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CCTV Drain Survey - What Is It, And When Do I Need One?

You may need a CCTV drain inspection if you are noticing a foul smell coming from sinks and bath plugs, unusual gurgling sounds or if you have noticed any leaks outside your property.

It is essential to regularly inspect and maintain your drains to keep them in good condition and identify potential issues before they become too serious. CCTV sewer surveys are the most time and cost effective way of inspecting your drainage system and keeping on top of drain maintenance. 

Spectrum offers a full CCTV drain survey service.

Our team has the skills, expertise and experience to conduct thorough CCTV drain surveys. We will access your drainage system and perform the survey while causing minimal disruption to tenants and businesses in the building. Once the survey is complete, our operatives will provide a detailed report outlining any issues discovered. 

If you are concerned, you may need a drain survey, or need a pre purchase drain survey, you can discover the other Drain Cleaning Services we offer by contacting a member of our team via 020 3551 6206.


What is a CCTV drain survey?

A CCTV drainage survey uses specially designed cameras to look deep inside a drain and check for any issues. When our operatives arrive at your property for a drain survey, they'll access the system via a manhole. These manholes, when adequately sited, give our drainage surveyor team access to the entire drainage system, ensuring they can spot all potential issues. 

Our operatives will check the footage for a range of issues and provide the client with a full report detailing any required maintenance work. CCTV drain surveying is conducted using specialist equipment so they can be completed quickly and efficiently, with the results available almost immediately. 

When should CCTV drain surveys be carried out?

CCTV drain surveys must be carried out whenever maintenance issues are suspected. Several signs can indicate that a drainage system is not working as it should. These include:

- Bad odours emanating from plugs and toilets

- Slowly draining sinks, showers and baths

- Overflowing drains

- Unusual gurgling sounds

- Leaks outside the property

If property owners, tenants, or businesses that use their buildings notice any of these indicators, they should arrange for a CCTV drain inspection as quickly as possible. CCTV drain surveys should also be carried out whenever a building changes ownership. 

As drainage cameras can identify various maintenance issues, a survey will ensure buyers know precisely what they get when they sign on the dotted line. 

Check out one of our CCTV Drain Surveys we completed for a client in South London. The main logistical issue was a lack of design drawings for the drainage system, which we supplied them with after a quick camera investigation via their manholes.

What issues are identified using a CCTV drain survey?

When carried out by skilled, experienced operatives, cctv drain inspections can identify almost all common drainage issues. If they are spotted early, many of the problems can be put right quickly and at minimal cost – and minimal disruption – to the client. They can also be used to investigate guttering and downpipe issues from ground level.


Blockages are a very common drainage issue. Often caused by food, hair, tissue and other debris being washed into the system, full and partial blockages restrict water flow in the drains. If the pipes become completely blocked, water can start to back up and may overflow out of sinks, toilets and baths. 

Partial blockages can also cause water to back up into a building. They can also result in wastewater flowing more slowly through the pipes. This increases the risk of bad odours in the building and causes sinks, baths and showers to drain slower. 

CCTV drain surveys can easily spot full and partial blockages. Once the problem area has been identified, our team can use the most appropriate cleaning method to remove the blockage and restore the drain to working order. 


Leaking drains can be a severe issue for property owners. If the wastewater leaks into the structure of a building, it can begin to cause dampness, mould and other maintenance issues. If the water leaks into the earth, it can destabilise the ground around the property and make the area unsafe. 

CCTV drain inspections can be used to find the leak and assess the extent of the problem. Our operatives will use the video and images to decide which repairs are most appropriate and which tools will be required for the job. 

Displaced joints

All drainage systems have joints. These joints connect up sections of the pipes and allow the drains to change direction, converge or diverge. If these joints become displaced, it can cause leaks and other drainage issues. Displaced joints can happen due to subsidence or be caused by root movement or building works.

Minor and major tree root disruption

As trees grow upwards, their roots grow outwards. While they grow slowly, tree roots are incredibly strong and can easily crack and crush drainage pipes, so identifying and addressing the issue early is essential. 


Over time, the materials used to build drains can begin to corrode. Corrosion is often caused by harmful chemicals entering the system and damaging the pipes. Harmful chemicals can cause pipes to start to leak, and the drainage system's structure can become weak. Drain inspection cameras can spot signs of corrosion and help property owners get an early warning of this common issue.  


If you need a CCTV drain survey central London, just get in touch. Learn more about the importance of drain surveys, and discover the services we offer, by exploring our site or getting in touch with a member of our team via 020 3551 6206


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