Tree Root Blockages

How do tree roots grow into pipes?

Over winter, trees indiscriminately expand their roots through the ground…. And your home’s unsuspecting pipes stand no chance against this relentless force of nature!

When these roots continue to grow unchecked, they will eventually grow thick enough to cause a significant blockage in the pipe – a discovery that would surely ruin an otherwise lovely spring day.

This is a one of the most common reasons why people call Calgary plumbers like us! In fact, a good chunk of the calls we get in the spring and summer months are just for tree roots in main pipes.

Can tree roots penetrate PVC pipes?

Unfortunately, there is no one type of sewer pipe that will offer absolute protection against root intrusion. PVC pipes offer slightly better protection than clay, but they are still very vulnerable. Whether it is PVC, clay, or concrete; your pipe is susceptible to this danger.

How do you remove roots from a sewer line?
Removing tree roots is a simple enough process, but it requires specialized equipment:
1. We snake out your sewer line with our camera attachment to verify that it’s a root that is causing your issues. This also lets us see the severity of the blockage.
2. We turn to either our power flusher or special rotary attachment depending on how severe the blockage is. If the root is not yet fully mature, a power flush is often enough to knock it aside. If not, we’ll need to use our rotary attachment to tear it apart.
3. We snake the line with the camera again to verify the tree root is sufficiently removed.

How far away should I plant a tree from my sewer line?

It depends on the tree, but a good rule of thumb is at least 10 feet (or just over 3 meters) away from the sewer line. For your peace of mind, it’s a good idea to ask before purchasing a tree what the estimated root extension will be. Some trees will require 20 feet or more, particularly ones that require lots of water and have large root spread.

How can I protect my sewer line from root intrusion?

Short of removing the tree from your property, there’s not much you can do to 100% prevent this from happening if your tree is growing in close proximity to your pipes. The best option really is preventative maintenance.

Every 12 – 18 months, your main line should be inspected to identify and remove any roots that will eventually block you up. This is a far cheaper option than the emergency service you will require once your entire home can no longer flush the toilets! Annual inspections are a good idea anyway to identify any issues you may have, but especially so if you have trees in your yard.

If you want some great plumbers to check your sewer line for preventative root control then get in touch with us today and save yourself some time, money, and a potentially huge headache!