There are a number of reasons why you might need a drain inspection. When something is wrong with your drains, this can show up in a number of different ways. You might find, simply, that water is not draining away, or is doing so very slowly; or there might be a strong, unpleasant odour coming from your drains.

Alternatively, if you’re planning building work where you need confirmed information about the location of sewers and pipes before commencing work, then a drainage inspection will provide you with up to date detail.

For some mortgages, your lender may require a drainage investigation before approving your loan.

Our Investigation Methods

We use a number of different processes for a drain inspection. Each has its own way of revealing aspects of the drainage network; and the different methods complement one another; and each may be required depending on the individual circumstances.

Sonar drain tracing involves us using specialist equipment that effectively ‘reads’ the drainage network by way of electric pulses. This is especially useful where there are tricky, hard to reach areas and where we think there may be areas of damage or deterioration. What we get from drain tracing is a proper idea of the route and depth of a drain.

Dye testing is where we release coloured dye into your drainpipe. This will quickly reveal where there are any problems, especially where water is leaking from a drainage network into a cellar.

A CCTV drain survey gives us the means to visually inspect and record conditions inside a drainage network. We send cameras down the drains and what they record forms the basis of a comprehensive drain report which will highlight trouble spots, weaknesses and areas of damage or deterioration.

From our survey data we can produce accurate drain mapping – essential for planning building or renovation work. It is often the case that existing drainage network plans are out of date, or incomplete, and the data we gather from a thorough drain inspection can fill in the gaps.

All our solutions are state-of-the-art, designed to maximise efficiency while minimising cost. If you have any doubts or questions about your drains, give us a call.

What will give you peace of mind about your drains? A faulty drain if untreated is trouble waiting to happen. In the home or workplace, blocked drains are smelly, and a health hazard.
They can cause prolonged disruption if they are not fixed, and if you’re an employer, you might find that you cannot have your staff working in an area with a blocked drain if the risk is severe enough.

Poking about with wire will not resolve the issue. The answer is to get the professionals in to have a good look around, and the best way of doing this is with a CCTV drain survey.

The Eyes and Brain
A CCTV drain survey involves us sending a camera into the drainage network to record the condition inside it. The camera becomes our eyes, allowing us access into parts of the system we would otherwise not be able to see.
At the same time, the camera footage is relayed back to our portable computer where we can record it, while assessing what’s down there as we see it.
This comprehensive analysis of your drainage network gives us the information we need to compile a full report and come up with a recommended course of action.
Along with blockages and drain deterioration and damage, the CCTV drain survey will be able to spot if you have rats in your drains. Drains are the most common means of rodent access to a property, so this can be an essential piece of information.

What Happens Next?
The CCTV drain survey is a vital stage in the process of detecting, diagnosing and then fixing drains.
The data from the survey gives us the level of information for a comprehensive drainage report. This includes items such as: where drainage runs are; what the internal conditions of the pipework is like; the size of the pipework and what it is made of; any defects in the pipework, and any hidden connections.
This essential information will help us create a schematic plan, and give an accurate quote for the work involved in repairing the drain.
A drain survey is an efficient, economic means of detecting drainage issues, and preparing for remedial drainage work.

Don’t put off fixing your drains. Contact Drainage Consultants to get a CCTV drain survey.

For some people, a drain is a thing of beauty. Sheffield has its own self-confessed drain spotter, who spends his time looking for rare sewer covers.

As part of a local preservation group, he works to retain public heritage features, including covers that date back to Victorian times.

While we can appreciate the detective work and attention to detail, our own work involves a different kind of drain inspection, including drain tracing, CCTV drain surveys and dye testing.


What We Need to Know

Admiring and studying drain covers is one thing, knowing where the drains actually run to is quite another. With construction projects, for example, it is often of vital importance to know sewer and drain network locations, because damaging an existing drain can have serious implications in terms of both time and expenditure.

The plans that are available giving details of the drainage network can often be out of date, particularly when you think that some drainage systems date back to Victorian times, hence the vintage drain covers.

It’s important, therefore, to have fully up to date knowledge of the drainage network.


Drain Tracing in Action

Finding where drains run to underground requires a degree of professional detection expertise, which is where our drain tracing services come in.

We have a range of drain tracing procedures we can employ, depending on the complexity of the individual situation.

