A drainage van with an engineer carrying out an unblock.

The problem with drains is that you can’t see them. Stuck underground, you hope that they’re OK – and very often, the first sign that there’s a drainage problem is that you notice a nasty niff – or that your water isn’t draining at all. Or both.

Every year we are called out to thousands of properties across London, Hertfordshire, and Middlesex to help solve people’s drainage issues. When it comes to drainage problems, we’ve seen it all. So we decided to compile a list of the top five most common drainage troubles faced by the property owners of the UK, and how you can solve them.

1. Blockages

Blockages in drains are an issue that affects every property owner at one time or another. Blocked drains can come on slowly, often taking years to be noticeable. The most common causes include fat, hair and coffee grinds. But having done this for a number of years now nothing surprises the Drain 247 team when it comes to blockages.

So what can you do about it?
There’s a range of DIY methods to get your drains flowing again depending on what it is that’s blocking your pipes. Trouble is, you don’t always know what the cause of the blockage is. And some of these methods might end up causing more harm than good.

Our expert team of drainage gurus will be able to unblock your drains quickly, efficiently, and with no hassle for you. Plus, you get peace of mind with our 30-day guarantee on unblocking.

Do You Have A Blocked Drain?

Our engineers can clear 99% of blockages within the first hour. Get a fixed price quote for drain unblocking from Drain 247 today.


2. Displaced/Open Joints

Ground movement, usually caused by ground instability, subsistence and increasing traffic levels, can cause a displaced or open joint in your pipes. These gaps can cause wastewater to leak into the surrounding areas, potentially resulting in structural damage. The pipe may also break as it loses support, resulting in whole new levels of headaches.

So what can you do about it?

Previously, broken pipes could only be fixed by digging up the ground, pulling them out and replacing them. Thankfully this is no longer always necessary. With drain relining we have the ability to line pipes with diameters ranging from 75mm to 1200mm, where excavation wouldn’t be possible due to location or depth.

A drainage professional will be able to recommend the best type of lining for your needs. Even better, if it is just a small area of the drain that has come open, patch liners can be used to repair localised damage.

3. Fractures and Cracks

Fractures occur due to the excessive ‘wear and tear’ that drain pipes go through. They are often found near the pipe joints but it’s not uncommon to see further down the pipework. Fractures and cracks in the pipework can allow wastewater to leak into the surrounding areas, weakening the ground structure.

So what can you do about it?

If you suspect your drain might have a crack, you can request a CCTV drain survey from a qualified drainage engineer. They’ll send a small camera down the pipes and identify where the problem is. They can then use a patch lining to repair the area that’s cracked.

4. Root Intrusions

Sometimes tree and plant roots will burrow deep into the ground until they hit the drainage pipework. Roots are always searching for water, oxygen, and nutrients. Pipes – especially sewer systems – contain plenty of these, so roots will often penetrate any opening they find to get through. They usually go through the joints of the drainage pipework but sometimes they can ‘punch’ a hole through the pipe material and create a hole within the pipework.

This can allow bad smells and wastewater to seep out, which nobody wants. Where a root system has started to grow inside a pipe, there is also an increased chance that debris such as tissue paper and fats could become stuck, causing the pipe to flow slower.

So what can you do about it?

or removing roots, an engineer will use various methods. These include high-pressure flushing or drain jetting, root sawing, and the use of an auger, which is a flexible drill designed to break-up blockages. There are other DIY methods, like pouring copper sulfate down the lines, but getting a professional to remove the roots is the most effective method.

5. Collapsed or Broken Sections of Pipe

Having a collapsed pipe is a major issue as this means the wastewater isn’t leaving the property. Instead, it is seeping out into the surrounding areas. This in itself is a major problem as it can cause a host of other problems.

Water may start to flow into the terrain around the pipe which can lead to damp and mold appearing on the floor or walls of your property. Water spreading on the area around the property can cause subsidence or create a sinkhole due to the weakened ground structure. As this water collects it can also attract pests and rodents like flies and rats.

So what can you do about it?

If you suspect you have a collapsed or broken pipe you need to contact a drainage expert immediately. A survey will likely need to be carried out so you may be instructed to get a qualified CCTV drain survey company to carry out the CCTV drain survey if they suspect that there may be structural damage to the drainage system.

If a repair is required. engineers typically repair drains through one of two methods; Drain Excavation and Drain Relining. Due to the importance of getting this work done quickly, many companies will offer a 24-hour emergency service and can often be with you within an hour of your call.

But how would you know?

Good question – how would you know that your drainage system has a problem? A CCTV Drain Survey is an easy way of finding out what the fault is. This is where an engineer will thrust a little camera right down your drains – with enough light, of course, so that they can see what’s going on down there. From the images, they capture they’ll be able to tell you whether you’ve got a blockage, a crack, or a collapsed pipe and they’ll be able to suggest the best solution for you.

Do You Have A Blocked Drain?

Our engineers can clear 99% of blockages within the first hour. Get a fixed price quote for drain unblocking from Drain 247 today.


Contact Drain 247 for Drain Unblocking in London & Hertfordshire

If you believe you have any of the drainage problems talked about in this article, give our friendly and professional team a call today on 0800 612 8038  You can also get a free, no-obligation quote on any work you might need doing.