How to Stop Roots from Growing into Pipes

Trees are very important for the beautiful look of our house. And who does not know the importance of trees? They give us shadow, timber, fruits, and the most important thing, oxygen.

They help to maintain a fresh environment in the house. They save us from the heat of the sun.

But the problem begins with their roots. When the roots start taking over your pipeline, it becomes a headache. Roots can block the entire plumbing system and cost you thousands of dollars.

So, you need to know how to stop roots from growing into pipes and the exact methods of removing these irritating roots from your pipeline.

How to Stop Roots from Growing into Pipes

How Tree Roots Get Into Your Sewer Lines

Pipes are full of water, oxygen, and nutrients. And these are things that a tree always seeks. Normally roots don’t go into the pipes. But over time, the fitting becomes loose and there may become some tiny cracks or holes. And one tiny hole is enough!

Tree roots get attracted by the water and nutrients that flow through the pipes. Once it goes inside a pipe it will keep growing and growing and ultimately block the pipeline. 

Even if a tree is 20 to 30 meters away from the pipe, the roots will find the pipes if there are holes because they keep searching for water.

How To Stop Roots From Growing Into Pipes

Stopping roots from growing into your pipes is very important. You need to take immediate action before tree roots get near your pipeline. But, how to do so? 

Determine Where Sewer Lines Are Located

This is very important to have a clear idea about the location of underground pipes and cables. Otherwise, you won’t realize when trees start to damage your pipe. 

Call your local worker and they will locate everything. You can also call the 811 “Call Before You Dig” number for this purpose. They are waiting for your call and locate your underground utilities.

After knowing all the locations you can be sure whether you have to dig or not and where to dig.

Create A Barrier Between Trees And Sewer Lines

The best, easiest and cheapest way to stop roots is to create a barrier. Create a metal or wooden barrier on both sides of the pipes. Place these barriers vertically. Barriers will solve your current problems and also keep your pipeline safe from any roots in the future.

The best thing about creating barriers is you don’t need to cut down any single tree. You can keep all the trees and plant more trees to create a wonderful environment in your garden and backyard.

Know The Warning Signs

If you learn to understand the signals and signs you will be able to take action in time. If you can’t catch the signs you will surely suffer. So, how to understand those signs?

First of all, check the sink and toilet. If you see that they are draining slowly then it is obvious that something has happened in the pipeline which has made the draining slower.

Another sign is the gurgling sound. You will hear gurgling in the toilet so frequently.

If the blockage is serious then you will smell odors from all the drains. That means immediate action has to be taken.

Tree roots damage the pipe and therefore water goes out into the soil. And in time the soil will sink down which is an absolute sign of tree roots. Just dig the area and you will find out.


If the issue is serious and the solution is out of your hand, you can call for a professional. Tell the plumber to do a camera inspection. It will help the plumber to locate all the damaged areas and can take action accordingly. Some pipes may need to be replaced if the damages are beyond fixing.

Plant Sewer-Safe Trees

Plants are the beauty of our house. So, we must plant trees. But make some changes in the plan otherwise you will end up with bigger root problems.

Limit the number of plants near the sewer lines. Or you can plant small trees and slow-growing trees near the line. And plant the larger one far away from the line. This will prevent the roots from getting closer to pipes.


Solving a root problem once is not enough. They will come again in the future. So, you must clean the pipes regularly. You must perform the inspection regularly to avoid root problems and their repair cost.

How to Remove Tree Roots from Pipes

As you are reading this article, you might have already faced root problems in your sewer line and are anxious about how to remove them. Well, the worry is over and your solution is here.

Use Foaming Root Killers

Foaming root killer is the best solution for any root problem. This is a foam-based cleanser. You just need to pour the root killer into your toilet and other holes. And then flow water through the pipes. The product will fill the piles with foam when it mixes with water and the foam covers all the areas inside the pipe.

This killer starts to take effect in two days. It works faster than anything as it contains Dichlobenil which kills all the roots on its way.

Roebic K-77 Root Killer and Roebic Foaming Root Killer (FRK) are some popular root killer products. However, you can also make a DIY foaming root killer at home.

Use Copper Sulfate

Copper Sulfate is another strong root-killing agent. You will find this product in any home improvement store. Copper sulfate is able to kill all the roots inside the pipe, you just need to make sure that it touches all the areas inside the pipe. 

It works a little bit slower but works great. Remember one thing, copper sulfate is not suitable for metal pipes. Avoid it if your sewer line has any metal pipe otherwise, it will ruin the entire system.

Also Use Rock Salt

Rock salt can be an alternative to copper sulfate as it is safe for the septic system. But don’t use it too frequently. Overuse can poison the roots and kill the entire tree, which no one would ever want.

Mechanical Auger Or Rooter

This machine will chop all the roots like a saw. And then you just need to flow water through the pipes to remove all the chopped roots. 


Hydro Jet flows water at very high pressure. This machine shoots water into the pipe which cuts the roots and removes them as well.

Permanent Tree Root Solutions

Following the above solutions, you may remove the roots for once. But what will happen after six months? Won’t they come again? They surely will. So, you need to invest in a permanent solution.

As roots have once got into the pipes that means there are holes in them. So, roots can get inside through those holes again very easily.

To prevent this you must repair those holes. And for those pipes with extreme damages, replacement would be best.

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Frequently Asked Questions

What Kills Roots In Pipes?

There are several kinds of root killers available in the market. Foaming root killer and copper sulfate work best in root killing in pipes.

What Will Dissolve Tree Roots?

Copper sulfate and Rock salt will dissolve tree roots and kill them as well. 

Final Thoughts

Tree roots are hidden enemies of the sewer line. If you don’t kill those enemies in time, they will kill the entire sewer line. Try to apply DIY root killers first if you are facing this issue. And try to follow the steps to stop roots from growing into pipes.

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