Our main drain tracing technique involves the use of sonar. Here we transmit electronic pulses which enable us to take accurate readings about what kind of condition the drains are in, and where they are located.

Hand in hand with sonar drain tracing is our use of CCTV. We can send cameras down the drainage network in order to record the interior state of the pipework in a drain survey. This can help us identify problem areas and issues prior to undertaking any physical exploration work.

We also use a process known as dye testing for drains. This involves using a non-toxic liquid dye to indicate where there are leaks and blockages in the drain. It’s also useful in situations where we need to test how well the drainage system is connected. We can also use different coloured dyes for different sections of drain.

Drains may be a source of fascination for some, and frustration for others. For us, they’re our speciality, and we’re here to make sure they work properly.


If you have a drainage issue, or you need to find out more about your drainage network, don’t hesitate and contact Drainage Consultants today.

If you’re told you need a drainage investigation does the prospect fill you with dread? Perhaps you’re anticipating a great deal of disruption and disturbance. You should be aware, however, that in fact we can conduct a drainage investigation in such a way as to cause minimum disruption, and in fact, by having a drainage investigation, you’re more likely to avoid damage and disturbance at a later date.

Saving the Day

Drainage problems can often be best approached sensitively. What this involves is diligent investigation and a proper assessment and analysis of the symptoms presented. For example, interior damp patches and unexpected puddles may come from hidden damage to drainage culverts. If rainwater is gathering in pools, rather than draining away, this is an ideal opportunity to use CCTV technology to survey the drainage system.

The drainage investigation is done with precision, using state-of-the-art technology, in order to be able to accurately detect the source of drainage problems. We may have to excavate to expose drainage deterioration, but a CCTV drain survey will ensure that we have all the information to hand before doing so. This is like surgery for utilities, using knowledge and professional techniques to get to the heart of a problem and fix it.


Access All Areas

Using technology to detect drainage problems means we can get into places where otherwise there might be an issue regarding potential disruption. Technology has increased the effectiveness of drainage investigations while decreasing disturbance.

We have even worked on holy ground, where we’ve provided new pipework following very sensitive excavations. In this instance, we consulted the church and had discussions on the nature of the required work and how best to proceed. These discussions eventually included on-site advice and help from both an archaeologist and a priest.

Drainage investigations can sound like trouble, with the potential for extensive digging-up. But in reality, much of the work involves CCTV and sonar drain tracing, minimising any disturbance, while giving us valuable information in order to be able to carry out remedial and preventative work effectively.

If your drains are in a poor condition this can cause you serious problems, even if, at present, you’re not experiencing any actual inconvenience. Damaged or degraded drains are a disaster waiting to happen. A most effective means of discovering what’s going in in your drains, and what you need to do about it, is a CCTV drain survey.


Don’t Put Health and Wealth at Risk

If you’re a landlord or a business owner, poor drainage is a liability. There are health and safety issues where drains are concerned, and duty of care you have a duty of care to your tenants, or your employees. Also, if you have a business you can end up facing unscheduled downtime from drainage issues, particularly if your property floods as a result.

Furthermore, if you run a shop, or a business where customers or clients visit you on-site, persistent foul-smelling drains aren’t going to do much for your professional reputation.

In short, drainage problems are costly for a whole variety of reasons, some beyond the actual cost of fixing the problem.


How a CCTV Drain Survey Can Save the Day

A CCTV drain survey is a way of detecting any weaknesses or problem areas in your drains. It also indicates how best to remedy them. These surveys are cost effective, and they allow us to precisely assess what sort of condition your drains are in.

You may find the symptoms of a blocked or damaged drain are at first little more than an inconvenience, but these symptoms, if left undiagnosed, will more than likely grow into to something much more serious. The CCTV drain survey will reveal any weaknesses or problem areas that are likely to become seriously troublesome if left untreated.


Don’t be put off by the thought of investing in an investigation: the amount you spend now on a CCTV drain survey is likely to save you money in the future, and help you avoid the inconvenience and anxiety of your drain problems escalating into a full-blown crisis.

We all know about the sensational aspects of CCTV exposure, from bad behaviour to criminal activity and beyond. But what might a CCTV drain survey uncover about you, should you need one?

What Goes Down the Drain But Shouldn’t?

The thing about drain is, they’re so convenient. You can flush any number of things down the sink or toilet and away they go, out of sight, out of mind.
Or are they?

