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Do you love those big beautiful trees in your yard?  Of course, we all know the answer is YES!  They are beautiful but they can also cause us plumbing problems this time of year.  Sewer lines that develop leaks are generally related to tree roots in drains, or roots that grow inside the pipe. This will cause an expansion inside the pipe and the pipe to break apart. Pipes can also come apart at the glued joint space. If you notice pooling in your yard or smell sewage inside your home, you need to call a plumber. Take a look at some common signs and ways to resolve tree root problems in your home!!

Visible Sinkholes

There are not always visual signs that tree roots are growing into the plumbing system, but if you notice sinkholes forming around your yard that can be a clue that this is occurring. When the roots grow into the plumbing they cause water to begin leaking out into the yard creating soft spots, and these soft spots eventually sink down. This is a huge reason why it is important to check and see if you have tree root in drains.

Slow Drains & Gurgling Toilets

If your drains are moving slowly even after cleaning and snaking them, there is a chance you could have tree roots in drains.  These roots obstruct your plumbing system and cause water supply to slow down dramatically!! Another clue you may have tree roots are gurgling noises coming from the toilet when you are flushing!

Enhanced Tree Growth

You love for your trees and plants to grow lush and beautiful, but if you notice that one is standing out way more than the others watch out!   This tree has more than likely invaded your septic system supplying it with more moisture.  It may be making it look extra green and lush but it is wreaking havoc on your plumbing system!

Unpleasant Odors

This is a simple task just pay attention to the odors in and around your home!!  If you smell these odors you may have tree roots in drains.

Preventing Tree Roots in Sewer Line

A simple way to prevent tree roots is to call your local sewer department and ask where the sewer lines run in your yard.  If you have existing trees near sewer lines you can prevent this problem by removing these trees before the roots grow too large and spread.   Plant all new trees away from sewer lines.

Removing Tree Roots

1. Remove the tree roots mechanically by cutting through tree roots that have made their way into the pipes. A professional will send a mechanical drill specifically designed for this and chop the roots so they flow out of the pipe.  This is just a temporary fix because these roots will in time grow back.

2. Remove the roots chemically by killing the roots with chemicals. If you decide to kill roots chemically this can be dangerous and you should seek help from a professional.

3. Video camera inspection is a great way to detect tree roots, especially if you are uncertain if that is the problem.  Video inspection will pinpoint the exact problem in your pipes.

Repair your sewer line if the damage is too extensive to your pipes.  This is when we fix the damaged pipe by lining it with a durable, seamless product that essentially creates a new pipe inside the old one.

Calling a Plumber

If there is any question in your mind as to whether or not tree roots are causing your clog, it would be to your benefit to hire a professional!!  They can offer you the different options to correctly handle the situation.  At Carter’s My Plumber, we have highly trained and licensed professionals -with the tools needed to get the job done right!!  Give us a call at 317-859-9999 or schedule online at  We would love to get out to your home and help you get those big beautiful trees under control!

Kelson Carter

Article reviewed by:

Kelson Carter, aka, The Prince of Plumbing

Kelson is a 3rd generation Plumbing Contractor. His family business is located in Greenwood, Indiana, and provides Residential Plumbing Service to the Indianapolis Metro market.

Kelson grew up watching his grandfather and father do plumbing. After graduating high school, Kelson went to Trade School and became a Licensed Master Plumber and Licensed Plumbing Contractor. He is also Certified in Backflow Prevention. He currently owns and operates Carter's My Plumber with his parents.


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