Tag Archives: CCTV

Summer is here – and with it comes smelly drains!

Drain Doctor recommends enzyme cleaners.

It’s summer at last – a few days of sunshine is forecast. And not before time!

However, hot weather can be a mixed blessing. After weeks in which drains have been overflowing, summer temperatures can bring some unpleasant problems – and smells.

For a start, the warm weather is great for bringing on summer plants (and summer weeds!) but, below ground, the roots that support the new growth can play havoc with drains and sewers, penetrating pipes and causing blockages.

As a householder, if the blockage is within the boundary of your property, you are responsible for clearing it. If it is beneath the street outside, it is probably the responsibility of the water company.

Locating the blockage can be difficult though. The best and most certain way is to put a CCTV camera into the drainage system to see what is actually down there – and where it is. A reputable drain clearance company will give you a detailed report.

Less serious blockages – in U-bends beneath sinks and baths, for example – require less serious treatment and you can often deal with these yourself.

There are a number of drain clearing products sold in supermarkets and DIY stores. Most will clear the initial problem – but few will stop it coming back.

Rather than using a chemical-based product, take a tip from the professionals and consider using biology to shift the blockage. At Drain Doctor Plumbing we use an enzyme cleaner which digests organic wastes in drains, breaking down fat and grease build ups which lead to odours and blockages. We recommend using the product on a regular basis to keep drains free-flowing and clean-smelling.

Using enzymes rather than chemicals is much better for the environment – and, in the long run, much more effective at keeping drains clear.

Prevention, is of course, better than cure and Drain Doctor has a number of tips to avoid summer drainage and plumbing problems.

  • Install a strainer in plug holes to catch hair and other objects that could block drains.
  • Don’t pour fat and grease from cooking down the drain – allow it to cool and put it in the bin.
  • Don’t dispose of old oil, paint or other substances down the drain.
  • Have an established plumber inspect drains for leaks, damage and corrosion and get problems sorted out while they are small, rather than waiting for a disaster!

By using a CCTV camera in the pipes, plumbers can inspect and pinpoint exactly where drains are cracked, damaged or misaligned. Ask the plumber to give a diagnosis of the work needed and provide a written estimate up front. The ones who don’t probably have something to hide such as VAT costs or other ‘extras’.

If you do have a drainage problem and simple DIY techniques don’t solve it, call in the professionals – but make sure they are professionals. Drainage is becoming increasingly technical and you should always seek a qualified drainage technician such as Drain Doctor Plumbing.



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Drain Doctor to the rescue

Self made image of Eastern Cottontail

Image via Wikipedia

Frank Cole, Bob Munro and the team from Drain Doctor Bristol can now add ‘animal rescue’ to their list of services.

Late on Sunday afternoon the team received a call from a father of a six-year-old girl whose prized pet rabbit Minnie had gone missing. A strange call for an emergency plumbing and drain repair company you might think.

But when Nick Clark explained that his daughter Hannah’s pet rabbit had gone missing after he had been putting in a soil stack for a new extension Bob put two and two together.

When he got to the scene the Clarks had been fearing the worst. Mrs Clark had taken Hannah to the zoo before she realised that Minnie was missing while Bob examined the drain.

The garden had been made rabbit proof so the logical place to look for it was down the soil stack. Using specialist CCTV equipment Bob undertook a drain survey. He found that the rabbit had climbed into the pipe, which Mr Clark had forgotten to block off, then got stuck further down the drain.

After he found the rabbit still alive in the drain Bob dug up the patio to reach the rabbit, rescued it and then replaced the drain and patio.

Bob said: “We were able to get Minnie out safely, although she was a bit wet and frightened. We only charged the customer for the CCTV survey because they were obviously distressed about what might have happened to their pet if we hadn’t got it out in time.”

Nick Clark was thrilled. He said: “Drain Doctor staff were friendly, helpful and considerate and the whole job was less expensive than I thought it might have been.

“It must have been very traumatic for the poor rabbit and Bob needed to take care when he was digging it out but he did us proud. They were quick, neat and very clean and tidy.”


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Keep scratching for top prize in Drain Doctor card competition

Since its launch earlier this year, there have been plenty of winners in Drain Doctor’s scratch card contest who claimed their prizes.

However, we want our customers to keep on playing because there are still big prizes up for grabs.

Each Drain Doctor franchise has been busy giving away scratch cards to their customers. The prizes on offer include free home checks, CCTV drain surveys and bottles of enzyme cleaner.

There are also two 40-inch flat screen TVs still to be won.

Lots of lucky Drain Doctor customers have already had the benefit of a free home check or CCTV inspection. But two lucky customers somewhere in theUKstill stand the chance of winning a TV.

Keep handing out those cards because who knows, the winner could be in your area. That will give you a great chance for a bit of free PR.

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Cat stuck in toilet Down Under

A six-week-old kitten.

Image via Wikipedia

First we had bank worker Mary Bale getting caught on CCTV depositing a moggy in a wheelie bin.