Drains are not meant to accommodate all and every kind of waste. Many items, if put down the drains, will simply clog them up, either through time, or almost immediately, depending on what they are.

An obvious culprit is cooking fat. If you pour grease from food straight down the drain it doesn’t simply flow away, even if you run the tap. It gradually coats the inside of your drains, narrowing them and making them less efficient. Eventually, if you’re unlucky, this can congeal into a fatberg, which is as unpleasant as it sounds, with potentially dire consequences for your drainage.

Also, food waste and scraps can build up in drains, particularly food that expands with water, such as pasta. Coffee grounds are another cause of blocked kitchen drains.

Hair is another one of the usual suspects. We can’t do much about hair, it’s just something we’ve got, and it sheds in the shower and bath and end up going
down into the drain. Enough hair will clog a drain if left untreated (the drain, not the hair).

Cotton balls, swabs and pads frequently head drainwards. These items are not designed to be disposable in this way, and will eventually clog up the drains if you insist on flushing them down the loo.

There are plenty of disposable products that are just not always as disposable down the drain, such as baby wipes. It’s also worth noting that the performance of disposable products may be dependent on the actual state of your drains in the first place. So check before you flush. This is true of that particularly thick, luxurious toilet paper that appears so tempting in commercials and on the supermarket shelf.

A number of what supermarkets refer to as “unexpected items” also find their way down drains, such as items of clothing, packaging and children’s toys.

A final health warning: cigarette butts can also block drains.


CCTV reveals all

Whatever is blocking your drain, a CCTV drain survey is one way of detecting the cause of the problem.

A word of warning, however: whereas CCTV is invaluable in finding things out, and will certainly come in handy in detecting drainage problems, it may reveal some of your household habits, when the various things that ended up down your drains are captured on camera.


Don’t be put off though: we’re here to help, and anyway, you get to keep your own DVD footage of the CCTV drain survey, if only to remind you not to put the same things down the drain again.

If you can’t see something, fixing it is that much harder. Problems with drains can be problematic for precisely this reason. Drain tracing is one key method of investigating areas and pinpointing faults that would otherwise be difficult to locate.

What Does Train Tracing Involve?

Used in conjunction with a CCTV drain survey, drain tracing is a high tech method using electronic pulses, allowing us to accurately find where problem areas are in drainage systems. The drain survey’s visual record of the drains will reveal the condition of the system; high tech mapping through drain tracing narrows the investigation down.

State-of-the-art sonar tracing equipment helps us locate drains and sewers, discover blockages and collapsed drains, and means we don’t have to do any digging for diagnostic purposes.

Location, Detection and Prevention

Drain networks are not always accurately mapped; and on occasion original drainage plans are out of date. When building works are scheduled, drain
tracing can be an essential preliminary activity in order to determine drain and sewer locations.

With drainage problems, drain tracing is a bit like exploratory keyhole surgery: it’s an effective means of detecting issues and building up an accurate picture of them, in order for us to be able to plan remedial action.

Drain tracing can also be a crucial way of getting an early understanding of drain deterioration in a drainage network. If there are symptoms of a collapsed drain, for example, sonar drain tracing will provide the necessary confirmation.

Our Range of Services

There is no single method regarding drainage work: we employ a variety of techniques, processes and procedures to ensure we can meet our customers’ needs. What we offer is a service that will investigate, diagnose and remedy a range of drainage problems. Drain tracing is an essential part of this service.

We understand how vital it is for us to be prepared for whatever drainage issues come our way, which is why we offer a full drainage service, employing a key team of specialist technical staff with the equipment to match.

If you think drainage is all just about holes in the road and heavy duty work, think again. Drain tracing is a hugely important element in sorting out drainage problems and it involves state of the art technology.


When is Drain Tracing Used?

How accurately mapped out is the drainage network. Drain networks change over time and plans are not always up to date. For issues around building over sewers, or other utilities, drain tracing can play a vital part in any preliminary work. It’s also an essential diagnostic tool for examining drainage problems.

Drains are prone to damage and deterioration from a number of external factors, including the incursion of tree roots. A collapsed drain may not immediately present itself as a problem, but it can have severe consequences for buildings, including subsidence.

