Sewer Line Cleaning and Repair

Roots in Your Sewer Lines Can Get Nasty

Roots in drain line

Roots are a common problem in sewer lines.

Tree roots entering your sewer line can cause major damage to pipes and septic tanks because they tend to grow into rough shapes that create clogs and slow drains that can back up sewage into your home.

As roots continue to grow, they expand and exert considerable pressure at the crack or joint where they entered the pipe. The force exerted by the root growth will break the pipe and may result in total collapse of the pipe requiring it to be replaced.

How do roots get into the main drainpipe?

Roots grow towards sewer pipes because they hold water, nutrients and oxygen—things roots crave.  And if the root finds a crack or leak in the pipe, they’ll grow into the pipe, blocking off the flow of waste into the sewer.

Signs You Might Have a Problem

Look for early signs of a blocked line to avoid major issues later.

Early indications that your main drain/sewer line could be partially blocked are …

  • Gurgling sounds coming from the toilet when you flush.
  • Slow drains – including your toilet – that tend to backup.
  • Clogs that keep returning after you’ve cleared them. This is because you haven’t taken care of the real problem: holes or cracks in your pipe. The roots just keep coming back.
  • Obnoxious odors.

All these are warning signs that you need to inspect your sewer line. If you ignore these signs, they’re going to become worse. When tree roots enter your sewer line pipe, as they grow, they expand to fill the pipe and exert a great deal of pressure at the point of entry. Eventually the pipe breaks, resulting in expensive repairs that you can’t avoid.

Eliminating Tree Roots

Commercially available products can be an easy solution to clearing a partially blocked sewer line.

There are a variety of products including rock salt, sodium chloride, copper sulphate or commercial products like Root X to kill the roots and prevent them from continuing to grow.  You simply flush these products down your toilet and give them a few hours to work. This process does not remove the root mass.

To remove the roots blocking your pipe requires running a power auger down your sewer line to cut out the roots and open up your drainpipe.  This is very effective in eliminating the blockage but does not prevent the roots from growing back.

The most effective approach for larger root problems is to first cut out the roots with the auger and then apply a product like Root X to kill the ends of the roots preventing them from growing back.

Think You Might Have a Problem?

Give Brenneco a call at 765-448-6190 if you suspect you have drain line problems. We’ll be happy to come out and assess your concerns.