frequently asked questions

Blocked Drains FAQs

The cost to clear a blocked drain will depend on the drain type, the blockage type and how easy it is to get to. The earlier you let us know, the easier it will be to remove the blockage. Industry prices on average state you can expect to pay between £80 to £100 plus VAT for a straightforward unblocking of a domestic sink, bath or toilet, depending on the severity of the blockage.

For drains and waste pipes with substantial blockages, we recommend calling in the drain unblocking experts. However, for minor blockages in sinks and toilets, there are things you can do to address the problem. For sinks and toilets, a drain unblocker solution can help. Alternatively, you can use a plunger or a small manual drain snake. If neither of these work, call in Trent’s Drains.

If you have a blocked drain, you’ll want to get it unblocked. Cleaning alone won’t do the job. That being said, there are several techniques you can use to clean your drain. Many people swear by baking soda, as it breaks down grease and mineral deposits which cause blockages. It can also help tackle that blocked drain smell. You should aim to flush your drains weekly. Use boiling water, washing up liquid and a funnel. If the water is draining slowly, you can use baking soda or white vinegar.  For preventative drain maintenance for hard to reach, large or commercial drains, contact Trent’s Drains. We do not advise using chemical drain cleaners as these can be ineffective at best and dangerous at worst if not used correctly.

While indoor blocked drains can be easily prevented, leaves, twigs or rubbish can block garden drains without your knowing. It’s important to try and assess what’s causing the blockage before taking action. The best way to tackle blocked garden drains is using drain rods.

If you have a drain in your garden that’s blocked, it makes sense to call in the experts. Especially if you’d rather not get your hands dirty.

If you have a blocked outside drain, we’d recommend calling in the professionals. We have the tools, the skill and the expertise to tackle all outdoor drain blockages. Call now for emergency drain unblocking on 0117 949 0155.

Found yourself with a blocked drain? Often the quickest and most reliable way to ensure your blocked drain is properly cleared is to call a drainage contractor. With years of training and experience, not to mention all the proper tools, hiring an expert can save you valuable time (and sometimes money!). If you aren’t confident around drains, it’s always best to call in a professional. If you feel confident enough to tackle it yourself, you can always call our team for expert advice and guidance.

All too often, blocked drains can be easily prevented. Things like food grease, coffee grounds and wipes can cause drain blockages and other issues. Be extra careful about what you’re putting into your drains. Here are a few things to think about. Pour cooking grease into a container and throw in the bin. Throw coffee grounds in the compost. Throw baby wipes, sanitary towels and tampons in the bin. Only flush toilet paper. Use a plug screen or drain cover to stop hair and soap scum getting through. Flush your drains weekly with baking soda or vinegar followed by boiling water.

All sorts of things can cause blocked drains. It can either be due to something getting stuck in the pipe or a buildup of substances that block water flow. For indoor drains, common causes include:

  • Sanitary towels
  • Tampons
  • Baby wipes
  • Food waste
  • Grease
  • Hair
  • Soap scum

For outdoor drains, common causes include:

  • Leaves
  • Garden waste
  • Foliage
  • Rubbish

You can tell if you have a blocked drain if the following conditions are present:

  • Bad smells coming from the drain
  • Water drains slowly
  • Rising water levels
  • Gurgling noises

If you notice any of these signs, contact Trent’s Drains for fast, affordable drain unblocking.

If the blocked drain is on your property and you are the property owner, you will be responsible for it. According to the Citizens Advice Bureau, the sewerage company is responsible for drains outside of property boundaries.

Most home or buildings insurance policies do cover work on drains where there has been accidental damage. It is important to check whether your policy includes exclusions such as pipe material. If you aren’t sure whether your policy covers your drains, contact your insurer.

No. Drains are pipes that carry waste and water away towards a sewer. Sewers are networks of pipes, constructed underground, to carry waste from drains and surface water run-off to treatment or disposal facilities.

In extremely cold weather, drains can freeze, leading to waste water backing up. Consider keeping the heating on in rooms where your drains are, or using space heaters. Ahead of cold weather, arrange to have your drains cleared to prevent risk of freezing. And afterwards, get your drains checked to ensure the cold hasn’t damaged them.

