Removing Roots from Drain Pipes: A Guide With Videos, Required Tools, and Methods

A split drain pipe caused by tree roots - importance of removing roots from drain pipes.

The trees in your yard are part of what makes your property special. However, while your trees may be a major part of your landscaping, their roots can wreak havoc on your drains. Drainage systems carry water away from your home, but tree roots can quickly block or clog these systems.

Be Careful Wher You Plant Your Trees and What Trees You Plant

In fact, tree roots may not have crossed your mind as a potential problem on your property. However, they are one of the most common drain issues that property owners and homeowners face. Before you ever plant a tree carefully consider if it is above your sewer line, and if the tree has a deep root structure. Trees with shallow root structures are less harmful to underground sewer pipes. Read on to find out why you need professional help when removing roots from drain pipes. 

How Do Tree Roots Block Drain Pipes?

The job of tree roots is to absorb water and nutrients from the soil. To do this, roots may grow outward in search of these resources. If a tree’s roots happen to encounter a drain pipe, they can continue to grow into the pipe seeking the direct source of moisture. When this happens, it is important to remove the tree roots from drain pipes as soon as they are discovered to avoid bigger issues.

Once Hair Roots Infiltrate A Drain Pipe The Grow in Both Diameter and Length

Once roots infiltrate your pipe, they continue to grow larger and thicker. Therefore removing roots from drain pipes is best done before you get a full blockage or as an annual part of your drain maintenance. If tree roots continue to infiltrate your drain pipes, they can eventually cause the pipes to collapse or break apart.

Signs of Tree Roots in Drain Pipes

Since drain pipes are found underground, it can be difficult to tell if tree roots have infiltrated them. One sign of tree roots in drain pipes is slow drains. If water is taking longer than usual to go down your drains, tree roots may be causing a blockage in your main house sewer. If you notice any of the following, it is important to call a professional drain technician right away to help you:

1. Water backup in drains or toilets. If water starts to back up in your drains or toilets, this could be a sign of a blockage caused by tree roots. While there could be another culprit, don’t rule out tree roots in your main drain pipe.

2. Gurgling sounds coming from drains. If you hear gurgling sounds coming from your drains, this is another potential sign of tree roots in your drain pipes.

3. Strong odors coming from drains. If you notice strong odors coming from your drains, this could be caused by tree roots in your pipes that have led to poor drainage.

No property owner or homeowner wants to deal with the hassle and expense of removing roots from drain pipes. However, by being aware of these signs, you can take action to prevent serious damage. Always remember that once your main house sewer is not flowing properly, none of your drains will flow properly.

Removing roots from drain pipes - using hydro jet to remove tree roots from pipes.

Best Methods to Use When Removing Roots from Drain Pipes

Roots can be tightly entrenched in drain pipes, making them difficult to remove. Even experienced drain technicians find removing roots from drain pipes to be a challenge. This problem typically requires specialty tools to remove roots and restore proper drainage. Here are some of the common methods a drain technician may take to remove tree roots from your pipes:

1. Traditional Electric Sewer Snaking Machines

These machines can cut down tree roots stuck inside the drain pipes. Traditional electric sewer snaking machines may restore temporary service. However, they frequently do not provide a long-term solution for removing roots from drain pipes. 

2. Chemical Treatments

A popular option for removing roots from drain pipes is to use a chemical treatment. Chemical treatments can kill roots inside the pipe without harming the actual plant or tree. To prevent new roots from growing into the pipe, a chemical like copper sulfate crystals can be used. The copper sulfate crystals will kill the tree roots that come into contact with them. A traditional cleaning will clear out the dead roots after the chemical treatment does its job.

3. Rodding Machines

Another method for removing roots from drain pipes is to use a rodding machine. Rodding machines have tremendous torque and power. A sewer rodding machine can cut out an entire root stoppages inside a pipe. It consists of a long rod that is inserted into the pipe. The rigidity of the rod allows it to have superior power, break up the roots, and remove the roots from the pipe.

4. Hydro Jetting / Sewer Jetting

Hydro jetting is another method of removing tree roots from drain pipes. It is effective at breaking up roots and flushing them out of the pipe. Hydro jetting can also clean the pipe of any other debris that may be present. Hydro jets have various specialty heads, many are specific for root removal.

These are only a few of the methods that an experienced drain technician may use to remove and eliminate tree roots from inside your drain pipes. The best method for removing roots will depend on the severity of the issue and the type of the affected pipe. A professional and experienced drain technician will be able to assess your unique situation and determine the best course of action. Of course, in many if not most cases tree roots in your sewer will grow back and reoccur.

How Can Balkan Sewer and Drain Cleaning Help?

Now that you know more about removing roots from drain pipes, you can take action to keep your pipes clear and free of damage. We understand that removing tree roots from drain pipes can be a daunting task for a property owner. Attempting to remove them on your own can be dangerous and can cause further damage to your drain pipes.

The professional drain technicians at Balkan Sewer and Drain Cleaning have the skills, experience, and specialty tools necessary to get tree roots out of pipes quickly and effectively. Our experienced drain technicians will inspect your drain pipes and thoroughly assess the damage. Once we identify the problem, we will develop a customized plan to remove the roots from your drain pipes. We will also advise you on steps you can take to prevent tree roots from growing into your drain pipes in the future. 

Taking immediate steps to remove the roots is crucial to preventing extensive damage to your drain pipes. If you believe you have tree roots growing in your drain pipes, contact Balkan Sewer and Drain Cleaning today. Give us a call at (718) 641-1222 or complete our online contact form. A member of our team will be happy to answer any of your questions and address any of your concerns. Get peace of mind knowing your drain pipes are in good hands!