When Should you Contact a Drain Repair Company?

Knowing you need to contact a drain repair company can be a daunting thought. Especially if you have left it to the point where you need a collapsed drain repair. However, you should know when you actually need help with your drain repair or when you can solve it yourself.

broken drainpipe repair

What is the difference between a blocked drain and a broken drain?

Now it is important to state that there is a reason that plumbers train for so long since repairing a drain is not always an easy task. Plumbers to get fully qualified and have their level 3 NVQ in plumbing can take up to 4 years.

Despite this, some plumbing jobs are entirely possible without the help of a drain repair company. For example, if your sewage drain is only clogged, you can sort that yourself.

That being said, it’s important to know the difference between a blockage and a collapsed drain that needs repair.

Blocked drainpipe

Here are the warning signs of a blocked drainpipe. Using this you can effectively diagnose this issue:

  • Toilet and sink basin drain slowly
  • You can smell your drain from indoors
  • You routinely hear your drainpipe making gargling  

When it’s a broken drainpipe

If it is a broken drainpipe, you will need to find a drainpipe replacement for the damaged piece. That being said, here’s how you can tell if it’s a broken rather than clogged:

  • All the signs of drain blockage
  • Insect infestation
  • Rat infestation 
  • A dropped or sunken garden
  • You notice cracks in your foundation and mould on the walls

Repair a clogged drain

Now that you have worked out if it is just a clogged or broken drain, you can get to work and fix this issue. This drain repair shouldn’t take you too long to get some great results. We highly recommend you wear gloves while carrying out this process:

  1. Remove the drain gutter cover
  2. Clean the debris around the drain
  3. Clear excess line water from the drain by using a cup that you don’t care for
  4. Put your garden hose down the drainpipe, try to place it as far down as possible
  5. Use old fabric sheets to tightly pack the drain and gutter area
  6. Turn on the garden hose for 30 seconds then turn it off
  7. Repeat step six 5-times but give a minute between each cycle

The video below shows how to carry out these steps to clear your drainpipe.

The aim of this is to use the pressure water flow to get rid of any debris stuck to your pipes. An optional step is to pour some boiling water down between steps 3 and 4. This can help loosen up the debris. 

If you still are struggling to unclog your drain then check out our blocked drain clearance service.

How to repair a drain

For those brave enough to fix it themselves, you can repair a drain with the right tools and know-how:

Find the broken pipe

To fix a broken pipe, you need to find where it is. Pay attention to areas with wet patches, dark green grass and sinkholes. These are all signs that can lead you to the location of a collapsed drain that needs repair. Once you have found the spot, dig a shallow hole until you are certain of the location. When you have found the area with the drainpipe that needs replacement dig a deeper hole. Our recommendation is to dig half a foot deeper past the broken pipe. This will allow for better accessibility.

Remove the broken portion of your drainpipe

Remove the broken portion of the pipe by using a saw to cut it out. With certain drainpipes, you might need a drainpipe cutter. Drainpipe cutters can easily be found in a DIY store or found online. We recommend cutting 2 inches extra on either side of the broken pipe.

Cut off the right length of pipe

Note the length and diameter of the broken drainpipe you have removed for replacement. The diameter will help you decide on a pipe that won’t leak and will have a good seal. Then when you cut the pipe to length use the measurement you noted earlier. PVC is a great material as it is lightweight and durable, making it easy to fit and not damage.

Connect the drainpipe replacement  

Slide rubber coupling onto the pipes already in the ground. Then connect the pipes together. You will know it’s secure when very little movement can occur. The pipes should have no gaps between them.

Provide support by filling the hole

You can fill the hole you dug back up with the soil. Optionally you can do a mix of the soil and pea gravel.

What you can do to avoid drain repair

There are always steps you can take to avoid drainpipe replacement. Regularly carrying out the steps shown to unclog a drain can help. Regular maintenance of your pipes can stop you from ever needing to contact a pipe repair company. You can check on your drainpipes as little as once a year or as often as once every other month. 

Drainpipe replacement

If your drainpipe is broken and needs replacement, you should get in contact with a drain repair company. The longer you take to get your drain repair sorted the more expensive it will become. Additionally, as shown before it can affect more of your property than you might imagine. Mould growth, rat and insect infestations can lead to major health complications.

​​We provide 24-hour support, 7 days a week, 365 days a year to London and home counties like Hertfordshire. You can get in contact with the First Response Drainage team in under an hour with no call out charge. Make sure you call us on 0800 043 4860 if you think you have a fatberg clogging your sink.