Tree roots in drains explained

Considering what runs through sewer pipes it’s a good thing you only have to call us once!

There’s no doubt that Perth is one of the hottest cities in Australia. That’s why one of the best ways to protect yourself from the harmful effects of the sun is by sheltering under a leafy green tree.

Everyone knows trees are essential to our lifestyle and environment.

Truth is there’s a flip side, especially if they are planted too close to your sewer pipes. Any vigorous root system can cause you major plumbing headaches in the form of root damage to your drains. Make no mistake these powerful roots don’t just stop there. They can also destroy fences, retaining walls, outdoor paving, and even cause cracks in your foundations.

What happens when your sewer pipes get blocked? Good question.

When you start seeing unpleasant sights and smells to your toilet, laundry, and bathrooms this is a sure sign that your drains are backing up resulting in overflows. Soon as this happens it’s advisable not to pour any hazardous chemicals down the drain.

Why do tree roots enter your sewer pipes?

Just like any living organism a tree relies heavily on absorbing water and nutrients for its survival.

Even more so in drought conditions – roots will always be hunting for alternative sources even from a long distance away.

The problem starts when there’s any shift in ground movement – resulting in your sewer or stormwater pipes to crack. The hair-like roots will then penetrate these tiny cracks looking for any moisture that seeps out from your pipes. At this point if they are not stopped they will completely fill each point of entry thereby blocking and damaging the pipes causing messy sewage spills.

How do I know which pipe is beneath my soil?

You don’t have to go digging up your backyard to figure out what piping you have underneath. A clear indication of what pipes you have is to find out the age of your Home. Case example homes built between 1900’s through to 1970’s would definitely have clay pipes.

Even though clay pipes have been around for ages some Perth suburbs still have them. Here are just a few to mention.

  • Subiaco
  • Fremantle
  • White Gum Valley
  • Bassendean
  • Guildford
  • Vic Park

The good news if you have old pipes Water Corporation has a project to replace pipes in Perth that are over 100 years old.

Go here for further info

 Which pipe offers the best resistance to root intrusion?

It’s true some pipes are more susceptible to root damage than others. Case example Clay Pipes, are inherently more porous making them a prime target for adjacent roots. PVC on the other hand is more versatile, flexible, and because it has fewer joints is more resistant to root intrusion. Another benefit is its lightweight properties make it easier to install.

Do my pipes need regular Maintenance?


Like anything in life prevention is the best cure and will save you more money in the long-term. By doing this you will prevent further root growth and damage to your drains.

There’s more to fixing a blockage that meets the eye. That’s where the experienced plumbing professionals at Drains Plus will step in and offer you several options to permanently get rid of those incredibly intrusive roots via …

  1. Mechanical Eel
  2. High Pressure Jetter

Once your drain becomes clear we then apply a root foaming treatment which inhibits the growth and allows drains to run freely. Roots that enter the pipe, pipe wall and those outside the pipe die, rot, and drop off. This allows ground pressure which aids in closing the cracks and gaps in the pipe caused by root growth

Why choose Drains plus?

With 30 years drain industry experience we offer you the right advice especially when it comes to layouts whether domestic, commercial and industrial drains. And we have fully equipped vehicles to handle any drain blockage, carrying three different size cameras, high pressure water jetter, plus various drain machines. We will treat your emergency with the utmost of importance and not just show up without giving you a courtesy call beforehand.

As you think about what you really need to get rid of roots from your drains  at your home or business this summer you must begin to realise that you have only one choice to make, and that is to call the plumbing professionals at Drains plus.