Warehouse Drain Repairs – Commercial Drainage Case Study

We do a lot of commercial work alongside our residential jobs and these can be in a wide range of property types. On this occasion we were asked to provide a quote to work on and repair the drains in a warehouse. There was an added level to this job because we were asked to quote with an existing quote and survey from another company in place. The client felt the initial survey was not completed to the right standard and the quote was too high. While we are certainly not in the business of counter quoting the client had serious concerns about the previous quote and was very open about it.

The initial report showed there was 150 meters of lining which comprised of 4 and 6 inch pipework. The drains needed cleaning and there were 6 sectional point repairs needed. Using this we put in our quote which was certainly not the cheapest but we pride ourselves on the quality of our work and the turn around. We were awarded the job based on our predicted times, our reputation and our approach to the job.

The job itself went very well however we did encounter one issue. The original report his mis-calculated the length of the drains so the liners were longer than estimated. This could have caused the cost to go up and the time needed but in consultation with the client we were able to adjust other areas and complete the job on time and on budget.

What the Client Said about The Drain Guys

How did you find the service and work overall?

I found Gavin to be very friendly and approachable. He talked me through every step of the process in a jargon free manner so I knew exactly what (and when) was going to be happening throughout the project. The work was carried out with the advised timelines and there were no issues at all during the job. The quote process from getting a quote, through to the completion of the works was very easy and efficient. I was very happy leaving everything in their hands to manage in the knowledge that I was receiving an efficient service.

How did we perform in terms of disruption to your business etc?

The team were tidy and caused no interference at all with the other projects be carried out on site.

Were there any specific issues or challenges around this job?

Whilst there were a few little variations during the work (as with any job), Gavin was able to problem solve these quickly and efficiently.

Would you be happy to recommend The Drain Guys for other Worthing or Sussex businesses?

Absolutely!

Hot Weather Can Be Bad for Drains

dried cracked earth

If you think about drain problems you will probably be thinking about flooding during heavy rain, autumn leaves causing blockages and more things related. You would, of course be correct but its not just bad weather that has an impact. No, hot weather can damage your drains and cause problems too!

Summer 2019

While it is fair to say we have had some wet British summer holiday days this year we have also had a couple of bouts of extreme heat. These events are said to become more likely and as they do we will become more aware of some of the issues.

Hot Pipes

A lot of our draining pipes are made of plastic. This piping is also often exposed to the outside and in very hot weather they can fracture and crack. The UV light from long spells of sun can cause the plastic to become brittle but the heat itself can cause them to split. But it’s not just plastic pipes, if the ground gets extremely dry it can crack and fracture which can put strain on drainage pipes under the surface. In some very rare cases tarmac surfaces can melt and it is not unheard of for this to expose underground pipes which could be damaged.

Hot Houses

While not directly drainage related there is some evidence to suggest that extreme heat can also cause damage to the building itself and even lead to subsidence. it is not common but subsidence can have a knock-on effect to drains and pipework.

What Can You Do?

Sadly there is very little you can do about the heat causing issues with pipes cracking or subsidence. it is just something to keep an eye out for rather than try to prevent. Trying to keep your external pipes cool would be a waste of time and energy. Some good news is that dry periods are perfect for any kind of drain repairs so if you do see something then give us a call and we can get it fixed without having to work around snow or terrible weather.

Drain Health

One thing you can do to avoid blocked drains in Summer storms or as the Autumn comes along is to keep them clear. It may not seem very important in the Summer but there is often a lot of dust around, trips to the beach can mean lots of sand being washed into drains too. When it doesn’t rain for a long time then suddenly pours down you would be surprised at how much muck and dirt can be washed into drains. Keep an eye on your drains and clear out any dried leaves and moss you may see. Try to bang off as much sand as possible on the lawn rather than washing off inside or out!

Don’t Get Too Flushed This Summer!

A selection of different wet wipes

The summer is a particularly bad time to get a blocked drain, as in the heat the bacteria and odours can grow rapidly. If you are experiencing any slow drainage or smells building up, you’d be wise to act promptly. One of the key places to get blocked around the home can be the toilet and there are many debates about what you should and shouldn’t flush.

Prevention

Whilst the Drain Guys can rapidly come and fix any issues you encounter, its definitely better not to get blocked pipes in the first place. Here’s our guide to the top causes of toilet blockages and things you should consider as you flush.

