Detect and Prevent Tree Roots in Your Sewer Line

Written By: admin

May 29, 2020

Wondering how to detect and prevent tree roots in your sewer line this season? Here at Solid Plumbing and Heating, we know that one of the top reasons for plumbing issues in Durango and Bayfield is tree root damage.  It’s not hard to understand why tree roots love sewer lines. A leaking sewer line pipe provides trees with an ideal source of water, oxygen and nutrients. Sewer pipes offer prime real estate for a tree looking to plant its roots. A small-scale root invasion will annoy you. But, left untreated, roots can infiltrate your plumbing and cost you thousands. 

Prevent Tree Roots in Your Sewer Line

As we’ve said, tree roots can cause some costly damage. Preventing the problem from ever occurring is obviously the most cost-effective route. Start by asking your local sewer department or a home inspector where the sewer lines for your home run through the yard. Use this information to ensure you plant trees away from sewer lines. If you must plant a tree near a know sewer line location, choose a slow-growing smaller variety. Look for trees that mature to a max of 20 feet. Make sure to plant larger varieties far enough away that their roots won’t be able to reach your water lines.

Make sure to use the known location of sewer lines in your yard to identify trees planted nearby that could pose a potential issue. You may be able to prevent future problems by removing these trees before they grow too large and their roots spread. 

Detect and Repair Tree Roots in Your Sewer Line

If your sinks or bathtubs are draining slowly, the plumbing backs up constantly, or you have a strange gurgling noise coming from the toilet, it could mean you have a tree root problem. You have a few ways of dealing it:

Remove The Roots Mechanically

This method is implemented by the use of a mechanical auger, a device used to dig deep in a sewer line and clear away pesky roots. This is however only a temporary fix. If tree roots got there in the first place, they’ll get there again unless repairs are made. In the meantime,  it allows your pipes to flow freely until you find a more permanent solution.

Remove The Roots Chemically

Following mechanical root removal, one option is to kill the roots with chemicals like rock salt, or copper sulfide. To use this method,  pour a half-pound of rock salt into your toilet and flush as many times as needed to clear the bowl. Repeat this process until you’ve flushed 2 pounds of salt into your pipes. Let the compound work its magic for 8 to 12 hours, avoiding flushing your toilet or running any water that will drain into your affected pipe. However, it’s possible to damage or kill the entire tree as well as surrounding plants by using this method, so use caution if that’s not something you want to accomplish.

Foaming Root Killers

These products will prevent root regrowth and they are easier on your pipes.  Root killers contain an herbicide that kills tree roots on contact and leaves behind a residue that discourages new growth. If you catch the problem early, you should be able to pour the root killer directly into your toilet, following the product’s instructions carefully. 

Need Help?

Contact Solid Plumbing and Heating for help detecting and treating tree roots in your sewer lines. We know that plumbing problems are no fun, our professional staff will get the root of your problem (pun intended) in no time. If you’re suffering from signs of tree root invasion, call on Solid Plumbing in Durango or Bayfield to help.

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