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Stop Root-Caused Clogs Before They Spread Into Your Pipes

Stopping Root Clogs in Their Tracks

As the holiday season approaches, many people are thinking about trees. Pine trees, that is. They’re trying to determine the best time to go to a lot and pick out the perfect Christmas tree, how they want to decorate it, and where they want to put it in their home.

However, while homeowners are busy thinking about the perfect pine tree to put in their home, they may not notice that the roots of the trees in their yard are slowly causing a plumbing disaster. Root clogs are a major problem, but they aren’t easily visible. The roots of trees and other plants need water for nourishment, so they are attracted to it and grow towards pipes and sewer lines that are under the ground.

The roots can creep into a leaking or cracked pipe, even if it’s small, and cause blockages and clogs. This wrecks the plumbing system! Luckily, there are a few actions homeowners can take to prevent root clogs from occurring.

Root Clog Disasters to Avoid

Root clogs can cause major plumbing disasters once they start creeping into the pipes. Hair-like root masses can completely fill the pipe. When these masses come into contact with debris flowing through the main drain line, such as toilet paper or grease, a larger clog starts to form.

root clog disasters

The pressure in the pipe can become so high that it causes the pipes to break or collapse! When this happens, a real disaster is on the homeowner’s hands, and it can result in many dollars of much-needed repairs like repiping services.

Prevention Tip 1: Clean Drains Frequently

drain cleaningHaving the drains cleaned regularly is one of the best ways to prevent clogs, and most importantly, prevent root clog disasters. No matter what drain cleaning service is used, they usually follow a similar process.

They will ask questions and run a few diagnostics before getting started to learn where the blockages are and what equipment is needed to resolve them. They typically use a machine to clear out the clogs in the identified locations.

After running the machine, they’ll test any nearby faucets and fixtures to make sure the water is flowing efficiently. Many plumbing companies will even do a final camera inspection to ensure everything is set to go.

If during the diagnostics, they find that there is a severe clog that can’t be cleared with the basic movements, they’ll initiate a more thorough drain cleaning technique. Now for the real question: how often should drains be cleaned? There’s lots of advice out there to answer this question, but here’s a basic rule of thumb: if the house has a history of having clogs (root clogs or other clogs), drains should be cleaned quarterly. Otherwise, an annual drain cleaning should suffice.

Prevention Tip 2: Stall Tree Root Growth with Copper Sulfate

Another great way to prevent root clogs is to stall the tree root growth with copper sulfate. This chemical breaks down root growth and prevents a root clog disaster without killing the trees around the house. The best way to use copper sulfate is to flush a small amount, about a ⅓-½ cup, down the toilet.

stall tree root growth

By flushing the chemical down the toilet, it can flow throughout the sewer line and stop roots from entering the pipes. Copper sulfate can easily be found in stores or online and is relatively inexpensive, especially when compared to the costly disaster of fixing a root clog.

About Magic Plumbing

Magic Plumbing is the San Francisco Bay Area’s premier service contractor, providing practical and cost-efficient services that are designed to meet customers’ specific needs. They provide the personal attention customers deserve while ensuring they receive the best service available.