In this guide, we’ll break down the costs of this type of drainage survey based on different factors/jobs. We’ll also discuss the timeframes involved and look at additional, relevant subjects like what this job entails and whether it can be undertaken DIY.
A CCTV drain survey essentially involves a drainage engineer fitting advanced CCTV inside your home’s drains before undertaking a detailed inspection by viewing a live-feed from these cameras. This type of drainage survey is popular, given how detailed and accurate these inspections are.
This article will prove especially useful if you’re considering having this work undertaken but want to know some more details first, especially concerning the price.
First, let’s look at the overall price of hiring a tradesperson for a CCTV drain survey. On average, it costs £230 to £270 to check for blockages in a drain or/and sewer using CCTV.
The total job cost rises to around £460 to £540 for a complete survey with push CCTV drain cameras. However, you’d need a lower budget of about £310 to £390 for a full survey with robotic crawler CCTV.
Unlike with some jobs, the labour cost of CCTV drain surveys tend to be job-specific and are therefore not usually linked to time, at least not strictly-speaking.
For instance, to locate blockages in a drain or/and sewer using CCTV, the average cost would be approximately £230 to £270 in labour costs.
However, a complete survey using push CCTV drain cameras would likely come with a labour charge of £280 to £320, with the trades price dropping to roughly £230 to £270 for a total survey using robotic crawler CCTV.
Moving on to the cost of materials, this lands around £80 to £120 for a full survey using robotic crawler CCTV or £180 to £220 for a total survey where push CCTV drain cameras are employed.
However, supply costs are generally non-existent for a survey that involves checking for blockages in a drain or/and sewers with CCTV.
There are plenty of factors that can shape the overall cost of a CCTV drain survey. Firstly, the size/type of drain is relevant as this will, in turn, impact how long the job will last, which may add to the labour cost.
The size/type of drain may also impact supply costs as one piece of CCTV equipment may not be sufficient, and additional tools or cameras may be required, which may increase your total bill.
Beyond that, the type of CCTV survey (i.e. the exact nature of the work), ease of access, and where you live are all important cost-affecting factors.
As for the last factor, property location matters because drainage engineers, like all labourers, charge different rates across the country.
|Job Description||Supply Costs||Labour Cost||Total Costs|
|Find Blockages with CCTV||£0||£230 to £270||£230 to £270|
|Total Survey using Robotic Crawler CCTV||£80 to £120||£230 to £270||£310 to £390|
|Total Survey using push drainage CCTV||£180 to £220||£280 to £320||£460 to £540|
We’ve broken down the prices of three common CCTV drain survey jobs. Now, let’s take a closer look at each of these tasks, what they involve, and the pros & cons of each.
Drain blockages tend to result from collapsed or cracked pipes. Pipes can deteriorate over time or suffer damage from unintended excavation or tree roots.
Sometimes CCTV cameras will be employed to locate blockages in a drain or/and sewer. With live feed coming from the cameras, the drainage engineer will spend their time looking at the feed while identifying where the drains are blocked.
Once complete, you’ll have the knowledge needed to have the blockage fixed. On average, this job costs about £230 to £270.
✔ Usually won’t take any longer than three hours
✔ No supply costs generally required
✔ Relatively inexpensive CCTV drain survey
✖ May take a little longer than you’d hope
A full survey, regardless of the type of CCTV camera(s) used, involves a complete inspection of your home’s drainage.
With your drains fully mapped and any issues identified after this job, you’ll have a clear idea of what problems need to be fixed and where. Mapping out your drainage could also be useful for the future.
A robotic crawler CCTV camera comes in the form of a small wheeled robot that can be placed inside a drain and remote-controlled from above to explore and survey the drainage network.
The cost of a drain survey with a robotic crawler camera is roughly £310 and £390.
✔ Better manoeuvrability than push drainage CCTV
✔ Better able to traverse difficult corners
✔ Not as expensive as push drainage CCTV
✖ Risk of getting stuck using this type of drainage camera survey
As with a full survey using robotic crawler CCTV, this type of survey involves completely inspecting the drainage network and identifying any problems, such as blockages or damage.
The key difference between both forms of CCTV is that push drainage is corded. This type of CCTV is lowered down and unravelled from a fire hose reel-styled loop before being pulled back up to the surface.
