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Unblocking Main Outside Drain/Gully

Discussion in 'Plumbing and Central Heating' started by Cej238, 18 Jan 2021.

  1. Cej238

    Cej238

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    The main drain from our property is blocked. Downstairs oiled is 'bubbling' when a lot of water goes down the drains, and the exhaust pipe from the washing machine has some 'suds' bubbling out of it. The outside of the house smells of sewage.

    The drain blocked back in July and the water company came out. They lifted up the manhole cover beside the drain and the manhole cover close to the property boundary. The used a flexible pipe (I don't recall if it was manual or motorised/suction) and cleared the 'muck'. I wasn't there at the time, but the man from the water company said that they had just started a policy of charging for unblockings, but did it as a favour.

    Faced with another blockage - I'm wondering what best to do. We are neither super-careful in what we put down the drains; but neither are we pouring bottles of cooking oil down them either.

    I'm not that keen on getting elbow deep in the drain myself, but is there anything worth pouring down it. I've seen "One Shot" referenced both for its effectiveness and its lethality to the uninitiated.

    I'm happy taking the necessary precautions and giving One Shot a go if it is likely to work - but otherwise I'm wondering what people would suggest. Is it best to go through the water company, or someone else? What sort of cost would the job likely have?

    Thanks for any suggestions!
     
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  3. Nige F

    Nige F

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    DO NOT put 1 shot or any chemical down the drain ! Don't use a National drain cleaning co. Get a fixed price from a local co.
     
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  4. Cej238

    Cej238

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    Can you please explain why?

    I've seen a lot of positive discussion of One Shot. What does a national drain company do/not do that a local one will? I just want to understand what sort the solutions are likely to be. We've lived in the house for 6 years; not changed our approach to the drains; but suddenly had two blockages in 6 months. A fixed price that I have to repeat every six months isn't very appealing.
     
  5. Hugh Jaleak

    Hugh Jaleak

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    One Shot is lethal, it is a concentrated chemical that will burn through skin and tissue without a second thought, and will melt certain materials too, which could include your pipework! Secondly, using it in a sewer, is akin to trying to empty a bucket of water with a thimble, it would be so diluted by the time it actually gets anywhere near where its needed, it's as good as useless. I work in the Water Industry, we have been warned on many occasions when dealing with chemicals, 'This is your last pair of eyes.'

    The only way to clear a sewer blockage is by mechanical means, that is by use of rods/snake or high pressure water jetting. Given it has blocked again in such a short period of time, you would probably benefit from a CCTV survey of the pipework to see whats going on down there, and if there is an issue that has caused the pipe to block again. (I will assume pipe is only serving your property, and no-one is flushing wipes or sanitary products down the WC?) Ask for the sewer to be cleared and a CCTV survey and report of the affected section. If unsure of any of the findings, please come back and ask before committing to further expenditure.

    The National companies are more likely to rip you off I'm afraid, (the orange vans are not called Dyno Rob for nothing.) Being in the game we constantly hear of some '24/7 Home Emergency' companies that charge ridiculous prices per half hour, plus machinery, then plus VAT, and upsell work that either isn't needed or done. When you hear of a Pensioner has been relieved of £5000 for unblocking a WC that should have taken 10 minutes, then you have to wonder how some people sleep at night.
     
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  7. Cej238

    Cej238

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    Thanks very much. I see your point re thimbles and buckets!

    I guess I'll look for a local company. What should I be expecting to pay for a mechanical/pressured water service. The distance between the two manhole covers is about 5 metres. That was the section that needed unblocking last time.

    Many thanks!
     
  8. HERTS P&D

    HERTS P&D

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    Phone around and get a few prices and then come back on here and tell us.

    Andy
     
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  9. Mottie

    Mottie

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    Buy yourself a set of drain rods and some rubber gloves and learn to use them. (y)
     
  10. Ian H

    Ian H

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    About £150 for unblock and CCTV
     
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  11. DIYnot Local

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