How To Clear Tree Roots in Sewer Line And Drain Pipes

Here is how to get roots out of drain pipes and sewer lines.

Sewer lines are easy targets for invasive tree roots due to the moisture and rich nutrients contained in wastewater flowing through the pipes.

We will be looking at how to deal with roots growing into sewer line.

Tree Roots In Sewer Line Options

When these roots find their way in, they hinder the normal functioning of sewer lines leading to general malfunction. Such a problem becomes evident from the multiple symptoms that result.

Here, our focus is on fixing this problem. We’ve discussed the different ways to clear tree roots in sewer lines. This procedure isn’t complex and can be handled in a number of ways as you’ll find out below.

With that said, you only need to read on to learn these basic tips and more.

How to Clear Tree Roots From Drain Pipes

Tree roots in sewer lines bring up a number of symptoms that generally affect the normal functioning of a sewer line.

The severity of the problem determines what’s observed. Common symptoms caused by tree roots in sewer lines include toilet backup, slow drainage, and sewer odors.

Others include puddles in the yard, sinkholes, weak water pressure, and clogged drains. Any or all of these signs are likely to become evident when dealing with tree roots in the sewer line.

For more details on what plays out with each of these, let’s briefly take a look.

  • Toilet Backup

Toilet backup is one unpleasant situation you’re likely to encounter when tree roots get into your sewer lines. Here, the growing roots hinder the free flow of wastewater down the sewer line.

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This mostly happens when the problem is advanced. Your toilet(s) become unusable till the problem is fixed.

  • Slow Drainage

Before your sewer and drain lines finally get clogged, slow draining of toilets, sinks, and bathtubs are noticed. Most times, not a lot of attention is paid to this sign until it worsens.

Here, the tree roots within the pipe partially obstruct the free flow of wastewater hence the slow drainage problem.

  • Sewer Odors

Awful sewer odors are likely to be perceived around your home when the growth of tree roots in sewer lines reaches an advanced stage.

This arises from the breached drain line and wastewater which is likely to escape from cracks created by tree roots.

  • Puddles in Yard

The wastewater that leaks out from damaged sewer lines is likely to result in a puddle forming in your yard.

This has a nasty odor and will cause grasses around affected areas to be lush or greener than those in surrounding areas. Here, further investigation is needed to fix the problem.

  • Sinkholes

Due to continuous leaks from damaged sewer lines due to tree root penetration, you’re likely to find sinkholes at different points within your yard.

This arises from the gradual but continuous leakage of water that enters underground passages thus resulting in a depression at the surface.

  • Weak Water Pressure

A drop in water pressure is likely to be noticed as tree roots slowly expand within the sewer line. This symptom may not be noticed immediately.

It might only become obvious after some time. You need help finding the cause of weak water pressure. Your sewer lines might be breached by tree roots.

  • Clogged Drains

This is usually the advanced stage of tree root growth in sewer lines.

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Because these roots grow rapidly within sewer lines, they completely block the passage of wastewater. Fixing this problem will require significant intervention including damaged pipe replacement.

What Dissolves Tree Roots in Sewer Lines?

The killing of tree roots in sewer lines can be done in a number of ways.

Some of the most popular procedures include water jetting, the use of rock salt, foaming root killers, copper sulfate, professional removal of tree roots, and prevention strategy.

Let’s discuss each of these methods.

  • Water Jetting

Water jetting is a popular technique for clearing tree roots and debris from sewer lines.

This procedure uses highly pressurized water which is released from a high-pressure hose with a nozzle. The nozzle is inserted into the sewer line to flush out any roots thus freeing up your pipes.

If this procedure sounds appealing to you, you might want to invest in a water jetting machine. Another alternative is to hire the equipment.

A significant level of skill is needed for the proper application of the water jetting procedure.

  • Rock Salt

Another way to clear tree roots from your sewer line is the application of rock salt.

This process works by dehydrating tree roots, thus killing them eventually. First, you’ll need to get your rock salt. About two pounds will be sufficient to get the job done.

Half-pound applications need to be made until the product is exhausted. Pour the first amount (half a pound) down the drain. This process should be repeated until the last is applied.

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None should be allowed to remain in the toilet bowl. For rock salt to take full effect, the toilet will need to be unused for between 8 to 12 hours.

  • Foaming Root Killers

Foaming root killers do a terrific job of clearing your sewer lines of tree roots.

There are varying types with different application procedures. Some of the top foaming root killer products include Roebic Foaming Root Killer and ROOTX Intrusion Solution among many others.

  • Copper Sulfate

Copper sulfate treatment can also be applied to help clear your sewer lines of tree roots. With this product, you only need about half a cup.

This should be poured down your toilet and flushed until it disappears. Like other products discussed above, copper sulfate kills any roots within your sewer line.

  • Calling a Pro

DIY techniques for clearing tree roots might not be as effective as expected hence the need for professional treatment.

Professionals help provide comprehensive results through the adoption of a number of treatment options. The root removal option applied is determined by the extent of growth and spread.

  • Preventive Control

Preventive control is a more comprehensive way that saves you a lot of stress. As the name suggests, it prevents the problem from developing in the first place.

This method requires regular sewer line inspection. Here, old pipes are replaced in addition to planting slow-growing trees around your yard.

These are the different ways to get tree roots out of sewer lines. You can adopt any of the approaches mentioned to resolve your sewer line blockage.

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