The Wet Wipe Issue

A modern solution – disposable, convenient, hygienic; you can now get wet wipes for everything from cleaning your face to your kitchen surfaces. But wet wipes and the flush issue have become controversial, particularly the moist toilet wipes many of which are labelled as ‘flushable’.

At the end of last year, the BBC carried out some research and found that all wipes sold as ‘flushable’ had currently failed the disintegration tests of the water industry. Some sources cited by the BBC state that 93% of blockages in UK sewers are caused by wet wipes; so they can certainly cause problems in homes and offices too. The government and manufacturers are yet to agree a flushable standard, so until you can be sure, its better to bin them

All bathroom products and toiletries are for the bin.

Indeed only basic toilet paper should be flushed. And you might want to teach your kids to consider how much they put down the loo. Certainly cotton wool, cotton buds and other hygiene products should be binned, as these swell up and enlarge in water and won’t disintegrate. Dental floss seems so small, but if you keep flushing it, it can wrap around things and create a net-like effect.

You should remember that it is often about build up. Your toilet may not instantly block with one item but bits collect and stick together. Think of the London fatberg – 250 metres long!

The 3 Ps

So we go along with the advice to only flush the 3 Ps. One of these is toilet paper, We’ll leave you to work out the other 2! Should anyone in your family fail to heed this advice and cause you a blockage, then give us a call and we’ll flush your problems away.

Why CCTV is not just for watching people!

CCTV drain image of football

CCTV is what you use to make sure people are not up to mischief, or to warn off burglars right? Well it may be well be used for these reasons, but it is an incredibly useful tool in lots of other areas too, including drain surveys and maintenance.

Why use CCTV in your drains?

We use CCTV across commercial and domestic properties. It can be very insightful if you are buying a new property and want to be fully informed on the state of the drain system before you are hit with unexpected problems or expense.

Or it may be that your home or business has experienced a reoccurring problem or

a blockage that is not straightforward and couldn’t be easily identified. It pays to have the right equipment for a thorough investigation and CCTV allows for a full survey and a comprehensive view of the situation.

How does a CCTV drain survey work?

It involves a small camera on flexible cable which can get into very small drains. This allows engineers to see high-quality live images making it much easier to identify problems that might otherwise be hidden away and only guessed at, or temporarily solved only to come back soon after.  You can see structural faults – such as fractures or different levels of collapse, pests, or more usual and awkward issues; in fact they can pretty much reveal anything.

What are the advantages?

CCTV drain surveys offer many advantages through their fast, accurate and reliable assessments. The cameras can reduce the need to dig up or manually enter the drains and so minimise disruption for everyone. They can make drains easier to maintain so problems don’t build up. Generally they provide an incredibly effective solution.

The Drain Guys have been working with CCTV technology for a number of years and are well experienced in using it to expose a wide range of issues. If you have an issue or think your property could benefit from a detailed survey then get in contact.

Why it pays to maintain your drains in summer

Sausages on a round barbecue

In the summer your focus is likely to be on how much use you are getting out of the garden furniture and if you have enough ice in the freezer. But if you have just sat down on the lounger with a long cool drink, you want to be smelling the softly heating barbecue and not the stench of something unpleasant from your drains.

Prevent drain pain and keep them smelling sweet

If you do suffer a drain blockage in the hotter months, it is likely to smell stronger quicker, and attract unwanted pests in droves. This is equally undesirable for businesses. Although people assume drains are more likely to block in winter, there are a number of reasons they can block in summer too. And with ideal growing conditions for trees, roots can start to interfere with your pipes.

Whilst it might not be at the forefront of your mind, summer is actually an excellent time to undertake drain maintenance. Going for the preventative approach and looking after your drains can save you dealing with bigger problems at a later point. In the summer, the weather is more conducive to an internal and external drain survey and work can be done quickly and easily at minimal costs.

Regular maintenance stops problems building up

We’ve encountered all problems imaginable, but the most common causes of problems in drains do not come from a single event, but from a build up. A small problem or blockage becomes a bigger one, until eventually internal drains can affect external ones or vice versa. This is why regular maintenance can be so effective and avoid unnecessary issues and disruptions.

We can check that pipes are in good order and fix or unblock any issues to ensure everything is flowing with no accumulated debris or any kind of issue.

Home tips to look after your drains

There are also things you can do at home over the summer to minimise problems. Scrap your plates well and avoid putting any necessary food down the sink – you may well notice the smell of food lingering in your pipes more over the summer. Always avoid putting fats down the sink. If you accidentally do, flush with plenty of boiling water. Also brush your hair before using the bath or shower as we lose more hair in the summer months.