Yes. A blocked drain will often emit an unpleasant, rotting smell. This is due to a buildup of waste, minerals and dirty water. Get your drain seen to ASAP if it starts to smell.

Unfortunately, a drain cannot unblock itself. If the blockage is minor, flushing the drain with water might help dislodge the blockage. However, your best option is to contact a professional to remove the blockage permanently.

Septic Tank FAQs

According to building regulations, a septic tank must be situated a minimum of 7m from ‘any habitable parts of buildings, and preferably downslope’. Other requirements state that where a septic tank must be emptied by a tanker, the septic tank should be located within 30m of a vehicle access ‘provided that the invert level of the septic tank is no more than 3m below the level of the vehicle access’. The tank should also be located where there is a clear route to a hose pipe, allowing the tank to be safely and thoroughly cleaned.

The cost of any septic tank will depend largely on the size. You will need a tank that can adequately handle all waste water from your property, including toilet, shower, sink, washing machine and dishwasher water. Location is also a consideration – the easier it is to install, the cheaper it will be. This is why above ground tanks are generally cheaper. The cost can vary dramatically based on size and the type of tank required. Contact Trent’s for a free no obligation quotation. You should also factor in labour costs for the installation.

This will depend on the type of septic tank you have. A steel tank can last up to 20 years. Concrete or plastic tanks last much longer, up to and even beyond 40 years. A properly maintained and looked after septic tank will of course last longer.

On top of the cost of purchasing a new septic tank, you’ll also need to factor in the cost of installation. The cost of installation can vary dramatically depending on the size of the tank as well as the condition of the ground access to the premises etc. You can save money by excavating the hole for the tank yourself. Contact Trent’s Drains for septic tank installation in Bristol and the South West.

Septic tank replacement should be somewhat cheaper than having a brand new system installed. This is because you won’t have to include excavation, new pipework and soil disposal into the cost. However, you will need to consider the cost of disposing of your old system. The old tank will also need to be completely emptied before it can be disposed of responsibly. Contact Trent’s Drains for septic tank replacement in Bristol and the South West.

Your septic tank should need emptying on average once every three to five years. That is providing it has been properly maintained. The exact length of time will depend on the size of the tank and the number of people occupying the property. Conserving water where possible will prevent overloading your septic tank. If your tank is not emptied, it can cause serious issues such as sewage backup into your home. A few signs your septic tank may need emptying include:

  • Slow drainage
  • Problems flushing the toilet
  • Signs of overflow around the tank surface

To keep your septic tank in full working order and to ensure a longer lifespan of your system, it should be regularly maintained by a professional septic tank expert. This should take place once every few years, typically when your tank needs emptying. Servicing includes emptying or pumping out your septic tank as well as cleaning it thoroughly. Regular maintenance ensures blockages are removed and you won’t experience sewage backups or odour problems with your tank. Professionals can also make any necessary repairs and replacements to keep your septic tank working properly.

A septic tank collects waste water from households where there is no main sewer line connection. They are commonly found in more rural areas. The tank holds solid waste, while the liquid waste drains either through a soakaway or drainage field.

When it comes to choosing a septic tank, the preferred material you should opt for is either concrete or plastic (specifically GRP). You can buy steel septic tanks, however these typically don’t last as long. You can also choose between an above ground or below ground septic tanks. Above ground tanks are easiest to install and therefore are usually cheaper. While underground tanks are less visible on your property and typically need emptying less often.

Choosing the right size septic tank is essential to ensure it can adequately handle all the waste water coming from your property. You should consider the size of your property and the number of occupants. The more people that live in your property, the larger the tank will need to be. A good calculation is to multiply the number of people in your property by the average amount of waste water generated per person (150L). Add an extra 2,000L to your total and this should give you a good estimate of the size tank you’ll need. Don’t be tempted to get a tank that is too large, however as an oversized tank may be ineffective in breaking down waste solids.

A septic tank that is full must be emptied sooner rather than later. Otherwise, you may notice slower draining water in your property, gurgling noises in your pipes, or bad odours. A full septic tank may cause sewage to start backing up into your property, or overspilling onto your land around the surface of the tank.

When you move to a property with a septic tank, the previous owners should have shown you where the tank is located. However, if you aren’t sure, check to see where the sewer exits your house. The tank should be 7m from the exit. A metal detector can also help you locate your tank.

