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Tree Roots in Pipes - What Are the Removal Options?

Updated: Aug 2


Plumber removed root tree in pipe.
Dealing with tree roots and blocked pipes can be done in several different ways. But ultimately, getting in touch with a plumbing professional would be wiser.

Tree roots in plumbing pipes can cause a lot of damage. They can block the flow of water and sewage, leading to leaks. They can also damage the piping, causing it to rust and corrode. This can lead to sinkholes or other structural issues. Additionally, tree roots will expand inside the piping, resulting in blockage and numerous plumbing issues.

If you find yourself in this situation, hope is not lost. Dealing with tree roots and blocked pipes can be done in several different ways. But ultimately, getting in touch with a plumbing professional would be wiser. Professional plumbers can permanently unblock your drains using water jetters and CCTV technology.

So, how do you deal with blocked pipes?


How to Address Tree Roots in Pipes


If you’re dealing with a clog and you’re certain tree roots are the culprit, there are a few ways to address the issue.


The first option is to use a chemical drain cleaner. These cleaners can be purchased at most hardware stores, and they work by dissolving the tree roots in pipes. You can also use a root cutter. However, remember that roots can grow back, so this is not a permanent solution.

It is always your best bet to hire a professional to safely and permanently remove these pesky roots from your pipes. Professional plumbers have the experience and knowledge necessary to remove tree roots quickly and effectively. They know which tools and techniques to use, and they have the expertise to identify any potential problems that may arise during the process.


What Are the Symptoms of Tree Roots in a Sewer Line?



Roots tree blocked drainage pipe.
If your drains are taking longer than usual to empty, it could be a sign that something is blocking them.

While there are many symptoms of tree roots in sewer lines to watch out for, here are three of the most common:


  1. Slow drains - If your drains are taking longer than usual to empty, it could be a sign that something is blocking them.

  2. Gurgling noises - Hearing strange gurgling noises coming from your drains can be another indication that tree roots are present in your sewer line.

  3. Icky odours - Waste getting trapped by tree roots causes a very unpleasant smell to emanate from your drains.


When You Find Tree Roots in Pipes - Who is Responsible?


Trees that are planted too close to the sewer lines can cause problems, as can trees that have extensive root systems. But when you find tree roots in pipes, who is responsible to fix the problem? In most circumstances the owner is liable for any damage associated with tree roots damaging pipes.

Property owners must make sure to plant trees far enough from the sewer lines and keep an eye on their trees’ root systems to ensure they don’t grow too large.


What Dissolves Tree Roots in Sewer Lines?


If you are looking for do-it-yourself solutions, there are a few ways to dissolve tree roots in sewer lines.


You can use rock salt, foaming root killer, and copper sulfate as chemical root killer remedies.

Salt is a natural root-killer. Pour a large amount down the drain and leave it for several hours. The salt will help break down the tree roots and make them easier to remove. Be sure to flush the pipe with water to remove all of the salt.


Foaming root killers are also a good option since they contain enzymes that dissolve tree roots in pipes.


Copper sulfate works similarly to foaming root. The amount of copper sulfate you need will vary depending on the size of the pipe and the number of tree roots in it.


Taking the DIY approach may seem like the more cost-effective and easy solution. However, it might lead to more problems down the road.


There are many ways to deal with roots invading pipes, but what dissolves tree roots in sewer lines permanently? The only sure way to effectively deal with roots in pipes is to seek the advice and help of a plumber.


If you try to deal with the situation yourself - aside from spending tons of money on these chemicals, you could potentially end up destroying your pipes or killing your trees.


PVC Pipes and Tree Roots


There are many reasons to consider using PVC pipes for your next plumbing project. Tree roots can grow into and damage traditional piping materials like copper and iron, but PVC pipes are much less susceptible to these issues.


The smooth surface of PVC pipes does not provide as much traction for roots as older, rougher materials like cast iron or clay. The pipe’s chemical makeup resists root growth and penetration as well.


Additionally, PVC piping is cheaper and easier to install than other materials, making it a great option for both residential and commercial projects.


How to Kill Tree Roots in Sewer Pipes


Plumber working on drain pipe underground.
The best way to deal with a tree root invasion is to call in a professional plumber. Always go for licensed and experienced plumbers that employ the use of CCTV and water jetting technology.

There are several effective ways to kill tree roots in sewer pipes. One common method of removing roots is by using a chemical root killer. The root killer is poured into the pipe and dissolves any roots that come into contact with it. This type of chemical can be very effective in removing small to medium-sized tree roots, but it may not be as effective on larger tree roots.


Another option is to use a mechanical root cutter. This tool is inserted into the pipe and used to cut the roots. The root cutter can be very effective on larger tree roots, but it can also be expensive and time-consuming to use.


However, note that these methods are merely band-aid solutions. They can sometimes even cause more damage. Chemical drain cleaners are extremely caustic and can eat away at the metal in your pipes. DIY solutions aren’t meant to be treated as permanent solutions since roots can easily grow right back.


Plumbers are often asked for advice on how to kill tree roots in sewer pipes – so most plumbers are very well versed in dealing with invasive roots in drains and pipes.


The best way to deal with a tree root invasion is to call in a professional plumber. Always go for licensed and experienced plumbers that employ the use of CCTV and water jetting technology. With this CCTV technology, plumbers can get a good look at the condition of the sewer line and see where the roots are blocking the flow of the sewage. Then, they can use water jetters to break up the roots and permanently clear the line.


Foaming Root Killer


Foaming root killers are a popular option for homeowners looking to get rid of tree roots in their plumbing pipes. However, there are several disadvantages to using this type of product. While this can be an effective way to kill unwanted plants, foaming root killer can also damage or even kill nearby plants if used incorrectly. It can be very harmful to pets and people as well.


Aside from being expensive, foaming root killer is known to cause damage to septic systems and may not be effective at killing all of the roots. If you are not confident in your ability to use a foaming root killer safely and effectively, it’s best to call a professional plumber instead.


Roots in Pipes Removal Cost


The cost of root removal from pipes is nothing compared to the much more costly endeavour of fixing the damage caused by not removing roots or resorting to DIY methods. It’s always worth the expense to have a professional take care of this job.


To properly deal with roots in pipes, the removal cost should not become a factor that delays you in taking action. Some root species can grow surprisingly fast - and the cost of removing established roots can be significantly more.


Remove the pain of dealing with a root invasion in your home with Mr Plumber. With our CCTV and water jetting technology, our experienced professionals can remove the roots quickly and efficiently, at a cost that won’t break the bank. Don't put up with a malfunctioning sewer system any longer - call Mr Plumber today and let us help!

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