Which Is the Best Drain Cleaning Technique for Removing Tree Roots from Your Pipes?

Wastewater contains nutrients that trees need to thrive. Therefore, tree roots can invade any leaking space in the drain pipes to access water and nutrients. Once roots grow into the drainage pipes, they form a clog that can slow down wastewater drainage. If there are tree roots inside your pipes, you must find the best technique to remove them. Consider these three options for effective drain cleaning and tree root removal.

Chemical Root Treatment

Chemical root killers are treatments you can apply inside your drains to kill invasive roots. These products also form a chemical barrier that prevents roots from growing inside the drain pipes. These are the two most popular chemical treatments for tree roots:

  • Copper sulfate: Copper sulfate is an effective root killer. However, it can damage your drain pipes and kill your trees. Also, the chemical can kill bacteria in your septic tank and slow down wastewater treatment and discharge.
  • Foam herbicides: These are herbicides that foam inside drain pipes and kill invasive roots without harming the tree or other plants around it. The herbicides also coat the pipe's interior to prevent future root invasion.

Foam herbicides are more environmentally friendly than copper sulfate treatments. While both chemicals are effective at clearing roots, they may not remove other types of debris in your drainage pipes.

Sewer Auger Drain Cleaning

A sewer auger is a powered tool with rotating blades. The auger is fed down a drain to cut through tree roots and clogs. Therefore, unlike chemical root killers, drain augers can clear other types of clogs, including grease, fat, and solid debris. Augers don't inject chemicals into your drains; therefore, they do not damage pipes or harm aerobic bacteria in the septic system.

On the downside, augers have a limited length. Therefore, if the blockage from tree roots is located further down the sewer line, you must use another cleaning technique or find an access point nearby. Once you have snaked your drain, some roots and waste may be left on the walls of the pipe, increasing the risk of future blockage.


Hydro jetting uses a hydro-jetter to push highly pressurized water into the drains. The pressurized water cuts through tree roots and dislodges clogs inside the pipe. Hydro jetting is ideal for removing invasive roots and clearing severe blockages caused by fat, grease, and flushed debris. This method is more effective than drain snaking, as you can use it to unclog an entire sewer line from one access point.

Consider the above options and choose one that will clear your drains without damaging them. Also, remember to repair the crack in your pipes to avoid further root invasion. For professional drain cleaning services, contact a plumbing contractor.

About Me

Keeping Your Septic System Clean and Tidy

Last Thanksgiving, the worst thing in the world happened. Our sinks and toilets started spewing raw sewage into our house because of an overloaded septic tank. It was devastating, and I didn't know what to do. Fortunately, we were able to find a professional plumber who was willing to come out right away to help us to fix the problem. After having that experience, I decided to make septic care a priority. I started having the tank pumped when I should, and I always pay attention to bad smells coming from my drains. This blog is here to help you to avoid septic problems too.