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HR Silicon Valley Plumbers
Residential Plumbing and Repair Services, License # 1076345
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How to Prevent and Detect Tree Roots in Your Sewer Line

How to Prevent and Detect Tree Roots in Your Sewer Line

A leaking sewer line pipe is the perfect life source for tree roots as they carry a lot of water which provides a bountiful water source as well as nutrients and oxygen from sewage, all of which tree roots require. Once a root finds a leak it will grow into the pipe and cause blockages which prevents the flow of waste and does significant damage to your pipes. This can cause backups into your home which is a health emergency and lead to very costly repairs. Tree root intrusion is one of the most common causes of sewer line damage.

To save yourself from these expensive repairs the best thing to do is to try to prevent this from happening; let’s go over how to prevent tree roots from invading your sewer line.

1. Determine Where Sewer Lines Are Located. The first step in preventing tree roots in your sewer line is knowing where your sewer line is located. This will help you to know where to create a barrier and where to plant trees in your yard. Call 811 before you dig in your yard for more information, so you don’t cause damage by digging and hitting any lines, pipes, or cables.

2. Create a Barrier. Sewer line barriers can help to prevent root growth into sewer lines. Copper sulfate and potassium hydroxide are slow-release chemicals that are often used near sewer lines to prevent root growth in that area. You can also bury wood and metal barriers vertically along the sewer lines to prevent the roots from intruding into the pipes. Just be sure to bury them 6 to 12 inches deeper than the pipe.

3. Sewer Line Safe Landscaping. Planting large trees near your sewer line is not a good idea as the roots are likely to try to invade your pipes, if you already have them near your plumbing you might want to look into moving them. Stick to trees that have small root balls and grow slowly near your sewer as they are less likely to interfere with your line.

4. Regular Inspection and Maintenance. Having regular video camera inspections of your sewer line by a plumbing technician can help to ensure your sewer line stays clear of roots and other clogs. Regular maintenance and clearing the lines helps to prevent roots inside the pipes and if there are any roots or clogs found the plumbing technician can use a cable that will clean the inner walls of the pipe and cut through any clogs or tree roots. Finding out when the issue is manageable with a clean out can save you thousands of dollars as major damage may mean the lines need to be replaced.

5. Know and Watch for the Warning Signs. While these warning signs could be something small and manageable, they could also be signs of tree roots in your sewer so it’s important to watch out for them and call a plumbing technician as early detection can save you more headaches and money. One of the first signs of a blockage is slow drains. This is an easy one to ignore or try to fix with chemical products from your grocery store, but frequent drain clogs could also be a sign of tree roots in your line. A small clog won’t cause water to back up in your sink or tub, but tree roots could. Other signs to look for are a gurgling noise from your toilet and foul smells coming from your drains as this may mean there is stagnant water in your pipes which is a sign of a clog as well.

Tree root intrusion into your sewer line is a major headache and can lead to expensive repairs, doing your part to prevent this and regular inspections and maintenance can help you to avoid this happening to you. 

Call HR Silicon Valley Plumbers to schedule a camera line inspection or sewer line repairs or replacement today.

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