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How to remove tree roots from sewer pipe

Removing tree roots from a sewer pipe can be a challenging task, and it's best to hire a professional plumber or sewer cleaning company to handle it. However, if you want to attempt it yourself, here are some steps you can follow:

Removing tree roots that have grown in sewer pipe and caused a blockage

Identify the location of the tree roots

If your sewer pipe is blocked you may notice signs such as slow drainage, gurgling sounds, or foul odors coming from your drains. You will need to locate where the roots are coming from in order to remove them. You can rent a sewer camera to locate the area where the tree roots have penetrated the sewer pipe. If you don’t have the possibility/experience to use a sewer camera you can hire a professional plumber to identify the location of the roots.

Determine the severity of the blockage

Depending on how severe the blockage is, you may be able to remove the roots using a root cutter or hydro jetting. However, if the roots have caused extensive damage to the pipe, you may need to replace the damaged section of the pipe. If the roots have not caused significant damage to the pipe, you can rent or purchase a sewer jetter or root cutter. Hydro jetting uses high-pressure water to break up the roots and flush them out of the pipe. This method is effective for removing larger roots that have caused significant damage to the pipe. A root cutter has a rotating blade that cuts through the roots and clears the blockage. Make sure to choose a root cutter or jetter that is appropriate for the size of your sewer pipe.

Remove the roots

Insert the root cutter or jetter into the sewer pipe and turn it on. Move it back and forth along the pipe to break up the tree roots and clear the blockage. You may need to repeat this process several times to fully remove the roots.

Inspect and repair the sewer pipe

Once the roots have been cleared, use a camera inspection to check the condition of the sewer pipe. If the roots have caused significant damage, you may need to repair or replace the affected section of the pipe. This can be a more expensive and time-consuming process, but it may be necessary to ensure that your sewer system is functioning properly.

Tree roots that caused damage and blockages in a sewer


Take steps to prevent future root intrusion by cutting back any trees or shrubs that are growing near the sewer line, or installing a root barrier around the pipe.


It's important to note that removing tree roots from a sewer pipe can be dangerous and may cause further damage if not done properly. If you are unsure or uncomfortable with performing this task, it's best to hire a professional.

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