Removing Roots From Drain Pipes: 3 Steps

Broken pipe with roots inside

Are your sink drains and toilet bowls backing up? Has it gotten so bad you’re thinking about trekking to your favorite hardware store and renting a plumbing snake? If so, you might want to think twice about how effective that will be. If you have trees on your property, there is a good chance that those tree’s roots have burrowed their way into your lateral sewer line, preventing your wastewater from reaching the city sewer main. Don’t panic. It’s just time to call a professional plumber that specializes in drain cleaning in Columbus, Ohio.

How Roots Wind Up In Your Pipes?

Tree Roots Invading Plumbing Pipes

When warm water flows through your lateral toward the city main, vapor is released into the soil, either through small cracks in the pipe or loose joints. This vapor attracts the roots of nearby trees, and over time, the roots will force their way into your pipes and set down, well, roots. Think about it: your pipes are full of water and nutrients, the two things trees need to survive. While great for your trees, this is a serious problem which can wreak havoc on your plumbing.

If you suspect that you have roots in your lateral, know that you’re not alone. Tree roots growing into sewer lines is one of the most common causes of backups and pipe damage. However, fixing this problem is beyond the scope of a plumbing snake. At best, the snake will just push the roots aside. What it won’t do is actually remove the blockage.

Removing Roots From Drain Pipes

Dealing with removing tree roots from drain pipes is never an easy task, and we highly recommend that you consult a professional to get the job done for you quickly and correctly. However, here are some things that you can do that may help remove roots from your drain pipes.

1. Cut the tree roots

One thing you could try doing is cutting the tree roots from your drain pipes mechanically; although this is most definitely a difficult task for you to take on your own. You will also need professional equipment that will allow you to cut through the tree roots.

2. Use Rock Salt

You could also try using rock salt in order to kill the tree roots and unblock your drain pipes passageway. This is something that will have to be done directly from your toilet bowl. What you have to do is pour rock salt into your toilet, and flush the toilet enough times so that your toilet bowl is completely clean. Then, repeat the process, until you have used about 2 pounds of rock salt. You will have to wait for about 8-12 hours for the magic to work. If you do this consistently, it can help to prevent tree roots from entering your drain pipes. This happens because salt acts as poison to plants - making sure that tree roots are unable to grow in the affected area. Be extra cautious, however, as using too much salt over a long period of time could eventually harm the tree in its entirety. If that is something you wish to avoid, then just keep it in mind.

3. Use Chemical Tree Root Remover

Another thing you could do to remove tree roots from your drain pipes is to use chemical tree remover. There are certain products that you can purchase that are designed in such a way as to kill a tree root's structure so that it does not grow back. These products are in essence a rock salt alternative, and may be stronger than salt. They act as poison, blocking tree roots from growing in the affected area.

Remove Root From Drain Plumbers

When dealing with a potential root blockage in your lateral, it’s best to consult a professional plumber, who will likely recommend a video inspection. This may sound expensive, but in the long run, it will minimize guessing and give you peace of mind knowing exactly what needs to be done to remove the blockage.

Once a plan can be drawn up, the plumber will likely use tools such as root saws, augers and high pressure flushers to remove the roots that have taken up residence in your pipes. And, as mother always told us, an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure, so the best way to maintain a clean lateral and minimize the risk of further blockage is to schedule a regular cleaning with your plumber.

Are you looking to remove roots from your drain pipes as soon as possible? Trust our team of experts here at Plumbing & Drain Professionals to get the job done for you quickly and correctly. Contact us now or call us at 614.776.0998 for more information.

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