If you suspect that you have a root blockage, then you need to get the issue cleared as soon as possible. If you don’t, then you may find that the blockage gets worse, and this can cause a domino effect of issues later down the line.

Why Do Tree Roots Block Sewers

Tree roots in either drain or sewer pipes might not get the same attention as fatbergs or even blocked sinks, but they are easily one of the main reasons why blockages happen. Tree roots don’t cause cracks in pipes, but they are attracted by the moisture that escapes from small leaks. Roots from trees and shrubs have a tendency to spread laterally so that they can better absorb nutrients from the earth. If you have leaks in your pipe, roots will take advantage. When a root enters the pipe, it widens the crack and causes significant issues. This is one of the reasons why trees end up blocking sewers, but there are things you can do to try and stop the issue from getting too advanced.

Signs Of Roots In Drain Pipes

There are many signs that you have roots in your drain pipe. One of them may be a slow or gurgling drain, a toilet that backs up or a strong odour. Other signs include rapidly growing trees and sinkholes.

DIY Solutions for Clearing a Root Blockage

There are a few DIY solutions you can adopt to try and clear a root blockage. Find out more below.

Copper Sulphate

One way for you to keep your sewer lines clear would be for you to pour a very small amount of copper sulphate into the toilet. Copper sulphate is corrosive and therefore, should only be poured into the toilet basin.


Salt might have a lot of uses in the kitchen, but did you know it can also be used to unclog your drains too? Salt can be used as a non-toxic drain cleaner. It has abrasive and antiseptic properties. Simply mix up a solution of 50/50 salt and water, and heat it until it’s nearly boiling. Pour it down the drain and repeat 2-3 times.

Professional Methods for Clearing a Root Blockage

If DIY solutions don’t quite cut it, there are professional solutions for clearing a root blockage.

Mechanical Auger or Rooter

Motorised augers are often referred to as plumber snakes. They’re powerful tools that send a stiff cable down the drain, and around the pipe bends. They often extend hundreds of feet below the access point.

Hydro Jetting

Hydro jetting is a technique a lot of plumbers use to clear a clogged sewer line. Water can be used to scour heavy build-up, removing any blockage while cleaning the inside of the pipe.

Pipe Repair or Replacement

If a root has caused a lot of damage, then repair or replacement of the pipe could be the only option. A professional plumber will pinpoint the source of the tree root, before removing it and making the repair.

Root blockages in sewer and drain pipes can present serious challenges for homeowners. While there are DIY solutions available, such as using copper sulphate or salt, they might not always be effective in fully addressing the issue. Professional methods, including mechanical augers, hydro jetting, and even pipe repair or replacement, offer a more comprehensive solution to these blockages. To ensure the health and longevity of your plumbing system, and to avoid the cascading problems that untreated root blockages can cause, it’s imperative to act promptly. If you notice any signs of root intrusion or other drainage issues, don’t hesitate to contact a trustworthy plumber for drainage issues. Their expertise can save you from potential headaches and costly repairs in the future.