How to Get Rid of Roots in Sewer Line
Having roots invade your sewer line can be a big issue if it is not taken care of fast enough. Because roots can spread out in so many directions, once they get in the lines, they can invade that area. If you believe you have roots in your sewer line, you are asking how to get rid of roots in sewer line?
Your sewer pipes will create moisture around them because of the warm water following through them. Tree roots, on the other hand, are on the hunt for water to help them grow. Once the roots find this water source, it will attract even more and just continue to spread eventually causing major plumbing issues.
How Do I Know if I Have Roots in my Sewer Line?
As Service Professor (a plumber Grand Rapids, Michigan) suggests, before going through all the trouble of trying to eliminate the roots, it is important to know if you do have roots in your sewer line. Here are some things to look out for that could be a sign of roots in your sewer line:
- How fast are the drains flowing? Keep an eye out when emptying the water from the sink or bathtub if it is going slower than normal. If so, make sure that it isn’t something else like food or hair causing the blockage.
- Listen for gurgling sounds. If you hear gurgling coming from the toilet, there is a strong possibility that you have roots in your sewer line.
If you have ignored these previous signs, you may end up having a real blockage or worse, pipes bursting. And that’s where the expensive repairs will come in.
How to Get Rid of Roots in Sewer Line?
There are a few methods that can be used to get rid of roots in your sewer line:
- Cut them out. According to Lowes For Pros, a mechanical auger is what is most commonly used to remove roots. This rotating spiral head goes into the ground and cuts the roots. It is a good method if the issue is not major, but some will remain, and they will likely grow again.
- Use hydro jetting. Before using this expensive method, you’re going to want to make sure that roots are what is causing the issue by running a camera through the pipes.In a video, The Twin Home Experts show us an example of how this works. It is done by sending an intense water pressure through the pipes, which subsequently gets rid of the roots.
- Use sodium chloride. Also known as copper sulfate or rock salt, this is a chemical that can be poured in your toilet, which stops the roots from growing in the pipes. To do this, you will need two pounds of the sodium chloride.Take half a pound, put it in the toilet and flush. Continue flushing until all the salt is gone. Repeat the process three more times. After the final time avoid using the toilet or running water through the affected pipes for 8 to 12 hours.
This chemical will kill the roots, so if you do this regularly you can keep your pipes clear of roots. However, by doing this you may also kill the entire tree and other plants that may be nearby, so use cautiously if you would like to maintain your landscape.
- Dig it up. As a last resort, if the damage is extensive, you may need to dig up the roots that are causing the issues.
How to Prevent Roots in Sewer Line
As we all know, the best thing to do to prevent expensive repairs in being proactive. There are certain things you can do to prevent roots from getting into your sewer line.
If you are thinking of planting trees, know where your sewer lines are. Contacting your local public works to find out where the sewage line is located can give you an idea of where it would be safe to plant new trees.
You should also choose trees that are less likely to attack your sewage line. All roots will be attracted to the moisture, but by choosing trees with a less elaborate root system that grow slowly, there is less chance that they will get through the sewer pipes.
You have no control over where roots are going to grow, but you can take preventative measures to minimize risks. Always keep an eye on how your pipes are draining, listen for gurgling noises coming from your toilet and look out for water that drains slowly.
Although it can be cheaper to fix things yourself, depending on the extent of the issue, you may need to consult a plumber. He will be able to identify exactly what the issue is and suggest ways of fixing it in relation to the severity of the blockage.