drainline with twists, turns, elbows, offsets, sweeps and other irregularities. Many contractors keep several leaders available for use in special situations. For instance, leaders with a slight bend 8 to 10 inches from the end can help force a single blade to the outside of the pipe. The leader is suitable for 3/4-inch cable, and is available with a choice of fittings to attach to existing cables and blades. Other sizes of leader cables are also available. 800/328-8170;

Lateral cutter and drain cleaner

The Maxi Miller lateral cutter and two-step drain cleaning system from Picote Solutions features a range of 75 feet, which can be expanded another 32 feet with a connector. Its Servo motor allows an efficient removal of hard materials from 3- to 10-inch drains and sewers with stainless steel grinding chains. It also powers Picote’s Smart Cutter and Twister lateral cutters, enabling a quick reinstatement of connections. The motor features an adjusted torque limiter and shaft protection. Its aluminum frame has powder-coating frame protection, a two-way moving system, and stair glides to ease up or down stairs. 219/440-1404;

Drain cleaning machine

The R600 drain cleaning machine from ROTHENBERGER USA is designed for pipes 3/4 to 6 inches in diameter in residential, commercial and industrial applications. It has a center-lock cable clutch system for safe and powerful transmission to the cable. The reinforced guide hose sheathing comes with a precision quick coupling for safe, kink-free cable feed that also helps prevent dirt from getting inside the machine. The lockable drive lever allows for a secure lengthening or shortening of cable, and serves as a handle. It comes with a die-cast aluminum frame, fiberglass-reinforced side panels and an optional tripod. 800/545-7698;

Flexible drain cleaner

The Flexi-Cleaner from Southland Tool Mfg. comes equipped with a Briggs & Stratton or Honda engine and features a steel frame and four wheels for easy tracking (pnuematic tires are available). It comes with instant reverse transmission and an automatic chuck to grip the cable. Its close-coiled, left-hand-wound rods are 1-inch-diameter and 25 feet long. They are easily coupled together for cleaning runs up to 600 feet. Once the rod and tool are started in the drain, the unit is wheeled forward or pulled back, which pushes or pulls the rod in or out of the line. 714/632-8198;

Jetters/Jetter Components

Jetter/pressure washer combo unit

The Performance line of trailer-mounted jetter/pressure washer combo units from Amazing Machinery is designed for easy trailering, and the large water supply tank allows technicians to jet anywhere. A rear-mounted 12-volt electric jetter hose reel and SS rear stack mounted manual pressure washer and garden hose reels provide ample hose space. They come standard with 300 feet of jetter hose, two nozzles and a complete set of washdown accessories. The triplex ceramic plunger pump provides pressures up to 4,000 psi and flow rates up to 15 gpm. 800/504-7435;

Trailer jetter

The E Series trailer jetter from American Jetter offers protection from the elements in a compact enclosed package, with water flows from 7 to 40 gpm up to 5,000 psi. Up to 80 hp of power is provided by a Kohler diesel or gas engine using the dual engine option. It offers a standard 200- to 330-gallon water supply tank depending on model. Optional auxiliary feed allows for a towing vehicle to carry a larger supply tank, enabling higher flows and longer run times. Low water shut-off prevents pump damage. Standard hose reel speed control allows for precise cleaning in both
directions. The wireless remote option provides water ON/OFF, engine shutdown and hose reel control. 866/944-3569;

Suitcase jetter

The Crap Shooter sewer jetter from BullFrog Industries weighs less than 25 pounds and offers 1,500 psi running off a 15-amp circuit without losing any water pressure. A 50-foot high-pressure hose with quick connect attaches to the unit, and two heavy-duty nozzles are designed to enhance performance. Designed to handle up to 3-inch pipes, two different faucet adapters make the unit versatile. All fixtures and hoses can handle up to 120-degree water temperatures. A heavy-duty case with carry handle encases the entire unit. 303/338-0805;

Skid-mounted jetter

The RCJ Series skid-mounted jetter from Cam Spray is offered in flows and pressures of 8 gpm at 3,500 psi and 7 gpm at 4,000 psi. It features a three-plunger industrial pump with pulse feature powered by a 688 cc Honda engine. It comes with 200 feet of jetter hose that can also be used to supply an optional portable reel cart available with 200 or 300 feet of jet hose. It is equipped with a 35-gallon buffer water tank with float control, powder-coated heavy tube frame, washdown gun and four-nozzle set. It easily mounts in the side door of a cargo van, on a truck bed or inside a service truck. 800/648-5011;

Water jet drain cleaning machine

The JM-3080 Jet-Set water jet drain cleaning machine from General Pipe Cleaners can clear grease stoppages, sand, sludge and ice clogs. It generates 3,000 psi at 8 gpm, and Vibra-pulse on demand helps the hose slide easily down long runs and around tight bends. A 20 hp Honda engine with electric start and 2-to-1 gear-reducer drives the pump, while a 12-gallon buffer tank protects the jet if the water supply can’t match the pump demand. 800/245-6200;

