Do I have a private or a public drain?

Do I have a private or a public drain?

It is very easy for us to take our drainage systems for granted, forgetting that they require constant care and attention in order to work properly to provide us with the basic necessities such as clean water. When something goes wrong in your drains it can be a major inconvenience and a very stressful situation, so it is important to know what to do in a situation like that. One of the biggest questions you may have is whether it is your responsibility to fix whatever has gone wrong or not. The three main kind of drains you need to know about are drains, lateral drains, and sewers.

Drains are the pipes that carry wastewater away from your home, but are still within the confines of your property. Lateral drains will carry this wastewater from your property to the sewers, and you can often find them underneath public roads and pavements.

is my drain private or publicSewers collect the water that has passed through both drains and lateral drains. There are still some privately owned sewage systems, but most are publicly owned now. It is important for you to be able to distinguish the difference between these types of drains in the case of a blockage, in order to establish whose responsibility it is to have the blockage removed. If the blockage occurs in the drains on your property, then it is your responsibility, but if the blockage is further down the line in the lateral drains or the public sewers then you will need to contact your local water board in order to have the issue resolved.

There is one main way to establish whether the blockage is in the public systems or on your property, and that is to talk with your neighbours. If they are experiencing problems similar to you, then it is likely that the problem is within either the lateral drains or the sewers. However, if they are not then you may have a blockage on your personal property that you are responsible for.

If you live on a site that houses a number of properties, you may have a private sewers. For example, if you live in a block of flats, or on a caravan site, then you may have a private sewer or a lateral drain. If the sewerage system serves only your home then any problem that may occur is your responsibility to deal with; however if your sewerage system serves more than one property it is up to all property owners to share the responsibility and split the costs.

If you are unsure of what kind of drain you have, it is possible to find out from your local sewerage company. You could also check the deeds of the property to see if it is stated there.

You may also be able to check a sewerage map, which your local sewerage company must make available to you upon request. However, if you are still unable to determine whether you have a private or a public drain after all this, you can speak to your local authority to find out.

The most important thing you can do when you find out that there is something wrong with your drains is to act quickly. A blocked drain will never go away on its own and can only get worse over time, until it starts to cause some real damage that is far more expensive to fix.

To save yourself time and money, familiarise yourself with everything you need to know about your drains so that should you encounter a problem you know exactly what to do. We highly recommend calling a professional drain engineer to come and take care of whatever is ailing your drains, for a guaranteed high quality service at a great price.

Can tree roots damage my drains?

Can tree roots damage my drains?

Can roots damage my drainOne of the main issues that we see with people’s drains is tree root invasion. This is often a forgotten problem, what with the issue taking place outside and underground. It is easy to forget to take care of the drains in your garden, but these are the most important drains as they carry wastewater away into the public sewer system, and if they are left to become damaged or blocked then that wastewater does not get taken away and can flood your property.

Tree root invasion is particularly common in properties that have very old drainage systems. After a long time drains can become weak and worn out, and this leaves them vulnerable to damage such as cracks, and even complete collapse. Tree roots get smaller in size the further down they go, so once they reach your drainage systems they are likely very small and can therefore make their way into even the tiniest of cracks.

Drains are a perfect environment for tree roots. It provides them with the water and nutrients that they need to grow. But this causes a lot of problems for the drains. When a tree root finds its way into a pipe, it will begin to expand as it absorbs more of the nutrients that it gets from the wastewater. Over time, this expansion causes the cracks in the pipes to get bigger until they either burst, or collapse completely. This results in flooding, which is a major problem that can cause a huge amount of damage to your property, as well as posing a serious health risk due to contamination from the wastewater.

If you are unsure of how old your drainage systems are, it is possible to find out from your local council, as they will have the original drain system plans from when the house was first built. However, it is possible that the drains have been altered since then, and so it is not an entirely accurate depiction of what the drainage systems are like today. If you want to find out exactly what the condition of your drains are, we recommend calling a professional drain engineer to conduct a CCTV drain survey on your property. Using the latest technology and equipment that can establish the quality of your drains, and identify any problems that may have gone unnoticed, as well as any decay or cracks in the pipes. Once the survey is completed, if any issues have been located the drain engineer will deal with them then and there, so you can rest assured that your drains have been taken care of.

