Three Methods for Removing Tree Roots From Sewer Lines

Trenchless plumbing repair

Having a healthy, properly-functioning sewer line system is essential for avoiding sewage blockages and catastrophes in your home. And today’s homeowners don’t just have to worry about products like paper towels and feminine hygiene objects clogging up the sewer lines on their property.

Tree roots, the biggest cause of clogged sewer lines in older homes, are also a huge nuisance — primarily because we have no control over them. A tree’s roots will seek out the nutrients and water that the tree needs to survive, and even the tiniest crack in your sewer line can leak water, attracting roots and causing them to grow into the sewer line.

Luckily, there are some things you can do to keep tree roots away from your sewer lines without harming the tree itself. Here are the three most useful methods currently in use for clearing out tree roots in sewer lines for good:

Mechanical removal

Perhaps the most common way to deal with tree roots in clogged sewer lines, this method involves a mechanical auger that is inserted into the sewer line. The tool’s rotating spiral head acts like a circular saw blade that cuts away any root growth within the pipe. However, this technique doesn’t always remove all roots from the sewer line, and doesn’t do anything to prevent them from growing back — meaning it’s a temporary fix at best.

Chemical treatments

Another choice homeowners have is to use a chemical solution that kills off roots and prevents them from growing back. The best example is copper sulfate crystals — they’re 100% effective due to the fact that copper is toxic to tree roots. In addition, chemical solutions create a “poison zone” for roots around the pipe, meaning they won’t grow back. Another option is to use a root-killing foam containing contains metam-sodium and dichlobenil — this foam fills the entire pipe instead of sitting at the bottom.

Water jets

Lastly, homeowners can hire a professional to come in and use a high-pressure water jet to literally blast away any roots and obstructions from the sewer line. These jets are able to deliver water blasts as intense as 4,000 psi.

Have any other questions for us about sewer line repair or cleaning? Feel free to ask us anything by leaving a comment below.

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