Here, we’ll be discussing common signs of roots in pipes. These will help with early identification and treatment, thus avoiding a collapse or breakdown of your drain line.
Here is how to know if tree roots are in your pipes and sewer lines.
Drain and Sewer Line Clogged Tree Roots
An overwhelming majority of people love to have trees around their homes due to the apparent benefits.
A few of such benefits include the improvement of air quality, production of oxygen, and a whole lot of others. However, our focus isn’t on tree benefits but the downsides of having them too close.
Certain tree species have invasive root systems that infringe on plumbing drain lines.
Even the tiniest leak from such pipes is enough to attract tree roots as they seek to tap both moisture and nutrients found in wastewater.
This action results in a variety of problems with drain lines.
Why Tree Roots are Attracted to Pipes
Wherever trees grow, they send out root systems that travel in search of moisture and nutrients.
This helps provide the essential nutrients and moisture needed for proper development. However, your plumbing or drain lines may become attractive, especially when there are few leaks.
These roots will sense the presence of rich nutrients and moisture and will further explore to gain access. Unfortunately, this survival instinct of trees results in problems for your plumbing system.
As roots penetrate, expand and crack the pipe, the free flow of wastewater is affected.
4 Signs You Have Tree Roots In Your Pipes
If you suspect tree roots to have penetrated your drain lines, you only need to look out for sure signs to confirm your fears.
Common signs include regular backup, slow emptying drains, foul odor, low water pressure, rapidly growing tree nearby, sinkholes, and pipe collapse & blockage.
Now, a few or more of these signs may be noticed.
When you find such, you’ll need to take further steps to address the problem. A comprehensive way to address a root problem in your pipes is to call the pros to inspect and fix the problem.
Adopting the DIY approach has its many downsides.
i. Regular Backup
If you’ve noticed lately that your toilet is backing up, it could be a sign of root presence in your drain lines. This possibility is likely to make your toilet condition worse.
This is seen when flushed items like paper towels, toilet paper, and other items are held up by these roots as they travel down the drain line.
As the situation worsens, it results in a regular backup. When this condition is noticed, it only tells about the possibility of roots in the pipe.
Further assessment is needed to determine that there are roots within your pipe. Of course, treatment follows immediately when root presence is established.
ii. Slow Emptying Drains
Tree roots in your pipes are likely to slow the draining of your toilets and sinks.
This is so because when root ingress occurs, they rapidly spread within the drain line to capture more nutrients and moisture. This continued spread affects the free flow of wastewater, which becomes a problem.
You’ll notice your drains, sinks, bathtubs, and toilets all draining at the same slow pace. However, when only one point is found to be draining slowly, it’s unlikely that root presence is the cause.
In either case, further, inspection is needed to determine the root cause and to offer real solutions.
iii. Foul Odor
The penetration of tree roots in pipes is likely to cause a widening of the crack or entry point. This results in wastewater leak, which is accompanied by an awful odor.
You may perceive the characteristic rotten-egg smell arising from sulfur dioxide gas. Such a scent may be blown indoors by the wind.
You’ll have to trace where the smell is coming from to find a fix. This smell, coupled with other symptoms discussed above, is a clear sign that should enable you to take the needed action.
iv. Low Water Pressure
Low water pressure issues can also point to roots in pipes. This is only a possible reason why you’re experiencing low water pressure.
Further investigation of the causes will be necessary to find a definite answer. This condition means there’s a possible blockage of your plumbing system.
Figuring out the true nature of the problem alone can be almost impossible. You’ll need to call the attention of your plumber to perform a more thorough inspection.
Other issues may have caused the low water pressure problem. Only a comprehensive check will determine that.
v. Rapidly Growing Tree(s)
If you find a tree within your yard increasing and tend to flourish more than neighboring trees of its kind, there’s a possibility its roots have gained access to your drain lines.
This will be more probable when it’s near where your drain line passes.
Also, this sign isn’t absolute as the area the tree is growing may have fertile soil and access to water. Nevertheless, it’s essential to call for an inspection of your pipe to see if roots are found in it.
A camera or video inspection will help arrive at a definite conclusion.
Are there sinkholes appearing in your yard? These could be signs of root sin pipes.
As invasive roots gain access to your pipes, they cause a widening of the crack, which in turn leaks out its contents. The continued leakage and saturation of the soil around the affected area could result in sinkholes.
It’s best to have a pro perform a thorough inspection and fix the damage. Of course, this will require cutting back the root and possibly replacing damaged pipes.
vii. Pipe Collapse & Blockage
As tree roots continue to expand within pipes, they eventually cause a collapse or total blockage of the line. This is an extreme case of root ingress.
02In most cases, a professional plumber will recommend replacing the damaged drain line. This is more expensive compared to other forms of repairs.
Asides from replacing the pipe, the root needs to be cut back to prevent future occurrences. Also, scheduled inspections will help identify similar issues early on.
There is no particular order to how these signs show up. Plus, you might observe one or more of them. Further investigations are needed to determine if your pipe is affected by roots.