Jetting, Rodding, Testing or Tracing – What Drain Clearance Service Do I Need?
Blocked drains and other drain-maintenance issues can be anything from a minor headache to a major problem. The first, and generally the cheapest, response is to check, clean or clear via internal means, and a variety of equipment and methods are available to assist this process, as outlined below:
Water jetting at pressures of up to 5,000 psi is a clean, economic and highly effective method of cleaning and clearing drains and sewers. In most circumstances this procedure offers considerable advantages over other options; the water jet is sufficiently powerful not only to initially dislodge blockage material, breaking down grease, fat and other deposits into smaller fragments, but also to then carry away and clear the resultant debris in the flow. This technique can be used to clear both domestic and road-drainage systems, and is the best choice where a build-up of sand deposits has occurred. These can be scraped back and removed via the system access during retrieval of the water-jet nozzle.
Commonly used to shift blockages in drains and sewers, drain rods are available in sets. Each rod section is fairly rigid – with some flexibility when force is applied – and is around a metre in length. Strong polypropylene tubing is the most common material used, and drain rods are assembled end-to-end by screwing further sections in place as the whole assembly is pushed into and along the drain, via an access chamber, to clear obstructions. Heavy-duty drain roads may be of steel construction, and all sets will feature a number of special-purpose unblocking tools, to grip, pierce or push debris, together with some cleaning brushes. Rodding technique usually involves twisting, pushing and pulling the assembled rods to move blockages, whilst regularly flushing water through the pipe.
CCTV drain surveys
The advent of CCTV (Closed Circuit Television) systems has made it possible to access, accurately record, and analyse the condition of drainage systems, pinpointing the nature and location of defects and obstructions. Remote-controlled crawler units, with cameras attached, are guided along drainage channels to complete a comprehensive survey. Customers then receive a report summary, together with survey footage, on CD-ROM or similar media.
Tree roots can cause considerable damage to drainage systems and the cutting and removal of tree roots is often pursued as a regular maintenance activity in larger systems. Both water-jet and drain-rod systems can be adapted to cut and remove any roots present in a system. In each case this requires the use of special attachments to build a rig capable of cutting and clearing whichever size of root is causing the obstruction.
Where drains are leaking, or where it is necessary to check the flow, tracking and tracing is commonly achieved by adding a coloured dye to the water in the drainage channel. This system can also be used to discover and verify system information, for example, whether or not a surface outlet originates from a particular drain.
An air-test is a means of checking whether pipework is suitably watertight. This is achieved by stopping the pipe-ends with airtight stoppers, and then using a pump to pressurise the air inside the pipework and a manometer to read and monitor any loss of pressure – which would indicate potential leaks within the pipework.
A digital locator can be used to establish the precise layout of a drainage system buried underground. This is often a necessary first step where there are drainage problems and system plans are known to be inaccurate, or simply non-existent. This method can often be used alongside a visual CCTV inspection, resulting in faster and more economic diagnosis and repair.
For any more information about how best to remove a blockage or to call in drainage experts to assist with your drainage system – simply give the team at Clearfirst a call today.