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Faq

Find out the answers to your questions and more below!

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Faq

At 1st Call Drain Clearance, we deal with all manner of drainage issues in a prompt and efficient manner. We are often asked a range of questions from worried clients suffering from drainage issues, and here you can find the answers to some of our most frequently asked questions. But if there’s anything else you wish to know not covered here, please don’t hesitate to contact our friendly team today!

General

What are your opening hours?
1st Call Drain Clearance are proud to offer a 24/7 service to our customers. Contact us night or day when emergencies arise with your drains.
What areas do you cover?
From our base in Mayfair, we cover all of Central London including; Victoria, Marylebone, Pimlico, Mayfair, Westminster, Kensington & Chelsea, Southbank and more. Plus we have a base in High Wycombe that serves Buckinghamshire and the M40 corridor back into London. Contact us today to see if we’re able to help you, too.
What is involved with a ‘look and see’ CCTV drain survey?
CCTV drain surveys involve assessing the state of your drains using a high-tech camera. The camera is fed into your drains and down the pipes. CCTV drain surveys are used to identify and pinpoint leaks, blockages and other issues. Once a problem has been identified, the appropriate measures can be taken to bring your drains back up to scratch. A ‘look and see’ survey is the most basic procedure in this field, but extremely useful.
What do fully comprehensive CCTV drain surveys involve?
A fully comprehensive CCTV drain survey involves everything on offer in the basic procedure, but with additional benefits. A comprehensive procedure is used by home and business buyers to produce crucial documentation to insurance companies, surveyors and developers. It details, in depth, the condition of all the pipework on a property, identifying any and all issues and offering expert recommendations wherever things could be improved.
I have spotted rats and rodents near my drains: what should I do?
In general, rats and rodents don’t live in sewers or drains, but they may use them for travelling around quickly. They could get into the pipes through holes, which may mean you have to have your drainage system replaced. You could also contact your local Environment Health Officer, who can then advise you if further investigation is needed on nearby public sewers.
Do you offer emergency drainage services?
Yes, we do. We understand that blockages could form at any time and that you may need assistance at any time of day. We are open 24/7 and have a 48 hour emergency service window during which we will address your problem.
What are your accreditations?
We have a range of accreditations, all of which stand as testament to the professional services we offer. These accreditations include health and safety credentials from Alcumus SM&MS (Contractor Plus: Approved Contractor), Alcumus SafeContractor (SafeContractor Approved), and from the National Association of Drainage Contractors.
Who have you worked with in the past?
We have worked with a wide range of prestigious clients in the past, including: Tesco, Jamie’s Italian, Wagamama, Wickes, Sainsbury’s and Morgans Hotel Group. As such, we have a wealth of experience - get in touch today to benefit yourself!

Drain Replacements

How do you assess whether or not a drain needs replacing?
If your drain has an issue with draining off wastewater, we can use CCTV technology to survey your drain and identify any areas of concern therein. If the pipe has suffered a collapse or breach, a replacement or drain relining is necessary. Through the survey, we can pinpoint exactly where the issue is and then work to fix it.
How do you repair a collapsed pipe?
If your pipe has suffered a collapse, we may need to excavate it to replace it. We won’t need to replace your entire drainage system; our specialist team can simply replace the damaged section of pipe.
How do you repair a breach in a pipe?
A pipe breach can be disastrous. The breach may not cause blockages, but it could allow wastewater to seep out of the drainage system. To fix the problem, we can offer drain relining services to cover the breach and ensure drained water flow isn’t impeded.
What happens if I don’t unblock or replace my drains?
That depends on the severity of the blockage or damage. If the blockage is mild, nothing will immediately happen, but you can be assured that your drainage system will only worsen. Avoiding repairs could eventually see the local or borough council taking legal action against you, as you will breach various laws and public health notices. First, the council may issue you with a formal legal notice, of which failure to comply with could lead to prosecution. The council may then carry out the work anyway and recoup the costs from those responsible.
What should I do if I have a recurring drainage issue?
Unfortunately, from time to time you could suffer from a recurring drainage issue. While unblocking your drains can initially solve the problem, if there is an underlying cause that you haven’t addressed the blockage could easily return. If it does, you should have a comprehensive CCTV drain survey carried out. This will identify any issue and produce expert advice to eliminate the problem permanently, possibly following drain replacement.

