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Sundial Cottage, Shenstone, Lichfield

I HAVE LIVED HERE FOR OVER 40 YEARS AND THERE’S NOTHING WRONG WITH MY DRAINS . WELL APART FROM CAUSING RISING DAMP AND SEVERE STRUCTURAL DEFECTS.

I have been in this business a long time and I often receive calls from people saying they are about to buy a house and is it a good idea to have a drainage survey, my reply is always the same yes a very good idea, even if you don’t use our drainage services.

When we do a CCTV survey we inspect the inside of the underground drainage system, we also visually inspect kitchen sink drains and rain water drains, if you think a day in the life of an underground drainage system each time you flush the toilet 2 gallons of water, how many times you use the kitchen sink in a day, washing machine, shower, bath, dish washer and if its raining, rainwater. All of this discharge into the drains in one day; now you imagine a week, a month, a year, decades, all that discharge, this is where drains are quite unique. If they are leaking, they still continue to work but if you have an electrical fault the bulb blows, you change the bulb, the TV doesn’t work, you check the fuse. What I am saying is you immediately know there is a fault or defect and can act accordingly, the same as a water main. When a water main bursts, you have got very little pressure in your taps and you will get an extremely wet area externally, again you can act accordingly very quickly. You see a water main is under pressure where as drains aren’t, they rely on a gradual fall to flow away. Now if there is an open joint or water going around your kitchen drain as opposed to into it, that waste water will go to your sub soil and unfortunately if not recognised, will eventually lead to rising damp and sadly start to deteriorate your foundations. When we are surveying a house for a home buyer, most owners say to us we have lived here for years, there is nothing wrong with our drains, we have never needed drainage repairs, their assumption is simple. Each time they flush the toilet, it goes, each time they pull the plug in the bath or sink, it goes again but is it all going to the main sewer or is some of it leaking into the ground ? This is why I always say yes it is a good idea.

Some people ring me and say they have brought a house they haven’t been in long and the kitchen sink drain keeps blocking and over flowing on to the patio and they are having to keep the children inside to stop them walking in it.  They think there is a problem and we do carry out drain repair services, which we do and we attend some cases where it’s just a build up of grease and we jet and de scale; quite an easy fix, others need drainage repairs because the joints have misaligned and cracked so we have to put a new drain in as we are unable to carry out drain repairs.

The usual suspects are the kitchen sink drain and the base of the soil vent pipe. Your soil vent pipe is the large diameter pipe that comes from your bathroom which receives discharge from your toilet, shower, bath and basin. This particular pipe is vertical, it goes into the ground then changes direction to become horizontal by means of a 90 degree rest bend, some rest bends can start to leak which saturates the ground. on which the bend is sitting which results in the bend becoming dislodged. Both these areas, the kitchen sink drain and the dislodged bend will not stop your system from working but just leak a lot more into the ground. A  CCTV survey will always identify these defects and will always result in drainage repairs.  Over the years we have done countless repairs of this nature only to discover following excavation that the underlying brickwork has deteriorated that much through leaking drains, that the area is about to collapse which I am sure the sheer scale and time to put right carries an hefty price tag.( see photos on structural page on web site) In fact, when we are surveying, for quite some time now, we carry out a free damp test for peace of mind.

SVP  This is Soil Vent Pipe this receives foul discharge from the toilet WASTE grey water. This is discharge from the kitchen sink, washing machine, bath water.  STORM. This is rain water usually from your roof a drainage system can be combined taking all three or foul and waste
and storm is a seperate system.

The above are pretty much all the same, some people ask, are you a waste system specialist?  Again, its pretty much the same as drain repair services.

I also get phone calls asking whether we can do drain fault finding. It transpires that customers have had the washing machine moved and an unsuspecting plumber has run a waste pipe to the nearest drain outside.

Unfortunately, this drain outside is a rain water drain only and now there could be waste detergent water going in to it aswell which has been identified by the water regulator so we use our equipment to trace the nearest waste drain to form a connection for this newly allocated washing machine. I am quite surprised how many of these we get.

Finding including sonic tracing  the years of customers

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