Spring Plant Growth Can Wreak Havoc On Home Plumbing Systems

April Showers Bring May Flowers and New Plumbing Problems

The spring is when new plant growth can threaten underground plumbing systems. Tree roots are notorious for growing into a home’s underground pipes and causing blockages. 

Tree roots are very efficient at working their way into any crack or crevice in underground pipes that they can find. Once inside the pipes, the roots will continue to expand as they seek more hydration and nutrients from the plumbing. The intrusion of tree roots can cause pipes to crack or burst.

Homeowners should try their best to plan their landscaping with the layout of their underground plumbing in mind. But when tree roots make their way into the plumbing system, professional solutions such as hydro-jetting can help. 

How Tree Roots Affect Underground Plumbing

tree rootsWhy do tree roots invade the plumbing system? The reason is simple: trees need water and nutrients to fuel new growth, and water and nutrients can be found inside pipes. Tree roots expand in the direction of water underground, just like how tree branches extend toward the direction of sunlight above ground. 

During the winter months, most tree growth halts. As the weather heats up in the spring, trees and other plants begin to stretch out their roots in search of nutrients to fuel new growth. The sudden spurt of root growth underground can wreak havoc on home plumbing systems by causing hidden water leaks. 

Signs of Tree Root Obstruction


  • Burst pipe underground 
  • Slow draining in the shower or sink 
  • Decrease in water pressure 
  • Spike in water bills 

One of the costly hazards of tree root intrusion is that it can eventually lead to a burst pipe underground. Burst pipes and leaking pipes in the underground plumbing can be challenging to locate and repair. Underground water leak repair can be very disruptive for the home if it requires tearing up the yard or the foundation. 

Other adverse effects of tree root growth on the plumbing system include decreasing water pressure because the tree roots can get in the way of water reaching the shower or sink faucets. If an underground leak is wasting a significant amount of water, water bills may increase. These signs can point to an underground plumbing leak, so homeowners should not ignore them.

Root Barriers and Other Solutions

Homeowners can ensure that they do not end up with a burst pipe underground by installing root barriers. Root barriers are preventative measures that create a wall between the tree roots and the home’s underground plumbing. 

Hydro jetting is a tool plumbers use to clear tree roots from the pipes. During hydro jetting services, the plumber shoots pressurized water through the pipes to blast away tree roots and other types of tough clogs. 

When the tree roots have caused too much damage to the pipes for hydro jetting to be an option, the plumber may need to repipe the waterline. Repiping is often the best way for plumbers to repair an underground plumbing issue without disrupting the entire yard. 

About Quahog Plumbing

Quahog Plumbing has provided the community of Somerset, MA, and the surrounding areas with trustworthy plumbing solutions for over 15 years. They offer same-day service, straightforward pricing, and a 100% satisfaction guarantee. Call them today for plumbing services in Somerset, MA