Blocked pipes will stop the waste from being carried down the pipe and out of your home. It can end up backing up from the toilet or sink, which isn’t pleasant!
A blocked drain in your garden could end up flooding your property, especially during the winter months if there is heavy rain.
In this guide, we’ll tell you about the average costs of unblocking a drain, what might affect those costs and how you can save money on drainage problems.
We’ll also advise you how you can find and hire a drainage specialist and the questions you should ask them alongside their quote.
Finally, we’ll answer some common frequently asked questions.
How Much Does It Cost to Unblock a Drain?
The table below gives you the average costs of drainage services, including unblocking a drain and carrying out a CCTV drain survey.
|Service||Estimated Cost||Time Required|
|Drain unblocking or clearing||£75 to £150||One hour|
|Drain rodding||£75 to £150||One hour|
|Drain jetting||£70 to £180||One to two hours|
|Drain rodding and jetting||£150 to £200||One to two hours|
|CCTV drain survey||£150 to £300||One to two hours|
|Drain lining||£50 to £110 per square metre||One day|
The table gives you the estimated cost of each service and the time it usually takes to complete the work.
On average, unblocking a drain is estimated to cost between £75 to £200 depending on the severity of the blockage.
A CCTV drain survey takes a complete look at the drainage system to find out where the problem lies. An average CCTV drain survey will cost £90 with a full CCTV drain survey with a report costing between £200-£300.
The jetting process of clearing a blocked drain usually lasts for around 20 minutes and will sometimes need to be repeated depending on the severity of the blockage.
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What Affects the Cost of a Blocked Drain?
There are several factors that could affect the total cost of clearing a blocked drain.
Type of Drainage Problem or Blockage
A blockage that’s simple to deal with and can be cleared easily by rodding and will cost you less than a more complex problem which may need jetting or CCTV cameras to find the problem.
For example, unblocking or clearing a drain will cost between £75 to £150, but if you need drain rodding and jetting you can expect to pay between £150 to £200.
Method Used to Unblock or Clear Your Drain
Drain rodding and jetting are more expensive methods than drain unblocking or clearing the drain. Clearing the drain can get rid of leaves and silt that might be blocking the drain.
Rodding is slightly cheaper than jetting. Rodding and jetting start at £70, but while rodding can rise to £150, jetting can cost as much as £180.
If you live in London or around the South East of England you will pay more for services. Someone in the North of England will pay at the lower end of the price scale.
Ease of Access
It will take less time to do a job when your drains are easy to access. If your drains are in an awkward position and they are hard to reach it will take more time and effort to do the job which, in turn, means more labour hours and a higher cost.
CCTV Drain Survey
A CCTV survey gives you an in-depth look at your drainage system using cameras and video, rather than digging up the drains to find out what’s wrong.
A specialist CCTV drainage team will bring the following equipment to your home:
- Access rods: These are also used to hold cameras, they can go round bends and get into tight corners.
- Waterproof cameras: These are special cameras that operate underwater and pass back live images of your drains to the monitor the drain specialist is using to view the CCTV results.
- Sonar units: Sonar units are used where a visual inspection isn’t possible.
- Crawlers: These are small machines on wheels with cameras attached to them. They crawl through the pipes operated by the drain specialist.
As the cameras are passed through the drain the pictures will come through on the monitor. The drain specialist will be able to see what the problem is and its location.
They will advise you about the action that needs to be taken. You might need your pipes cleaning or repairing.
The cost of a CCTV drain survey is between £150 and £300 and will take between one to four hours to complete.
How Can I Save Money on a Blocked Drain?
If your toilet or sink is blocked you could try a commercial blockage liquid to try and solve the problem before you call out a drainage specialist. You can buy litre bottles from your local supermarket or DIY store.
You can also buy your own drain rods if you think you are competent enough to take on the job. Drain rods cost between £25 and £40 at your local DIY store or builders merchants.
We would recommend you hire a drainage specialist if you are having problems with your drains and don’t feel confident trying to do the job yourself. The professional will have the knowledge and equipment to deal with the problem quickly.
HouseholdQuotes can find you the drainage contractor you need if you’re unsure about doing it yourself. Fill in our form online and tell us what you need.
We’ll then send you drainage contractors to give you no-obligation quotes to unblock your drain.
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What Does Unblocking a Drain With Drain Rods Involve?
A specialist will come to your home with a set of flexible drain rods. Drain rods screw together to get the required length. A rubber plunger is then fixed onto the end of the drain rod.
They will then lift the drain cover and the specialist will put the rod with the plunger down into the drain and push the rod up and down.
The pushing action creates pressure (which along with the physical force) helps to push any debris away and the drain will unblock. This will take some effort and may take some time.
They will use a hose to put more water in the drain if necessary.
When the drain is unblocked the water from the hose will flow freely and drain away without a problem.
