Tree Roots in Pipes: How to Remove and Repair

What You'll Need
Large bucket (5-gallon works well)
Drain snake
Very hot water (about four buckets full)
Teflon tape
Good attitude

Having a slow drain could mean tree roots in your pipes. This is probably not something that you want to hear, as it sounds like it could be a long, and painful resolution to a very big problem. However, it can be done pretty easily by having the right tools, the right attitude, and following the correct steps.

Explore the information below, and follow the steps on how to clear away the tree roots, and you'll soon be back to free flowing drains in no time.

Step 1 - Locate the Clean Out Plug

The first thing you will need to do for this process is to find your clean out plug. This is a PVC pipe that goes from the main sewer to the pipe itself. This plug also contains a cap that you will need to loosen in your next step.

Step 2 - Clean the Plug

Now that you have found the plug, you will need to loosen the cap without completely taking it off. You will want to place your large bucket under this clean out plug, and let the water and debris flow into the bucket, therefore cleaning out your plug.

Step 3 - Use the Drain Snake

Take your drain snake and insert it into the pipe. Feed the snake by turning the handle until you hit resistance from being able to push it any further.

Step 4 - Reverse the Action

If you feel resistance from pushing the drain snake any further, simply reverse your action of turning the handle, and pull the drain snake out a bit. Although it may feel like you are repeating steps, now you will want to push the snake down a bit once again. Repeat this motion until you believe that all the tree roots have been cleared from the pipes.

Step 5 - Test it Out

Now that you believe that all roots are gone, you will want to check just to make sure. Take a few buckets of very hot water, and dump them into the drain. Notice if the water flows nicely and free down the drain, or if it is still a bit slow when draining.

If the water is still draining slowly, you may have missed some tree roots, and the steps using the drain snake may have to be repeated to make sure all roots are gone.

Step 6 - For Next Time

Now that you have a drain that is once again working, and draining appropriately, you can use a helpful hint on how to make it easier next time.

Use Teflon tape to wrap around the threads of the clean out plug, and then replace the plug.

Wrapping tape around the plug makes it easier to pull out next time.

Step 7 - Secure it into Place

You will want to make sure you have the plug back in place very securely and tightly. If it is not, you are allowing sewer gases to leak into places you don't want it to.

There you have it. It may have been a chore, but so worth it. A free flowing drain once again. Great job!