Drain Repair FAQs

One of the first symptoms that you are likely to notice is a foul smell around your drains or in and around your home. This could indicate that there is damage somewhere along the drainage pipe. The smell might disappear, however, if the damage is to the pipe itself the smell will come back in due course.

The price of any repairs will always be calculated on a case by case basis. Give a member of the team a call today to get a free quote and to get more information on how your drains can be fixed quickly and efficiently.

A collapsed drain requires immediate attention and is on the more severe scale when it comes to a drain collapse, but how do you know if your drain has collapsed? Here are a few ways you will be able to tell if your drain has collapsed: 

  • Signs of damp
  • Poor drainage
  • Sewage backups
  • Cracks and structural damage
  • Sewage smell

Collapsed drains are usually caused by a number of things but most commonly they are caused by frequent blockages in the pipes which causes the want to be continually lost into the ground. This flooding will then usually result in pressure on the drainage system and therefore, a collapsed drain.

Our team are able to advise you on whether your local council or water supplier are responsible for any drain repairs on your property. If you are living in rented accommodation you may need to contact your landlord before work is carried out.

Our team can repair pipes by patch lining or lining the full length of the pipe. We will do this whatever possible and only remove and replace the pipe where necessary.

We would recommend having a drainage survey performed before you buy a house. This will clearly identify any existing problems and avoid potential repairs in the future.

CCTV Drain Survey FAQs

A CCTV drain survey is a detailed look into your drainage system, using specialist drain survey equipment. The drain camera is fed into your drainage system, which then feeds back CCTV footage back to a monitor at surface level, so a drainage system, which then feeds back CCTV footage back to a monitor at surface level, so a drainage engineer can fully assess the state of your drains. This recording is documented and saved, so that any findings are confirmed and recommendations can be made accordingly.

The engineer will put together a map / drawing to detail the full drainage layout to make sense of the report.

Potential problems are brought to the surface when a survey is taken out. These problems can range from root breaches, blockages or structural issues like a fracture or collapse. Trent Drains can carry out CCTV Surveys on any types of building such as commercial, residential, industrial or even infrastructures such as roads, rails or utilities.

At Trent Drains, we provide professional CCTV Drainage Surveys in Bristol. Get in touch with our team on 0117 453 8631 for a free quote.

CCTV drain surveys work by feeding a specially designed camera down the drain in order to carry out the inspection. The CCTV camera sends live footage to the screen that our engineers use to examine the drain. Based on the visual date, our engineers can provide instant feedback and recommendations on the next steps.

Yes, a CCTV drain survey would be very useful when purchasing a property as the existing drainage system may be faulty and therefore cause you trouble as soon as you move in. Or gives you a piece of mind that the drainage system is in good condition before purchasing the property

If you are frequently getting blocked drains and constantly paying for unblocking costs then a CCTV drain survey would discover exactly why it keeps happening in your drainage system. You will then receive a full survey report and video showing the insides of your system and recommendations on resolving the issue.

There are various scenarios where a CCTV survey would be extremely beneficial to diagnose and rectify your drainage issues. If you are experiencing recurring blockages or you may have a bigger problem such a collapsed or broken pipework – a drain survey could be absolutely vital in understanding the issues in hand. A CCTV survey is also recommended as a part of pre- purchase investigations when buying a new property. This will give you the power of an informed decision before signing.

A CCTV survey includes conducting quality surveys of all pipe sizes and providing detailed reports on the same. These surveys are carried out using robotic camera systems which are controlled remotely from being surveyed and highlight any defects in the line.

Drain Survey Report

We provide a link with a downloadable copy of the video footage, detailed survey and PDF report. Our report details the material, size,  length and diameter of the pipe along with defects (if any) graded and highlighted. All of our surveys are carried out by suitably trained and qualified operators and our reports are produced to the latest standard.

CCTV Drain cameras utilize closed circuit television technology. The device itself has two distinct features, one being a screen that allows us to see a live feed through a camera, the other being a hose with a camera inside which can be lowered into an open drainage system. When the hose gets lowered into a drain, we can see the live footage from the camera in real time. As the hose is further lowered into a drain, we can then see if there are any potential blockages, leaks and other drain related problems.