If you do notice low water pressure or slow drainage then get in contact promptly. It’s easier to solve the problem before it gets too bad. The Drain Guys have all the right equipment from rods, jet system to drainage CCTV and we’ll ensure your summer stays smelling sweet.

New, and Very Useful, Equipment!

New, and Very Useful, Equipment! 1

While you might assume that unblocking drains was something you use the same equipment for each time that truth is each drain is different. In fact, each situation is different, sometimes we need to use CCTV to find out what the problem is, sometimes we use rods and other times we use a jet system. There are so many variables and the technology behind drain unblocking is always moving forward to give us more tools for more jobs.

Investment

We take investment in our equipment very seriously, after all, you wouldn’t want us to arrive at your home to unblock a drain with equipment from the 90s that is far more likely to go wrong or even damage your drains. There is certainly a cost to getting new “kit” but we feel it is well worth it and it makes our service better which is what we are all about!

Picote Super Midi

This month we have a new toy and it’s called the Picote Super Midi. This machine is designed to deliver fast and efficient drain cleaning. It is able to tackle soft blockages, scale problems and calcium build-up and more. What we think it really good is that the Super Midi can even tackle tree roots and concrete deposits. Tree roots can be a very serious problem when it comes to drains and sadly quite a common one. Being able to tackle them faster and more efficiently now is a really exciting development for us. But that’s not all, the Super Midi can also help with failed drain liners and imperfections in the pipe itself which are also things we come across a lot.

Call Us Now

If you have a blocked drain in Hove, Worthing, Storrington, Chichester, Horsham or anywhere in Sussex then get in touch! You may not need the Super Midi but if you do have any of these more serious problems we have the best tool to deal with it quickly and safely!

Adur and Worthing Councils – Who is responsible for your drains?

When it comes to drains most people don’t actually know the “ins and outs” of what they are responsible for and what the council looks after. On top of that most people don’t know the difference between a drain or a sewer as far as a legal definition goes. for people who live in Worthing or the local area under Adur District Council we thought we would help clarify a few points!

What is a Drain?

According to Adur and Worthing Council the following definitions are used for sewers and drains

  • Drain – A drainage pipe that is serving a single property.
  • Sewer – A drainage pipe that is serving multiple properties.
  • Public Sewer – A sewer that has been adopted by the sewerage undertaker which in this case is Southern Water.
  • Private Sewer – A sewer pipe that is owned by all the homeowners that is serves.
  • Lateral Drain – A drainage pipe that serves one property but that sits outside of the boundary of that single property.

What Does This All Mean?

Well basically if the pipe coming out of your home is on your property then it is your responsibility to look after it, keep it flowing and get any blocked drain issues sorted. This means what you put down the drain in your kitchen, toilets and bathrooms is down to you and if your drain blocks on your property then you need to give us a call.

However, a drain that serves your property in Worthing or the local area but that is outside of your property boundary is actually down to Southern Water. That being said, this shouldn’t be a signal to put bad things down your sink because nearly all blockages that occur happen very close to the property and this means its your responsibility.

Southern Water – Responsibilities

Southern Water is responsible for the following:

  • Any drain that serves a property that is not within the property boundary of the owner.
  • A drain that serves a property that lies on another persons land.
  • A private sewer that serves more than one property.
  • Drains that serve blocks of flats, commercial buildings and the like.

Any unusual situations that include some of the above but have other factors should be discussed directly with Southern Water but our friendly team have a lot of experience so would be happy to help solved the issue.

Here are two useful pages to visit about how to treat your drains properly to avoid blockages:

https://www.southernwater.co.uk/bag-it-bin-it

http://www.southernwater.co.uk/at-home/your-wastewater/pain-in-the-drain/default.asp

Be Nice to your Drains!

Kitchen sink

Drains really are one of those things everyone takes for granted. We don’t see them; we really don’t even think about them and so we are often not very nice to them. But what would we do without them?

A Drain is a Drain

Well not really. We have internal drainage in our homes like the type you find in your sink or bath but we also have drainage coming from dishwashers, washing machines and more. We also have external drains and these are often the ones where the big problems can occur. While we may notice a slow draining bath because of too much hair most people would never even think about the drain that goes from their house to the main sewer pipe in the road. But they are all linked and treating one badly can have knock on effects and cause big problems with the other. This problem works both ways too! By blocking an internal drain you can block an external drain but an blocked external drain can cause all manner of issues inside the home too.

