Blocked Drains: Who’s Responsible And What To Do

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If you’ve reached this article from a search engine, you’ve probably already witnessed the first hand effects from a block drain. Whether it’s struggles when flushing the toilet, foul smells around the surrounding drains of your home or simply water struggling to completely disperse down the plug hole – blocked drains are a nuisance, and an unpleasant one at that.

We’re not going to lie and say they can be an easy problem to solve, as most of the time you will have to source an outside contractor. Furthermore, the reasons why your drain has been affected can vary enormously and whether it’s too much hair going down the plug hole, or even a tree root damaging the side of the drain outside, we couldn’t speculate on what is the cause. What we will firstly warn is that if you do wish to investigate the problem yourself, make sure you are properly equipped with relevant clothing from a vendor such as as it can prove to be an extremely messy job. If, you are going to take the sensible approach and hire an outside contractor, read on to find out if you are actually responsible for the problem and what action a contractor may take.

Are You Responsible For the Problem?

First and foremost, you need to work out whether it’s even your job to fix the drain. While it might be negatively affecting your house, this doesn’t mean to say that you should pay the costs to fix it.

The times where you will have to pay is if the problem is affecting the pipework on your property. Understandably, few people know what belongs to them and what doesn’t, but a simple call to the local water supplier will confirm the situation. Fortunately, even if they do belong to you, most home insurance policies will keep your covered.

As you may have gathered, if the problem occurs outside of your property boundaries you will not have to fix the issue. If you think that it’s related to a different house, rather than contact the owner directly you can merely ask the local authority to resolve the issue which they are obliged to do.

Finally, there are instances where the water company will be responsible for the repairs. If it’s evident that the sewers are the problem, the water company will have to rectify the issue as from 2011 they are responsible for both private and public ones.

How Do You Find the Cause of the Problem?

If you have found out that the problem is associated with your pipework, the best course of action is to appoint a qualified professional. Some homeowners will attempt the task themselves, but if you don’t know what you are doing it can become messy and further problems can arise.

Blocked Drains

The professional is likely to start their visit with manual checks by lifting the manhole covers and running water down them to see if any becomes blocked. Alternatively, some will decide to plug the base of the drain to see if it can hold the water and if it can’t, it’s obvious where the problem lies.

Unfortunately, manual checks are rarely sufficient these days and they’ll usually have to use a CCTV camera technique to seek any blockages. The results from the camera are immediately fed to a screen, allowing the professional to be able to view any issues straight away.

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