Drain Clearance

How can I tell if my drains are blocked or becoming blocked?
Keep a close eye on drainage flow. If wastewater isn’t draining as smoothly as it once was, your drains may be suffering from a blockage. Likewise if it doesn’t drain at all. Call a professional to come and have a look at your drains.
In what ways can you help if I have a blocked drain?
First, we use a CCTV drain survey to identify the issue and its location in your drains. Then, we can work to rectify the issue and restore flow. Whether this means flushing your drains out with drain pressure jetting or relining your drains, our specialist team are fully capable of providing the help you need.
Who’s responsible for unblocking my drainage system?
That depends on where the blockage is located: a blocked drain on your property, a blocked private sewer or a blocked public sewer. If none of your neighbours are suffering from blocked drains on their property, it is likely that the blockage is in your drains and therefore you (or your landlord) is responsible for fixing it.

If some of your neighbours are also affected, the issue may be related to blockages in a private sewer your properties all share - it will be your collective responsibility to remove the blockage if this is the case, unless the local Water Authority has been adopted the private sewer. Lastly, if the issue is related to public sewers, the Water Authority must deal with it.
How do I know the blockage is coming from my property?
Ask your neighbours if they are also suffering from blocked drains or toilets. If you’re the only one suffering from blockages, it is likely that the blockage is coming from your property. 1st Call Drain Clearance are able to use specialist CCTV drain surveys to determine this, though.
How long does it take to unblock a drain?
That depends on the nature of the blockage. Our expert team are on hand 24/7 to assess any and all issues with your drains. Once a problem has been identified, the years of experience and immense skill our team has means we can unblock your drain in no time at all.
How else are CCTV drain surveys useful?
Not only are CCTV drain surveys useful for locating a blockage, they are also useful for detecting issues such as burst pipes or weakening sections of pipes. Once identified, appropriate recourse can be taken.
What are the most common reasons for blockages?
Above all, blocked drains are most commonly caused when inappropriate items are flushed down a drain. Grease and food in particular are notorious drain blockers. Other reasons why your drain has become blocked could involve a collapsed pipe. Our CCTV drain surveys can identify the issue and then our services (including drain jetting, excavation and relining) can rectify the problem.
What can I do to avoid blockages in the future?
In the future, it is wise to only put appropriate items down the drain. You should never pour grease, fat and oil down the drain, for instance. You can find further details about what never to put down the drain here.

Blocked Toilets & Sinks

How can I tell if my toilets and sinks are becoming blocked?
If you’re worried that your sinks or toilets aren’t draining effectively anymore, you should look at how quickly the water is draining off. If it is taking longer than it did before, a blockage may be forming in your pipes. Likewise, if water bubbles up out of other drains when you drain water off elsewhere in the property. If a smell is emanating from your drains, this is also a sign that your drains could be blocked.
I have a blocked drain: how can you help?
First of all, when you call us with a drain query our expert team will talk you through the issue and determine whether or not you need further assistance. Then, a member of our specialist team can visit your property and carry out a CCTV drain survey to identify any issues with your drains. We will then use specialist equipment to unblock your sinks and toilets.
Can I pour oil, fat or grease down my sink?
You should never pour oil, fat or grease down a drain. For instance, while cooking bacon the fat and oil in the frying pan is liquified, but once it cools it will solidify. If it is poured down the drain, it will inevitably clog your drain once enough of it builds up.
Why does water bubble up from my shower when I flush the toilet?
If you try to drain off wastewater in one area of your home and water bubbles up from other drains in your home as you do so, there could be a problem with your drains. It is possible that a blockage in your drains, main plumbing line or the public sewer has suffered a blockage, which is causing backflow. Consult a professional to discuss the issue in depth.
How can I avoid blockages in my toilets and sinks?
You can avoid blockages in your toilets and sinks by only using these drains to flush away appropriate items. While toilet paper, for instance, is fine to flush down the toilet, sanitary products such as tampons are not. Similarly, you should never pour food or grease down a sink.

You should also regularly use bleach and drain unblockers to keep your drains extra clear.
How do you unblock a toilet?
If your toilets have become blocked, there are a host of reasons why it may have happened. Fortunately, our specialist team are here to help. We can use CCTV drain surveys to identify stubborn blockages and issues and use drain pressure jetting, relining or excavation services to rectify them. Alternatively, if the blockage is simple, we have the tools and expertise to help in a timely and efficient fashion.
How do you unblock a sink and other drains?
How we unblock a drain depends on where the issue is and what kind of drain it is affecting. If the blockage is close to the sink drain itself, simple procedures can be undertaken. However, stubborn or difficult to reach blockages may require drain pressure jetting, relining or excavation. Our expert team are able to help no matter what.

 Some of our clients 

We are proud to work with some well known companies throughout the London area: