Drain Jetting and Unblocking Costs

Material Costs, Labour Fees and Time Frame Estimates for Drain Jetting and Unblocking

Numerous factors can affect how much getting a drain unblocked and jetted. Costs will be generally more expensive in London and other nearby counties due to higher cost of living, how severe the obstruction is, along with the specific methods that will be used to get it removed. Failure to unblock the drain would mean having to cover the callout fee of about £60 to have a professional to come in and evaluate the problem.

If the problem is only a minor obstruction, a viable solution may be rodding, which should cost around £80 along with labour. If the blockage is considerably sized, drain jetting may be necessary and the price could increase considerably to but £200, depending on your chosen provider and where in the country are you. 

Costs for Drain Jetting and Unblocking

It’s difficult to put a definitive price on the costs involved with drain jetting and unclogging. Different jobs will require different lengths of time as well as labour intensity. Quotes can also vary between service providers although there are rough estimates on how much certain methods of unblocking are likely to cost. Generally, it would cost about £150 to £200 for unblocking drains using rods as well as jetting. The figures increase though based on how difficult the job is going to be. 

Before looking for a contractor who can possibly assist you, do check first with your insurance provider to see if the policy covers drain unblocking, most policies do which means that they may contact the right people on your behalf. Just note that the minimum callout fee for hiring one via your insurance is at £100. It’s common for drainage experts to charge a daily rate of £250 to £300 and they can usually get the problem fixed and patched in just a few hours. 

Most providers would ask for the pipes to be surveyed via CCTV first. Some companies will extend this service free of charge provided that you’re going to avail of one of their unclogging services. Others might charge around £250. 

This is always recommended when the clogging has been a persistent problem. There may be no need for this method though if it was only one-off. Detailed pipe surveys will help tradespeople locate the clogging as well as determine who will be deemed responsible in covering the costs of the unblocking task— the utilities provider, a neighbour or yourself. 

Aside from getting the drains unclogged, if there has been damage found, there may also be a need to get the broken or corroded pipework repaired within the property. Pipe-lining is a hihgly popular method where a resin tube is inserted into the current pipework which secures the damaged spot whilst also reinforcing it. Costs usually start at £65 a metre. 

Clogged drains can be disastrous if not addressed as soon as possible. This is why if you think there are issues, you must fact as taking too long before calling the experts in, you’ll likely end up getting charged twice or thrice the standard costs for callouts. 

Cost Breakdown

Costs for drain jetting and unclogging is at £200. 

Timescales and Labour Costs

Assuming that the drainage specialist charges minimum callout and task fees, a minor drain rodding, especially a non-emergency one, should cost around £140 and should only take about an hour to get done. 

Obstructions that are more difficult to locate can take longer to address and will require more work to be done— in this case, drain jetting on top of rodding. This work could take up to 2 hours and will likely cost around £250. Note that several factors that could influence the final price. Sometimes, a blockage might actually be something entirely different as in the case of collapsed pipes. It is the responsibility of a professional to determine what underlying issues there are in order to best advise you on the ideal course of action.  

Factors that Affect the Costs of Getting a Drain Unblocked and Cleaned

Depending on what blockage type you’re dealing with, as well as its overall severity, several factors are expected to affect the final cost of a drain jetting and unclogging and cleaning job. Drain cleaning experts generally charge about £275 for a day’s work. For easily accessed blockage with minimal severity, the costs could be around £80 along with labour costs to get the issue rectified— which should take no more than an hour to get done. 

In the case of larger blockage, jetting and rods may both be used to resolve the issue. As a result of the additional work that has to be performed, providers may charge about £175 for the two methods that will be involved. This generally takes up to 2 hours to finish. It could take longer to address though, especially if the blockage is particularly large or if there are accessibility issues. 

What’s Included in Drain Unblocking?

Before any work is carried out, a drains expert is required to assess the problem by inspecting the pipes and locating the obstruction. He will also determine how severe the issue is to determine the most appropriate removal method. 

If the blockage is suspected to be within pipes that connect to the bath or sink but is just minor, you might be able to fix it yourself. A plunger can do wonders. If moderate, rodding may be needed. If the drain covers are overflowing due to the blockage or your toilet isn’t properly flushing as a result, there may be a problem with the sewers or the external pipework. 

An inspection will be carried out by the tradesperson, using connecting rods with the ends attached to a double helix. This can penetrate the drains via a manhole and through pushing and twisting motions, break the obstruction apart. A plunger attachment may also be swapped to ensure that any remaining blockage will be forced out. 

After the professional successfully breaks the clog down, the rods are removed and fresh water is used to flush the drains. You may be asked to run the flush toilets and taps in your home so the tradesperson can get the necessary visual indication that the obstruction has indeed been cleared up successfully. Also, if there are still residues in the drains, they can be flushed into the sewers. 

Once the tradesperson has determined that the clog has been duly cleared up, any mess will then be cleared up and he will proceed to cover the drains. For serious blockage, jetting may be necessary. 