An Case in Point – Worthing

A few weeks ago we attended a call out in Worthing where the customer was reporting slow draining sinks in the house and an odd smell outside. We do a lot of blocked drain work in Worthing but this case was an interesting one. The issue was around a fat and baby wipe build up on the main drain outside the home. They had been putting hot fat down the sink after a Sunday fry up every week for months and months which is bad enough. However, a recent arrival of a baby meant a huge number of non-biodegradable baby wipes had been added to this via the toilet. The result?….a big blockage. Eventually the fat would have caused a big issue but it was the perfect storm when the added material got involved too.

Common Problems

Of course, Worthing isn’t the only place this kind of issue happens , these issues are very common across the UK and beyond! The cause of most of the issues is simply that people do not know what they should and should not put down the sink or toilet. Most of the time if it doesn’t block there and then people assume it is OK but more often than not it is the cumulative effect that causes the issue and not a single event.

What Should You Do?

First of all do not put fats and oils down the sink – this blog post explains why in more detail –Fats and Oils

But on top of that try to avoid mashing too much food after washing up, use a plug catcher to get the worst of the food and put it in the bin. Foods like pasta, cereal and rice can cause a lot of problems. Avoid putting baby wipes in the toilet, it is hard but they can really cause some big problems. The key really is to think before you put anything into your drainage system. if it can possibly be removed and put into the bin then do it because the less solid or waste likely to solidify that goes into the drains the better.

Be nice to your drains and whilst we do love to be busy we also appreciate you may not really want to call us so the nicer you are to your drains the less likely you are to need us!

 

 

Damp in Your Home Could Be Caused By Blocked or Damaged Pipework

Damp isn’t really something people in hotter countries have to worry about but it is certainly a common problem in the UK. Our “lovely” temperate climate means we get wet winters, and quite humid summers….oh and often wet summers too! In fact generally we get a lot of rain most of the year. However, damp isn’t always caused by rain and moisture in the air it can actually be caused by damaged pipework and plumbing and even blocked drains.

damp

Mysterious Damp Area

A lot of people have a part of the house that seems prone to damp patches. The mould and growth is often wiped away or just managed with chemicals but the cause of it can be serious enough to warrant some action. What can happen is pipework behind the wall can leak and this allows water into the wall cavity or the plaster. It can happen in such small amounts initially that it doesn’t cause much of an issue and this is where the damp patch comes from.

Act Now

Because this process is often very slow people tend to ignore it but it can and will only get worse so it is best to speak to us right away and see what can be done. The pipe could eventually break and completely fail but even if that doesn’t happen the slow steady ingress of water will gradually cause more and more damage to the wall itself.

Other Causes

What can also happen is a blocked bath, shower or even external drain can cause water to stay in the pipes which eventually make them more prone to leakage. Even a tiny amount of moisture can start to cause a damp issue and given enough time will create a problem.

Our team of experts are skilled in all things drain related from unblocking to repairing external drains to working on baths, sinks, toilets and showers as well as general plumbing and heating. This broad range of skills mean we have seen it all and can help with damp problems caused by plumbing issues.

Case Study – Blocked and Slow Draining Urinals

Among a great deal of residential drain unblocking work we do we also have a lot of larger commercial customers too. We work in Schools, Care home, Offices, Universities and other large public buildings so we come across a lot of different jobs.

commercial blocked urinals

The Problem

We wee recently called to a commercial customer’s building where 2 out of 3 urinals kept blocking and failing to drain properly. This was naturally a big problem and not pleasant for visitors and employees either. After some investigation we discovered the reason for the issue. It was simply that each urinal had its own mini cistern and the exiting water pressure to the room just wasn’t enough to fill each one evenly. The result? well the first one would get plenty of water and the other two didn’t get enough.

The Solution

The solution was simple. We decided to install one larger cistern that could fill properly with the existing water pressure and would deliver an even flush across all three as a result. Once installed it worked perfectly first time and the customer was very pleased. The job involved removing the old cisterns, installing the new one and, of course, cleaning and repairing the walls that were left behind the old cisterns.

single cistern repair commercial urinals

If you need any help with commercial drain unblocking, commercial plumbing or anything related to drainage at all then get in touch today and we can organise a site visit to get the job done.

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