How To Remove And Prevent Tree Roots From Getting Into The Sewer Line

prevent roots from getting into the sewer line

Tree roots are often tempted to creep inside your pipes where they sense the water, nutrients, and oxygen they need to thrive. The same applies to your drain pipes and septic tank. If you have roots anywhere in your plumbing system, it is necessary to take action as soon as possible to remove them. Roots that reach such a rich source of nourishment can quickly begin to make themselves at home, spread and cause more complicated issues. Whether you had roots removed in the past or just want to prevent roots from becoming a problem, there are a few steps you can take to evict and keep these unwanted visitors away from your plumbing system. 

How to remove roots from your sewer line

Schedule a sewer cleaning service. If you suspect roots have entered your sewer line or drain pipes, it’s important to call a professional plumber to inspect and address this problem. With a camera inspection a plumber will be able to examine all of your plumbing system and pinpoint the exact location of all entry points. 

The most effective method of removing roots from your sewer line or anywhere else in your plumbing system is through hydro jetting. Hydro jetting is a non-invasive and efficient method of cleaning out your drain pipes or sewer line. This method of drain cleaning uses highly pressurized water to clear any clogs caused by buildup or those pesky roots, thoroughly flushing your pipes out and cleaning them from all angels.

Once the sewer line or drain pipe has been cleared, the next step would be to seal the entry point or replace that section of the pipe all together, depending on the severity of the damage. An experienced professional will be able to guide you through the best options available to prevent water leaks in the affected areas.

Preventative Measures

Set up root barriers. Root barriers are made of solid metal sheets or panels of hard plastic with a thickness of at least 0.15mm. These barriers are placed underground and act like a literal fence or wall that physically prevents roots from entering your sewer line, drain or septic tank. 

While these walls are great at keeping your plumbing safe, they may become harmful to your trees. A tree needs an adequate root system not only for nutrition, but also to keep it anchored and balanced. For this reason removing the tree may actually be a better option than limiting its root-growth and potentially causing it to die over time. 

Be strategic with the trees you plant. Being mindful about how you plan landscaping is the best way to avoid expensive problems. If you plant larger trees, plant them far enough away from your sewer line or septic tank so the roots are not within reach of the pipes. If possible, avoid planting close to the sewer lines, but if you do, opt for slow-growing trees with a small root ball.

Consider a chemical treatment. Certain products available in most home improvement stores are designed to deter root growth. These chemicals are non-systemic, so they do not harm trees and plants but they prevent roots from growing around your sewer line. They are often used by farmers to protect crops and can be safely used in your yard to control root growth.

Know the Warning Signs

It helps to know the warning signs of a root infestation so that you can act accordingly and in a timely manner. Some of the most common signs of roots entering your sewer line are:

  • Slow draining toilets
  • Gurgling sounds
  • Clogged pipes
  • Unpleasant sewer odors
  • Sinkholes

If you notice any of these signs, call the professionals at VIP Sewer and Drain services, serving Orange County California. If you have any plumbing emergencies, simply call our emergency service line 866.222.1753 where we are available 24/7!

If you have any emergency plumbing need, simply call our 24 hour emergency service line


•• A Message to Our Customers About COVID-19

Your family’s comfort and safety are our team’s most important focus. In our area and around the country, public health and safety is on everyone’s mind. We would like to do our part to ease any concerns you may have.
Here are some precautions that we are taking at VIP Sewer and Drain Services in order to continue to provide you with the best service:
Our employees are like family. We allow everyone ample time off work to care for themselves and their families in a time of illness. So, rest assured that we would NEVER send an ill technician to your home.

As part of our normal routine, all of our technicians wear shoe covers to keep your home clean and prevent any outside contaminants from entering your home. We are now making sure our technicians are wearing mask, and gloves before entering your home.
Our plumbers will also respect your space and keep a safe distance while working at your home or business.

When you call in, our office staff will be asking if anyone in the home has a fever, been diagnosed or had exposure to the virus. We need to know so that we can be proactive with our team’s response and level of protection.
We are giving our team members facts about COVID-19 and reminding them to follow simple, but effective steps to keep them safe such as frequent hand washing.

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