Home Improvement

Tree Roots Blocking Drains? Take it with All Due Seriousness

There are times that regardless of what you do, your drain and sewer simply remains blocked. You have tried water jetting, hot water, acid, the mechanical “snake” and compressed air. Sludge refuses to budge. The problem could be with the sewer line being blocked by tree roots. If your bathroom and kitchen drains make gurgling noises, this is another symptom of the tree root in drainpipe affliction.


If there are trees around your house or the vicinity there are chances that there are tree roots blocking drain. If the sewer pipes are old then they are likely to be made of ceramic material. Modern drains use PVC pipes that are less susceptible to tree root damages in comparison to clay or ceramic types. Once tree roots invade drains they are likely to multiply, grow thicker and stronger and block the drain. Worse, the drain will crack and lead to seepage of sewage that will pose health risks. The time to act is now.

It starts with a diagnosis just as one would have a doctor carry out a check. If you have access to a drain camera then you can do it yourself. Most people do not. Plumbers specializing in resolving the problem of tree roots blocking drain are the professionals you need to call. They will insert a drain camera and check the extent of root growth and blockage. Ignore the problem and you can face heavy expenses by way of drain pipe replacement. You may want the plumber to carry out the job of removing roots blocking the drain. You may want to do it on your own.

Things to try to clear roots blocking drain

You can buy a chemical known as Foaming Root X. Just pour it down the drain. The chemical foam kills roots but does not harm trees. The foam also promotes bacterial growth. Such bacteria ensure speedy decay of roots. However, what do you do about roots that are already there in your drains?

  • The solution is to use a sewer auger. The auger has a spiral head with toothed head that spins at high speed and cuts off the roots.
  • Another thing you can do is to use copper sulfate. Fill the blocked drain with a concentrated solution of copper sulfate and let is stand. It is not that effective since the chemical settles at the bottom. A foaming type root killer is preferable.
  • Professional plumbers use the equipments like hydro jetter that pumps in water at a pressure of 4000 psi. At the nozzle there are wires that spin due to force of water and cut away the roots inside drains.
  • Expert plumbers will follow up the process with a chemical treatment that will discourage trees from sending roots down your drains. They may also inject copper sulfate or similar chemicals around your drain pipes in your yard.

If your drains are clogged simply due to debris, it is easy to tackle it on your own. However, tree roots in drains are not something you can tackle with ease. It is best to get professional help. You may not be able to reach the depth to remove tree roots block drains. You may not have the tools to cut roots. The roots may be thin or may have grown thick over several months. A plumber specializing in removing tree roots blocking drains will have the equipment and expertise to detect where these roots are located and the equipment to remove them.

It does not end when your plumber has cleared the drain of intruding tree roots. You must remember to call the experts  to visit and inspect the drains as well as the sewers around your property every few months to make sure the drains stay free of roots.


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