Melbourne Newman Plumbing Licensed Sanafoam Vaporooter Applicator

What is Sanafoam Vaporooter?

VAPOROOTER is a combination of herbicides that are placed in sewer lines as a foam for the purpose of eliminating roots and preventing further destruction of sewer pipe caused by live tree roots. Only roots within the pipe and a very short distance outside the pipe are effected. Trees and shrubs immediately above ground are not harmed.

VAPOROOTER is composed of:

  • A herbicide which pentrates root cell walls, bursts them and causes the root to die and decay.
  • A root growth inhibitor which attaches to surface-active organic material to inhibit further root cell division or growth for approximately three years.
  • A surfactant blend which strips away grease and slime from the roots permitting penetration for the formulation into the root mass.
  • A foaming agent which provides a durable, fine-textured "vehicle" to carry Vaporooter into maximum contact with all roots and pipe surfaces.

Before Treatment

Before Treatment

Vaporooter Applied

Vaporooter Applied

After 4 months

After 4 months

The scientific research history of the Vaporooter.

The infiltration of the tree roots in the sewage pipes has been a very destructive, time and money consuming issue for many decades. Traditional methods of clearing the pipes, including root cutting, usually led to costly emergency interventions that sometimes even included replacing or relining the pipes. As the blockages and overflows of the drain pipes recur regularly and the tree cutting solution is effective only in the short run and destructive in the long run, more efficient methods and technologies were needed.

The research in this direction started in 1966, when herbicide treatment was first taken into consideration as a solution for tree root infiltration. The research led at The University of California directed trials with 17 herbicides between 1967 and 1971.

The most effective combination of herbicides, which is currently used in Sanafoam Vaporooter II, was discovered in 1971, and consists of Metham Sodium and Dichlobenil. Although this mixture did soften and kill the invasive tree roots, the method of application was faulty. Initially, plugging the line was the way to introduce the herbicide mix into the problem area – an invasive and inefficient method.

The currently used method was only discovered in 1972 by Fred Horne, who suggested the foaming method, which allows maximum exposure of the root to the herbicide, thus maximum efficacy. Although the method is most aggressive with the invasive roots, it does not affect the surrounding or above-situated plants and roots. Actually, the method and ingredient recipe make a great match, which does not have negative side effects or secondary victims. The biodegradable and non-acid features of the Vaporooter make it environment-friendly.

Plus, the Vaporooter method does leave room for natural processes. After killing the roots, it allows these to naturally decay throughout a period of six months. Due to the natural decay, the clearing of the pipes is not immediate and a retreatment is recommended. Treating and retreating your pipes with the foam gives a long-term solution to a difficult problem. Vaporooter solves the tree root invasion problem, prevents future infiltrations, blockages and overflows and prolongs the life of the drain pipes.

How does Sanafoam Vaporooter II work?

Sanafoam Vaporooter II is a foaming mixture of herbicides which stops and prevents drain line stoppages produced by tree root penetration of pipes. This technology tackles the problems caused by live root infestation by attacking the roots inside the pipe.

The foam containing the combination of Metham Sodium (herbicide) and Dichlobenil (growth inhibiting agent) is introduced in the sewage pipe, so that it can have direct contact with the intrusive roots. The treatment softens and kills the live roots, leaving them to naturally disintegrate within the next six months.

If the pipe blockage is in a very advanced stage and requires the cutting of the roots, a period of at least six weeks should be left between the cutting and the Vaporooter treatment, so that roots have time to regrow.

How can tree roots destroy pipes?

The root cells, which can be microscopic in their first stages of development, look for warmth and humidity so that they can mature. In their search, they discover drain lines, which they can penetrate through extremely small openings and gradually grow inside them.

As the roots mature inside the pipes, they create blockages. One of the least efficient methods of unblocking the pipes is cutting down the roots, which actually leads to a more forceful regrowth.

How can Sanafoam Vaporooter II help save time and money?

Sanafoam Vaporooter II eradicates the roots, while inhibiting their future growth. Because Vaporooter both fixes and prevents, the costs and time spent to unblock the drain lines, make sure the live roots do not grow again and even to replace the lines, are considerably reduced.

Is Sanafoam Vaporooter II environment-friendly?