What is Drain Jetting?

Also known as jet cleaning or drain jetting, jetting is a method that aims to break down obstructions in pipes and drains through the use of high force water jet via a flexible hose. After successfully locating the obstruction, the hose blasts through the direction of the blockage and the jetting machine gets turned on. The high-force impact of the water helps break down the materials that are causing the blockage. 

Signs Your Drain is Blocked

There are a number of warning signs that can indicate blocked drains. Toilets that do not properly flush or drain covers that have overflown are just some of these. Another sign to look out for is when there seems to be an awful smell coming from the drains. This indicates that the blockage is forcing gas out of the drains as a result of the obstruction. Sinks will likely take time to empty too. Watch out for gurgling sounds in the drains when you use them too as this means that the passage may have been narrowed to the point where air pockets are now getting forced up the pipes.

Why is Drain Jetting and Unblocking Necessary?

There are several reasons that the drains have to be unblocked. 

  • The pipes aren’t the right size for the purposes they are used for
  • Improper drain use
  • For regular maintenance
  • To determine damage and corrosion in the system

There are instances when the size of the drain may be too small for the amount of work that is required of it. If the pipes are smaller, there will be less space for waste to move around as it passes through. This can cause problems especially when there is a build-up, which can restrict a space that’s already too tight, to begin with. 

Some people aren’t using their drains properly too. For instance, they might let hair, soap scum, oils, general debris, and food particles to pass through and other things that are better off getting disposed of somewhere else. 

It’s highly recommended that you get your drains tested and cleaned professionally at least every two years. Regular maintenance is always useful at preventing problems from escalating into something more serious. 

Drain Blockage Prevention

The best method to implement in terms of preventing drain blockage is always prevention. Pay attention to the things that you are letting pass through them if you want to avoid future obstructions. Grease build-up is often considered the most notorious culprit for blocked drains because they can solidify as they pass through the pipes, causing the passageway to narrow down. It is best that you collect your grease in empty bottles and have them disposed of with your regular rubbish. 

Hair, soap scum and small food particles shouldn’t be washed down the sinks since they can lead to blockage when lodged. Sink and drain strainers are ideal for this purpose. They are cheap too, about £2 so a very small price to pay for how useful they actually are. 

Outdoor drains aren’t immune to clogging too, especially since they are exposed to debris, leaves, and other objects that could possibly wiggle their way towards the sewers. Break and cracks in your gate might let pests and other objects in so they need to be rectified as soon as possible. Drain gates are just £5 each and are a great investment so, if the current ones need to get replaced, make sure to do it as soon as possible. 

When Should I Clean My Drains?

Drain jetting regularly is essential if you want to be sure that it will run freely at all times. Pour hot water onto your sink after using it to make sure that any debris gets properly flushed out. Mixing vinegar with sodium bicarbonate can also help take care of stubborn build-up in your drain. If you accidentally flushed oil into your drains, make sure to flush it with hot water to prevent any build-up. 

Take the time to clear your external drains of leaves and other debris. Scoop the leaves out and make sure that the drains are kept as clear as possible so potential build-up can be duly prevented. If you intend to use chemical cleaners to flush your pipes, make sure to follow all instructions on how to effectively and safely use the product. They can lead to expensive repair jobs if not used appropriately. Getting your drains tested and then cleaned once in every two years is how experts suggest you keep it in optimum function. 

DIY Drain Jetting and Unblocking

For severe blockage, it is best that professionals are tapped for the job. This is because in many cases, the blockage isn’t always visible and accessible and will require special tools and equipment to be fully addressed. There are situations though when it would be perfectly fine for homeowners to attempt to address the problem themselves. Among the things you can do include: 

Use plungers

A plunger can be quite handy at dislodging clogs, although this would depend considerably on how severe it is. Plungers force the water down and up the pipes through compression and suction, which may be helpful at getting the obstruction dislodged. See to it that the bell is duly submerged for it to work. Make sure that the seal between the basin and your plunger is kept whole doing the process to ensure that the pressure is intact. Plungers are quite cheap at about £4 each. 

Vinegar and baking soda mix

Baking soda mixed with vinegar can be quite effective at getting your drains cleaned and unblocked. Just sprinkle baking soda onto the drains and then pour the vinegar afterwards. You should see a visible fizz, which can have an erosive effect onto the drains and can possibly break food particles, grease and other possible obstructive materials down. This is quite a cheap method to attempt at only £5 and is usually very effective when addressing a minor obstruction. 

Chemical cleaners

You can buy chemical cleaners almost everywhere. They can help break down possible objects that can cause an obstruction in drains and they are usually decently priced too at £3-£20. They usually contain such chemicals as peroxides, lye, as well as sulphuric acids. Do see to it that you’re purchasing chemicals that are appropriate for your pipes. Chemical cleaners may not be ideal for weaker pipes and plastic piping due to their corrosive nature. 

