Tree roots that have grown into the underground sewer pipe causing a sewer line blockage is very common in NJ.   When a sewer pipe is blocked most residents assume it’s just some hair or build-up that is blocking the pipe and expect a quick and cheap fix with an ordinary plumber using a sewer snake.

However, tree root removal is a bit more complex and usually, even if the blockage is released by a sewer snake, the tree roots will continue growing and the blockage will happen again.


Tree root in sewer pipe

A NJ sewer contractor is needed for sewer service in this type of case, as the tree roots need to be removed, the sewer line needs to be inspected and sewer repair or sewer replacement to fix any broken pipes.

tree roots in sewer

Tree root in sewer line removal

Removing tree roots from a sewer line can be easy if they have not damaged the sewer pipe.  If the sewer pipe is damaged then sewer pipe repair or sewer line replacement may be needed.


How do Tree roots get into sewer?

Tree roots get into the sewer line because the sewer line contains flowing water.  The roots are attracted to the water vapors that are released through joints or cracks in the sewer pipe and grow toward the sewer line.  Eventually, the pressure of the tree roots will break through the pipe and allow the tree roots to grow freely into the pipe.

Sewer inspection & tree root assessment

In order to determine how much of the sewer line is affected by tree roots and if any portions of sewer pipe are broken a sewer camera inspection will need to be done.  The video camera will allow us to see the tree roots and where they are coming from.  This makes it easier to remove them and treat the source of the roots so they don’t continue to grow as fast.  We will also be able to see if any of the sewer pipe is broken and needs to be replaced.

Tree roots in sewer line responsibility

The sewer line pipes running from the property owner’s structure to the street are typically the property owner’s responsibility to fix.


How to prevent tree roots in sewer line?

Its very difficult to completely prevent tree roots growing into your sewer line if you have a lot of trees near where the line is buried.  If you have a lot of trees nearby you can use heavy cast iron sewer pipes which will be very difficult for the roots to crack through.  You can also spread chemicals around the sewer line to prevent root growth but this will not usually prevent tree roots in the long term.


How fast do tree roots grow in sewer pipes?

Tree roots can grow as fast as 30 days or as slow as a few years, it depends on the type of tree, the moisture around it, the opening in the pipe (if the roots already penetrated and broke the pipe, there is more food in the pipe for them).

Signs of roots in pipes

Usually, we are called for tree roots because there are repeated sewer blockages within a few months and an inspection is needed to see why blockages keep happening.

How to cut roots out of a sewer line

A professional rooter machine has a rotating cutting head that is run through the line and will chop up the roots.  Later the line is flushed out to remove all the debris and should be clear of roots.  However, the roots will likely grow back within months or years and the process will have to be done again.

Will bleach kill tree roots in a sewer line?

Chemicals can be used to stop or delay tree root growth, we recommend you use a professional grade tree root killer and have the application professionally done as if its too close to the pipe it can also cause corrosion and degradation of the pipe.

Fix for a Sewer Pipe Clog

Ongoing main sewer clogs, meaning your sewer continually clogs every few months, means that there is something wrong with the sewer pipes. Either a pipe is broken or cracked, tree roots have grown into the line, a pipe joint has become misaligned or you have a sewer belly.  An ordinary sewer clog can usually be snaked clear. But when it happens repeatedly you need to have an inspection of the underground pipes done to find what the problem is and fix it.

sewer line with tree roots repair cost

The cost to remove tree roots from a sewer line will depend on the extent of the damage done to sewer line and to what extent the roots have penetrated your line.  A sewer line inspection will usually cost a few hundred dollars and that will allow you to know for sure the extent of the problem and you can use the video to shop around and get estimates and advice regarding the best methods of tree root removal and sewer repair.

Tree roots in sewer line covered by insurance

Homeowner’s insurance typically covers only damage to your structure. Sewer line repair is often not covered by insurance because it is outside of the home. If the sewer line backs up into your home and damages the drain or there is flooding, this internal damage is usually covered by homeowners insurance.

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