The Sanafoam Vaporooter II technology does not affect trees and plants surrounding the sewer pipe – only the roots inside or in the very near vicinity of the pipe. The trees and shrubs above the pipe, for example, are not damaged by the treatment.

Plus, the low level of toxicity, as well as the non-acidic and the biodegradable features of the Sanafoam Vaporooter II make it environment-friendly. Being registered with APVMA is a proof of the non-toxicity of the products, as this body evaluates the effect of chemicals on the environment.

Common questions about Vaporooter

What is Vaporooter
A Herbicide treatment pumped as foam in your sewer to keep root growth out of the pipes that cause sewer blockages?

Will Vaporooter destroy the roots in my sewer pipes?
Yes, Vaporooter has a herbicide that will destroy all roots it comes in contact with.
Will Vaporooter stop roots from growing back?
Yes, with repeated annual application the roots will stop entering the pipe.
How does it do this?
Vaporooter has a root growth inhibitor Dichlobenil 50W that attaches to organic material and sterilises the soil where the roots enter the pipe.
Will Vaporooter harm my plants and trees near the sewer pipe?
No, Vaporooter is a non systemic herbicide, meaning it will only affect the root material it comes in contact with and only travel a very short distance up the root.
Is Vaporooter safe to use?
Yes, Vaporooter is safe to use and the main ingredients of Vaporooter are commonly used on food crops to control weed growth.
Why does vaporooter foam up?
Roots typically enter the pipe at the sides and top of the sewer pipe. The foam is used to carry the ingredients of Vaporooter to the roots at the top of the pipe where the roots enter. The foam also controls how long Vaporooter is in contact with the root mass.
Can we just pour it down the toilet and flush?
There is no control over how long the chemical is in contact with the roots if it is poured into the toilet like some caustic and copper sulphate products.
Can I apply Vaporooter myself?
No, Vaporooter is applied with a mini foamer machine by a Licensed applicator. The machine generates the foam and pumps it into the sewer. The applicator is trained to ensure the pipes are completely filled with the foam to ensure good contact with the roots.
Can I use my plumbing while the application process is being done?
Yes, the foam holds the Vaporooter in place and the waste water flows under the foam.
How long does it take to apply Vaporooter?
The application process takes less than one hour but depends largely on the length of the pipes.
How long does Vaporooter take to work?
Vaporooter begins destroying the roots immediately. The roots in the pipe, in the pipe wall and just outside the pipe die, rot and drop off into the flow. This allows ground pressure to assist closing the cracks and gaps in the pipe caused by the root growth.
Why do we have to wait 6 to 8 weeks after clearing a blockage before treating the pipes with Vaporooter?
When roots are cut out with an electric eel or jetter while clearing a blockage the roots respond very quickly by “bleeding” a sap that assists healing and regrowth. This retards the intake of any chemical for a period of days. When the “bleeding” stops, nutrients start travelling up the root system, promoting growth. After 6 to 8 weeks fine white root stems have formed that absorb the Vaporooter herbicide very efficiently maximising the effectiveness of the Vaporooter process.
If I have to treat the line annually with Vaporooter why don't I just wait for the pipe to block and then call a plumber?
Once trees have entered your sewer line you unfortunately have an ongoing problem. Usually sewer blockages occur when the plumbing system is being heavily used. When there are a lot of people at home like school holidays, Christmas and Grand Final day. This will result in inconvenience and a costly call out fee to a plumber.
If I have to treat the line annually with Vaporooter why don't I just have a plumber come on a regular basis to keep the pipe flowing?
The process of clearing a sewer pipe, particularly with a rodding machine is an abrasive action on your sewer pipes. While essential to clear a blockage this process can deteriorate the condition of the pipe when ripping and cutting the roots. Each time the plumber clears the roots out of your sewer that plant responds by growiing thicker and more vigorously, just like pruning a hedge. This thicker growth opens the cracks and joins where the roots enter the pipe. This allows more sewerage to contaminate your soil and attracts more roots into the sewer pipe to enjoy the warm and nutrient rich environment your sewer offers. This reduces the time period between each blockage.
Will Vaporooter stop the tree roots smashing the pipes?
Yes, Vaporooter will destroy the roots in the pipe and in the pipe wall. The roots will not grow back through the cracks and defect in the pipe. This will allow ground pressure to assist in closing the cracks and maintaining the condition of your sewer pipes.

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