Quick Fix – Sewer Clogged With Tree Roots

Earlier in the week we received a call from a new customer claiming that their sewer line was backing up and their plumber attempted to clear it out with a snake. The plumber was not successful, he “hit a wall” inside the sewer pipe which he could not pass and proceeded with a sewer camera inspection.

Clay sewer line blocked with roots

Inside of the sewer line

As displayed in the video above, the water was pooling due to a massive amount of roots lodged in one section of the pipe. At this time the only option was to excavate on the customers property and see exactly what was going on.

After two hours of excavating the on-site crew confirmed that the sewer line was infested with roots. The roots served as a complete blockage for all sewage trying to exit the house. In most cases the roots will serve as a partial obstruction which can be removed with a sewer snake or water jet.

Roots in clay sewer pipe


In this case the roots were so thick and heavy that the only option was to remove the section of old clay pipe and install new cast iron pipe.

Roots removed from clay pipe

Roots removed from clay pipe

Luckily for this homeowner, this was the only section of pipe that had suffered from root intrusion and the remainder of the pipe was clear flowing. In many cases we may find that the entire remainder of the pipe is infested with roots out to the street, which would result in additional excavation and pipe repair work. 

New cast iron sewer pipe

New cast iron sewer pipe

In most cases when working on clay pipe we always suggest that the customer save their time and money and replace the existing clay pipe with new cast iron form the house, out to the street. In this case the homeowner had been out of work for several months and could only worry about her current problem. She was aware that there is no guarantee on the pre-existing pipe and she may have to call us back in the future.

contact Harris @