Sewer jetter pump

The HDP-196 sewer jetter pump series from Hammelmann Corp. is suited for dirty water applications, offering flows up to 160 gpm and pressures of 3,200 psi. It has a compact design with optimum space utilization and an integral reduction gear. Options include horizontal or vertical models, a reversible pump head, a central or side-suction connection, discharge connections on both sides, left- or right-hand drive shaft, and operation at any angle. It has high-grade solid ceramic plungers, wear-resistant valve seats, low-flow velocity over suction and discharge valves, packing seal sets within rust-resistant stainless steel sleeves, a slow plunger speed, an industrial drive end designed for continuous duty, a pressurized oil lubrication system, and clockwise or counterclockwise rotation. Maintenance is possible without removal of suction and pressure lines. 800/783-4935;

Truck-mounted hydrojetter

The O’Brien 7000-T hydrojetter from Hi-Vac Corporation includes all of the features of the O’Brien 7000 series trailer jetter but is designed for true truck-mounted applications. It has flow ranges of 18 to 65 gpm and pressure capabilities of 2,000 to 4,000 psi. 800/638-1901;

Convertible water jet unit

The 125 Series convertible water jet unit from NLB Corp. converts in about 20 minutes to any of eight operating pressures, from 6,000 to 40,000 psi. A wide range of flows (4.4 to 32.5 gpm) provides additional operating flexibility. It features a continuous-duty six-cylinder diesel engine (electric models are also available), and is trailer-mounted for transport to job sites, with four-wheel electric brakes, heavy-duty axles and full DOT lighting package. All operating controls, including pressure gauge, rupture disc and bypass valve, are mounted on a separate accessory manifold. 248/624-5555;

Jetter with run-dry pump

The Mongoose Model 254 jetter from Sewer Equipment Co. of America has a “run dry” pump that operates at 25 gpm at 4,000 psi, a tubular steel frame, corrosion-resistant pre-painted sub assemblies, updated and user-friendly controls, a strong hose reel and a high-quality diesel engine. 800/323-1604;

Compact jetter

The SJPE-1500 portable, compact jetter from Shark Pressure Washers & Jetters has a detachable hose reel and a retractable handle that accomodates easy loading and unloading into vehicles, and allows for transport around work sites. Its Pulse Technology propels hose through the line and around tight curves to break through clogs. Rated at 1.7 gpm at 1,500 psi, it operates on 115-volt electricity and comes standard with a 35-foot power cord with GFCI. Designed for use in pipes less than 4 inches, it has a roll cage steel chassis, triplex pump and heavy-duty Baldor motor, and fits into tight work spaces with easy one-person operation. It is ETL safety certified. 800/771-1881;

Truck-mounted high-pressure jetter

The Camel Jet 1600 truck-mounted, high-pressure waterjetting system from Super Products utilizes three modular tanks to carry up to 1,600 gallons of water. The tanks are rotationally molded polyethylene with ultraviolet stabilizers. Its Lexan Containment System means users have additional safety protection from hose rupture or high-pressure water. It has a heavy-duty, Triplex continuous-flow water pump to provide up to 80 gpm and pressure up to 2,000 psi. Its single-engine design translates to lower fuel costs. Water pump and drive system options are available, as well as a front- or rear-mounted 180-degree rotating hose reel with a 1,000-foot capacity. 800/837-9711;

High-pressure water jet machine

Hot Shot high-pressure water jet machines from Vac-Con are used for obstructions from sanitary sewer and/or storm drainlines. They have a non-corroding, polyethylene water tank, and can be operated by a single person, with all controls for high-pressure water and the hose reel located at the front of the machine for ease of operation and increased safety. They are available with a 1,000- and 1,600-gallon water tank capacity. Options include variable flow, an articulating hose reel, polyethylene water tank, 30 gpm 3,000 psi water pump system, auxiliary engine or hydrostatic drive, cold-weather recirculation system, side-mounted tool boxes, air purge system, hose footage counter, arrowboard, strobe lights, inspector cam, high-pressure spray bar, hose rewind guide, 600 psi hand gun system with 25 feet of hose and a selection of nozzles. 888/491-5762;

Truck-mounted jetter

The truck-mounted Vactor Ramjet from Vactor Manufacturing comes equipped with a Jet Rodder water pump. Armed with up to 2,500 gallons of water in a stainless steel tank, it delivers flows of 60 to 100 gpm at 2,000 or 2,500 psi. The water pump is a single-piston, hydraulically-driven, dual-acting pump that delivers a jackhammer-action water flow, breaking through line blockages and scouring caked-on debris from pipe walls. A single operator can quickly drive to each job site to solve line problems and tackle regular line maintenance. It can be configured with either a front- or rear-mounted hose reel. The auto-wind hose guide allows hands-free operation from the control panel for a clean, tight wrap. 800/627-3171;

Cart jetter

The 15J41 jetter from Water Cannon has a Honda GX 390 engine, flow rates up to 4 gpm, pressure up to 4,200 psi and a 200-foot 3/8-inch jetter hose. It has a stable tilt-back style portable frame with a roll cage, and a pulsation valve for instant pulsation on demand in order to allow the operator to quickly loosen blockages and flush them away. It comes with a ball valve, manually adjustable high-capacity Hosetract hose reel, and four jetter nozzles. 800/333-9274;


Comments on this site are submitted by users and are not endorsed by nor do they reflect the views or opinions of COLE Publishing, Inc. Comments are moderated before being posted.