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Roots in Pipes: Signs & How to Get Rid of Roots in Pipes

There are only a few ways pipes can get blocked and one of those is roots in pipes. Nature’s way of getting going sometimes may encounter things they tend to penetrate.

If you are facing any problem regarding roots inside the pipes, and you are not properly sure, you may have to rely on some indicating signs. On top of that, there are only a handful of ways you can follow to get rid of roots in pipes.

Let’s explore those signs and how you can get rid of roots in pipes

Roots in pipes: Signs & how to get rid of roots in pipes

Roots in pipes might be evident with increased water bills, slow draining, gurgling noise in pipes, and bad smells. Copper Sulfate, rock salt, and Hydro jet machines come very handy for removing roots from pipes. In severe cases, professional help might be required for a permanent root solution. 

If your pipes are getting blocked with roots, it must shown a few symptoms, such as –

Signs of roots in pipes:

Unlike many incidents we face on a day-to-day basis, the signs we point out to make decisions based on root infected pipes do not have any. Rather, it totally depends on the external effects that may grab your attention after something bad has already happened.

Increased Water Bills:

An injured pipe will tend to leak a lot of water. Thus, it is obvious that the leaking water will put a heavy toll on your water bill. 

That means, if you notice a sudden increase in the water bill, find some time to look for the potential places where adjacent trees can penetrate the pipes easily. 

Slow Draining:  

If the pipe dedicated to discharging wastewater and sewer gets rooted inside and leads toward a blockage, a direct impact will be seen in toilets and sinks.

Usually, a blockage will decrease the rate of passing waste so in the meantime the water in the sinks and toilets will leave slowly.

Gurgling Noise In Pipes:

Due to the root, there creates a number of air pockets inside the pipes. Passing the space leads to making noise that sounds like gurgles. It is a good way to identify the point where the root is blocking the pipe.

Bad Smells:

The point where the root has gone inside, is also the point where bad smells from the sewer will be emitting. If you face any bad smell, look for the sign of roots inside pipes first.

Why do roots grow into pipes?

Growing roots inside the water pipe is a common scenario. Such incidents often lead to stoppage of water flow and to a great extent breakage of pipes. 

The growth of roots solely depends on the available nutrients, water, and oxygen around them. They choose their path toward such appealing areas where they can find enough nutrients. If roots can get into a crack or leak in the pipes, they grow there very rapidly.

Usually, pipes are used to carry water, whether fresh or sewerage. Water in sewerage pipes contains oxygen and nutrients which attract roots. The environment in the pipe is also warmer than the surrounding area which is preferable to roots. 

Therefore, water pipes attract roots, and roots crepe into them, grow inside them and block the water flow. Thicker roots often tend to break the pipe joints in search of openings.

How to Get Rid of Roots in Pipes?

Trees might be very beautiful, but it is certainly not pleasing if they spoil our valuable things. Such as roots in pipes, one of the biggest nightmares for homeowners, because in such cases you have to spend a lot for something that should not have taken place.

However, if there’s already root in pipes, you cannot but take action. Here are few things you can consider to apply-

Rock salt:

One of the easiest solutions is to use rock salt to clean the pipes. Rock salt helps to eliminate the moisture content of the roots. As a result, the roots get dry gradually. Using rock salt, you can remove the roots easily and most effectively.

If you pour rock salt regularly, you can keep your sewer pipes clean. Pour enough salt into your toilet and flush it multiple times. Do Not use toilets for 8 hours after that. Be cautious about using rock salt as well. It can perish the entire tree and adjacent plants

Copper Sulfate or Sodium Chloride:

You can also use chemicals like Copper Sulfate and Sodium Chloride to remove roots from pipes. You will find them in hardware stores. These chemicals also drain out the moisture content from the roots to dry them out.

Likewise, rock salt, pour chemicals into the toilet, and wait for 8 hours. Do not overuse them. Chemicals might cause erosion of your pipes.

Hydro jet machine:

These machines are capable of releasing a large amount of water pressure resulting in cleaning any unusual objects and elements from any surface. In case of roots in pipes, hydro jet is considered very effective and used very commonly. 

Hydro jets give instant results and do not take too much of the time.

Call for professionals:

In cases of severe root formation, if you cannot handle the situation on your own and think if you do the crucial task, you might make things even worse, you should call for a professional help. 

Depending on the task, and how much time would require to get it solved, a professional will cost somewhere between USD 100 to USD 600. 

Despite the large cost of professional help, it will give your pipes free access like before, as the plumber will not only remove roots from the pipes, but also take steps to prevent such things in the future.

Replace the pipes:

For severe cases when the root formation has formed to an extent where there’s a little scope and almost no possibility of getting removed by chemicals or other accessories, you should consider the replacement with new pipes. 

Roots can cause damage to pipes and sometimes make multiple holes releasing bad stuff with even worse smells from inside. Thus, replacing them with a new one will not only clean the blockages, you are not going to encounter another root in the pipes in a long time.

How much does it cost to fix roots in pipes with professionals?

Roots in pipes have become a common phenomenon in places where roots lack water and live on wherever they find few moisturizers. Usually determining the roots is a somewhat difficult task. Once you have done the measurements, fixing it will not be a big issue.

Using sodium sulfate and other chemicals works very fine to remove the roots organically. However, in severe cases, it is obvious to look for help. The price of the plumbing service is based on the extent of the work, which will be around $100-$600.

How to prevent tree roots in sewer lines?

Having trees in your house is a very sweet gesture. It keeps the house free from many disturbing things as well as gives a beautiful look. 

It’s not very common to see roots getting inside a pipe. However, a large number of people have faced such problems. This is not a good feeling as a homeowner to see pipes getting jammed because of a tree root.

So, you might want to take steps that would help you prevent tree roots in sewer lines. These are the things you should consider for that-

Check pipe leaks: 

Although people tend to check any leakage in their water supply and sewer lines, it is the utmost requirement for preventing tree roots in pipes. 

If leakages, even the smallest ones, allow moisture to attract trees, it is very predictable, the tree will expand its roots toward it to consume as much water as possible. 

So, if there are trees in your house, have a constant eye on the pipe network to look for any unnoticed incidents of leakages. If so, repair the pipes or install new ones.

Drain Copper Sulfate or Sodium Chloride: 

Not an obvious choice but this method is proven very effective. When you drain either copper sulfate or sodium chloride from time to time, it runs through the sewer pipes and looks for any microbes and tree roots, if found take actions against those. 

After putting in some copper sulfate or sodium chloride, roots cannot survive very long, and usually they cannot grow and consequently gets drained out of the pipe in a few days.

Putting rock salt: 

The same result can be expected by putting rock salt in the sewer line. This is much cheaper but has a reputation of being very effective.

Final thoughts

Roots in pipes are tough to figure out. Noticing a root requires finding out if there are any issues in the pipes. Usually, tees find the thinnest holes in the pipe. Look for external issues like bills and discharge rates. Also, what requires fixing it is some potential root cleaners and tools.