An engineer lifting a manhole cover outside a residential home.
Emergencies occur. And when they do, it’s essentially a scramble to get things back on track. Especially when it’s a drain problem. You will agree, it’s tricky business. You have to identify the problem first. Then, figure out the solution.
But worry not. This guide was created for you. It’s designed to help you navigate the process of identifying and solving drain problems.

Understanding the types of drain problems is key. So, let’s start there. 

  1. Clogs are common, very common. They happen when an obstruction is blocking the drain. Usually, it’s hair, soap scum, or food particles.

  2. Then, there are leaks. They are caused by broken pipes or loose connections.

  3. And don’t forget about slow drains. These are due to partial clogs or venting issues.
Understanding these problems helps you decide what solution is needed.

How To Know If Drainage System Is Faulty

Now, you may be wondering, what causes these problems? Usually, it’s a combination of factors.
For blockages, it can be an accumulation of debris. Hair, grease, food particles, and soap scum are some of the frequent culprits. Leaks are often caused by corroded or old pipes. And slow drains can be attributed to venting issues or partial clogs.
According a study by Water UK, they found that the average percentage caused by baby wipes is 93% across the UK. The report also estimates that there are around 300,000 blockages every year, costing the local water companies upwards of £100m of taxpayers money to ensure the removal of fatbergs that have built up over a period of time.

Identifying drain problems can be daunting but it’s not impossible.

Here’s how to do it.
  1. First, look for Signs of a Clog. Slow draining or standing water are usually signs of a clog.

  2. Next, watch for Signs of a Leak. Unexplained water damage, mildew, musty smells, or unusually high water bills could be signs of leak.

  3. Lastly, pay attention to Signs of Slow Drains. If the water is draining, but slower than usual, it could be a sign of a slow drain.

When it comes to drain repairs, you need the right tools and supplies.

One of the first lines of defense against a blockage will be a plunger. We all know what plungers are and how they work, and they can be effective at dislodging smaller blockages which may be causing damage to your drains.
Other useful tools include a hand auger and also a plumber’s snake. These tools are designed for tougher blockages and can be very useful if you know what you are doing.

DIY Solutions for Minor Leaks & Slow Drains

Another good tool to have in your toolbox is a pipe wrench. These can help tighten loose fittings on your pipes which could be leaking due to this. If the leaks aren’t caused by loose fittings, you can try using plumber’s tape or some water-tight epoxy to seal any areas that are leaking.
When you experience slow drains, it’s usually caused by partial blockages. In this situation, you can try using a drain cleaner or a drain snake. However, remember to always follow safety guidelines when using these tools or chemicals so that you can remain safe when carrying out drain repairs.

When Should I Call In A Professional Drainage Engineer?

If you’ve tried clearing a stubborn blockage or the leak still hasn’t been fixed, or perhaps you don’t feel confident tackling the issue, it’s time to call to call in a professional drainage engineer.
Expert drainage engineers have the experience, the skills, the knowledge, and the equipment to handle all complex drainage problems. A professional drainage company, such as Drain 247, can also provide preventative maintenance to help avoid future drainage problems.
Drainage ServiceThe Average Costs
Blockage Removal£100 - £200
Repairing Leaks£300 - £500
Cleaning Drains£200 - £300
Handling drainage problems yourself can be challenging, especially if you’ve never done anything like this before. It’s also important to keep safe while carrying out DIY solutions and if you’re ever unsure of something, always consult an expert beforehand.
But with the right information and tools, deploying DIY solutions are manageable. Whether the problem is a clog, a leak, or a slow drain, there may be a solution that can get your drains back in working order, depending on how severe the problem is.
And remember, when in doubt, don’t hesitate to call a professional drainage engineer. Knowledge is power, especially when it comes to drain repairs. It’s better to be prepared for these common issues than to be caught off guard when they occur.

Why Is Regular Maintenance Important?

Regular maintenance is a key step in preventing drain problems. Simple actions like regularly cleaning your drains and avoiding disposing of harmful substances can be very useful for preventing such issues from occurring in the first place.
If you’ve notice signs of a blockage or a slow drain, make sure you act as soon as possible to prevent any further issues from occurring.
Here are some useful tips:

  1. Avoid pouring fats and oils down your drains. These substances can solidify and cause clogs. To properly dispose of oils and fats, you can collect the substances in a sealed container and dispose of them into the rubbish.
  2. Regularly check your pipes for leaks. Look for signs of moisture or water damage around your pipes. If you notice anything unusual, it may be time to call a plumber.
  3. Use strainers to catch debris. You can prevent hair and other large foreign substances from going down the drain and causing a blockage by using a simple mesh strainer.

