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A guide to drain surveys

Find out more about the drain diagnostic equipment that has revolutionised our industry

  • Tuesday, 7 May 2024 3:31 pm
  • Jack Stonehouse
7 min read (939 words)


There’s no doubt about it - CCTV surveys have revolutionised the way we find and deal with drainage issues - we’re no longer playing a guessing game with drains! We get asked a lot of questions about CCTV drain surveys, so below we’ve answered some of the most common ones, so you know what to expect when a CCTV drain survey is required at your property. 

What is a CCTV drain survey? 

A CCTV drain survey involves specially designed cameras being inserted into the drainage system, on long attachments, that can allow drainage contractors to pinpoint blockages, and assess the state of the system itself. 

What kinds of issues can be picked up on a CCTV drain survey?

Everything from blockages to cracks can be picked up on a CCTV drain survey. Not only do they show you where a blockage is, but also what it’s made up of, so that the most effective equipment can be used to remove it. CCTV drain surveys also show tree root ingress, collapsed drainage systems, and corrosion can also be found by using CCTV drain surveys. 

What are the benefits of a CCTV drain survey? 

When it comes to CCTV drain surveys, there are several major benefits: 


The big benefit of CCTV surveys is the minimal disruption they cause - all contractors need is access to the system. No digging, no fuss!


Finding out what the problem is takes no time at all with a CCTV survey, particularly on those carried out near private homes with smaller drainage systems. 


No longer are drainage contractors working somewhat blind; CCTV equipment gives contractors the ability to ‘roam’ within the drainage system, and not stop until they find out exactly what the issue is, and whereabouts in the system it’s situated. This leads to a faster, more effective fix. 


This ties in with convenience and speed; because issues are quickly diagnosed and with comparatively little effort, the cost of CCTV surveys isn’t as high as you might think. 

What are the alternatives to a CCTV drain survey? 

The alternatives to CCTV drain surveys are more traditional clearance methods, such as rods and jets, used on a trial and error basis. Whilst this can clear small blockages and therefore provide an immediate fix, in other instances diagnosis can take much longer, cost more money, and potentially even cause unnecessary damage to the system. 

How much does a drain survey typically cost? 

Many factors influence the price of a CCTV drain survey, such as the property size, drain condition, and length of time required to find the problem. However, you can expect the price of a standard CCTV drain survey to be anywhere between £65-£200. 

What equipment is used to carry out a CCTV drain survey? 

The cameras used for a CCTV drain survey are waterproof, and capable of withstanding water pressure. They can pan and tilt to provide a complete view of the drainage system, with a light installed to ensure that the operator can see clearly. They are fed into the drainage system on long rods. 

How should you prepare for a CCTV drain survey?

Your drainage contractor will prepare for the CCTV drain survey themselves - all you need to do is ensure you allow enough time for them to be on site and provide access where necessary so that issues can be located quickly. 

What happens at a CCTV drain survey? 

Using an initial conversation with you to understand the drain problems you’re having and where they’re believed to be originating from, the drainage contractor will conduct the survey by inserting the camera into the drainage system and watching the footage live. Following this, the contractor will then discuss their findings with you on site with you if possible and send a report and recording of the survey to you for your records, including any recommendations for further work. 

When can a CCTV drain survey be conducted? 

A CCTV drain survey can be conducted when you experience problems with your drains, or while you’re looking to purchase a property - drain issues can pop up and cause frustration and inconvenience when you least expect it!

Do you need a drain survey for a property sale? 

A CCTV drain survey isn’t a compulsory part of a property sale, but some astute buyers will choose to have a home buyer’s CCTV drain survey conducted before they purchase a property. This is to determine whether there are any existing problems with the drains, or any that could crop up in the future. CCTV drain surveys provide the same kind of peace of mind as regular property surveys. 

Choose The Drain Guys for your CCTV drain survey

Here at The Drain Guys, we offer a reliable drain survey service to homes and commercial properties across Sussex and the southeast. Using our years of experience in surveying and assessing drains for damage, potential issues, we can diagnose the cause of blockages and slow drainage quickly and accurately. Just give us a call!

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