Tree Roots & Clogged Sewer Lines
Most of us can agree that trees, especially large mature trees are beautiful. A yard filled with lush trees can make all the difference in the way a property looks, but unfortunately, big trees can spell disaster for a home’s sewer lines.
When a home has large, healthy trees on its property, the tree roots can become a real problem. When it comes to your home’s plumbing, invasive tree roots can cause you major headaches.
Sometimes the smallest crack in a sewer line will send messages to tree roots, “Come and drink if you’re thirsty!” and the water-seeking tree roots will respond accordingly.
Before you know it, tendrils that resemble spider webs will creep into the cracks in the pipes, and once they find the source of the moisture, they will send roots, which after consistent liquid nourishment, can grow as big as the sewer line!
How do you address this problem? Here are four possible solutions:
1. Using a Mechanical Auger to Cut Roots
One of the most popular techniques is to mechanically remove the tree roots with a powered sewer auger. In this case, a trained plumber would send a powered sewer auger down the sewer line. It’s rotating spiral head would cut the roots, however, many roots would be left behind.
While this method clears a significant number of the roots, it’s a temporary solution because the tree roots will eventually grow back. For the roots that have been cut, snapped, or chewed off, they will go to work sending out fine tendrils, which will restart the whole process all over again.
2. Using Copper Sulfate Crystals
In order to kill the roots so they don’t grow back, you’ll have to use chemicals, such as copper sulfate crystals. Copper sulfate crystals are highly effective because they create such a hostile environment that when roots try to get into the pipe, they die trying.
3. Killing Roots With a Hydro Jetter
An effective way to clear sewer lines is to use a hydro jetter. Instead of using chemicals, this machine pumps 17 to 18 gallons of water per minute into the pipes. Once the hydro jetter is finished, we flush the sewer line with chemicals to kill the remaining roots.
4. Replacing the Damaged Sewer Line
Sometimes the damage caused by the roots is so severe, the sewer line cannot be cleaned or cleared. Instead of clearing it out, it has to be replaced. To determine the full extent of the damage, we send a camera down inside the line. This allows homeowners to “see” the full extent of the damage with their own eyes. So, the tree roots would have to be dug up, and the sewer line would have to be replaced.
Do you suspect that you have a tree root problem in your own yard? If so, contact our Kansas City plumbers for a free estimate. We gladly service all of Shawnee & Johnson counties.