roots in drain | drain problems

Trees add beauty to neighborhoods and towns. Especially, the mature blooming trees make areas look full of life. Their natural shades turn gloomiest of towns into beautiful. They are one of the prettiest creatures, but not when they appear inside the drains. When they grow inside sewerage lines and pipes, choking them, causing an almost irreversible drain pain, they are no less than evil. We love trees but will not want to choke our drains with ingrown tree roots – for obvious reasons.

What Are Tree Roots in Drains?

Ingrown roots are one of the most common problems causing drainage failure. However, the question is; how do they grow all by themselves inside the drainage system pipes? Roots get into the pipes through loose joints or cracks in the pipes. In most towns, sewerage pipes are defectively positional laterally into the ground. This way, tree roots in drains sneak into them and start to grow inside the pipes. Lateral pipes are drainage pipes that go from your home straight to the city’s main sewerage. This means, if the roots got into your drains this way, it is most probably your fault since you are responsible to keep them clean.

What Give Rise to roots in Drain Pipes?

Even if you have never studied basic science, you probably know that plants are attracted to water and its vapors. However, you might be thinking what does it have to do with them getting into your drainpipes uninvited – or maybe not, for obvious reason. When the pipes or drains start cracking, they let our water vapors through those cracks. Moreover, once the tree roots get into, well you know the rest. Because of the abundance of water inside the pipes, they do not take long to grow enough to choke the drainpipes. Even the winter season – during which most plants become dormant – does not affect the growth.

Once inside, the tree roots become unstoppable and grow fast and before you know it, they have turned into a very big enough to cause damage to the drains. Often, the grown roots are not big enough to clog the pipes, however, if left unattended for a long time, they grow bigger and bigger because of the plentiful supply of water.

The symptoms of a tree-root infected drain are over-flowing, slow flow, blockage and the drains of the kitchen, bathroom/toilet and laundry making gurgling noises.

Once the roots have invaded your drains, there is almost no other way than to contact a plumbing expert and have your drainpipes cleaner to the core. Because un-treated roots do not stop their growth after reaching a certain limit. They keep growing and can exert pressures on the drain’s walls, causing them to burst. Moreover, trust me; no one would want to deal with ruptured pipes, because they are very stressful and costly.

Drains Vulnerable to Root Damage

Certain factors make some drains more susceptible to root problems than the others do. In other words, certain drains are made up of material that is resistant to ingrown rots and keep this harm away.

Vitrified clay pipes are considered comparatively vulnerable and are most likely to fall victim to root intrusion, whereas the Schedule 40 AB & PVC ones comprise of tightly fitted joints hence cuts the chances of root intrusion.

However, no matter what kind of material the drains are made of, external factors are inevitable and crack open the drainpipes over some time.

What to Do About Roots in Drains

Tree-roots inside drains are an absolute pain that no one would ever want to face. Here is something you can do to prevent the ingrown devil roots inside your drainpipes.

Natural Attraction Play a Huge Part Here

Accepting that it is almost impossible to guard the pipes against tree-roots unless you are committing to take very good care of your drainage system. The environment inside the drainpipes is heaven for plants. It has everything that the roots crave – from water to nutrients. The trees lying beside your drainpipes just need a minute crack to jump inside them. The vapors that escape from these joints lure the tree roots inside.

What you can do is check your sewerage pipes at least once every week. This will help you find out the problem before it gets out of hand.

The Gurgle Is Trying To Tell You Something – Listen Carefully

The gurgle is not something you should ignore. It is a telltale sign of something big, something like a tree root problem. Like other household issues, this needs to be found out earlier to be treated without causing you financial damage.

The gurgling sounds are caused when your drains become clogged and do not leave enough room for the water to pass. Water coming back up instead of going down the drains can cause gurgling sounds. Notice and attend to these signs as soon as you see them save yourself from extensive and costly repairs.

The Root Growth is Unstoppable, But Here Is What You Can Do

Most often, the homeowners are responsible for the drainpipes that lay underground and connect to the municipal pipes. These pipes are known as the lateral pipes. As discussed earlier, you are supposed to look after these lateral pipes laying under your property. Now, you can easily prevent the tree-root problem by having a specialist route the drain for you regularly. This will cost you relatively low and save you from extra terrifyingly large amounts you will have to pay.

You can also try nib the roots while they are small and prevent them from growing. Another DIY you can try is to take half a cup of copper sulfate and flush it down your toilet. The toxicity of tree roots stops the growth of the roots.

What Types of Solutions Can You Expect

Once you get the tree-root problem in the drains, you are going to have to take some strict action against them to stop them. Your best shot would to call a specialist and let him to the job of diagnosing and treating. Most specialists usually sneak a small camera into the pipes to see the size and position of the root mass. It is similar to a long selfie stick. Another way is to treat the roots with harsh chemicals and opening up the roots.


Just like all other household problems, ingrown tree roots in drains are also preventable only if diagnosed earlier. They clog the drains and disturb the entire drainage system of your house.

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