4 Ways To Remove Tree Roots From Sewer Lines

Tree roots can invade pipes through small cracks and joints when seeking moisture and nutrients. This search can cause significant plumbing problems, including blockages, leaks, and structural damage. Learn four ways to remove tree roots from sewer lines to keep your system running smoothly.


Drain Snaking

Drain snaking is a common method for removing tree roots and other debris from sewer lines. This technique involves using a specialized root cutter attachment to cut through and clear out invasive roots. These drain snakes are sturdy, flexible, and powerful enough to break up and remove roots effectively, restoring proper flow in the pipes.


However, while drain snaking removes existing roots, it doesn’t prevent future root intrusions or buildup issues. Regular maintenance and inspections are necessary to ensure that tree roots don’t return and cause further problems.


CCTV Survey and Robotic Cutter

Surveying the sewer line with CCTV cameras allows for a detailed inspection of the pipe’s condition. This method involves sending a small camera into the sewer line to identify the precise location and extent of the root intrusion.


After assessing the problem areas, the plumber may use a robotic cutter to remove the roots without digging. With remote controls, the cutter can slice through the tree roots, minimizing disruption to the property.


Sewer Line Repair

While camera inspection and drain snaking can effectively remove tree roots from sewer lines, these methods do not repair the damage the roots cause. Sewer main repair is the only way to restore the pipe’s structural integrity, stop leaks, and prevent further damage.


The plumber will use a camera to assess the extent of the damage and recommend the best course of action. Investing in proper sewer line repair can save you from more costly and extensive repairs down the road. Plumbing repair or replacement is the only method that removes the tree roots and restores the pipe itself.


The Danger of Rock Salt and Copper Sulfate

Using rock salt and copper sulfate to remove tree roots from sewer lines can be harmful to your plants and plumbing, and we generally do not recommend it. Rock salt, also known as halite, is a mineral form of sodium chloride, and copper sulfate is a chemical compound used as a herbicide and algaecide.


These chemicals can kill the tree roots that impact your plumbing but may damage the surrounding vegetation and soil’s health. Moreover, rock salt and copper sulfate can cause corrosion and damage to your pipes over time, leading to potential leaks and costly repairs.


Techniques such as drain snaking and CCTV surveys with robotic cutters are effective in removing roots without extensive property disruption. While these methods can clear blockages, investing in sewer line repairs ensures your pipes’ structural integrity. Remember that chemical solutions such as rock salt or copper sulfate can cause more harm than good to both your plumbing and surrounding vegetation.

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