20 Best Tree Root Killer For Septic Tanks And Sewer Lines

We’ll be looking at root killers for septic tanks, including the best brands in the market.

Many times, tree or shrub roots become the enemy of our septic systems. This is because such roots may infiltrate into tanks through tiny cracks.

As they penetrate such tanks, roots create even wider cracks which lead to a problematic system.

This article will discuss a solution for root penetration in septic tanks with special reference to root killers. Root killers have been around for some time and have provided relief for many households.

Why Are Roots Invasive When Close To A Septic Tank?

To understand this better, you’ll need to look at the contents of a septic tank.

Septic tanks hold waste which is usually separated into 3 phases; scum, effluent, and sludge. The effluent layer is rich in nitrates which are considered good fertilizing agents.

When tiny cracks begin to form on septic tanks, a slow action by tree roots begins. Roots will need to gain access to a source of nutrients that are being held in septic tanks.

As this situation unfolds, groundwater also infiltrates the septic tank.

This leads to a situation where the tank fills up easily.

Symptoms Of Root Problems In Septic Tanks

Before you ever decide to use root killer for septic systems, you’ll need first to confirm that a root issue is existent.

Tree roots cause a myriad of problems for your septic tanks as well as the entire system. The best way to find out if roots are the issue is to look for certain symptoms.

These symptoms include frequent pumping of septic tanks, sitting water on the drain field, poor drainage, and patches of green in the leach field.

Let’s briefly discuss each of these problems for a better understanding.

  • Frequent Pumping of Septic Tanks

When roots interfere with septic tanks and systems, they block off your drain field and pipes.

This negatively impacts your septic tank as it becomes more easily filled up than usual. Septic tanks are meant to be pumped once every 3 to 5 years.

With root actions, you may be pumping your tanks much more frequently than normal.

Now, this symptom is only speculated. An actual inspection of the septic tank by a technician will determine if the issue is due to tree root presence or if other things are responsible.

  • Sitting Water on Drain Field

When a drain field becomes overwhelmed by excess water, it results in a situation where it hardly absorbs.

This results in sitting water on the drain field. As your septic tank fills up easily due to cracks caused by roots, it fills up easily. This results in excess water being delivered to the drain field.

  • Poor Drainage

Are you experiencing sluggish drains in your toilet and sinks?

The first thing that comes to mind when you notice this problem is the possibility of a full septic tank. Now, what if it’s not due for pumping?

If so, there could be other reasons, among which is the possibility of root penetration.

  • Patches of Green in Leach Field

Are you noticing the growth of lush green grasses and shrubs above your leach field?

This may be due to the escape of nutrient-rich water from your septic tank. This is mostly the case when roots cause a blockage of distribution pipes.

Septic Tank Root Killers

As mentioned earlier, there’s no way of knowing that tree roots are present within your septic tank.

The symptoms listed above are only that and will need to be further investigated. When it’s determined that roots are present, an appropriate treatment will be necessary.

This brings us to our main focus; root killers for septic tanks. A wide range of root-killing products has been developed by different companies to combat the root menace.

A tree must have been planted too close long after the septic tank was installed.

In other cases, septic tanks were installed within proximity to trees. Whatever the case is, your best bet is to find the most appropriate treatment.

  • About Root Killers

Root killers are specially formulated chemical products that are designed to act on roots within proximity to a septic tank. These products are applied to wither or kill tree roots.

This prevents them from further encroachment into your septic tank.

There are lots of root killer products on the market. You’ll have to make your choice of what best fits your needs. Each of these products comes with user instructions.

You’ll need to make your preferred pick based on customer reviews and expert recommendations.

  • Root Killer Application

Most root killers are in the form of septic tank additives.

These chemicals are designed so that they don’t affect digestive bacteria found in septic tanks when applied. However, any plant roots within such tanks are destroyed.

So how about corrosion? Will your tanks corrode when these chemicals come in contact? Not at all! Your tank remains in perfect working condition.

Best Root Killers To Buy

When it comes to root killers, you’re likely to be spoiled for choice as there are tons of them.

Each of these makes serious claims about its efficacy. It’s left to you to find out what’s best or what isn’t. This is possible by going through customer reviews.

Some popular products include Hi-Yield Root Killer, Zep Root Kill, and Roebic Foaming Root Killer.

Others include RootX Root Killer, Root Destroyer, and much more. As mentioned earlier, most of these are septic additives that can be applied through the toilet or drainage.

Cracks Will Need To Be Fixed

After confirming the presence of roots, the cracks or openings resulting from their penetration will need to be fixed.

In other words, killing plant roots isn’t enough to resolve the problem. Other issues may develop include a septic tank that fills up too fast.

You’ll need to discuss with your technician the best ways to resolve the problem.

10 Best Tree Root Killers For Sewer Lines

Here are the best root killers for sewer lines.

One of the main problems affecting sewer lines is the presence of plant or tree roots.

These cause all sorts of issues, such as entangling pipes with hair-like masses. Though tiny, these hair-like masses are likely to form clogs as they hold on to toilet tissue and other debris.

