Tree Roots in Sewer Lines

Tree roots are one of the most common causes of sewer line clogs. Roots from nearby trees can penetrate sewer pipes and block the flow of water, causing backups and other plumbing problems. Tree roots may enter through a crack or joint in the pipe caused by corrosion or age. They may also invade through an area where two pipes were joined together improperly. This article will provide guidance on how to recognize tree roots in sewer lines, and how to address and prevent them.

Identifying Tree Roots in Sewer Lines

In order to address tree roots in your sewer lines, it’s important to be able to identify them. Although both are hidden underground, there are certain signs that may suggest a problem.

Sign #1: Slow-Draining Pipes

Slow-draining water in your household drains is one of the most common signs of this issue. There are various plumbing issues that can cause water to drain slowly. To determine if your water drainage problem is caused by a simple blockage or a more significant issue, check for drainage issues in various water fixtures. If you notice that one fixture is draining slower than usual, it could be a simple blockage that a plumber can assist you with. If the issue occurs consistently in each fixture, it is recommended to look into potential indications of damage caused by tree roots. Roots can lead to a problem of sewer system backup in extreme situations.

Sign #2: Unusual Smells and Sounds

You may also be able to detect tree root damage in your sewer line by using your sense of smell and listening carefully. This is because roots may cause holes in your sewer lines, which could result in unpleasant odors entering your home. If one location produces a foul odor, it doesn’t necessarily mean the cause is tree roots. However, if every drain in your home gives off an unpleasant smell, then your sewer line is a likely culprit.

When roots grow in your sewer line, it can also cause a gurgling sound to come from your toilets and drains. If you notice frequent gurgling, it is recommended to contact a plumber.

Sign #3: Outdoor Issues

You can also perform a helpful visual check by going out to your yard. If tree roots spread into your sewer, it can cause uneven growth among the trees, with one tree growing faster than the others. If a tree grows into the sewer line and gets access to extra water, it can thrive and cause problems.

Your yard may also experience sinkholes and small depressions if tree roots have spread to your sewer lines. If tree roots grow into a sewer line, it can cause water to leak out. Your soil may become less stable and potentially form a sinkhole or depression due to excess moisture. If this happens, call a plumber immediately. Sinkholes can cause harm to you and may harm or ruin your home’s foundation, making them a pressing safety concern.

Addressing and Preventing Tree Roots in Sewer Lines

Tree roots invading your sewer line can be a major issue. The good news is that experienced plumbers have multiple methods to combat this type of damage. Here are a few tools and techniques plumbers use to remove tree roots in a sewer line:

Mechanical Root Cutting

A plumber can use a robot with cutting arms and a camera to remove roots from a sewer line, which is also known as robotic cutting or mechanical root cutting. A plumber operates the robot and camera from a remote location while they are inserted into the sewer line. The cutting arms of the robot are inserted to shear through the roots and address the issue. It’s important to note that this technique only removes the tree roots. It does not fix the pipes that have been damaged by the roots.

Chemical Treatments

Another option to handle tree roots that invade your sewer line is to use specialized root-killing products that are designed to work quickly and effectively. Copper sulfate is one of the most popular root-killing products and works by preventing tree roots from growing in a pipe. Another commonly used chemical, also known as foaming root killer, can dissolve roots in your sewer line. Both of these chemicals are deployed sparingly so they do not damage your yard.

Hydro Jetting

Hydro jetting is a powerful technique that can be used to remove tree roots and other clogs in your sewer line. The process entails using a high-pressure hose to force a powerful jet of water into the sewer line, thereby eliminating any blockages. Hydro jetting is similar to pressure washing the inside of your sewer line. The technique is favored by plumbers and customers due to its low invasiveness. However, it may not be effective in removing large roots that have the ability to withstand high-pressure streams.

Bodenheimer Plumbing Is Experienced in Addressing Tree Roots in Sewer Lines.

At Bodenheimer Plumbing Services, our team of qualified and certified plumbers uses a variety of techniques to remove and alleviate the damage done by tree roots in sewer lines. We understand that this type of issue can cause trouble and require a professional touch, so we have the knowledge and resources to help you solve the problem.

Contact us today if you suspect your sewer line is blocked by tree roots! Our team is here to provide assistance and help prevent potential issues before they become a bigger problem down the line. 

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