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CCTV Drain Survey: What Is It & Do You Need It For Your Home?

We can now take a look at our home’s drainage system – literally.

Researched, written by Amber & The Team
Updated on July 27, 2023

Symbolic Picture For Cctv Drain Survey

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A CCTV drain survey is very useful for prospective homeowners and long-term tenants.

In addition to its utility for potential homeowners and long-term tenants, this type of survey can also be beneficial for landlords and property managers as it helps maintain the health and efficiency of the property’s drainage system.

Drains are important to every single building.

Beyond mere importance, they are integral to the functioning of any structure, responsible for waste removal and reducing the risk of flooding and water damage.

However, drains are often overlooked and never really at the top of people’s lists when they check over their homes.

The tendency to overlook drains stems from the “out of sight, out of mind!” nature, with many people only paying attention when an issue arises.

However, arranging for a professional to attend your property for a proper CCTV drain survey can help you to identify any issues within the system before they become a much more serious problem.

Proactively scheduling these surveys allows for early detection of minor issues, potentially saving time, money, and inconvenience associated with major repairs.


What Is CCTV Drain Survey


So, what exactly does a CCTV drain survey tell us?

In essence, a CCTV drain survey provides a detailed look at the condition of your property’s drainage system, highlighting any existing or potential issues.

Below, we will go over what is included in a drain survey report so that you can completely understand what happens when you hire a professional to carry out a drain survey for you.

This understanding is important for you to be able to make informed decisions about any necessary repair or maintenance work.


The Process of a CCTV Drain Survey


When you contact a drain specialist to complete a drain survey for you, the engineer will discuss your requirements with you.

This conversation is a crucial step in the process, allowing the engineer to understand the specific needs and peculiarities of your property’s drainage system.

This will include going into some details about your type of property and the type of drain survey that you would like.

This information allows the engineer to recommend the most suitable type of survey for your situation, based on factors like the property’s size, age, and history of drainage problems.

If you’re unsure how much a CCTV drain survey costs, the contractor will be able to give you an idea of the price you can expect to pay at this point.

Understanding the cost is crucial for budgeting and ensuring that the survey is a cost-effective solution for you.

From there, the contractor will book a time and date for your CCTV drain survey.

They will strive to arrange the survey at a time that minimizes disruption to your daily activities.

Once the engineer attends your property, they will carry out the inspection using the appropriate equipment.

These tools are high-tech and specifically designed to provide a comprehensive view of the internal state of your drains.


What Happens During a CCTV Drain Survey?


During the survey, your engineer will feed a waterproof camera through your drainage system.

This camera, also called a push rod camera, can navigate through bends and turns in the pipe, transmitting a clear, up-close view of the pipe’s interior.

The camera used for the drain survey is able to withstand a lot of heavy pressure.

This resilience is necessary to cope with the conditions within the drain, including the presence of heavy water flow or blockages.

This is a key requirement for these types of inspections as the drain tends to have a lot of flowing water within the system.

It’s the flowing water that the camera needs to work against to provide a clear and accurate image of the drain’s interior.

The CCTV drain survey camera can tilt and pan.

This mobility enables the camera to navigate effectively around bends and junctions, providing a 360-degree view of the pipe’s interior.

This allows the engineer to have a full scope of the drain, allowing them to identify all potential issues within the system.

This comprehensive view ensures a thorough inspection, leading to an accurate diagnosis and targeted treatment plan.

The engineer will view every part of your drain system using a CCTV drain camera.

The camera’s small size and flexibility allow it to reach even the most inaccessible parts of the drainage system.

They will be able to view areas that would be awkward or impossible to reach without this equipment.

This accessibility makes the CCTV drain survey an extremely effective method for identifying and diagnosing a wide range of drainage problems.


7 Problems You Can Identify With a CCTV Drain Survey


CCTV drain survey can help you to identify the following issues in the drainage system.


1. Pipe scale


Scale refers to the accumulation of minerals and sediments on the inner walls of the pipe, which can lead to blockages if left unchecked.


2. Root ingress


This term refers to roots from nearby vegetation penetrating the pipe walls, which can cause (sometimes – total!) blockages and damage the pipe.


3. Incorrect installation


This can refer to a range of issues, from incorrectly fitted pipes to poorly connected joints, which can affect the efficiency of your drainage system.


4. Blockages


These can be caused by a variety of materials, from fats, oils, and grease (often referred to as FOG) to foreign objects accidentally flushed down the drain.


5. Displaced joints


This is where the junctions between sections of pipe have shifted out of alignment, often leading to leaks and reduced flow efficiency.


6. Causes of leaks


Leaks can occur for numerous reasons, from cracked pipes to loose joints, and identifying the cause is crucial to implementing an effective solution.


7. Collapsed drains


This is a very serious issue.

Typically caused by extensive damage or wear, collapsed drain system usually requires immediate attention to prevent further damage or possible flooding.


What Is Included In a Drain Survey Report?


Once the engineer has completed your CCTV drain survey for you, they may discuss their findings with you face to face or compile a report for you detailing everything they have found in the survey and what they suggest as the next course of action.

This report or discussion provides a clear, comprehensive breakdown of the state of your drains, including any issues identified and the recommended solutions.

Depending on your chosen CCTV drain survey package, you may receive different information.

Some packages may include additional features, such as a DVD recording of the survey or a more detailed analysis.

Some drain surveys will provide more details than others.

The level of detail provided often depends on the specific requirements and complexity of your drainage system.

In some cases, you may be able to receive a copy of the video footage so that you can view all of the issues yourself and take the appropriate next steps.

This gives you the opportunity to see first-hand the issues affecting your drainage system, empowering you to make more informed decisions about potential repairs or maintenance.


What Happens Next?


Once you’ve received your report or had a discussion about the issues in your drain system, it’s then time to figure out how to fix the problems.

This step involves evaluating the suggested solutions, considering factors such as cost, disruption, and long-term effectiveness to determine the best course of action.

A drain specialist will be able to help you with any problems with your drain.

Their expertise and experience mean they can provide effective, efficient solutions, tailored to your specific needs.

Many drain problems will only get worse over time, so you should never leave them without fixing them.

Ignoring minor issues can lead to significant complications, such as blockages, leaks, smells, or structural damage, which are often more difficult and expensive to resolve.




Leaving a drain problem without fixing it may result in a much bigger problem which could end up costing you much more down the line.

For instance, unresolved minor leaks can eventually lead to significant water damage or structural issues in your property, resulting in costly repairs.

With this in mind, it’s important that you seek help for your drainage issues as soon as possible.

Spotting issues early with a CCTV drain survey, and ensuring a quick response to these issues can minimize damage and associated repair costs.

It can also reduce the likelihood of similar problems reoccurring in the future.

Hiring a professional drain engineer is probably the best option though – regardless of the problem.

Professional engineers have the expertise, experience, and equipment to accurately diagnose and effectively resolve a wide range of drainage issues, helping to maintain the health and efficiency of your drainage system.

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