Fast and Accurate

CCTV Surveys allow you to quickly analyse your drainage network and accurately pick out any issues or potential issues that may arise in the future. On completion of the survey, your service provider will give you an effective solution to any problems identified.

Cost Effective

Most problems can be solved using “No Dig Technology” methods which can include patch repairs, relining of pipes and lateral cutting. This will reduce the need for costly and time consuming excavations and leads to minimal disruption on site.

Preventative Maintenance

Carry out preventive maintenance and future proof your draining system for years to come. You will not need to wait until you have an issue with your drainage system to conduct a CCTV drain survey.

Preventative Maintenance FAQs

Preventative maintenance is having your main sewer line cleaned on a regular basis before it becomes an emergency. Not only does it prevent sewage from backing up into your home but it also prolongs the life of your main sewer pipe. If roots penetrate the wall of the pipe through tiny fractures, they eventually can turn the fractures into cracks. Preventive maintenance and main line cleaning will keep those roots cut, slowing down the deterioration of the pipe or building up in dips in the line.

If your home was built in the 1980s or earlier, if you have had trees or large bushes in your front garden or if you want to avoid a sudden back up of sewage in your home you should have your main line cleaned with an optional video camera inspection to determine the condition of the pipe. If however, you have a PVC plastic pipe then preventive maintenance is not necessary unless dips are know of or are present.

Pre-planned draining maintenance reduces any high plumbing cost as it allows us to analyse and review problems or any potential troubles that cloud arise as well as planning solutions through detailed maintenance plans for our clients.

It helps you to plan your expense based on what is needed to do and other future problems. Downtime from essential areas such as toilets and drain can be avoided. It can prevent any health and safety issue and also loss of revenue or disruption of business operations can be prevented. Scheduled drain maintenance services are about setting dates for routine maintenance as part of a service agreement.

Unless you have had the entire line replaced with PVC plastic, it is a good idea to have preventive maintenance done.

If you would like to prevent a blocked drain, you should avoid flushing inappropriate objects down the toilet or allowing harmful substances down your sink or shower. Which can build up and cause limescale. Maintaining your drains will help them to last longer and are less likely to become blocked, you can either:

  • Install a drain guard
  • Use a drain cleaner
  • Use boiling water
  • Be vigilant when looking for signs of blocked drains
  • Accept help from the professionals at Trent Drains.

Emergency Unblocking FAQs

Yes, we can come out 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. Someone will always pick up the phone whether it is an evening, weekend or bank holiday. If it’s an emergency blocked drain that cannot wait any longer, one of our drain engineers will attend.

Chemical drain cleaners do have a limited use. They may clear a small amount of hair clogged in your sink or bath, however they can damage pipes. They can also be dangerous if incorrectly used and are bad for the environment. They would not clear a blocked manhole. Drainage engineers always use mechanical methods, whether it is using drain rods or high pressure jet washers.

Blocked pipes and clogged drains will start as a minor issue, but a clogged drain emergency can happen quickly if it isn’t addressed and repaired early. A clogged drain slows water draining, corrodes water pipe, and causes flooding and sewage back up.

The blocked drainage system, broken pipes and leaking gas are some of the most usual residential emergencies regarding plumbing that individuals call their plumber for. The number 1 cause for obstinate blockages in drainage systems and damaged pipes is neglect and ignoring problems.

When your drain begins draining slowly or not at all you should call a regular plumber to address the situation before it gets worse. If you wait and notice your drain starts to back up and water starts filling your sink, you need to contact an emergency plumber.

Busted pipes can be devastating to both your home and your wallet, as they can cause indoor flooding, water damage and the accumulation of mould. As soon as a pipe bursts, contact an emergency plumber so that they can get to your location and contain the damage caused by the situation.

Our friendly, reliable engineers have years of experience, skills and expertise to get the job done

All our engineers are fully trained and insured. We will never overcharge you and will always take the time to ensure the job is done to the highest possible standards. Our rapid response times mean we get out to you quickly, with minimal fuss and disruption to you.

But don’t take our word for it. Take a look at some of our latest customer reviews. We pride ourselves on delivering customer satisfaction with every job we undertake.

Get a FREE Quote Today

Proudly Serving customers throughout Bristol, & the South of England