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Knowing the Cost of Drain Unblocking and Jetting

This article will provide you helpful information about drain unblocking and jetting, including the cost, materials, labor and turnaround time of this home improvement project.

Unfortunately true, most of the home maintenance and improvement services are only being acquired when a problem already exists. Drain unblocking and jetting are two very common examples.

These two procedures are practical solutions for taking care of blockages in your drainage system. To avoid clogged drains or contamination due to buildup of unwanted materials, drain unblocking and jetting are two best courses of action that you need to take in advance.

The Service and Labor Cost of Drain Unblocking and Jetting

The initial cost of unblocking your drains using the services of a trained professional is around £60. This price can still go higher or lower depending on these following factors:

  •         Location
  •         Size of the drain.
  •         Size of the obstruction in the drains.
  •         Types of the method to use.

For a minor blockage, rodding is the required suitable solution. The labor fee for this job initially costs £80. If you are experiencing larger blockages that is the time when you need the jetting procedure. Unblocking a drain without any major blockage issue using rods and jetting is around £150-£200.

This price can still change and go higher depending on the level of the job difficulty. For a non-emergency drain rodding, the initial cost is £140. It will take no longer than an hour to complete.

Check your home insurance before hiring a contractor. Know the policies that will cover a drain unblocking job. Your insurance provider can also contact a drain cleaning company for you for a call out charge of £100. Typically, drainage specialists charge around £250-£300 per day. But don’t worry, fixing drainage blockages usually takes only a few hours to be completed. 

A CCTV survey of your pipes may be advised. This will be necessary if clogging is already a persistent issue in your house. The CCTV survey will give a detailed survey of your pipes. This will help a tradesperson to locate the blockage easily.

On the other hand, if the damage is found in your drainage system, you will be required to repair the corroded or broken pipework. The procedure is called pipe-relining or also known as ‘cured-in-place pipelining’. This involves inserting a resin tube inside the existing pipework. It will snugly secure and reinforce the damaged area. The cost typically starts at £65 per meter.

Never ignore blocked drains. The outcome can be disastrous if not attended too quickly. Hiring an emergency plumber and paying 2-3 times higher is the last thing you would want to happen for sure. As soon as you suspect issues with your drains and pipework, act right away!

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Project Basic: Drainage Problems and their Solutions

To have a better understanding of drain unblocking and jetting, it is best to learn about what these jobs entail. First, to make sure that everything will be handled accordingly, you will be needing the help of a qualified drain expert. This person will inspect your pipes and locate the blockage. The service will also include an assessment of the severity of the problem and if there is a removal method required. A minor situation is when a suspected blockage is only within the pipes connected to your sink or bath.

Using a plunger, you can rectify the issue yourself. So in this case, to help you save on the cost, try this yourself before calling a professional. But remember, if the blockage is moderate, plunging may not be sufficient anymore. A rodding job may be required.

There may be an issue with your external pipework or sewers if the blockage is causing your drain covers to overflow and the blockage is stopping your toilet from flushing. To see and solve the problem, your drain expert will first inspect your property. The person will check the access covers to determine the location of the block before deciding on what’s the best course of action to take.

Most of the time, this issue is solved using a series of connected rods or also called as ‘worms’, with a double helix attachment on the end to penetrate the drains through the appropriate manhole. By twisting and pushing, the tradesperson can already break the blockage apart. The residual water level will begin to drop.

The drain expert may choose to swap to a plunger attachment. This is to bring force through any remaining blockage into the connecting sewers. But if the block has been sufficiently cleared, no more additional force is needed.

After the clog has been broken down, the tradesman will remove the rods and now allow the drains to be flushed with fresh water. To do this, a homeowner is asked to run taps or flush toilets within their home. This will give the tradesman the visual indication if the blockage has been cleared. It will also ensure that the remaining residue is already carried into the connecting sewers.

When it is already clear that the blockage has been successfully removed, the drain repair contractor will clean up the mess caused by the unclogging process plus replacing the cover over your drains.

Drain Jetting

When facing a more serious blockage, you may need some drain jetting job. But what is drain jetting? Drain jetting also called as water jetting or jet drain cleaning is a cleaning method used to break down blockages located in drains and pipes. The cleaning is done by blasting a high-force jet of water through a flexible hose.

