We all need to do a bit of work with that trusty old plunger from time to time, usually to unclog a big lump of toilet paper or clear out accumulated grease and gunk from the drains and pipes. But did you know that tree roots are actually the number 1 cause of pipe, drain & sewer blockages all over Australia and the world? Today, we’re going to take a deep dive into how to spot trouble with tree roots in drains at your place – and what you can do to fix the problem.
First things first: why are roots in pipes such a big problem? The answer is very simple – your dark and moist plumbing pipes are extremely attractive for your thirsty tree roots. All they need is the tiniest of cracks, or a vulnerable pipe joint, and those tree roots will wiggle their way in and eventually cause such a dense and tangled mass that your pipes can back up terminally. Worse still, the blockage could worsen and worsen until the pipes themselves fail altogether.
What are the signs of tree roots in pipes?
The big question, of course, is what to look out for before those tree roots in drains become such a serious, disruptive and expensive problem. Keep your eye (and nose) out for:
- Slow drains: If the waste in your sinks, drains & toilet is slow to drain away and the usual quick remedies for unblocking a drain aren’t helping, the problem could be further down the line.
- Blocked/leaking pipes: And if that blockage is bad enough, it may already have caused a section of your plumbing pipe network to have completely collapsed.
- Sinkholes: Is a spot on your lawn looking decidedly lower than usual? The tree root damage could be so severe that your foundations are also at risk.
- Smells: If the blockage is in your sewer line, you don’t need us to tell you that your drains could really stink.
How to clear tree roots from drains
As we suggested earlier, a run-of-the-mill pipe blockage can often be cleared with a touch of plunging, a drain snake, or a vinegar/baking soda brew.
But the pipes most obviously affected by tree roots are located under the ground, requiring special technology, techniques, skills and experience to put it right. So the easiest answer to the question of how to clear tree roots from drains is very simple indeed: Call your friendly Adelaide blocked drain plumber! Delay fixing it for another moment and that pipe blockage could rather quickly progress into a pipe blow-out.
It’s important to point out, however, that getting rid of tree roots in drains depends on a few things: How serious the problem is, where it’s located, and what damage has been done? In many cases, your plumber will use bespoke CCTV drain camera equipment to pin-point the location and severity of the problem.
The solution might then be:
If the tree roots in sewer and drain pipes are not too inaccessible, a simple mechanical solution could be deployed. It will probably require a mechanical auger that can hack through the blockage – but bear in mind that you might simply be re-setting the clock on the same roots growing back.
You can also buy a commercial drain killer, whose harsh chemical formulation is much more powerful than a natural hot water/vinegar/bi-carb brew for eating up a tree root blockage. The chemicals are then likely to seep into the root system and surrounding soil to prevent a follow-up recurrence.
Ultra high pressure drain pipe jetting (think of your garden hose on steroids) is increasingly popular and incredibly effective at blasting through tree roots – or anything else that’s clogging up your drains.
Clear tree roots in drains with an affordable solution!
Need professional help? We always have an affordable solution! With our years of experience across Adelaide and beyond, and the skilled experience of our fully-licensed local plumbers who always have the best equipment in tow, Fawcett Plumbing can solve your roots in pipes dilemma today!
With guaranteed top workmanship, one-visit solutions and 24 hour emergency plumbing repairs across Adelaide’s northern suburbs, southern suburbs, the Adelaide Hills region and beyond, our always-smiling team is always willing to help! Give us a shout today.