Preventing Root Issues in Your Pipes

January 23rd, 2019

We’ve seen a lot over our years assisting clients with their pipe and drain needs at Expert Services- Plumbing, Heating, Air & Electrical, but the very worst and most expensive issues we’ve found are related to main sewer line blockages. Most commonly caused by tree or other plant roots that grow into the main sewer line, these problems can lead to massive repair needs and are some of the most expensive plumbing problems out there.

Luckily, you as a home or business owner can take a few important steps to prevent this risk from even being remotely possible on your property. Here are four vital considerations to keep in mind within this area.

Planting Locations

If you’re considering planting new trees anytime in the near future, take great care in the locations you plan for their planting. In particular, locate your main sewer lines – your local rooter service can help with this if you’re unsure – and look to leave a buffer distance between these lines and any new plantings you make.

In general, we recommend leaving at least 10 feet between new plantings and any water lines. This may vary depending on the type of tree you’re planting, as certain kinds have more expansive root systems than others. Ask for specific information on the root system of any trees you’re considering.

Chemical Deterrents

In many cases, you’ll be on a property that already has grown trees with root systems that area already in place. If this is the case, and if you’ve noticed even token signs that these roots might be interfering with your water lines (more on this below), you can take the step of using a few chemical deterrents to stop this.

In particular, sprinkle potassium hydroxide or a similar product that’s safe to use, but stops roots from damaging plumbing. An alternative to this would be surrounding your pipes with a buffer of some kind, usually wood or metal, but this is usually a bit pricier to have done.

Signs of Issues

The most common sign that you might be having issues with your main sewer line and tree roots is persistent, stubborn clogs. If you can’t find any other good explanations for this, and especially if drains in the kitchen and bathroom generally move slowly even when there are no noticeable clogs, there’s a chance of main sewer line issues. And if you find these early enough, you can work on solutions before the problem gets out of hand.


And finally, the surest way to be absolutely certain you have none of these kinds of issues is to regularly have your system inspected, including the sewer line. We’re happy to provide this kind of basic inspection for several areas.

For more on keeping your plumbing system and sewer line safe from tree roots, or to learn about any of our plumbing services, speak to the pros at Expert Services- Plumbing, Heating, Air & Electrical today.