Tree Roots in the Sewer Line – Having trees on your property is an excellent source of shade and they can add a lot of beauty to your property. Unfortunately, if you have trees growing in the area of the sewer line, the roots can cause significant damage to the sewer line as well as the indoor plumbing system. The materials used to make sewer lines are typically concrete, clay, PVC, or cast iron, all of which can crack and/or corrode, which allow the tree roots to penetrate. Once the tree roots find their way into the sewer line, not only will they continue to grow, but they grow quickly because of the available water and nutrients. If you suspect tree roots are growing in the sewer lines, it’s important to contact a plumber as soon as possible for repairs. Here are some of the most common signs of tree roots growing in the sewer line.
If you are noticing the drains are slower than usual, but the problem is only in one or two drains, then the problem is a blockage in the drains themselves. But, the majority of all of the drains in the house started to drain slower around the same time, it’s most likely due to tree roots in the sewer line. If the problem continues to go untreated, it will worsen, possibly to the point where the water will not drain at all.
As water and debris sit in the sewer line, there will eventually be an odor, so if you smell a foul sewage odor that is coming from the toilet and/or drains, it may be an indication of sewage sitting in the pipes instead of being properly drained. However, grime and soap buildup inside the pipes may be causing the odor. The only way to be sure if the odor is coming from the drains and not the sewer line is to have a plumber inspect the sewer lines and the drains.
Toilet Not Flushing
You may notice the toilets are only partially flushing or there may be sewage starting to back up into the toilets after flushing. Once the tree roots have embedded themselves into the sewer lines and causing the toilets to backup, there is nothing you can do to prevent the problem with the toilets. It is important that you contact a plumber as soon as possible to clear the sewer lines and drains.
Modern technology makes it much easier for plumbers to determine if there are tree roots growing in the sewer line and the equipment they use can determine how serious the growth of the roots is. Your plumber will most likely use a camera that can be put down the drain and into the main sewer pipe. The camera will provide video footage, which alerts the plumber exactly where the root growth is, the severity of growth, and where the cracks in the sewer line are located. There are a few different ways in which the plumber can address the problem, including hydro jetting, which uses high-pressure water to force the roots out, pipe relining, which consists of a sleeve/liner being inserted inside the sewer pipe, or pipe replacement, which is necessary if the pipe has been severely crushed by tree roots.