When pipes get back up, we usually assume it’s something we did. But sometimes, a blocked pipe can be the result of something outside our homes. One of the most common home plumbing obstructions is tree roots. We’ll explain how tree roots even get into your plumbing and what you can do to avoid this unfortunate ordeal.

Collection of grey tree roots tangled together.

When tree roots fully block a pipe, it can be extremely difficult to dislodge them, so early detection is essential.

How Tree Roots Get into your Plumbing

Trees and plants are attracted to water and nutrients, something your plumbing pipes are a gold mine for. Over time, pipe fittings can become loose and if you have clay pipes (used in homes built in the 1970s and earlier), they can develop cracks. Even though the cracks can be small, once the water and vapor are let out from them, the tree roots can sense it and the search is on. They’ll search until they find it and then grow into many points along the pipe, eventually growing and blocking the pipe completely. When they fully block the pipe, it can be extremely difficult to dislodge them, so early detection is essential.

Some signs of this include:

  • Sewage backups
  • Slow drains
  • Sudden surges in tree growth
  • Unpleasant odors in or around your home
  • Sinkholes in your yard

If you notice these signs, call in a plumber. They will insert a camera into the sewer line and can find out if there are any roots in your pipe. Based on what they find, they’ll recommend a treatment for you.

Ways to Protect Your Home Plumbing

If you’re having trouble with roots in your home plumbing, here are some things you can do to remove the roots and protect your pipes.

Use an Auger

One way to prevent tree roots in your plumbing is to use a mechanical auger. This is a device with a rotating spiral head that you snake down your plumbing system to shear off the roots. This is an affordable option but it doesn’t rid you of roots permanently. It will just remove the roots from your pipe, not kill them. So they will grow back over time. Depending on how bad the problem is and your willingness to continue this method, this could be a regular process you have to go through.

Remove with Chemicals

This is a great option to kill off tree roots without harming the tree or your home plumbing. Copper sulfate crystals are a natural herbicide most commonly used in this scenario and can be found in most home improvement stress. Simply pour half a cup into your toilet and flush! Be careful to avoid contact and keep away from children and pets as these bright blue crystals are toxic.

Use a Hydro Jetter

Another thorough but more expensive option is to use a hydro jetter. This machine shoots water at up to 4000 psi which will disintegrate roots and push them out of your home plumbing system. Not only is it great to clear roots, but it will clear anything in your pipe, leaving them working like new.

City Plumbing Services logo on white background.

Professional plumbing services you can trust!

Let City Plumbing Services Help You Out

The worst part about tree roots in your pipes is often times you won’t know it’s there until too late. If you think you might be dealing with tree root intrusion, call up City Plumbing Services to help you out. We’ll be able to find out if there are roots in your pipe and fix the problem so you don’t have to shell out money buying an auger or hydro jetter yourself. Contact us for reliable and professional plumbing services you can trust! We’re located in Cave Creek, but are ready to help those in Phoenix, Paradise Valley, Chandler, Surprise, and most of the East Valley of Arizona.

Contact Us Today!