On average, this type of survey costs £460 to £540. Though this is a more costly method of surveying drains, it is fairly common.
✔ Fairly common method
✔ Less likely to get stuck
✖ Higher cost of drain camera inspection
✖ May take a bit longer
Let’s now look at the steps involved in having drains surveyed using CCTV cameras.
Unless you decide to undertake a drain survey DIY, the first step in having this work undertaken is finding the right surveyor for you.
The smart thing to do is ask around for at least three quotes from different contractors/companies before making a decision.
It’s also worth asking for references. Plus, you should ensure that the contractor has the right qualifications relevant to being a CCTV drain surveyor. One example of an appropriate qualification is a NADC Certified Drain Surveyor or CDS course.
On the day that the drainage engineer arrives to perform the work, they will start by setting everything up, opening up your drainage system and then lowering the CCTV camera. A robotic crawler may be placed inside a drain or, instead, a push drainage CCTV may be lowered.
Regardless of the type of CCTV camera(s) used, once the CCTV has been lowered correctly, the drainage engineer will begin the survey and inspect the drainage network.
This may be to locate blockages, or in the case of a total survey, it will involve checking the entire network for a whole plethora of potential issues. Hopefully, few, if any, are found!
Once the survey is complete, you’ll be provided with a report, which may discover blockages, animal infestations, collapsed or otherwise damaged drains, or/and corrosion.
With the results, you’ll be equipped with the knowledge necessary to move forward and have any repair work undertaken that’s necessary.
In the worst-case scenario, you’ll discover that you need to have your entire drainage network replace (or that it is at least very much advisable).
Getting new drainage may cost between £500 and £1000, depending on the size and type of drainage network you currently have.
A similar price would apply to install a soakaway drain system in particular. To have a drain unclogged would cost roughly £50 to £200, depending on the extent of the blockages.
It is possible to perform a drain survey by yourself, but you should only do so if you’re completely sure of what’s involved and that you are ready to take all of the necessary safety precautions.
As for a CCTV drain survey, in particular, this would not make sense as a DIY job since the relevant equipment would cost hundreds, if not thousands of pounds.
However, you could hire CCTV drain survey equipment or purchase a second-hand kit. It doesn’t need to be of top quality, but if you’re going to do the work DIY, you’ll want to purchase or hire equipment at a price that wouldn’t cost you more than simply hiring a professional.
A DIY setup with tools and equipment from eBay is possible for less than £100.
A range of building regulations must be followed, as laid out by Planning Portal. These regulations covered by Planning Portal apply to England and Wales, but rules may vary in Scotland and Northern Ireland.
The same is true for planning permission. On the subject of planning approval, it’s quite unlikely that you’ll need planning permission unless you want to undertake the maintenance work needed to fix any problems found during the survey.
In some cases, a professional will need to sign off on drainage work, but this is generally not a requirement for surveys.
Working with drains can be dangerous, from risking exposure to harmful chemicals to the danger of causing unintended damage to your drains, and there are many issues that can arise.
For that reason, it’s essential that you are fully prepared. You should wear a protective mask when working with an open drain and protective goggles to be on the safe side.
As with having any work undertaken, there are some downsides worth taking into account. First and foremost, it’s usually a little expensive, especially if you want a full drainage survey.
Suppose planning permission or building regulations approval is needed and your application(s) are rejected.
In that case, you’ll need to look at the reasons for this and re-apply with the relevant adjustments made. However, these sorts of approvals will probably not be needed.
This is a survey of a drainage network using advanced CCTV cameras.
This is a survey of the drainage network beneath a house.
Once the drain survey is complete, the drainage engineer will write up a CCTV drain survey report for you.
This report will detail the materials found, water levels, drainage use, diameters of the pipes, accessibility to manholes, and the length and direction of the water flow.
The report would naturally highlight any problems that have been found and pinpoint where exactly the issue is present. You’ll hopefully receive a copy of the footage taken by the CCTV camera(s).
Yes, it’s possible to do so for less than £50 per day in some cases. This could allow you to undertake your own drain camera survey.
This is when homeowners have their drains surveyed so that their property price is more accurate for potential homebuyers.
Once potential buyers know that this survey has already been undertaken recently and can see the details, the chance of making a sale will be that bit higher.
Sometimes the homebuyers will make this request themselves. This type of survey is also known as a pre purchase drain survey.