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Does Hydro Jetting Work on Tree Roots?

does hydro jetting work on tree roots?

Tree root growth into sewer pipes is an unfortunate problem that can cause major clogs and back-ups into your home. When you have tree root growth, you need a solution that will remove the roots from the entire sewer and flush them out. Does hydro jetting work on tree roots? Usually. Here’s what you need to know.

What is Hydro Jetting?

Hydro jetting is essentially pushing water at an intense pressure in order to clean out pipes. The water breaks things down and washes them out of the sewer with intense power. You need specialized equipment in order to perform hydro jetting; you can’t just use your home’s hose or your pressure washer to hydro jet in your sewer or other plumbing. Hydro jetting equipment can typically reach 4,000 PSI, an intense pressure that can clean out gunk from your sewers as well as most tree roots. In your home’s sewers, you may need less pressure. Afterall, this equipment is also used in larger sewer lines for major facilities like schools, prisons and more.

Hydro jetting is advantageous because it doesn’t require your plumbers to dig up the whole sewer to remove the roots. It is a relatively quick process, and it can completely clean out your sewers in the right conditions.

When Does Hydro Jetting Work?

When your plumber is considering hydro jetting, they will dig a small access point down to the sewers. When there, they will test the strength, density and thickness of the tree roots that have infested your sewer pipes. They need to ensure that the roots will be completely blown away by the jet. If the tree roots are too old, thick, or made from a strong enough wood, then they may need to cut the roots first in order to ensure that the hydro jetting will work. Otherwise, the pressure of the water may just damage the unstable pipe instead or may just leave some of the roots intact.

Once the roots are washed away, your plumber will still likely need to replace the sewer pipes that were damaged by the tree roots. Ideally, they’ll use trenchless sewer repair to pull the old pipes up and feed the new pipes in without having to dig up the whole yard.

How to Avoid Hydro Jetting

While hydro jetting and trenchless sewer repair are newer, less invasive options for sewer repair, you probably still want to avoid them. How can you protect your sewers from developing these problems and requiring a cleanout? There are a few ways:

  • Trees: When you plant a tree, look into how far its roots will grow and be sure it will be several feet short of your sewer lines. Otherwise, the tree will eventually discover the line and break into it in search of nutrients and water.
  • Flush well: Be careful of what you flush down your pipes. Materials that aren’t meant to be poured down the drain may not seem to cause a problem at first, but they will eventually build up into a clog.