As soon as the work is finished and the drain clear, the drain cover will be replaced.
What Is Drain Jetting?
Drain jetting is often used when the drain has a large blockage that needs more force to move. A jet hose goes easily around bends so it is useful for hard to access locations.
Water stored in tanks is run through a high-pressure hose which has a jetting nozzle on the end of it. This makes it more powerful than a drain rod.
This type of equipment can remove tree roots, fat and other waste products.
How Do I Find and Hire a Drainage Specialist?
Ask work colleagues as they might know of someone. Family and friends might also be able to help if they might have had their drains unblocked recently and be happy to recommend the person who did the job.
You can also use HouseholdQuotes! Tell us briefly what you need and we’ll find you drainage specialists in your area to give you no-obligation quotes to unblock your drains!
Ensuring the Professional Is the Right Fit
Always ask some questions when a specialist comes to give you a quote. Their answers will help you to find out about their expertise and customer feedback.
Ask the same questions to each of the tradespeople. Make sure you get each quote in writing and that they quote for the same job, so you can compare the quotes easily.
- Have you done a lot of this type of work? If you want someone with plenty of experience this question will help you to make up your mind. Or you might decide to give someone who is just starting out the opportunity to gain more experience.
- Have you got customer testimonials or feedback from previous customers? If the drainage specialist is good, they will have a list of happy clients. Unless of course, they are a brand new company.
- Are you a member of any trade associations? Trade associations will only grant membership to tradespeople with a good work record. They should also have a high standard of workmanship. Some plumbers and drainage specialists are members of the Association of Plumbing and Heating Contractors.
- Do you have insurance? Is your public liability insurance up to date? Public liability insurance is vital for all tradespeople as it protects them and you from any injury or damage claims should an accident occur during the unblocking of your drains.
- Is there a minimum charge or call-out fee? Some drains specialists will charge to come out to you if the job is small. The cost is usually between £25 and £50 on average.
Let HouseholdQuotes help you find drainage specialists. Our quick and easy search function will find local drainage specialists to give you no-obligation quotes!
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Use the below checklist to make sure you’ve got everything ready to hire the best professional for clearing a blocked drain:
- Decide whether you will try to unblock the drain yourself or call in a specialist
- If you want to do the job yourself you will need specialist drainage clearing liquid or drain rods
- If you decide to use a drainage specialist, use HouseholdQuotes and find a drainage contractor
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Frequently Asked Questions
How Do I Know My Drains Are Blocked?
If your sink won’t empty or your toilet water rises up when it’s flushed, these could all be signs of a blockage in either the internal waste pipes or a blockage in your drains causing the wastewater to back up.
Another sign is an unpleasant gassy smell, which is sulphur and will stay in the air rather than disperse if your drain is blocked.
Can I Unblock a Drain Myself?
If your sink is blocked, for example, you could try using a plunger. Place it over the plughole and push the plunger up and down, this sometimes clears small blockages.
A bath or shower tray can often be blocked by a simple build-up of hair clogging under the plughole. In this case, undo the screw in the middle of the plughole and remove the plughole.
After removing any hair that has clogged under the plughole, check to see if the water drains. If the problem persists this may be an indication that the problem originates from the drain itself.
If the problem is outside and you have your own drain rods you can attempt to unblock the drain using the rods.
Who Is Responsible for Unblocking a Drain or Sewer?
Any pipes in the street are the responsibility of your water supplier.
If you share drains with your neighbours, each householder must contribute to have the blockage cleared. If neighbours refuse, you can contact your Environmental Health Officer.
An EHO can serve notice on all the neighbours to have the drain blockage dealt with within 48 hours. If neighbours still refuse to pay the Environmental Health Department will organise for a private drains specialist to clear the blockage.
They will then send a ‘works by default’ notice to each neighbour with the amount they have to pay towards the unblocking of the drain.
How Can I Prevent Blocked Drains?
Leave it for a few hours and then rinse it away with water.
You can also use a smaller amount of both baking soda and vinegar to keep your kitchen sink drain clean. Leave it to its job for 15 to 20 minutes and then rinse through with hot water.
You can also buy a specialist drain cleaner or unblocker from a DIY store. They cost between £4 to £12 a litre.
What Is Drain Lining?
The water will pass through the sleeve without leaking out from the damaged pipe or debris getting in through any cracks.
What Types of Items Cause Blockages?
You should avoid flushing nearly all types of wipes and sanitary items like tampons and towels as these are major causes of pipe and drain blockages.
If There Is a Water or Sewage Leak in the Street, Who Do I Call?
The leak should be fixed within 48 hours.
Why Would I Need a CCTV Drain Survey?
This is especially useful for identifying who is at fault and who will be ultimately responsible for the expense. Sometimes the problem may not have been caused by households.
The blockage could be in the street but causing problems in your household. This can mean that the problem is for the local authority to resolve.