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Root Intrusions in Sewer Pipes

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Root Intrusions in Sewer Pipes

Root intrusions are among one of the most common problems in older pipes. Especially in Tacoma, a lot of homes still have their original clay, cast iron, or orangeburg pipes. These types of pipes are softer than the modern PVC and HDPE pipes we have now. This means that they are extra susceptible to root intrusions.

You have to always keep in mind, wherever there is water underground there will be roots, and wherever that water can get through your pipes the roots can too.


Warm water inside your sewer pipes can cause vapor to escape to the cooler soil surrounding the pipes. This vapor will usually escape through a crack or pinhole in older pipes that are more susceptible to damages. Tree roots surrounding the affected pipe will grow towards the vapor and eventually push their way through to the inside of the pipe. This can cause moderate to severe damage anywhere from a minor blockage to a full collapse of your side sewer.

This is why it’s extremely important to get any root issues taken care of right away. Nipping a minor root intrusion in the bud now can save you a lot of money and headache down the line.

Once roots push their way through your pipes, they will have access to plentiful nutrients and moisture. If not dealt with, these roots will continue to grow into a large mass that will completely block your pipe. These roots can also act as a net, catching fat, oil, grease, and grit, and therefore completely blocking your sewer line.

As roots continue to grow, they will expand and put pressure on the cracks, or joints where they entered the pipe. The force from the growing roots will eventually lead to a severe breakage in the line, and possible full collapse of your side sewer.


You can prevent these types of situations by being aware of where your sewer laterals are located, and refrain from planting certain types of trees and bushes near your pipes. It is a good practice not to plant any trees within about ten feet of your sewer lines. This will minimize root intrusion, and keep your pipes safer for a longer period of time.

Scheduling a regular cleaning of your sewer lateral will help prevent further root damage as well. In addition, application of a rooticide such as RootX is a good tool to prevent roots from growing through your pipes.

While these are good tools to prolong the life of your sewer line, these are not permanent solutions. If you have any sort of root damage in your pipes they will eventually fail. That’s where we come in.

We are here to help you both assess, prolong, and repair your sewer pipes. If you have concerns about whether or not there are roots in your sewer, we will gladly offer a camera scope and let you know for sure.

When it does finally come time to replace your side sewer, you can rest easy knowing we offer permanent solutions along with the best warranty in Washington state! Just give a call to (253) 331-1206 and we will send one of our skilled technicians out in no time!