The best response to root problems affecting sewer lines is to apply commercial or homemade root killers. As the name implies, a root killer will fight back by killing off all roots within your sewer lines.

This allows for fewer interruptions and better functioning of your sewer system.

You Don’t Have to Cut Down your Trees.

Tree roots are notorious for causing sewer line issues.

In other words, trees and shrubs are the major causes of root problems. This is because plants and trees will readily tap from nutrients contained in wastewater being transported by sewer lines.

With root killer products, you won’t have to worry about cutting down your trees as a preventive measure. Trees themselves provide a lot of benefits.

Your best bet will be to find the most effective root killers to safeguard your sewer lines. So, what are they? There are several!

Easy Reach

When applying a root killer, you want to ensure the product reaches every part of your sewer lines.

The top part of sewer lines may be left out when the right type of root killer isn’t reached. This is where the foaming root killer comes in handy. It reaches all sides of the pipe.

This isn’t to take anything away from root killers containing copper sulfate. These, too, are effective. However, the only difference is that such products won’t reach the top side of the pipe.

With this information provided, let’s consider some of the top root killers for sewer lines. It’s also important to note that this follows no particular order.

10 Best Brands Of Root Killers For Sewer Lines

When it comes to the most effective root killers for sewer lines, no particular product can be pointed out as being the overall best. Rather, several root killer products from popular brands can be listed as being among the best.

These root killer products are largely divided into two types; copper sulfate or rock salt and foaming dichlobenil pesticide. While both categories will readily kill off roots, their applicability depends on the situation at hand.

Top brands include Roebic K-77, Sanco Industries, FDC, Roebic FRK-1LB, and ROOTX. Others include ZEP, Root Reach, Green Gobbler, Rooto, and Earthworks.

Let’s provide further details on each of these root-killing products.

  • Roebic K-77

If you wish to eliminate roots in your sewer and septic pipes, Roebic K-77 is one of the trusted products to consider. It not only kills roots but also prevents re-growth, thus improving flow and drainage.

Roebic K-77 is non-corrosive as such, safe for all plumbing types.

You’ll need to apply once every 6 to 12 months. This product saves you a lot of expenses in costly digging as well as rooter service.

  • Sanco Industries Root Destroyer

This product is used in both sewer and septic systems.

Root Destroyer is best applied when you first notice reduced flow. It contains copper sulfate crystals that act on all invasive sewer line roots. While killing such roots, it won’t harm your trees.

It’s important to note that Root Destroyer will temporarily reduce bacterial action. However, this only lasts 15 days after which full bacterial action is restored.

It’s designed to only kill roots within the leach line and nothing more.

  • FDC

FDC is another top root killer product with about 99% copper sulfate purity.

These are bright blue crystals that go by several names such as blue vitriol, cupric sulfate, blue copper, and bluestone among others. FDC is also known to have many other applications.

  • Roebic FRK-1LB

If you need the best foaming root killer for sewer lines, this is one product to get as it reaches all slides of your sewer lines for maximum action. All roots in sanitary sewers are eliminated, plus it foams on contact.

What more? If you’re concerned about the safety of your plumbing, Roebic FRK-1LB will serve just fine.

This granular concentrate is easy to use and provides real results. In addition to killing all roots, Roebic 1LB serves to prevent recurring growth.


ROOTX is also a foaming root killer that reaches areas (top of sewer lines) where most root intrusions occur.

Not only are roots killed, but it also strips off grime and grease on roots with its surfactant formula. With ROOTX, you won’t have to deal with the recurring growth of roots.

  • ZEP

ZEP Root Kill will readily kill off roots found within your sewer lines.

With such roots dead, normal system flow is fully restored. You don’t have to be worried about the safety of your shrubs and trees as no damage is done. ZEP Root Kill contains copper sulfate.

  • Root Reach

Root Reach is designed for use in both sewer and septic lines. It’s a foaming-only agent that’s designed to fill pipes with foam. This product can also be mixed with other cleaning agents for the best results.

Some examples of these cleaning agents include Dichlobenil, Root Gone, Copper Sulfate, and Drain Free, etc.

  • Green Gobbler

Another foaming root killer to consider is Green Gobbler.

It reduces repair costs, prevents re-growth, saves you money on repair costs, and also safe for your plumbing. You’ll need to follow all use instructions to apply this product.

  • Rooto Copper Sulfate Root Killer

Rooto helps clear roots from your sewer pipes and also eliminates new growth. Rooto is fast and easy to use and also harmless to bacteria. It comes in a plastic container measuring about 2lb.

Rooto comes in liquid form.

  • Earthworks

Earthworks root killer comes in powder form consisting of copper sulfate crystals. Its purity level is about 99.9% with ease of use and also providing value for money.


Root killers for septic tanks perform an excellent job of ridding invasive root growth. This solution also positively affects the general performance of your septic tank as well as the entire system.

These are some of the best root killers for sewer lines. Here, you have the option of choosing what works best for your situation. You don’t need to wait until your sewer lines are clogged.

By applying any of these, you’re able to rid your sewer and septic lines of all root intrusions.

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