Drain snakes

Also referred to as drain augers, they come in a number of sizes and shapes. They are inserted through drains for addressing obstructions. They usually have teeth that are designed to capture any item that can just be pulled back through the drain holes. They usually come as a multipack and can cost around £5. Since they are disposable, there’s no need for you to get them sanitised after use. 

Drain rods

If you’re quite sure where the specific blockage is, you can use a rod to free the drains by yourself. Drain rods usually come in various lengths and materials. Generally, they have a length of 1 metre and are often made of polypropylene tube, which is not flexible and sturdy. A set could cost around £15-£25. Do select the ones with tubing that is significantly thicker to ensure that the possibility of it snapping whilst being used is reduced. Also, be careful when using these rods as they can snap and break whilst being used and can end up causing more damage to your drains as a result. If this happens, make sure to call on the professionals for help. 

Water jetting

There may be a need to use water pressure to address blockage, depending on how severe it is. Pressure washers can cost around £60 to £90, especially the budget ones. The more expensive models could cost you around £300. Just note that the maximum pressure these machines are capable of can vary based on the model and make. 

Hydro-jets are another option. They tend to have higher pressure output but they come at a steeper price too at £3500. 

Most professionals will not advise homeowners to try and get rid of the clog on their own, especially with jetting. These machines can be quite dangerous and may cause considerable property damage when handled wrong. If you do insist to get the task done yourself, see to it that appropriate pressure is used on the pipes and to also wear the necessary protective gear whilst doing the job. At the end of the day, it is still more ideal to tap the services of a professional especially when you only have to pay just a fraction of the price. 

Unblocking the Drain— Whose Responsibility Is It?

The responsibility for blocked drains will have to be determined by the location of the blockage as well as the drain type involved. In most cases, it will be a homeowner’s responsibility, especially if it is located within the property’s boundary. If it is the neighbour’s drains that are affecting your property, then it is your neighbour’s responsibility to get it fixed. However, of shared sewers, it is usually the responsibility of the water company to get it fixed. 

Lateral drains and issues with the sewer are generally the responsibility of the local water provider as they are often located beyond the property. This is why if you’re experiencing issues, it is best to connect with your local water provider so they can work on getting the problem amended as soon as possible. They are expected to address the problem as soon as possible as it can have serious health and environmental risks. Sewage issues that don’t get addressed as soon as possible can also damage the sewers too, which can be quite a pain to repair. If the sewers are privately owned or unadopted, then it will be the responsibility of the property owner to get it fixed. 

Landlord or tenant Responsibility

Unless there is a tenancy agreement that has specified the rules in terms of who is responsible for clogged drains, minor drain problems are generally a tenant’s responsibility. However, for costlier problems, it will be the landlord’s responsibility to rectify. For tenants that are new to the property, drain issues, no matter how small, are to be addressed by the landlord. If there is a recurring issue, then it will have to be rectified by the landlord as well. 

Costs for Cleaning and Maintaining Septic Tanks

Having a septic tank is very important especially if it’s not possible to connect your home to the main sewerage line. Septic tanks hold the wastes materials that pass through the plumbing system of the property and needs to be cleaned and drained once a year, granted that the septic tank is adequate enough. 

Not emptying the septic tank can be disastrous especially since the moment it reaches the max capacity, you’ll likely have to deal with the risk of backwater to your home. This is not only unpleasant to clean up, but it can also be quite costly to fix as well. Bleach isn’t ideal to use when cleaning the pipes. Bleach can serve as a biocide which can kill any active bacteria in the sink. This reduces the overall efficiency of the unit. 

It’s advised that soakaway systems are changed at least once every 10 years. The smell is often one of the most common issues people have with their tanks. This is an indication that whatever biomasses are present inside the tank are no longer alive or working— an indication that there is too much waste in the tank and that desludging is already necessary. 

There are tank treatments you can use which can help active bacteria growth in the septic tank. These bacteria are useful for breaking down waste into sludge, reducing the smell that the tank produces as well as prolong the need to empty the tank. Bioaugmentation products are usually offered by online retailers at prices around £20-£40. 

Costs for Replacing or Relocating a Drain

If you have been experiencing persistent clogging issues in your drain, it could be a sign of much bigger problems in the pipelines. There may be instances when the existing drains would have to be relocated due to the passage becoming too narrow to successfully meet your draining demands at home. Other reasons include collapsed drains or drains that have extensive damage that is just beyond mending. 

If your drain needs to be moved, permission from the water authority in your locality is necessary. The relocation also needs to adhere to specific building regulations in the UK before any work can commence. The application could cost around £1300, depending on who your water provider is. A drainage survey may also be required to assess the pipe layout as well as check for connecting pipes in the area that could possibly be hit by the move. The service generally costs around £400. 

Relocation costs could cost around £4700, but this can be affected by several factors such as the ipe size and the time frame for the job to get completed. The overall cost of the application will also need to be factored in as well.