When you are a homeowner or a business owner, how do you know if your drain needs fixing? Even a minor blockage can bring about disaster if not repaired. Apart from producing a highly unpleasant odour, it can also damage your property and cause serious health problems. There are a few signs to look out for to indicate there is something untoward going on down in the depths of your drainage system. With the assistance of drainage companies, you can catch these signs early and get it sorted. In this guide we will outline the main signs to look out for and how the services of a drainage company can assist you, whether your drainage problem is based within a commercial or residential property.

Common signs of a blocked drainage system

One of the most frequent problems involving drains is blockages within the pipes themselves. This happens due to a buildup of waste, or more drastically, a collapsed pipe.  small drain problem which has initially been ignored can quickly become a much bigger problem when left untreated and can significantly damage your property and escalate the costs to repair. In some cases, drains can be cleared naturally through the pressure of water flowing through the drainage system in order to shift the   of years worth of waste – this is the ideal scenario. However, in other cases, a blocked toilet or a blocked sink can be very unruly to clear.

Here are some of the key early signs to look out for:

Sulphurous smell

This can be an indication of rotting elements inside the drain. Blocked drains seem to emanate a foul smell or a generally unpleasant odour. This is frequently due to food or any other kind of debris rotting in the drain. As food slowly decomposes – it creates a noticeably bad smell, this always appears worse when the tap is left on.

Slow draining

If there’s been a blockage within the pipes, water will drain a lot slower than it normally would. The water needs to filter past this debris, creating a sluggish flow.

Raised water levels

The easiest way to detect a blockage in the bathroom is to flush the toilet and see if the water rises higher than normal. Moreover, if the water rises to the point of overflowing, there could be a much more serious issue with your pipes.

Gurgling sounds from the sink or toilet

If you notice any strange noises coming from the drains or plug holes, this could very well be an indication of blockage. This sound indicates that there is trapped air within the drain which is escaping when water is running.

Signs of damp

Cracked or collapsed drains can often be a huge cause of damp within a property. With a damaged drain, the flow of water is going to be majorly disrupted. This can, in turn, lead to water flowing into the ground surrounding the drains itself. Damaged drains can also lead to issues such as damp and wet rot. If the pipe has collapsed beneath your home, you may be able to spot the signs on your walls or floors. Generally, the evidence of a leak will be localised to one area of the wall. If you notice this, it’s crucial that you inform a drainage professional before it becomes irreplaceable. Left unattended, it can be a big problem – especially if you can’t fight the source.

The responsibilities of a drainage company

Any issue that involves the removal of water from a property falls within the remit of a drainage expert. Despite the fact that some issues manifest themselves indoors, the cause of the problem is usually due in part to a leakage or block in the drain pipe itself. Drainage services include unblocking drains as well as replacing and relining drains to deal with broken external piping. A plumbing service varies in the sense that it relates to water entering a property, so covers work such as leaks, dripping taps, leaking basins or internal pipe leaks.


As well as performing repairs on the drains themselves, drainage specialists will also be able to assist you in preventing a problem before it even occurs. As pipes get older, cracks and chips appear which can compromise the integrity of the pipes and also create a surface where fat and debris can accumulate. Drainage companies can undertake CCTV inspections to discover the condition of the already existing pipework and make recommendations for any repairs if necessary.

Removing waste

Whether you use a septic tank to store waste or an agricultural enterprise system that generates slurry, at some point, the liquid will require removal. Drainage specialists operate a tanker service. This hygienically removes waste from your premises and disposes of it through the appropriate means. Human waste has the potential to store harmful pathogens, so safe transportation and removal is absolutely crucial. A specialist company can perform a one-off job to clean the system or you can arrange a regular cleaning schedule depending on your needs. Plumbers don’t tend to deal with waste removal so this would be undertaken by a drainage expert.

Drains in the workplace

Depending on the nature of your business, there are several ways a drainage company can assist you. In the UK our sewage systems are fairly modern compared to other parts of the world where you may be unable to flush toilet paper, however there are significant factors that can cripple any type of drainage system.

If you work in a catering facility or restaurant, your drains could be highly susceptible to fats, oils, and grease (FOG) leaking into them. Initially, this may not seem particularly harmful, however, combined with other objects that can’t be flushed, they create something commonly known as ‘fatbergs’ which harden and block the pipes. With this in mind, it’s important that restaurants and other catering businesses get rid of FOG in an appropriate manner. A drainage company will be able to assist you in clearing your drains and also offer you guidance on how to prevent this happening frequently. For example, they may suggest using grease traps, which sits in between the sink and your drain to prevent waste going down the pipes, along with drain strainers which serve a similar purpose.

What’s the next step?

Any of the issues listed above are a cause for concern on their own, but if you are noticing several of these things then it’s time to tackle the problem head-on. If you are prepared and equipped to unblock your drainage system yourself, you can find a wealth of information online with steps you can follow and guidance on how to do this. However, it’s highly recommended you seek the support of a professional about the problem straight away to get the support you need.

Finding a good quality drainage company

There are a number of ways to ensure that you are getting the best possible service that is not only serviced by a legitimate plumber but also someone who has the relevant knowledge and equipment to fix the problem. It’s common knowledge that one of the best ways to find a good and reliable plumber is asking around family and friends.

However, you could also have a look online. It’s really important that you research the credentials of a company prior to agreeing to any services. A trusted website in the consumer organisation is Which? Local. The tradesmen have all been reviewed by Which? members. All the posts and reviews are verified for authenticity, meaning that each review is 100% reliable feedback. Extensive planning and research is the most encouraged route to finding a good plumber. It’s encouraged that you are specific and have a clear brief and aim when calling around to businesses requesting quotes.

Your Local Plumbing Network offers a variety of affordable plumbing and drainage services for both domestic and commercial properties around the North West. our emergency plumbers are on call 24/7, ready to respond with any issue you may be experiencing. We deal with anything from drainage, central heating, boilers to high jetting clearance. Get in touch with our friendly and professional team who will be happy to help. We even offer a same day service to give you peace of mind.