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How to Stop Tree Roots From Ruining Your Sewer Line

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Posted on: April 7, 2017

Sewer lines are filled with water and nutrients that trees would love to get their grubby little roots on — especially when there’s a leak. When a root finds its way inside one of your sewer lines, you better hope that you or a plumber notices the warning signs before enough damage is done! Before your pockets are emptied of your hard earned money, learn how you can stop tree roots from reaching the sewer lines.

Piece of cracked plumbing pipe clogged with tree roots and other debris lying on grass.

Create a Road Block
If you’re worried about a specific tree or shrub’s roots infiltrating a plumbing line, place a barrier between the two. Drive a metal or wood barrier into the ground so it lies six inches to a foot deeper than the pipe. To know exactly where the pipes and sewer lines are on your property, call your local public works department. You can also choose to spread growth inhibitors like copper sulfate or potassium hydroxide along the area of your plumbing lines.

Prepare Before You Plant
Once you know where all of the sewer lines are in your yard, carefully select where you would like to plant new trees and shrubs. The larger the tree, the further it should be from your plumbing lines. If you’re the type of person that NEEDS to have the perfect shrubs alongside your home (and your plumbing lies directly underneath), choose a shrub that is known for having small and slow-growing roots.

Be Aware and Make the Call
Common signs of root infiltration include drains frequently backing up, slow-flowing drains, and gurgling noises coming from drains and toilets. If you’ve witnessed these warning signs in your home on a regular basis, call your local plumber to inspect your sewer lines.


Len The Plumber uses the latest technology in camera inspection equipment to view the exact culprit and recommend the best repair options. It’s better to be safe than sorry because leaving root infiltration untouched can cause major damage that may only be repaired with sewer line replacement.

Sewer lines that have been infiltrated by tree roots and remain left unchecked can lead to major and expensive repairs. To prevent ever having to deal with something of this magnitude, be sure to have regular maintenance and cleaning of your drains and lines. The professional plumbers at Len The Plumber can provide you with $99 off any main drain clearing upon request. To learn more or to schedule an appointment, give us a call at (800) 950-4619.

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