How exactly is copper sulfate used for killing roots? What effect does it have on tree roots, and how soon does it get rid of such? Read on for details of these and more.
Copper Sulfate Root Killer
As trees within your yard or landscape develop, so do their roots.
These roots spread out in search of moisture and minerals. As these spread out, they will likely affect vital plumbing installations such as drain lines.
This usually happens because there might e slight leaks which attract these roots.
The wastewater being disposed of via sewer lines have all the requirements trees need. These roots are drawn to such moisture and eventually penetrate drain lines.
Because this affects normal functioning, a remedy needs to be provided. Copper sulfate is one of several root killers you can use.
About Copper Sulfate
As the name suggests, copper sulfate is an inorganic product containing both copper and sulfur.
This chemical compound has many uses, including being used to address fungi, snails, plants, and bacteria. One of its uses which we’re interested in is its action as a root killer.
Copper sulfate mostly comes in liquid, crystal, and dust. For copper sulfate to be most effective, you’ll need to consider its concentration (volume of active ingredients).
The more concentrated the product is, the better.
This chemical compound is used as a foliar spray, pesticide application, water irrigation, bacterial disease control, and seed treatment.
Other uses of copper sulfate include fungal disease control, crop protection, algae prevention, and antimicrobial treatment.
How Copper Sulfate Kills Tree Roots
When tree roots interfere with the normal functioning of your sewer lines, then an immediate intervention becomes necessary.
Copper sulfate treatments are among the options available to choose from. It serves to deal with the root problem when it gets absorbed by roots and ends up poisoning such roots.
Although copper sulfate is still used as a root killer in sewer lines, it’s chiefly an outdated treatment. In other words, different, more effective strategies or treatments for roots in sewer lines exist.
One of these is using foaming root killers, which contain dichlobenil as the main active ingredient.
As copper sulfate comes in contact with water, it quickly turns into heavy metal.
The results aren’t immediate but it will take anywhere from 2 to 14 days for roots in sewer lines to get killed using copper sulfate as a treatment.
Compared to other treatments, this takes a lot longer.
Copper Sulfate Root Killer Downside
While copper sulfate will help deal with your root problem, it has an apparent downside, making it less ideal for use. This may have contributed to its continuous decline.
When used excessively, copper sulfate root killers will likely corrode your pipes.
Now you may wonder if this applies to all drain line types. Those made of plastic, brass, chrome, and iron will be affected by copper sulfate root killers.
So, you’ll need to pay close attention to the amount used for root treatment.
The cost of copper sulfate killers may be another factor that makes it less desirable. This is especially true when comparing it to more efficient products like foaming root killers.
Copper sulfate tends to cost more compared to foaming root killers.
Will Copper Sulfate Root Killers Automatically Fix all Root Problems?
While copper sulfate is seen to address a variety of root issues, we must state that simply applying this wouldn’t automatically address your root issues.
First, you’ll need to know how to use this product and determine the extent of the problem.
Here, identifying symptoms of tree roots in sewer lines is necessary.
There’s also the need for proper mapping of your sewer lines which only an experienced plumber can do effectively. Speaking of root symptoms in sewer lines, these include sewer odors and slow draining sinks and tubs.
Other symptoms pointing to tree root damage include the unnatural formation of yard growth, foundation issues, and toilet backup. Having identified the problem, you’ll need to take action by ridding your drain lines of these roots.
How to Use Copper Sulfate Root Killer
As stated earlier, the proper use of copper sulfate root killer determines how effective the treatment is. Begin by pouring ½ cup of copper sulfate into your toilet.
Leave for a few minutes before flushing. You must only use the toilet as the treatment point, not your sinks or tub drains.
Repeat this process with the last cup to sit in the toilet overnight. Has the toilet flushed in the morning? If you’ve identified where these roots penetrated your drain pipes, you’ll need to have such points treated too.
Here, have the area sprinkled with copper sulfate. This helps to kill tree roots while also preventing future growth.
The indoor and outdoor treatment approach using copper sulfate root killer does a lot to address the problem.
What Happens if the Problem Persists?
We earlier said that copper sulfate root killer use doesn’t guarantee results for several reasons.
One of these includes not being able to reach all pipe surfaces. Copper sulfate root killer solution formed when mixed with water only remains at the bottom of the pipe.
This means roots penetrating the pipe from the top aren’t affected.
Here, your best bet is to use other, more efficient products like foaming root killers. More comprehensive treatment will require calling a sewer company to check and treat your sewer lines.
Copper Sulfate Root Killer Products
There are lots of products containing this chemical compound.
Examples include Rooto Copper Sulfate Root Killer, Cox Hardware & Lumber, Southern Ag Copper Sulfate Granular Crystals, Sanco Industries Root Destroyer, and SeedWorld Root Killer.
These and many similar products can be bought and applied to affected drain lines. To have the best results, it’s essential to follow the use instructions on the product label.
You’ll do well also to consult a professional for guidance.
Copper sulfate root killer products help deal with root incursion in sewer lines. We’ve provided an overview of what these products are.
The results depend on the problem’s extent and how well you apply the treatment.