Drains are a very fickle system to manage, as it can be hard to diagnose an issue, due to them mostly being underground where a person can’t access them. But with modern technology, we are now able to properly pinpoint the problems in a drain, no matter how far away from human hands and eyes the drain may be.
This is done through drain investigations. But what is a drain investigation and how do they work? Read on for this guide from Drainage Consultants Ltd for everything you need to know about drain investigation.
Why Do I Need A Drain Investigation?
Drain investigations are useful when you suspect there is an issue with your drain, but have no feasible way of finding out where the problem is coming from. You could have hundreds of metres of pipes below your home or property and no obvious way of telling where the issue is. A drain investigation is an easy way to find problems, using cutting edge techniques and equipment that will quickly find any issue and then provide you with a full report with solutions that can work for you.
A great drainage survey will provide you with a wealth of knowledge, including:
- Internal condition and size of the drains
- Hidden connections
- What direction do they run in
- Any defects
- Pipework materials
- A detailed schematic of your system
- Any problems and solutions to solve them
There are a few different types of drain surveys that are used. So here are four of them that are commonly used.
CCTV Drain Survey
A great way to pinpoint an issue in a drainage system is by using a CCTV drain survey. These are carried out using high tech drain inspection cameras. The camera will snake its way through your drain, and a member of the drain team can observe its progress on a camera, keeping a lookout for any potential issues.
It’s a great way to investigate a drain, as it is both convenient and environmentally friendly, able to locate problems without taking the drain apart or performing a more invasive method. It provides access and great views of areas that would be impossible to reach by hand and will allow you to assess the best way to treat any potential problems it comes across.
You will then be provided with a comprehensive report and DVD showing the condition of your drain. If problems have been identified, you may also be provided with guidance and solutions that can be done to your drain to get it back to optimum performance.
Another method that is utilised in drain investigations is dye testing. Dye testing is often used in complex cases when drainage systems have a lot of offshoots and connections that make it hard for a CCTV drain survey to be carried out quickly. If you don’t already have access to the plans, it may be hard to know exactly what is going on with them. Dye testing can help in this situation.
It utilises a fluid which is neither staining nor toxic, usually coming in powder or tablet form to dye the liquid. The great thing is that the dye can come in different colours to help identify different problem areas. It is used to detect the flow of water through drains and then using these results to find problem areas such as blockages and missed connections.
The dye is introduced to sinks, toilets and drains and then it is observed where the coloured water flows. The drain dye is usually fluorescent and can be seen using ultraviolet light, allowing it to easily be traced, even at night. The dye then disperses naturally over time, leaving no stained water or residue in the system.
Dye testing is great for pinpointing exactly where water is flowing out through drains, especially useful if you have a leak or suspected leak and need to pinpoint the origin. If you have water flowing into your basement or another part of your house, dye testing is a key method for figuring out exactly where that water is coming from, so a solution for the issue can be devised and implemented as quickly as possible.
Drain mapping is useful if the original plans for a drainage system have been lost, or you think the existing plans may need updating. This is especially important if you are planning a project, as you’ll need to provide workers with a detailed and accurate map of the nearby drains, so they can either connect new drains or avoid existing ones when building. This must be done accurately so no damage is done to the infrastructure, which will require expensive repair.
Drain mapping is done by combining schematic plans, survey sheets and analysing footage from inside the drains. This produces a detailed plan that includes internal and external drain runs, connections, manholes, inspection chambers and the direction of the water flow.
Drain surveys are especially important in a modern landscape, as buildings are constantly changed and updated, leaving accurate property plans hard to find. Drain mapping is the best way of ensuring plans are up to date for any future construction to go smoothly.
Sonar Drain Tracing
A sophisticated cutting edge method of investigating drains is by using sonar drain tracing. This is where electrical pulses are transmitted through a drainage system by specialised equipment. The results can show exactly what is happening below ground, such as blockages, collapsed pipes or concealed manholes.
Sonar is great as it is highly accurate while also relatively cheap. It doesn't involve the effort of conducting a CCTV drain survey and you don’t have to pollute water sources with powder like in dye tracing. You just use highly accurate equipment to help get an instant and very thorough view of what is going on in the drainage infrastructure. It’s especially useful in difficult situations where a wrong move could cause more harm instead of helping.
The Next Steps
Once a drain investigation has been completed, you will be provided with a survey or plan of your drainage infrastructure. This will include suggestions for any work to be done, including repairs or maintenance. If you are looking for a specific problem, the report should be able to tell you the exact location of this problem.
The best way to keep your drains in great condition is with regular servicing and cleaning. An annual maintenance plan will have somebody come to you every year to assess the condition of your drains, making sure no problems have arisen in the last few months. This way you can deal with problems before they become a lot worse and start to affect the performance of your plumbing.
If you have serious issues, you can hire drain rehabilitation services to help repair or replace your drains. Some can be done without digging your infrastructure up, but more serious cases might require excavation.
All of these next steps begin with detailed drain investigations. So if you have a problem with your drains, read on to find out who can help.
CCTV Drain Surveys & More From Drainage Consultants Ltd
If you’re looking for trusted specialist drainage investigations in Manchester, get in touch today with Drainage Consultants Ltd. We offer a wide range of drainage investigations, including CCTV drain surveys, dye testing, drain mapping and sonar drain tracing. Our team of experts will diagnose which type of investigation is best for your system and then use it to find the issue with your drains.
Once we have found the issue, we have a great selection of drain cleaning and rehabilitation solutions to get your system back to its former glory. This can include localised patch lining, precision roof cutting, emergency drain clearance and full excavations. Our investigations can bore into pipes ranging from 50mm to 900mm depending on your system, allowing us to work on pipes of all sizes.
Our services are available for both domestic and commercial clients, so get in touch today by calling 08000 654 111 for a free consultation. If provided with site plans we can offer a no obligation quote the same day. If you’d like to find out more about the excellent selection of drain investigation, cleaning and rehabilitation work we do, visit our website now.