The plumbing system of your home is crucial, and it requires regular maintenance to keep it in good working order. One of the most annoying problems homeowners face is root intrusion in sewer lines. Roots that grow into the sewer pipes can cause significant damage to plumbing systems, leading to costly repairs. In this blog post, we’ll discuss the reasons why roots grow in sewer lines and what kills roots in sewer lines effectively.

What Kills Roots in Sewer Lines

Roots grow in sewer lines – why?

Roots grow in sewer lines because of the moisture, nutrients, and oxygen they provide. Sewer lines often have small cracks, gaps, and joints that provide growing space for the roots. Trees and shrubs planted near the sewer lines tend to cause more problems as their roots grow longer in search of water.

What are the symptoms of root invasion?

If you have been experiencing some toilet backups, drain issues, or slow drainage, there’s a possibility you may have a root problem in your sewer line. Another symptom is if you notice an unpleasant sewage odor around your house or in your yard. These are signs that roots may have grown inside your sewer pipes.

What kills the roots?

Mechanical root cutting and chemical treatments are effective in getting rid of roots from sewer lines. Mechanically, plumbing professionals can use electric drain cleaning machines fitted with a cutting blade to chop the roots, and then flush them out with water. Chemical treatments that are effective in killing roots are copper sulfate, sodium hydroxide, and benzalkonium chloride-based formulas. These chemicals should be used in line with the manufacturer’s recommendations and carefully.

Can roots grow back?

Roots can grow back if they are not completely removed from the pipes. It’s important to consider regular cleaning of the sewer line after a root issue is cleared to avoid future problems. Prevention is better than cure, and effective ways to prevent roots from growing into sewer lines include avoiding planting trees and shrubs near sewer lines, replacing older pipes with PVC or ABS pipes, and installing root barriers.

Why Should You Call a Professional?

Dealing with rooted sewer lines requires experience and expertise to ensure effective root removal without causing further damage to your plumbing system. Professionals also have specialized tools and equipment such as sewer cameras and hydraulic root-cutting machines, which are essential in root clearance and sewer line maintenance.


Root intrusion in sewer lines is a common problem for homeowners. However, rooting up the source of the problem and taking action on it can save you from expensive repairs in the future. Knowing what kills roots in sewer lines, and avoiding problematic plant landscaping can come a long way. If you suspect that you have a root intrusion in your plumbing system, it’s always best to call a professional plumber to provide a solution that ensures your piping system runs smoothly.

When it comes to root intrusion in sewer lines, it’s always important to call a professional plumber to ensure an effective solution. At Miller Plumbers, our highly-trained and experienced professionals can provide the best services for getting rid of roots from your sewer lines. Whether you need root cutting, chemical treatments, or regular maintenance of your sewer lines, we are here to help. Contact us today for more information or to arrange a service. We look forward to hearing from you!