15 September A residential neighbourhood with trees

How to Clear Roots from Drain Pipes

Posted by PlumbWize

If you have a clogging problem and have done all the DIY remedies you could find, maybe the root of the problem (pun intended) is in your front and backyard and probably in your neighbour’s too. 

4 Ways To Clear Roots From Drain Pipes

Root growth in pipes is a common problem that can cause clogging in your home and the houses beside you. And if you see the signs, it’s time to take action before things get out of hand.

But before you do anything drastic like pouring chemicals down your drain pipes or digging a hole in your yard, you should first schedule a sewer inspection with a professional. Professionals usually use advanced equipment that can show a live feed of what’s in your drain pipes. 

Doing this helps them know what’s causing the problem and its location without having to dig a hole or open up a random pipe. Not only will this save you time and money, but it will also prevent you from causing harm to your drainage system and the environment in case you were thinking of pouring chemicals down the drain.

If the plumber finds roots growing in your drain pipes, you can expect them to do any or a combination of the four things below to clear roots from the drain pipes.

Chemical Treatment

One of the ways a professional can clear roots from the drain pipes is by placing chemical treatments that can prevent the root structure of the plant from growing back again. These chemicals are potent enough to kill the roots, and if you want added protection, you can opt to have the entire pipe coated with it.

However, if you are worried about harming your plants and environment, you can ask your plumber to do either of the solutions below.

Drain Snaking

Drain snaking is a cost-effective service a plumbing company can offer to clear the roots from the drain pipes. The machine plumbers use for this service is often called a drain snake, mechanical auger or rooter machine. This machine comes with a long cable, and when used with a cutter head attachment, it is effective enough to cut through roots. 

The plumber will repeatedly remove and insert this machine to remove the roots from the pipes. The job will take some time considering the process, especially if your plumber is thorough.

Your drain pipes should be root-free for at least a year, but if you’re looking for a long-term solution, you should consider asking your plumber about their drain hydro jetting service.

A plumber snaking a drain to clear tree roots

Drain Hydro-Jetting

While drain snaking can effectively remove roots from drain pipes, plumbing companies also offer drain hydro-jetting if you prefer a long-term solution for your root problems. As its name suggests, this service uses the help of a hydro jetter and is more expensive than drain snaking. However, this process can keep your pipes root-free for five to seven years.

Like the drain snake, the hydro jetter comes with a cable that a plumber inserts into the pipes. But instead of a cutter head attachment, it clears roots using pressurized water. With proper use of this machine, it can disintegrate roots and wash out other debris found within your drain pipes without harming it.

Repair the Sewer Line

If a plumber sees that drain snaking or hydro-jetting is not enough to solve your root problems, they can offer the following options:

  • Pipe-lining or trenchless sewer replacement: this option doesn’t necessarily mean replacing the whole pipe. It can be as simple as inserting a liner to coat the drain pipes from the inside. This service won’t require excavation.
  • Spot repair: as its name suggests, this service will only repair pipes with cracks or holes. This service will require minimum excavation.
  • Partial or complete replacement: the most comprehensive among the three, this service requires deep excavation and is more time-consuming. Most plumbing companies won’t resort to this unless necessary.

3 Steps To Prevent Root Growth in Drain Pipes 

Now that you know how to clear roots from drain pipes, it’s time to take action to prevent it from happening again. If you are planning to plant trees in your front or back yard, here are three steps you can easily do to prevent roots from growing in drain pipes.

Know Where the Sewer System Is

The first step in preventing roots from growing in your drain pipes is knowing where the sewer system is. You can ask your local sewer department or a home inspector about it so you can avoid planting near the drainage system.

Choose Wisely

We hate to break it to you, but if your dream front or backyard involves sycamore, eastern white pine, or red oak trees, we suggest you reconsider. Those trees are fast-growing varieties, which can cause problems to your pipes down the road. You can opt to plant slow-growing trees like Japanese maples or magnolia trees instead. But if you still prefer fast-growing ones, plant them far away from the sewer system as possible.

An uprooted tree

Remove Potential Risks

If you notice a tree planted near the sewer system, you should take the necessary steps to have it removed before you start having problems and spending more money than you should.

Getting to the Root of the Problem 

If you are looking for a plumbing company that can solve your root problem, you can trust our plumbers from PlumbWize to get the job done the first time around. 

We are a leading plumbing company in Hamilton trusted by homeowners and business owners alike and have been offering our services to residential and commercial properties for decades. 

Our rooter service just might be the answer to all your root problems–contact us today to get a free quote.


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