Preventing Drain Problems from Tree Roots

Your sewer drain system is vulnerable to invasion. Trees growing near the underground sewer line on your property send out long feeder roots in search of nutrients. Because a sewer pipe contains water and organic waste it’s a prime target for these small but powerful roots. Many older homes were built with sewer piping that is especially prone to the effects of tree root intrusion—clay pipes with mortar-filled joints and concrete pipes, in particular. However, almost any pipe with seams can be invaded by aggressive tree roots. Once they intrude into the pipe, clogs form due to expanding root growth and expensive, messy sewage backups into the house are the inevitable result.

The best control of tree root issues is prevention. Here are some things you can do to stop tree root infiltration of the sewer drain system before it happens.

Landscape Carefully

  • Be aware of the path of your underground sewer line (a plumber can tell you where it is.) Avoid planting trees directly above or near the pipe.
  • Choose trees with naturally less aggressive root systems. Fast-growing tree species are particularly likely to send invading feeder roots into sewer lines. A local nursery or the horticulture department at a nearby college can provide information on non-aggressive tree species that grow well in your local climate.
  • If you already have fast-growing trees on your property near the sewer line, consider removing them.

Replace Vulnerable Pipes

Old clay or concrete sewer pipes common in many areas can be replaced with seamless HDPE (high-density polyethylene) pipe in a trenchless pipe process that requires little excavation. With an extremely long service life and no seams that roots can exploit, HDPE pipes are very unlikely to experience tree root problems.

Get Regular Inspections

Every three years, have a qualified plumber inspect your sewer drain system utilizing micro-video technology to visually survey the entire interior length of the pipe. If evidence of tree root invasion is noted, early intervention can prevent clogs and backups.

For professional service to prevent sewer drain problems from tree roots, contact Apollo Home Heating, Cooling, Electrical and Plumbing.

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- Jerry A.
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- Randy B.
"We scheduled an estimate AND a tune-up. We knew something was wrong with our furnace, but hoped we could make it through the rest of the season. Upon telling Bill what our furnace was doing, he warned us immediately what the possible outcome was going to be; a cracked heat exchanger. He watched the flames roll backward, tested carbon monoxide levels, which were so high they meter’s last reading was 5,600 before saying “high”. He immediately shut it down, tagged it, and explained that with levels that high and children in our home he wanted off right away. He continued his inspection and showed us via a camera that not only was it cracked in multiple places, but had holes all over it. He gave us a few options for repairing it; his knowledge as well as genuine concern was beneficial and refreshing. Luckily we also scheduled an estimator, Micah, to come too and we were able to get costs between repairing and replacing (with several options). We decided to replace with a much higher efficiency furnace and one sized properly to our home. Hands down, not only did they both provide us great service and knowledge, but without sounding dramatic, they may have saved our lives. This was our first time calling Apollo, but it won’t be our last."
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