It’s important, therefore, to have an effective way of detecting long and short-term drainage problems without resorting to large-scale exploratory excavations at the outset. This is what makes drain tracing both efficient and cost effective.


How Does Drain Tracing Work?

Sonar drain tracing is a practical application of technology for problem-solving diagnostics. Using electronic pulses, we can accurately detect any problem areas in the drainage network and gives us the necessary information to help build up an accurate plan of the drains. This mapping is then a useful future resource for maintaining accurate drainage plans.

Often used alongside a CCTV drain survey, drain tracing is one of a whole range of services we provide in order to get to the bottom of a drainage issue. Whether this is to prevent or repair drainage problems, or simply to gather information about your drains, we are fully equipped to detect and diagnose damage, deterioration and other issues, regardless of the age or complexity of a
drainage network.


In short, we don’t just rely on one thing. Drain tracing is one key service alongside many others. We’re Drainage Consultants, with the right tools for any job, and the right technical support to get the job done

We know all about CCTV being used for security purposes. It has a clear purpose in protecting property, and people, from criminal activity, and in gathering and recording data to help keep people, businesses and homes secure. What you might not realise is that a CCTV drain survey has its own role to play in protecting your assets.

Where’s Your Wealth Invested?

For many people the answer is: property. You may not have bought your property principally as an investment, but regardless, with the UK’s current chronic property shortage and rising prices, your home is very likely to increase in value at a considerable rate.

It stands to reason then that you should be making sure your home is maintained. Most of us like a comfortable, clean space to live in, but what about your utilities such as heating, water supply, and drainage? These are essential aspects of modern life that only get our attention when something isn’t right with them.

Protecting Your Home

It doesn’t have to mean an all-out crisis for there to be something wrong with your drains. You may have noticed that your water isn’t draining away as efficiently, or that there’s a lingering bad smell in the air. The fact is, anything indicating something wrong with your drains really should be investigated, because it won’t resolve itself. The longer you leave it, the worse it will get.

If, for example, you had a collapsed drain, this might not be evident from how your water drains away, but it could be leaking steadily into the ground, ultimately affecting your home’s foundations.

When It’s Time to Move On

The CCTV drain survey is becoming an essential component in the buying and selling of property. Increasingly, surveyors advise their clients to have a drain survey completed.

Mortgage lenders and insurance companies may request a drain survey before releasing funds. The survey will accurately pinpoint any drainage defects, including structural deterioration, mis-connections, and locations of manholes
and inspection chambers. It can also detect if there is rat infestation within a drainage system.

Knowledge Helps, Action Protects

The news about your drains may not be what you want to hear, but it’s always best to know, because then the right remedial or preventative action can
be taken.

Drainage Consultants provides a full range of drainage services, including CCTV drain surveys. We’re here to protect what you own.

We use drain tracing to investigate and diagnose some drainage problems, particularly if access is going to be a problem and we need to avoid disruption to essential pipework or utilities. Often we encounter damage because the drain has collapsed.

What are the main causes of collapsed drains? This can occur due to changes over time rather than a single, catastrophic event. Ground movement can lead to pipes misaligning and eventually breaking. Drains on properties may be closer to the surface than main public sewers, which makes them more susceptible to the effects of surface shifts or instability in the ground.

Another cause of collapsed drains are tree roots. In these situations the roots enter the drain system through pipe joints, or through cracks in the drain that have appeared over a long period of time. The problem is that the condensation on pipes, or even leaking moisture, attracts tree roots. They can also find their way to drainpipes via excavation trenches originally dug to lay pipework in the first place. Properties located near to trees, or with trees inside their boundary, are more susceptible to this kind of damage.

What are the signs that you might have a collapsed drain? You might see ground depressions or unexpected and inexplicable damp patches on your driveway or in your garden. You may not notice anything different in how your water drains away because the fault is further along from your house. However, a collapsed drain unattended can have serious consequences.

Water leaking from a damaged drain washes away the surrounding soil, which can then undermine building foundations. Subsidence is a serious problem, which can cost a lot in money, time and effort to put right.

Sonar drain tracing is a key technique in spotting and analysing drain damage. We use professional drain tracing equipment to give us a clear picture of your drain network and any faults or deterioration. We can then use this
to fix issues or take preventative action to ensure you don’t suffer from a collapsed drain.

If you have any doubts or concerns over your drains, don’t hesitate and call Drainage Consultants today.