This picture gives new meaning to the phrase “roots in drain or sewer lines”!

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As tree (and other invasive plant) roots grow they can invade your sewer and drain lines, causing stoppages, and potentially collapsing and/or damaging the pipes, requiring replacement of the damaged sewer line.

Although the ABS pipe that’s used in sewer lines today is more resistant to root invasion than the clay or orangeburg piping that was used at one time (which many homes still have) it is not impenatrable, especially where fittings may have separated even slightly, allowing roots to access the line.  Things like ground settling can cause fittings to separate slightly, but the roots themselves can actually push against the pipes, causing separation at the fittings and allowing the roots to grow into the pipe.  This picture shows some pretty invasive root growth – right through the sewer and drain lines, and up and out of the toilet drain!  This was a major mainline stoppage!

The best solution is not to plant trees, oleanders or other invasive type plants anywhere near your sewer lines or septic lines.  However, if you currently have a problem with roots in your sewer or drain lines, you’ll need to call a plumber to run an electric sewer machine (auger) through the lines to cut the roots and clear the line – temporarily.

Once this has been done, it will be necessary to use a video camera to locate exactly where the roots are accessing the line.  The line can then be repaired – unless the damage is extensive, in which case the line, or a portion of it, may need to be replaced.

This may solve the immediate problem, but unless something is done to kill the roots, they will find a way to grow back into the sewer line.  There are different ways of dealing with aggressive root growth once the sewer line has been cleared and repaired/replaced.  Talk to your plumber about options that will help stop, or minimize, continuing invasive root growth into your sewer and drain lines.

Questions?  Problems with roots in your sewer and drain lines?

Give us a call.  An experienced plumber is always available during business hours to answer your questions, and we can usually schedule your repair the same day you call.

Stevens Plumbing, Heating & Air Conditioning

Thanks to Zach Stewart for these pictures, which he took on a recent plumbing drain clearing job in a Phoenix, Az home.