Now it seems kittens are getting flushed down toilets. New South Wales emergency services were called to a home in Sydney’s North West recently when a kitten was flushed down a loo by a two-year old girl. The kitten survived.  Rescuers were able to locate the pussy using a CCTV camera in the drain. They removed the toilet and a concrete slab in order to get the kitten out.

Hopefully the little girl wasn’t unduly influenced by Ding Dong Bell. Anyway, all’s well that ends well.

Remember, don’t use the toilet like a rubbish bin. Don’t flush large items such as nappies and avoid flushing wet wipes and materials that don’t break down in the water. If the toilet blocks – call the Drain Doctor.

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Plumbing could be the remedy for exam result woes

Last week record numbers of students received their A level results. As a result record numbers have applied for places at UK universities. Such is the competition for places that around 150,000 applicants are likely to be disappointed. Some of these will go on gap years, others will go into an already competitive jobs market.

Today, students up and down the country will receive their GCSE results. Some will choose not to continue education to A level and look instead to join the workforce. The problem is that they will find themselves in competition with A level students who have not found a university place.

Vocational training could be the answer for those who, for whatever reason, feel that academia is not for them. Training as a plumber or drainage engineer can help students looking for a career in plumbing or drainage to secure work with companies like Drain Doctor.

Drain Doctor technicians are trained not just with technical skills in an increasingly technical industry – including the latest techniques such as closed circuit camera drain surveys and no-dig drain repairs – but in customer care that is reflected in such things as wearing overshoes while in customers’ homes and clearing up carefully after every job.

Vocational training can give young people not just work skills but valuable business and life skills as well.

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Avoid rip-off plumbers with these golden rules for drain delight

Foul odours or overflowing waste water from your drains? You probably have a serious blockage somewhere in your sewerage pipes.

There’s no need to panic – but you will have to call out a plumber. We are constantly hearing about rip-off, incompetent plumbers who are only out to make a swift buck. However, you need not get caught out by a dodgy tradesman.

To ensure you call out a reputable, honest plumber, follow Drain Doctor Plumbing’s ten golden rules for finding the right person: 

1. Does the plumber offer free call outs? You should not have to pay to be told what is wrong – you should only pay for the work done.

2. You need a plumber with a fixed price structure. If a pipe bursts on a Bank Holiday – you don’t want to pay astronomical fees to have the problem fixed. Ask to see their written pricing policy.

3. Ask the plumber to give a diagnosis of the work needed and provide a written estimate up front. The ones who don’t probably have something to hide such as VAT costs or other ‘extras’.

4. Make sure you receive a company-headed receipt and guarantee once the work is complete.

5. Is the plumber environmentally friendly? Find out if he or she used mechanical methods to clear blockages, rather than using expensive, unnecessary and inefficient chemicals.

6. A plumber may have to use a high pressure water jetting machine to clear certain problems. This can be expensive, so if it is needed make sure the cost of it is included in the initial estimate. 

7. If they don’t offer, ask for a free camera survey of the drain once it has been cleared. This will help ensure the blockage has been fully cleared and may even highlight other issues.

8. Find a plumber that will allow you to pay for a job when it is complete and you are fully satisfied with the work.

9. In the unlikely event that something goes wrong after a plumber has made repairs, will they make a return visit free of charge to take another look at the problem?

10. It is advisable for work to be carried out by a reputable, qualified and well established firm, such as Drain Doctor Plumbing. Call 24 hours a day on 0800 70 71 72.

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Drain Doctor leads the field in drain condition reporting

Drain Doctor has become the first emergency plumbing franchise organisation to train its franchisees in the new WinCan V8 drainage inspection software.

Peterborough-based Drain Doctor Plumbing  has become the first national emergency plumbing and drainage repair franchise organisation to adopt the new WinCan version 8 drainage inspection software. 

WinCan is the internationally accepted standard system for reporting on the condition of drains. It is widely supported by many of the major insurance companies and water utilities. 

Steve Peregrine of Drain Doctor’s franchise support team said: “WinCan V8’s extensive toolkit lets us document critical inspection work rapidly and thoroughly. Installed on an industrial PC it enables our technicians to log digital video from CCTV inspections, still images and text data in an extensive, searchable database. 

“Its reporting tools and a freeware viewer make it easy to share inspection results between technicians and head office. It means that we can provide an even better level of service to our customers, both commercial and domestic.” 

Drain Doctor recently held training for WinCan V8 at its head office in Peterborough to enable its franchisees to train in the use of the new software and get some hands-on experience. 

Commenting on the new software, Paul Woodhouse, WinCan’s managing director said: “The training sessions held over a four-day period were a great success and we were able to demonstrate how effective and easy to use the new software is. We are delighted that Drain Doctor has chosen the latest version of WinCan. As a progressive leading UK emergency plumbing and drain repair company it’s fitting that they should be the first to use the innovative new software. 

“Version 8 of WinCan will allow Drain Doctor’s technicians to undertake detailed surveys of drains, upload them to a sophisticated system that lets them interpret digital images of potential problems and develop permanent solutions.”

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