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Tree roots growing into a sewer pipe, causing plumbing issues

How to Tackle Tree Roots in Your Sewer Line

As a homeowner, one of the last things you want to hear is: tree roots in sewer line. The thought of tree roots causing plumbing problems can be quite daunting, especially considering the potential damage they can inflict on your pipes. 

In this blog post, we’ll explore how tree roots can penetrate PVC pipes, break water pipes, and cause a variety of other issues. 

We’ll also discuss how to detect and address these problems to prevent them from becoming major headaches.

Can Tree Roots Penetrate PVC Pipe and Break Water Pipes?

One common question homeowners ask is, ‘can tree roots penetrate PVC pipe?’ The answer, unfortunately, is yes. 

Tree roots are incredibly persistent and can grow into the smallest of openings in search of water and nutrients. As they continue to grow, they can exert pressure on pipe walls, causing cracks or even breaking the pipes. 

This leads to another concern: ‘can tree roots break water pipes?’ The answer is also yes, as tree roots can cause damage to various types of pipes, including PVC and water pipes.

How Do Roots Get into Pipes and Cause Problems?

Many homeowners wonder, ‘how do roots get into pipes?’ and ‘how do tree roots get into pipes?’ Tree roots typically enter pipes through joints or cracks. 

Once inside, they continue to grow and can cause blockages, slow drainage, or even structural damage to the pipes. Some of the most common problems caused by tree roots in plumbing systems include:

  1. Blocked pipes: Tree roots can create a net-like structure inside the pipes, trapping debris and eventually causing complete blockages.
  1. Slow drainage: A partially blocked pipe due to root intrusion can cause slow drainage in sinks, toilets, and bathtubs.
  1. Structural damage: As roots grow and expand, they can exert pressure on pipe walls. This can cause cracks or even break piping.
  1. Sewage backup: Blocked or damaged pipes can lead to sewage backup in your home, causing unhygienic conditions and property damage.

Detecting and Addressing Tree Roots in Sewer Line and Drain Pipe

If you suspect you have roots in sewer line or roots in drain pipe, it’s essential to address the issue as soon as possible to prevent further damage. 

Here are some steps to detect and deal with tree roots in sewers and drain pipes:

Signs of Tree Roots in Plumbing Systems

Before you can tackle the problem of tree roots in your pipes, you need to be able to identify the signs that they may be present. Some common symptoms of tree roots in plumbing systems include:

  • Gurgling noises coming from drains or toilets
  • Frequent clogs or slow-draining fixtures
  • Foul odors in drains or sewer lines
  • Wet spots or patches of lush, green grass in your yard, indicating possible underground leaks

If you notice any of these signs, it’s time to call a professional plumber for a thorough inspection.

Clearing Tree Roots from Drain Pipes and Sewer Lines

There are several methods professionals can use to clear tree roots in sewers and drain pipes:

  1. Mechanical root cutting: A plumber will use a specialized tool called a drain auger or rooter to cut and remove tree roots from the pipe.
  1. Hydro jetting: This process uses high-pressure water to blast away tree roots and other debris from the pipe, clearing blockages and cleaning pipe walls.
  1. Chemical treatments: In some cases, chemical root killers can be used to eliminate tree roots. These chemicals are designed to kill only the roots within the pipes without harming the tree itself. However, some chemicals can be harmful to the environment, so it’s essential to choose eco-friendly options when possible.
  1. Pipe repair or replacement: If the pipe is severely damaged by tree roots, repair or replacement may be necessary. Trenchless methods, like pipe lining or pipe bursting, are minimally invasive options that can be considered.

Preventing Future Tree Root Intrusions

Once you’ve dealt with the existing tree roots in your sewer line or drain pipe, it’s important to take steps to prevent future problems. 

Here are some tips to help you keep tree roots from causing plumbing issues:

  • Plant trees and shrubs away from sewer lines and water pipes. Choose species with non-invasive root systems and consult with a landscaping expert if you’re unsure about the best plants for your property.
  • Regularly inspect and maintain your plumbing system. Schedule routine inspections and cleanings with a professional plumber to catch and address any potential issues before they escalate.
  • Repair or replace any damaged pipes. If you’ve had issues with tree roots in the past, consider upgrading to more robust pipe materials, such as PVC or HDPE, which are less susceptible to root intrusion.


Tree roots causing plumbing problems is a concern every homeowner should be aware of. By understanding how roots can grow through PVC pipes and break water pipes, you’ll be better equipped to prevent and address these issues. 

Keep an eye out for the telltale signs of tree roots in your sewer line or drain pipe and act promptly to minimize damage and disruption.

Remember, it’s always best to consult with a professional plumber if you suspect you have tree roots in your plumbing system. 

They can provide expert guidance and effective solutions to ensure your home’s plumbing remains in tip-top shape.

True Service Plumbing: Your Solution for Tree Roots in Sewer Line and Plumbing Issues

Don’t let tree roots wreak havoc on your plumbing system. True Service Plumbing is here to help homeowners in Toronto and the surrounding GTA with all their plumbing needs, including dealing with tree roots invading your piping.

Our team of licensed professionals is experienced in detecting and addressing tree roots causing plumbing problems, ensuring your pipes remain in optimal condition. Whether you need a thorough inspection, root removal, or pipe repair, True Service Plumbing has you covered.

In addition to our expertise in handling tree roots in pipes, we offer comprehensive commercial and residential plumbing services, such as drain cleaning, leak detection, and plumbing system maintenance.

Prevention is key when it comes to keeping tree roots at bay. Let True Service Plumbing help you make informed decisions about planting trees and shrubs, maintaining your plumbing system, and choosing the right materials for pipe repair or replacement.

Don’t let tree roots disrupt your daily routine and damage your property. Contact True Service Plumbing today, and trust the experts to keep your plumbing system running smoothly and efficiently.

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