Specialist removing a tree root from a sewage line

How Do I Clear Roots from My Sewer Line?

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You’ve started to notice that your home’s drains aren’t as clear as they used to be, and you might think it’s time to schedule a sewer and drain cleaning for your Montgomery County home. In some cases, a cleaning may be all it needs, but maybe your sewer and drain specialist comes back with worse news than you can imagine: the pipes have been broken open by the roots of nearby plants.

You might think you have a solution that makes sense, but it’s worth understanding what each of these solutions entails so you can select the right one. Here are some of the main ways the specialists at Delaware Valley Septic, Sewer & Storm manage invasive roots:

Infographic showing how to remove roots from sewer pipes.

Cut Up The Roots

The easiest way to clear the blockage caused by invasive roots is to cut them up. This method involves using a special tool with a variety of rotating blades to make a path through the pipe that would allow your system to operate normally.

The only issue with cutting up the roots is that they will often grow back after a while, so it provides only a short-term solution to the problem at hand.

Use Rock Salt

Using rock salt is a great DIY option for anyone suffering from invasive roots, but can also be done by a professional. By flushing copper sulfate or other kinds of rock salt down the toilet and then allowing it to sit for several hours, you can inhibit the growth of new roots and dry out existing ones, killing them in the process.

However, the downside to using rock salt is that it’s best used early on before the roots can develop into a full-blown blockage.

Use Chemicals

In addition to rock salt, your technician may use a chemical treatment referred to as a foaming agent, which coats the pipes and makes it less attractive to trees and other plant roots to grow in. Your sewage system provides many resources that plants need to grow, making them perfect targets for roots to grow into. With a foaming agent, these attractive resources end up being masked behind a coating of chemicals that plants are less interested in coming into contact with.