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Signs Tree Roots Are Ruining Your Plumbing Lines

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Having mature trees on your property is a luxury that you love, but the trees can do damage to your plumbing lines.

Trees seek water to grow and their roots are always thirsty, traveling long distances underground to find an ideal water source. Unfortunately, your home’s plumbing system provides enough moisture to give a tree what it needs, or a tree root can simply power through a line on its way to another water source. No sewer line is safe from a tree: roots can penetrate metal, plastic, and other types of sewer line materials.

Here are signs tree roots are giving you plumbing problems. Your plumber will use a special tool to inspect your plumbing lines and remove offending roots while repairing your lines at the same time for optimum home plumbing efficiency.

Unusual Grass Growth

When a tree root successfully mangles a sewer line, you’ll notice strange grass growth in your yard. As the soil underground becomes saturated with water and sewage, surrounding plant life flourishes.

Walk around your yard where grass is unusually green, lush, and long and feel the ground: is the ground soft? Spongy? Actively wet? If so, you may have a broken sewer line nearby. Keep in mind that a tree doesn’t typically penetrate plumbing lines near the trunk, so you don’t assume a tree root is not the problem just because affected areas are far away from existing trees.

Poor Indoor Drainage

Does your toilet flush slowly or take several attempts to suck down debris? Does your tub drain have a hard time releasing water from the basin, ebbing and flowing at a slow rate?

Poor water drainage indoors is often a sign of sewer problems, be it a clogged sewer line or an actual breakage in the line. Your plumber will be able to diagnose your home’s drainage issues and kill tree roots that are causing your plumbing woes.

Foul Odors

When your sewer line is penetrated, the water filters out underground and can seep up into your grass (as mentioned above). Even if you don’t notice the soaking mess, you are sure to smell it: sewage often smells like rotten eggs or sulfur. If tree roots have damaged a sewer line close to your home, you may even smell the noxious gases indoors (especially if your drains are also backing up).

Next Steps

If you think you are experiencing a sewer backup.  Stop running water to prevent further backup into your home, and call Rapid First Plumbing for emergency plumbing service.

Plumbing issues, particularly when dealing with sewage, should always be handled by a professional plumber. Since there are many possible causes for plumbing problems in the home besides tree roots a full sewer line inspection, using our sewer video inspection camera system, is recommended to correctly diagnose your problem.

Once a sewer line has been compromised by roots, crushed from overhead weight, deteriorated due to age, or any number of reasons, recurring problems can be anticipated.  In some cases we may be able to keep the line open for a period of time using root cutters, but that just kicks the can down the road. The best long term solution is to repair or replace the sewer line.  Rapid First Plumbing has been repairing and replacing sewer lines in the Greater Sacramento Area since 1974.  That’s a lot of experience in helping our clients get things flowing.

Call us at Rapid First Plumbing today for all your home’s plumbing needs, including water heater replacement and sewer inspections.

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