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Is A Drain Survey Worth The Cost

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  • 01-11-2021
Is A Drain Survey Worth The Cost

Do you want to know how much a drain survey costs in the UK? We look at the average price of a drain survey and what's involved in the job.

What does a CCTV drain survey cost on average in the UK?

The first question you may ask when requesting a survey of your drains is how much does a CCTV drain survey cost? The average cost of a remote CCTV drain survey in the UK is around £250. Of course, this price will vary depending on the job's complexity, but typically a drain survey will take up to 2 hours to complete. They are also an essential service that is well worth the price. 

If you need to determine the structural condition of your drainage system or sewer pipework, CCTV drainage surveys are your best choice. In most cases, drainage engineers are called on to carry out a CCTV survey when drainage system owners or potential home buyers suspect a blockage or some other issue. Initial quotes are generally free, with no obligation. 

Who Carries Out A Drain Survey?

Drain blockages are, therefore, the most common issue that drains can suffer from. Alongside this, cracks and collapsed sections of the drain are also fairly common, with degradation materials or tree roots working their way into the pipes, being other problems drain engineers often encounter.  

In the recent past, these CCTV surveys were relatively expensive. However, given the advanced state of the art technology we have today, the prices of CCTV drain surveys have become significantly more affordable for those on any budget. 

How much does a drain survey cost UK?

Therefore, you should take care if you are quoted too high a price for these services. Any professional drainage engineering company should be able to service any drainage system or pipes for no more than a few hundred pounds, with average costs being far cheaper.

Again, how much a CCTV drain survey costs will vary depending on the extent and complexity of the drainage system that needs to be surveyed. Initial CCTV inspection and the creation of detailed drainage reports will take longer and cost you slightly more money the larger and more intricate your drainage system or pipes are.  

Very basic CCTV camera surveys cost, on average, between £100 to £400. If you want a complete inspection and map of your drainage system and live in a standard house, the average price will be £250. However, basic surveys to diagnose issues with your drainage or pipework will cost around £90. 

Drain Survey Prices

It's all well and good saying that different sizes and complexities of drainage systems will cost different amounts to survey, but what about the specifics? Here is a breakdown of the average drainage surveys and what they could cost you:

  • Basic blocked drains identification surveys will generally take up to an hour to complete and cost around £90. 
  • A full survey of your drainage system and mapping of your pipework will take between 3 to 4 hours and cost around £350.
  • Basic drain and sewer system inspections take between 1 to 2 hours to complete and cost up to £150.
  • Using high definition remote CCTV cameras to locate waste blockages can last between 1 to 3 hours and cost you around £250. 
  • A complete survey of your drains and sewer system with a crawler CCTV camera will take 1 to 3 hours and cost you £100 in material costs and £250 for the labour.
  • An entire survey of your drainage and sewer systems with push CCTV cameras will take between 3 to 4 hours, with material costs setting you back £200 and labour costs will reach up to £300. 

Additional Costs

Of course, you should be prepared for any necessary additional costs that could present themselves when carrying out any drain surveys. Examples of these possible additional costs include cleaning or unclogging charges that could come up should those services be required. 

You may need these services immediately once the CCTV drain survey has been completed to remove any blockages found during the survey. Generally, these services can take 1 to 2 hours and set you back roughly £100 to complete.  

CCTV drain survey prices Ipswich, Suffolk

Another additional cost might be the installation of a soakaway drain underneath your driveway. This is a more technical job and will take far longer, between 1 to 3 days, and cost a lot more, between £500 to £1,000. Of course, this price will depend on the size of the soakaway drain you choose. 

If the CCTV drain survey shows that part of your drain system or pipes are damaged, they will need to be repaired. A drain line breakage is another technical job that will take a while to complete. 

Generally, this will take between 1 to 2 days to complete and cost around £850. However, they are worth the money, given the peace of mind they can provide.   

Cost Factors of a Drain Survey

Several factors affect the cost of a drain survey when conducted in your home. Prices for these services range anywhere between £100 to £300. Here we have listed a few of the factors that could affect this price when you contact a local drainage engineer to complete a drain survey for you. 

Type of house

Given the variety that homes can come in, their drainage systems are also just as varied. Each house will have its own unique system specific to the geography of the site, the needs of the property and its design. 

Some properties will have more complex drainage systems, with technical layouts, winding dips and sharp corners. Pipes that are wider than usual will require a larger CCTV camera to survey them properly. 

This is done so the camera can correctly frame the pipe as it travels through the existing drainage system. Ultimately, using larger, more expensive equipment will naturally be more costly. Especially compared to miniature cameras used for surveying smaller pipes. 

Ease of access 

Not all drains have easy access, and if yours are particularly hard to get at, this could affect the price of your drainage survey. 

This is especially true if excavation work is required to get to the pipework or if a third party is required to locate the entrance or exit of your drains.  Will the possibility of added labour, the costs for surveying a drainage system that is difficult to get at can range between £100 to £300. 

The job's difficulty may also lengthen the time needed to complete the work, ultimately hiking the price a little more. 

Length of drain 

As you might expect, larger houses will generally have larger drainage systems. Larger systems mean that it will take more time for the camera engineer to survey it entirely or may affect the required type of survey. Average costs for surveying a larger property can range between £350 to £450 and take 4 to 6 hours to complete. 

What's Involved in a Drain Survey?

At a basic level, drain surveys involve inserting a CCTV camera into your drainage system and pipes to search for any issues inside. These issues can be anything from leaks to drain blockages and any other potential problems. 

We have compiled a rough guide that will take you through each step of the process. Hopefully, these steps will give you a good idea of what to expect when arranging a CCTV drain survey on your property.

What's Involved in a Drain Survey?


After arranging a CCTV drain survey, the professional drain engineer you hire will arrive with the necessary equipment to inspect your system. This equipment will most likely include a remote waterproof camera, access rods, remote crawler cameras and solar power units. 

Once they have established themselves, the drainage engineer will open your drainage system and send one of the cameras inside to carry out the inspection. They will push the camera through the entirety of your home's plumbing using the access rods.

CCTV survey 

Once the camera has gathered images of the entire system, the drainage engineer will then view the CCTV footage as it is fed back to them. Once the footage has been exported and is ready to view, the engineer will look to identify any issues, such as signs of leaks, blockages, degradation, rust or infestation.


Once the footage has been reviewed, the drainage engineer will then provide a full report on the condition of your drains and pipes. They can do this very quickly, and they will also recommend steps you can take, whether any repairs need to be made or maintenance advice. 

Depending on whether any significant issues have been found and how urgently they require fixing, the engineer will talk you through the repairing process and what needs to be done. They will then arrange for a repair appointment in the future to remedy the problem.   

What happens during a CCTV drain survey?

When a professional drainage engineer arrives at your home to conduct a CCTV drain survey, they will start by sending either a waterproof or crawler camera into your drainage system or pipes. This camera will then capture images of your system to see if any significant issues are affecting its proper function. 

If any issues are found, the high definition quality of the camera will allow the drain engineer to diagnose exactly what is happening and how to fix it. 

The state of the art equipment used in CCTV drain surveys ensures that the best possible service is provided so that your drains get back to working order as quickly as possible.

Are you looking for a CCTV drain survey in the Ipswich and Suffolk area? Find out more about our local services below.