We think of CCTV used for keeping tabs on people, providing protection and surveillance. But what would a CCTV drain survey tell you about your lifestyle? What is going down your drain, should it be there, and what might you do about it?

Do You Think Before You Flush?

Your drains are something you probably take for granted. Pretty much anything can be washed down the sink or flushed down the toilet, right? It’s a kind of magic, where waste simply disappears.

Except, that sometimes it won’t. Drains cannot deal with all waste. They are simply not designed for this purpose. There are lots of things that, if you flush or drain them away, will end up clogging your drains. This may not happen immediately, but, over time, your drains will get less and less efficient, taking longer for water to drain out of sinks, for example.

Then the day will come when you flush the loo and the water backs up and you have various floating surprises. Not pleasant.

What Blocks Drains?

In the bathroom, it might be your hair, which is a common culprit. Hair sheds in the shower and bath and, if left untreated, it will clog drains.

If you use cotton wool balls, pads and swabs then putting these down the drain can spell trouble. Yes, they are disposable, but no, not down the toilet.

In the kitchen, public enemy number one for causing drain blockages is cooking fat. Yes, grease from cooking food is not pleasant, but while it appears to easily flow away as you run the tap over it, in fact it is doing nothing of the sort.

Fat will coat the inside of your drains, making them narrower, and therefore less able to work efficiently. Eventually it can congeal into large fatbergs which clog up the drain entirely.

Other food waste and leftovers, such as pasta, can expand in water and start to build up obstacles in the drain. Coffee grounds can form a thick sludge that blocks kitchen sinks.

Other items such as toilet wipes, and even luxury thickness toilet paper, are not always as disposable as they say they are – how disposable also depends on the state of your drains.

Always check before you flush. And if your drains are sluggish or simply not working as well as they should, contact us and we can arrange a CCTV drain survey. This is a cost-effective means of diagnosing drainage issues and discovering what is blocking your drains.

Locating drains can be a problem. Obviously, they are not normally visible, running underground. In addition, drainage networks have changed over time, with new parts being added, or partly replacing old, Victorian drains. These changes are not always accurately updated on records, which means there can be “lost” pipework as certain parts of a local drainage network end up, effectively, off-plan.

Problem Solving and Proper Planning

If there are drainage issues, such as a collapsed drain, then locating the problem area, if not the drain itself, is crucial. Where excavation is required, then pinpointing the damage will save on a lot of time and effort, and disruption. Otherwise there is an element of digging as exploration.

Not only will drain tracing save on excavation time, but it will also save on time per se, and where there is a serious issue, this can help forestall any further disturbance caused by the damaged drain.

Drain tracing is also a valuable planning tool. Where building work is planned to take place over existing utilities, and where the drainage plans are thought to be incomplete, or inaccurate, drain tracing provides an excellent means of getting the right degree of accurate information about the drainage network.

Over years many properties become over-developed, where alongside a lack of regular maintenance is an inaccurate picture of the utilities they depend on, or are built alongside. Drain tracing provides greater clarity.

A State of the Art Drainage Device      

Sonar drain tracing uses the transmission of electrical pulses to “read” drain underground. With an above-ground receiver tuned in to read the signals sent back, we can then get an accurate reading of the depth and position of drainpipes and features of the local drainage network.

We can trace our sonar device, once we have sent it underground, over a range of different surfaces, including tarmac, soil and concrete.

We also use drain tracing in conjunction with other methods such as dye testing and CCTV drain surveys, where we need to build up an accurate picture of a network and its failings.

Efficient, accurate drainage diagnosis and repair requires modern techniques that bring a cost-effective approach to drainage solutions. That’s why you should choose Drainage Consultants.

Drain surveys for homebuyers are becoming increasingly commonplace. This is because the condition of its drains can affect the long-term condition of a property. Knowing exactly what you’re getting when you buy a property is crucial, especially at a time of rocketing house prices.

What You Need to Know

You can see the outward condition of a house with your own eyes and, similarly, you can gauge the state of its interior by having a good look around. But the state of its drainage is something you simply cannot know just by looking at a property.

There can be various concealed drainage problems that if left can cause problems and disruption to you later.

Firstly, there is the condition of the drains. You could have a collapsed drain on the property and be unaware of it. There may be misconnections in the drainage network which, over time, will cause leaks. Drains can suffer damage from tree roots growing into them, along with general deterioration and blockages.

A CCTV drain survey will forewarn you of any problems and expose issues you can then address before going ahead with your property purchase, so that you can avoid inheriting any nasty surprises.

Secondly, there is the question of ownership and responsibility. If there are issues with drains, it can raise the question of where the problem lies, and therefore if it is yours or the water company’s responsibility. A CCTV drain survey can help resolve this.

Mortgage lenders and insurance companies may require a drain survey before signing off on anything. As the buyer of a property, you shouldn’t be left in any doubt about the condition of the drains; and insurance companies do not want to be covering defective drainage.

For homebuyers, a drain survey should take place before the exchange of contracts, to avoid slowing down the process at a later stage.

At Drainage Consultants, our CCTV drain surveys provide a full picture of your drainage network, combining a clear report with a DVD of the CCTV footage we have taken.

Don’t be any doubts about your property; contact us to arrange a CCTV drain survey today.

The aftermath of the festive season might typically lead to spike in gym membership, but it can also spell trouble for drains and sewers. Recent estimates from scientists suggest that removing grease, oil and fat from the drainage network totals around £50m a year on UK household bills.

Another significant figure is the 15 million cups of roast turkey fat we pour down the kitchen sink on Christmas day; and in terms of the cost, you could be pouring a lot more than fat down the drain

What Happens to Fat in Sewers?

The sewer system is designed to transport waste by using water. Adding fat and grease to the system will eventually clog it up, impeding its flow. A blocked sewer, backed up to your drain is more than an inconvenience: it is also a potential health risk.

Your kitchen sink plughole is connected to the sewer, and when you pour oil, fat and grease down it, this forms into a hard, chalky substance which is really difficult to then remove.

Over time, fatty acids transform from an unsaturated to saturated form, and this is one of the ways scientists think this hard substance forms.


Diagnosing Drainage Problems

If fat and grease starts to coat the internal walls of pipes, it can start to affect how well a drainage network performs, as it cools, hardens and reduces the diameter of the pipework.

For domestic drains, fat tends to gather and solidify in the area beneath the sink, which can then make a difference to how efficiently water drains out of the sink.

For this kind of persistently sluggish drainage, or where there are frequent blockages, a drain survey is the ideal method for diagnosing the problem. Using CCTV cameras and sonar drain tracing, we can develop a clear idea of the state of your drains. If there are blockages, we will pinpoint exactly where they are; and if there are weaknesses in the system, our survey will expose these.

A drain survey is a cost effective way of professionally diagnosing drainage problems, and provides the necessary information for us to take effective remedial action.

If you’re experiencing blocked or slow drains, limit how much oil, fat and grease you’re putting down them and give us a call.