Best Tree Root Killer For Sewer Lines (2022 Review)

Last Updated On September 10, 2022
Best Tree Root Killer For Sewer Lines (1)

Do you worry that the tree roots in your yard may eventually cause problems for your underground plumbing pipes? Trees provide clean oxygen and increase the curb appeal of your property. However, tree roots can grow into your sewer lines and cause serious damage. 

In this PlumbingNav guide, we will cover:

  • What are the best tree root killers for sewer lines?
  • What are the different types of root killers for sewer lines?
  • How do tree root killers work for sewer lines and drains?

ImageProduct
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Root Destroyer – 2lbs of Pure Copper Sulfate Crystals – Root Killer for Sewer & Pipe Lines
  • Safe for septic systems and trees
  • No fumes
  • Will remove a tree stump
  • Safe for septic systems and trees
  • No fumes
  • Will remove a tree stump
View on Amazon
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ROOTX Foaming Root Killer – The Root Intrusion Solution – 4 Pound Container
  • 2 applications
  • Fills entire pipe to reach the top
  • Prevents growth for 12 months
  • 2 applications
  • Fills entire pipe to reach the top
  • Prevents growth for 12 months
View on Amazon
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Elecife Copper Sulfate Small Crystals 10lb Bag 99% Pure
  • Large 10 lb. bag
  • 99.9% pure
  • Easy to use
  • Large 10 lb. bag
  • 99.9% pure
  • Easy to use
View on Amazon
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Ortho GroundClear Year Long Vegetation Killer – With Continuous Spray Comfort Wand
  • Get visible results in an hour
  • Apply on multiple hard surfaces
  • Results last a year
  • Get visible results in an hour
  • Apply on multiple hard surfaces
  • Results last a year
View on Amazon

Our Overall #1 Rated Pick

Updated On September 10, 2022

Our #1 Rated Pick: Root Destroyer – 2lbs of Pure Copper Sulfate Crystals – Root Killer for Sewer & Pipe Lines

Active Ingredients: copper sulfate (F20 aquatic grade crystals)

Size: 2 lbs. (one application in ½ lb. increments)

Usability: Pour ½ lb. down your toilet at a time and flush to see results in 3 -4 weeks when you first notice and problem and use twice a year for prevention. Do not flush more than ½ lb. of crystals at a time up to 2 lbs. Comes in a convenient container for storage. No fumes. 

Results: Only roots inside the leach line will be killed, and it will lower bacteria for roughly 2 weeks. Will remove stumps. 

Our Top Picks for Tree Root Killer

What's In This Guide?

      What Are The Best Tree Root Killers for Sewer Lines?

      Laws vary from state to state regarding the depth of sewer lines, and numerous variables come to play, including the frost depth. The deeper the sewer line, the safer the sewer lines remain (generally). 

      Some trees cause more damage than others. 

      Trees that cause especially significant damage include:

      • Aspen trees
      • Birch trees
      • Elm trees
      • Maple trees
      • Oak trees
      • Sycamore trees

      As a homeowner, choosing the right plants for your site falls on your shoulders. You should consider how trees will grow and affect you in the future. 

      Of course, nobody wants to get rid of a gorgeous tree that’s already standing simply to protect plumbing pipes or their septic tank system. 

      Part of caring for your tree and your home’s plumbing involves keeping tabs on that beautiful tree’s roots.

      did you know Best Tree Root Killer For Sewer Lines

      Tree Roots and Sewer Line Pipe Damage

      Trees require nutrients and water in order to grow, of course. 

      Growing trees and full-grown trees in need of water naturally send out their roots to find water. If your pipes happen to be the nearest source of water, your tree will attempt to infiltrate your pipes. 

      Pipe sections in the sewer lateral that already contain cracks present more of an opportunity than secure pipes, but roots can break into pipes, even if they don’t have a crack.

      Unlike other materials you may find in your pipes such as hair clogs or soap scum, tree roots tend to be more stubborn to remove and cause much more damage due to their size and strength.

      This is behind the need for trenchless sewer line repair since pipe damage is often out of reach and otherwise expensive to get to.

      Just check out the video below to see the size of the roots some plumbers encounter!

      Once roots get into your pipe, they can wreak havoc in the form of a clogged pipe and an underground pipe leak.

      If the tree roots clog a drain pipe or main sewer line, you may experience fixtures that won’t drain properly and backflow into your sink or toilet bowl. 

      If tree roots block or damage a supply line, you may notice decreased water flow into your home until the point of absolutely no water flow at all. 

      A leak can cause significant water waste, increasing your water bill (if you get your water from the city). It can also potentially flood your yard or damage your landscaping. 

      Prevent root damage by planting new trees thoughtfully and keeping trees watered. If you suspect tree roots in your pipe, you can use a camera for inspection.

      Suspect a leak in your underground pipes thanks to tree roots or old plumbing? Read more about what is a slab leak and the truth about sewer line inspections.

      Safety

      Root killers are never safe around children and pets. Wear protective gloves, masks, goggles, and full-coverage clothing to prevent toxins from causing skin irritation.  See this post for more perspective and detail on how to get rid of tree roots in a sewer line.

      What Are The Different Types of Root Killers for Sewer Lines?

      Foam Root Killer

      Foam root killer tends to work much faster and more effectively than copper sulfate. They also don’t damage your sewer system. However, they cost much more, and you need to mix the concentrate with water.

      You will need to use a foam root killer if the blockage has already occurred. 

      Copper Sulfate Root Killer 

      Copper sulfate root killer provides an inexpensive solution compared to foam root killers, but it can cause damage to your home’s plumbing if copper levels get too high. 