The hose is pointed at the offending blockage and the drain jetting machine is turned on once the obstruction has been located. The materials will break down into tiny pieces once hit by the water impact. Doing this persistently will clear the blockage.

The Signs of a Drain Blockage

Knowing the warning signs of a blocked drainage system can help you avoid worsening the problem. Below are some signs that you may have a blocked drain on your property.

  •         Toilet will no longer flush.
  •         Drain covers are overflowing.
  •         The awful smell of Sulphur.
  •         Sinks are emptying slower.
  •         A gurgling sound when using your drains is heard.

You may need the unblocking or jetting service for the following reasons:

  •         Regular maintenance.
  •         Damage or corrosion assessment.
  •         Drain misuse.
  •         Pipes are too small for the purpose.

A drain that has an insufficient size for a volume of use can cause problems. Smaller pipes give less area for waste to pass through. Once build-up occurs, it will restrict an already tight space that is sure to cause problems. It will make the waste passage a slower and more difficult process. Another common cause of drainage problems is when you are allowing items to pass through your drains.

That could be detrimental to the functions of your drains. Don’t let items like oils, soap scum, hair, food particles, and general debris to pass through your drains. They should be elsewhere disposed of. A recommended clean up and drainage test every two years is good enough. Regular maintenance can help prevent a bigger problem in your drainage system.

Effective Ways to Prevent Drain Blockages

Preventing drain blockages is very easy compared to its repair. So here are the things you need to do to avoid any drainage problems in the future.

  1. Do not pour grease on your sink. The grease as it passes through your pipes can cool and solidify. It will stick to the surfaces of your pipe and creating build-up that will narrow the passageway. Collect your grease and place in empty bottles or containers. Dispose them properly.
  2. Purchase a sink strainer. Small food partials, soap scum and even hair can be washed down your sinks. These are particles that can cause blockages when lodged. Sink strainers or drain strainers can help protect your pipework from foreign objects. They don’t cost a fortune. As little as £2 per strainer, you can prevent possible harm in your drainage system.
  3. Always be alert when it comes to your outdoor drains. Leaves, debris and other foreign objects can cause clogging as they can make their way into your sewers. The cracks and breaks in your grates can even allow larger objects or pests to enter your system. That must be avoided. Using drain grates can control these materials from getting in your drains. It just cost around £5 each.

The Best Time to Clean Your Drains

Regular cleaning is crucial to keep your drains running freely. Run hot water through the sink after every use. This simple procedure can help flush out the remaining debris from your drains. If you want to do some intensive cleaning, putting a mixture of bicarbonate of soda and vinegar down your drains is a recommended DIY process. It is very effective in removing stubborn build-up. If you have accidentally put oils and other materials down drains, clean drain thoroughly with hot water.

Always check your external drains. See to it that it is clear from leaves and other debris. It is much easier to scoop leaves and put in the appropriate bin than hiring a drain expert to do the unblocking job. So spend some time doing those cleaning process.

Flushing your pipes with chemical cleaners is fine. But make sure to read the labels and follow instructions carefully. Safety precautions such as wearing protective gloves can ensure your safety from direct exposure to these harmful chemicals.

Consequently, getting your drains professionally cleaned is always the best option to make sure your drains are in good condition. Doing it every two years will not cost you that much. Hiring drain experts can easily identify any issues that may be arising.

DIY Drain Unblocking and Jetting Option

It’s not all the time that you will need the help of a drain expert. There are situations in which it is perfectly acceptable for you to try and rectify a drain blockage on your own. If you are considering this option, here are some tips for you to help you manage a minor drainage blocking issue.

  •        Use a plunger.

There are clogging issues that can be fixed by dislodging the pipes with a plunger. By forcing water up and down your pipes by suction and compression using a plunger, it can effectively dislodge the blockage. For best results, see to it that the bell of the plunger is fully submerged in water. Do this with extra care by the way as you can break the seal between the plunger and the basin. Plungers are widely available costing as low as £4 each.

  •         Application of bicarbonate of soda and vinegar mix.

