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Are Tree Roots Infiltrating Your Pipes?

The Plumbing Authority Heating & Cooling

Tree roots are amazingly persistent. Some tree species have roots that stretch hundreds of feet in search of nutrients, developing hair-like fibers that can worm their way into surprising places -- among them, your sewer line.

Roots invading your plumbing system can lead to costly problems. Here’s how to diagnose and solve root blockages.

How Does This Happen?

A tree gathers water and minerals from the soil. Unfortunately for your home, the sewer line contains superfoods for trees. Feeder roots will find weak spots and gaps in your pipes. Then, the fibers grow into the pipe to absorb this rich bounty of water, oxygen, and nutrients. As the roots grow, they’ll create a large, stubborn blockage in the line.

Signs Tree Roots Have Infiltrated Your Pipes

Slow drains, gurgling toilets: If your drains remain slow even after running a plumber’s snake down them, you might have a tree root obstruction somewhere in the line. Left unchecked, roots can block the entire line and can even crack old pipes.

Frequent clogs: You’ve tried the plunger and chemical drain cleaners and stubborn clogs persist. That could be a sign that roots are embedded deep within the line, restricting the flow of water.

Sinkholes: The sewer line under your yard will develop leaks if punctured by roots, causing the ground to settle in places. These spots might always be wet even when it’s dry out.

What You Can Do to Solve the Problem

Fertilizing and watering your trees regularly can prevent them from seeking out nutrients from your pipes. You should avoid planting trees like willows and oaks because they have aggressive root systems. But only a professional plumber will be able to remove the roots from your plumbing system. To schedule an appointment with The Plumbing Authority, call (865) 238-2280.

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