Drainage problems are going to be difficult to spot with the naked eye because, naturally, they usually occur below ground. You might easily notice the symptom, such as water not draining, or foul smells, but you won’t be able to work out the cause.

This is why state-of-the-art drain detection equipment and technology is so essential. One of the methods we use to detect drainage problems is drain tracing.

 Locating a Drainage Problem

 Drains are not always easy to locate. Often there are no up to date plans of a drainage network, so we have to do our own knowledge-gathering.

Finding the drains is one thing, diagnosing the problem is another.

Fortunately, we have the right tools for the job. We can use CCTV cameras for a drain survey, but that is far from the limit of the technology at our disposal.

We can also locate drains and drainage problems using sonar drain tracing techniques.

Whereas a CCTV drain survey will indicate what a problem is, drain tracing enables us to pinpoint exactly where it is in the drainage system.

How Sonar Drain Tracing Works

We use our specialist equipment to transmit electronic pulses which bounce off the drain, allowing us to read its location. This is essentially making use of an echo as a location tool.

The transmitter goes into the drain, while we use a receiver above ground to read the pulses.

We can use sonar to pinpoint where the defects shown on the CCTV footage are, and we can use it to locate concealed manholes and inspection chambers, as well as to ascertain the exact depth of a drain.

The Benefits of Drain Tracing

 With sonar drain tracing we can eliminate guesswork, making it easier for us to accurately quote for the work you need us to do. The information we gather means we can work more efficiently and eliminate the need for exploratory excavation we have to do.

It is therefore crucial in the planning stage, and it helps us avoid any unpleasant surprises which might otherwise delay or disrupt a project – and make it cost more.

So, for a less disruptive, more efficient and cost effective means of detecting drainage problems, drain tracing is ideal.

If you have an issue with your drains, we can sort it out for you. Contact Drainage Consultants today.

Sorting out a drain problem is a process, because issues around damaged and blocked drains can be complex, especially as much of what goes on is normally unseen. One part of this process involves conducting a drain survey using CCTV.

This tells us a certain amount about a drainage network. The next thing we must do is get a more detailed picture of the functioning state of the drains. This is where we can use sonar drain tracing.

Precise Knowledge    

Using sonar is all about getting a very clear picture about what we’re dealing with. Essentially, we build a picture from sound; from the pings of the sonar transmitted back to us telling us precise distances and allowing us to understand exactly what the drainage layout is.

Preparing for work on drains requires gathering as much detailed knowledge in advance as possible. Guesswork is not enough, because once we start excavating, we don’t want to encounter any unwelcome surprises.

The precise knowledge drain tracing gives us means we can work more efficiently and effectively, because we are much less likely to have to modify our own plans because of what we discover once we start work.

Where there are plans available of drainage networks, these can frequently prove to be out of date – drains get built over, networks get added to, details get omitted or missed. Drain tracing means we can build our own detailed information about drainage networks, and we can ensure that this means any existing plans can be properly updated.


When Not to Dig        

Repairing drains does require digging, and it can be disruptive. But it is considerably less disruptive if the digging is limited to the work required to fix the problem, rather than to discover where, and what, the problem is in the first place.

Ultimately, drain tracing can take away some of the pain of drainage work, and it helps ensure that we are fully prepared for whatever measures we then take to fix your drains.

To find out more about how we can use our modern drainage detection techniques to help you, please contact Drainage Consultants Ltd.

Sonar is all about sound propagation, and when used in drain tracing it is active, whereby emitted pulses give back echoes to help with acoustic location. The word sonar is originally an acronym for Sound Navigation And Ranging, and it first began to be used in the early part of the 20th century, possibly as a reaction to the sinking of the Titanic in 1912.

How Active Sonar Works

Active sonar involves a transmitter for sound and a receiver. It creates sound in a pulse, known as a ping, which listens for echoes, or reflections of the pulse it has created. The echoes can be used to measure the bearing, or distance to an object.

With sonar drain tracing, the electrical pulses transmitted can help identify specific features of drain networks, which can then help in terms of diagnosing drainage issues and problems, or for helping to clarify details.


The Bigger Picture

There are key benefits to drain tracing when it comes to diagnoses and information-gathering.

For building projects of all sizes and kinds, drain tracing is a valuable planning tool. This is particularly true for projects involving building over existing drainage infrastructure. Many drains and drain networks are old, dating back to Victorian times. Consequently, plans may not always be up to date, or fully comprehensive.

Late discoveries of unexpected areas of the drainage network can be costly in terms of disruption and delays to a construction project, and any slippage in schedule can have serious knock-on effects.

Drain tracing therefore allows for greater pre-planning, by contributing to the bigger picture.


Clues to Collapsed Drains

Drains can deteriorate over time, and collapsed drains may occur following ground movement or the incursion of tree roots, rather than as a result of a specific, damaging episode.

On many properties, drains are closer to the surface than the main public sewer, making them more likely to suffer damage due to surface movements or ground instability.

Visible, surface signs of a collapsed drain can be depressions in the ground or specific damp patches. There may be no outward indication from how the drains are performing because the collapsed, damaged area can be further along from the property itself.

However, if left unrepaired, a collapsed drain can undermine building foundations, leading to subsidence.

Sonar drain tracing is ideal for identifying and diagnosing collapsed or damaged drains, and can also be useful in finding out enough in advance to help prevent a collapsed drain occurring.


If you want reassurance about your drainage system, contact Drainage Consultants today, and find out how our range of diagnostic and preventative drain measures can help you.