If there is a large amount of your drainage system that is particularly old and worn out, you may be interested in having the drains rebuilt. This will guarantee that you won’t have to face any problems in the future, particularly with tree root invasion. Brand new drains are much harder for tree roots to get into, and so getting a new drainage system laid out is a far more efficient method in terms of time and money.

Don’t leave it until it is too late. Once there are cracks in the pipes, it doesn’t take long until the whole drain collapses, particularly if you are not taking care of your drains, so the best thing to do is to act quickly and call a drain technician straight away. Problems with your drains will never go away on their own, and so to avoid them escalating into much bigger and more expensive issues that are harder to rectify, nip them in the bud and call a drain engineer today.

Can I unblock a drain myself? 2/2

Can I unblock a drain myself?

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Boiling water to clear your pipesBegin by pouring a pot of boiling water down the drain, and add half a cup of baking soda. Leave the mixture to sit for a couple of minutes before adding hot vinegar and hot water. If you have a drain plug, use this to contain the reaction occurring in the pipes, and leave it on for 5-10 minutes. Once this is done, flush another pot of hot water down the sink. If it’s been awhile since you last cleaned your drains, or if it is a bit of a stubborn blockage, you may need to repeat the process a few times.

When taking care of a blockage yourself, it is important to know who to call in case something goes wrong. While it is more convenient and certainly cheaper, it does not always provide a guaranteed result and if you are unsure of what you’re doing then you’re far more likely to cause more damage than you started with.

We absolutely recommend calling a professional drain technician to ensure that the work is done to the highest of standards using the latest technology and equipment. There is always a risk with trying to combat a blocked pipe yourself, particularly in cases where you are unsure of the nature of the blockage.

To efficiently take care of a blocked drain you must know the location of the blockage, the size, and the strength. It is also important to be aware that there may also be other issues with your drains that are not obvious and could be worsened if handled poorly.

A good idea with this would be to get a CCTV drain survey done with Blocked Drain Southampton in order to identify any weak areas in your drainage systems, so should you need to unblock a drain yourself you know where to avoid if you don’t want to cause further damage. If your drain is public you may have to contact your council. How do you know if your drain is private or public, find out here.

Can I unblock a drain myself? 1/2

Can I unblock a drain myself?

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One or several plungers for each householdUnblocking a drain can require a great deal of knowledge about the cause of the blockage. Certainly with more severe blockages a specialist drain technician is required. Smaller blockages are easier to deal with, and it is possible to deal with them yourself. That said, if you are not a trained drain engineer there is always the risk that you may encounter a problem along the way that you are unsure of how to act on.

It is possible to repair a blocked toilet yourself, using a plunger. Ensure that the plunger is shaped to the opening of the toilet bowl to create the pressure that is needed to either push or pull the blockage out.

It is very important that this step is done carefully to avoid any dirty water or sewage waste spilling onto the floor, as this can be a major health hazard due to all the bacteria in the water. Once the blockage is dislodged and removed, use the flushing mechanism again to test whether the water runs smoothly, and you can test its effectiveness by placing a small bit of toilet paper in the bowl to observe how well the toilet paper flushes away.

If you do not have a plunger, wire coat hangers can come in very handy. Straighten out the hanger into one long wire, and bend it into a curve. Push the wire up the pipe leading to the toilet chamber, and gently wiggle around to clear any blockage. Again, this step must be done carefully to avoid damaging the toilet.

Hot water is often your best option in cases where the blockage is mild, and can be used in most fixtures. You’ll also find that baking soda and vinegar are very useful tools in unblocking a pipe. However, if it looks like the problem might be a bit more demanding, then please call Blocked Drains Southampton – the sooner the better!