Don’t Forget – Not All Drainage Problems Can Be Easily Resolved With DIY Fixes.

If you’re experiencing more complex drainage problems or recurring issues, there could be something seriously wrong with your drainage system. At this point, it’s highly recommended to get a professional in to take a look at your drainage system for you.
Using CCTV camera technology, a professional drainage engineer will be able to take a good look inside your drain pipes and identify exactly what the conditions your pipes are in and what might be causing the problems in the first place.
While having essential DIY skills and knowing how to solve common drainage problems can save you time, money and frustration, you must also understand that not everything can be resolved through DIY methods.
If you know what you are doing and you’re aware of the various types of drainage problems, their causes, and how you can address these issues, you can use common DIY skills to prevent major issues in the future. But remember, when in doubt, don’t hesitate to call a professional.

Tools and Supplies for Drain Repairs

Let’s make this clear. You cannot embark on a drain repair project without the proper tools and supplies. It would be akin to going into battle unarmed. Unthinkable. So, what does your arsenal need to consist of?
  1. Firstly, a plunger. It’s the quintessential tool everyone associates with plumbing. And for good reason. It’s great for dislodging clogs and getting your drains flowing again. Don’t underestimate its power.

  2. Secondly, you’re going to need a hand auger or a plumber’s snake. These are for those stubborn clogs that refuse to bow down to the might of the plunger. They allow you to physically break up or retrieve the clog.

  3. Lastly, a pipe wrench is invaluable. It’s used for tightening and loosening fittings, essential for dealing with leaks.

Do It Yourself Drain Solutions

DIY solutions can often solve your drain problems without having to resort to professional help. But remember – they’re only appropriate for minor issues.
For anything severe, don’t hesitate to call in the pros. It saves you a lotof hassle in the long run.

  1. For clogs, a plunger or a plumber’s snake can do the trick. Plungers are great for dislodging superficial clogs while snakes can reach deeper to handle stubborn blockages.

  2. For minor leaks, you have your pipe wrench, plumber’s tape, and epoxy. Use the wrench to tighten loose fittings. If that doesn’t stop the leak, try using the tape or epoxy to seal it.

  3. Finally, for slow drains, consider using a safe drain cleaner or a plumber’s snake. They can clear partial clogs that are causing the slow drainage.

When to Call a Professional Plumber

Knowing when to call a professional plumber is as important as knowing how to handle minor drain problems. Some situations just require professional expertise.
Major leaks are one such scenario. These can cause significant water damage if not addressed immediately and correctly. Similarly, if you have a stubborn clog that won’t budge despite your best DIY efforts, it’s time to call in the pros.
Another instance when you should consider getting professional help is when you have recurring problems. If you’re constantly dealing with clogs or leaks, it could be an indication of a bigger underlying issue.
A professional plumber can correctly diagnose and address the root cause.

Typical Plumbing Services for Drain Repairs

Professional plumbers offer a range of services for drain repairs. They’re equipped with specialized tools and have the expertise to handle complex issues.

  1. Clog removal is one of the most common services. For really stubborn blockages, a professional drainage engineer will deploy high-pressure drain jetting equipment which can break down all types of stubborn blockages.

  2. Drain and leak repairs are another important service. Whether you have a loose connection, in-growing tree roots, or a cracked pipe, our experienced drainage engineers can use No Dig technology to repair your drain pipes without any disruption or mess.

  3. Lastly, another important service is drain cleaning. Most drainage companies are able to offer drain cleaning as an ancillary service to help maintain your drainage systems and keep them flowing smoothly by ensuring that there are not build-ups of fat, grease, or oils.


We understand that drainage problems can be a challenging task, but with the right knowledge and the right tools, you can use DIY methods to resolve smaller drainage problems yourself.
The key here is to identify what the cause of the problem is, and which solution is the best for that particular problem. When the issue is too complex or you feel you may be out of your depth, you should always seek advice from a professional drainage company, such as Drain 247.
We’re here to help you resolve all of your drainage problems, no matter how big or small.
Call us today on 0800 612 8038 or fill out our Get A Quote form to get a free quotation.