tree with big roots on ground

8 Signs of Tree Roots in Your Pipes & How to Fix It

Does your dream home have a line of tall trees that provide shade and add to the overall aesthetic of your home? Trees can add a lot of character to your home, but if not maintained, they could wreak havoc on your plumbing system.

Tree roots seek out nutrients in the ground and your sewer line is the perfect place for them to get it. If there are any weak points or cracks, tree roots can make their way into your pipes and cause a whole host of plumbing problems.

So what are the signs of roots in pipes and how can you fix it?

1.  Sinks and showers have slow emptying drains

Once there are roots in your pipes, they will continue to grow and spread. At first, this might not have a noticeable effect, but as the roots grow and enlarge they can cause a major blockage and even damage the pipes.

One of the first signs of a blocked drain is a sink, bath and/or showers that slowly drain. If you’ve begun to notice slow draining water, be sure to keep an eye out for more sighs of tree roots in your sewer lines.

2. Your drain makes gurgling noises

bathroom drain on white tiled floor

No, we’re not talking about that regular bath draining gurgle at the end of a relaxing bath. Blocked drains are often accompanied by a sinister gurgling noise from nearby drains whenever you flush the toilet, run water or empty a sink.

This is the sound of water struggling to get through whatever is blocking your drain.

3. Your toilet regularly backs up

Another telltale sign of a blocked drain is a toilet that often backs up. Tree roots in your pipes are an especially bad blockage in a toilet drain as they catch toilet paper and other debris, worsening the blockage very quickly.

4. A bad smell is coming from your drain

If waste is getting trapped by tree roots blocking your sewer line, eventually there will be a very unpleasant smell emanating from your drains. As time goes on and more waste accumulates at the tree root blockage, the smell will only get worse.

5. You suddenly have low water pressure

tap with low water pressure

Low water pressure is another sign of a general plumbing blockage. If you suddenly experience low water pressure across the home or it feels like there’s less water available, then you probably have a blocked drain.

Whether that blockage is due to tree roots or not will require the trained eyes of a professional plumber.

6. There are very green patches of grass on your lawn or your tree is growing unexpectedly rapidly

If you’re not much of a green thumb and your trees are looking uncharacteristically green and bushy or your grass is extra green compared to normal, you might have tree roots in your pipes. Whatever plants have infiltrated your pipes will be loving the constant source of water and nutrients.

While the above signs could be due to any kind of blockage, this one is a dead giveaway for tree root growth in your pipes. So if you find yourself with any of the above signs as well as an unexpectedly green garden, you’ve likely got tree roots growing in your pipes.

7. Your yard has sinkholes

In the case of serious tree root damage to your pipes, you might find sinkholes and soft spots on your lawn. Extreme tree root growth can crack and break your pipes, causing water to leak out and into the soil.

The water saturates the soil which eventually caves in to form sinkholes in your yard. These are typically a sign of a serious tree root blockage in your sewer lines and should be attended to by a professional urgently.

8. There’s an unexpected increase in your water bill

couple looking at expensive water bill

If you open your water bill one quarter only to be left in a state of shock at the price, you might have a serious case of tree root damage to your pipes.

If water is constantly leaking out of a broken pipe, you’ll be paying for all that wasted water. So if you find yourself with an unexpectedly high water bill, tree roots in your sewer pipe might be the cause.

Plumbing Tree Root Removal

If you find yourself with tree roots in your plumbing pipes, you’ll need to contact a professional plumber to remove them and get your water flowing again.

Plumbers are trained and have access to tools like electric drain snakes and hydro jet drain cleaners that can slice through your tree root problem in no time. The electric drain snake will mechanically cut and remove the tree roots and the hydro jet uses high-pressure water to blast the roots away.

While these tools are an excellent solution to any blocked drain, used incorrectly they could cause more harm than good. This is why it’s important you contact a professional plumber who is skilled in using these tools to remove tree roots from pipes.

Tree roots are no match for our team at Metropolitan Plumbing. We have a team of experts available for any blocked drain problem you might be facing, and can even have someone with you just 1 hour* after your call!

For a skilled tree root removal service, you need Metropolitan. Contact us for an expert plumber to clear your drains today!

Published: 15 Apr, 2021

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