      Copper sulfate works best as maintenance as opposed to clearing up a stubborn clog. 

      How Do Tree Root Killers Work for Sewer Lines and Drains Work?

      Sewer line root killers use chemicals to eat at the roots that may have gotten into your sewer lines and drains. 

      You should always apply a root killer at the first sign of a problem instead of waiting for complete blockage. 

      Always follow directions exactly as indicated on your product. 

      In most cases, you will use the root killer by pouring it into your toilet or into the affected line directly (if you have access). 

      Some products only work on living material and may not work on dead roots. 

      If you have trees near your underground pipes, make a point to use your preferred root killer as directed as part of your regular plumbing maintenance routine. 

      Read more tips on how to keep up on your plumbing yourself with our guide on the 7 best plumbing maintenance tips.

      What Do You Look For In Root Killers for Drains?

      Active Ingredients

      Pay close attention to the ingredients you put in your yard. 

      You want to find a delicate balance between ingredients that will get the job done while also not causing damage to your plumbing or landscaping.

      Size

      How much product do you get and how many applications will you get?

      It’s wise to keep the extra product on hand for maintenance or a second occurrence. However, you don’t want to go overboard, and you’ll want a product with convenient storage. 

      Usability

      Some products come with extra features to make using it easy. Many products also have multiple uses a convenient packaging designed for safe storage. 

      Results 

      Consider how long the product claims to produce results and how effective the product is on different types of materials and plants.

      Best Products Reviewed

      Now let’s explore our favorite units so you can decide on the perfect choice for your situation.

      Our #1 Rated Pick: Root Destroyer – 2lbs of Pure Copper Sulfate Crystals – Root Killer for Sewer & Pipe Lines

      Active Ingredients: copper sulfate (F20 aquatic grade crystals)

      Size: 2 lbs. (one application in ½ lb. increments)

      Usability: Pour ½ lb. down your toilet at a time and flush to see results in 3 -4 weeks when you first notice and problem and use twice a year for prevention. Do not flush more than ½ lb. of crystals at a time up to 2 lbs. Comes in a convenient container for storage. No fumes. 

      Results: Only roots inside the leach line will be killed, and it will lower bacteria for roughly 2 weeks. Will remove stumps. 

      Pros

      • Safe for septic systems and trees
      • No fumes
      • Will remove a tree stump

      Cons

      • Only one application
      • Affects bacteria levels
      • Slow results

      Our #2 Rated Pick: ROOTX Foaming Root Killer – The Root Intrusion Solution – 4 Pound Container

      Active Ingredients: dichlobenid (.55%)

      Size: 4 lb. container with two individual packages. Two applications.

      Usability: Mix with water and pour down your pipe. The product does not include a funnel or wand. 

      Results: Reaches the top of your pipe. Prevents regrowth for 12 months.

      Pros

      • 2 applications
      • Fills entire pipe to reach the top
      • Prevents growth for 12 months

      Cons

      • Cannot get past septic tank
      • Harmful fumes
      • No funnel

      Our #3 Rated Pick: Elecife Copper Sulfate Small Crystals 10lb Bag 99% Pure

      Active Ingredients:  copper sulfate (99% pure)

      Size: 10 lbs. for multiple applications

      Usability: Simple to use by pouring into toilet or drain, but the package isn’t resealable. 

      Results: Minimal results. For maintenance only. 

      Pros

      • Large 10 lb. bag
      • 99.9% pure
      • Easy to use

      Cons

      • Won’t remove a stump 
      • Container not resealable
      • Environmental hazards

      Our #4 Rated Pick: Ortho GroundClear Year Long Vegetation Killer – With Continuous Spray Comfort Wand

      Active Ingredients:  Pelergonic acid and salt

      Size: 1.33 gallons (one application)

      Usage: You can use the product on driveways, gravel, and sand. For best results, use the wand and apply when weeds are actively growing and the temperature is above 60 degrees. 

      Results: See visible results in 1 hour that will last for up to a year. Apply on driveways, patios, and gravel. 

      Pros

      • Get visible results in an hour
      • Apply on multiple hard surfaces
      • Results last a year

      Cons

      • Won’t ship to Maryland and California
      • Only one application
      • MIlder formula may not work on large roots

      Final Thoughts On Root Killers for Sewer Lines and Drains

      Root growth is necessary for happy, healthy trees. However, you can’t allow tree root infiltration to cause expensive damage to your sewer pipe or drain pipes. Resolve your root problem with our review of the best tree root killers. 

      FAQs For Root Killers

      What is the best tree root killer for sewer lines?

      You have numerous options, but we suggest you try Roundup Concentrate Max Control 365 Vegetation Killer, 32 oz. if you already have a clog due to tree roots. 

      What dissolves tree roots in sewer lines?

      Chemicals can dissolve tree roots in sewer lines. You can also call for a plumbing service to have the roots removed manually. 

      Do tree root killers work in sewer lines?

      Yes. tree root killers work in sewer lines and drain lines. 

      What is the fastest sewer line root killer?

      Get results in as little as an hour with Ortho GroundClear Year Long Vegetation Killer – With Continuous Spray Comfort Wand.

      What is the best foaming root killer?

      For an effective foam root killer, try ROOTX Foaming Root Killer – The Root Intrusion Solution – 4 Pound Container

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      About Plumbing Navigator

      We write about "all things plumbing," helping you navigate common questions, repairs, and the best plumbing products on the market.

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      We write about “all things plumbing,” helping you navigate common questions, repairs, and the best plumbing products on the market.

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