Cleaning and unblocking your drains with a mixture of bicarbonate of soda and vinegar is popularly recommended by many homeowners and cleaning experts. To do this, sprinkle the bicarbonate into your drains. Then, pour vinegar on top. The reaction of the vinegar when it reaches the bicarbonate will erode and break down food particles and grease that it comes into contact with. Wait until the fizzing has subsided before flushing your drain with hot water to wash away any remaining residue. Costing around £5, you can already fix a minor blockage.

  •         Use of chemical cleaners.

A lot of chemical cleaners that are designed to break down food residue are available in the market today. Typically costing £3 to £20, you can already have one decent quality bottle. These chemical cleaners have active ingredients such as lye, peroxides or sulfuric acids. You need to check the label before purchasing one. Know what cleaner is compatible with your pipes. For weak and plastic pipes, the use of these chemicals may not be advised.

  •         Use drain snakes.

Drain snakes are also known as plumber’s snakes or a drain auger. This tool comes in a variety of shapes and sizes. They function by being inserted through internal drains to break up blockages. Drain snakes are flexible compared to draining rods. They can curve with your drains making them less likely to cause damaging collisions with your pipes.  This tool is designed with rows of teeth that can capture items such as hair. A drain snake multi-pack cost around £5. By the way, this tool is a disposable item. 

  •         Use a draining rod.

The use of a draining rod is advisable when you are certain of the exact blockage location. These draining rods come in a variety of materials and lengths and can also be bought online. The size of the draining rod that you will need will depend on the size of your drainage pipes. Draining rods are sold at £15 to £25. Sometimes, this tool comes in the market with attachments such as a worm and/or plunger or even a storage bag. That’s good to know. Additional advice, when shopping for your rods, opt for thicker tubing over thinner ones. Thicker ones are less subject to corrosion overuse. Now, be careful when rodding your drains on your own. If you are not careful, you may cause damage to your drains.

Water Jetting

Water jetting is the process of using a domestic pressure washer to help break down and remove the pipe obstruction. You will be needing this process for severe clogging or blockage issues. A budget pressure washer can cost around £60 to £90. For more quality models, it can cost up to £300 or even more.

You can also use hydro-jets to clear waste and debris. It gives much larger pressure output but of course for an increased price tag of around £3,500 for a single unit.

One important fact about jetting a clog all by yourself is that it is not being advised by most of the professionals. Jet washers and hydro jets as machines are not safe to use. They can be dangerous if mishandled. This equipment can cause damage to you and your property if misuse. For weaker pipes, they can be even more damaging.

Also, when undertaking a jetting procedure, you are required to wear extensive protective gear. This is to minimize the health risks to yourself caused by mishandling such equipment. So, hiring a professional to complete the job is the better option.

The Right Person Responsible for Unblocking Your Drain

The right person who can work on drains will depend on the type of drain issue. This includes the severity and scope of the drainage problem. You need to learn how to assess on your own. Remember that the wrong approach can worsen the problem. That could also mean a more expensive undertaking for you.

The Need of a Professional Drain Service

You will need the services of a professional utility company if it is a sewer issue or lateral drains. These are drainage problems located outside of your property. Experiencing this issue is impossible for you to do the fixing alone. Contacting a water company is the right thing to do. They have drain experts who can amend the issue correctly. Before hiring a tradesman, check with your insurance company. A drainage job may be covered in your home insurance.

The Tenant or Landlord’s Responsibility

Most of the time, between a tenant and a landlord, there are no set ‘rules’ for who is responsible for dealing with clogged drains on a property. But, in most tenancy agreements, minor blockages are considered the responsibility of the tenant to amend. Regardless of how minor the issue may be, it becomes the responsibility of the landlord to fix.

The Cost of Tank Cleaning and Maintenance

A septic tank is necessary on a property but only in some cases such as when it is not viable to connect a home to the main sewerage line. The septic tank will serve as the ‘holding pen’ for waste materials passed through your plumbing system. Even if the septic tank capacity is adequate for use, it is required to be cleaned and drained on an average of once a year.

When the tank reaches its capacity level, you’re prone to getting the waste running back into your home. That is something you would never want to happen at home. Cleaning and maintaining a septic tank will cost £100 – £600. Project timeframe ranges from an hour of work to a whole day of work.