How Long Does a CCTV Drain Survey Take?

A typical CCTV drain survey takes between 1-4 hours, depending on the size and complexity of the drainage system.

However, various factors can influence the duration of a survey, including property size, accessibility, and the presence of any obstructions or blockages.

In this article, we’ll explore the factors affecting the time it takes to complete a CCTV drain survey and offer tips to help you prepare for a smooth and efficient process.

Factors Affecting the Duration of a CCTV Drain Survey

Size and Complexity of the Drainage System

The size and complexity of your property’s drainage system play a significant role in determining the time it takes to complete a CCTV drain survey. Larger properties or those with more extensive drainage networks may require more time to inspect thoroughly. Similarly, properties with multiple branches or junctions in the drainage system can add to the overall survey time.


Ease of access to your property’s drainage system can also impact the duration of a CCTV drain survey. Properties with manholes or inspection chambers that are difficult to reach, hidden, or obstructed may require extra time to locate and access. Ensuring that all access points are clear and accessible before the survey can help speed up the process.

Obstructions and Blockages

Obstructions, blockages, or debris within the drainage system can impede the progress of the CCTV camera, potentially prolonging the survey. If you’re aware of any existing blockages, it’s best to inform the survey team beforehand so they can prepare for potential issues and allocate extra time if necessary.

Weather Conditions

Adverse weather conditions, such as heavy rain or snow, can affect the visibility of the CCTV camera within the drain and slow down the survey process. In some cases, extreme weather conditions may even require rescheduling the survey to ensure accurate results.

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    Tips for a Smooth and Efficient CCTV Drain Survey

    To help ensure that your CCTV drain survey is completed as quickly and efficiently as possible, consider the following tips:

    1. Clear Access Points: Make sure all manhole covers and inspection chambers are accessible and free from obstructions, such as debris or garden furniture.
    2. Inform Neighbours: If your drainage system is shared with neighbouring properties, inform your neighbours of the planned survey and request their cooperation in reducing water usage during the process.
    3. Check Weather Forecast: Schedule the survey on a day with favourable weather conditions to ensure optimal visibility and reduce the risk of delays due to adverse weather.
    4. Provide Accurate Information: If you’re aware of any existing drainage issues, such as blockages or damaged pipes, inform the survey team in advance to help them plan accordingly and allocate sufficient time for the inspection.

    What to Expect After the Survey

    Once the CCTV drain survey is complete, the survey team will analyse the footage and compile a detailed report outlining their findings. This report will typically include:

    • A description of any identified issues, such as blockages, cracks, or collapsed pipes
    • Recommendations for addressing any problems
    • A schematic map of your drainage system, if applicable
    • A DVD or digital copy of the recorded footage

    The time it takes to receive your report will vary depending on the complexity of the findings and the survey company’s workload, but most reports are delivered within 1-2 business days.

    The Importance of Regular Drain Maintenance

    In addition to conducting a CCTV drain survey when problems arise, it’s crucial to practice regular drain maintenance to keep your drainage system in optimal condition. Here are some essential maintenance tips to keep your drains running smoothly:

    1. Regular Cleaning: Regularly clean your drains by removing debris such as leaves and dirt from the surface. This can help prevent blockages and ensure that water flows smoothly through the drainage system.
    2. Avoid Pouring Grease and Fat Down the Drain: Grease and fat can solidify within your pipes and cause blockages over time. Instead of pouring them down the drain, collect them in a container and dispose of them in the bin.
    3. Use Drain Guards: Install drain guards or strainers to prevent hair, food particles, and other debris from entering your pipes and causing blockages.
    4. Be Mindful of What You Flush: Avoid flushing non-biodegradable items, such as baby wipes, sanitary products, and cotton swabs, down the toilet, as these can cause blockages in your pipes.
    5. Schedule Regular Drain Inspections: Professional drain inspections can help identify potential issues before they become significant problems, saving you time and money in the long run.

    CCTV Drain Surveys for Homebuyers

    If you’re considering purchasing a property, a CCTV drain survey can be an invaluable tool in identifying any potential drainage issues before you commit to buying.

    A pre-purchase CCTV drain survey can provide valuable insight into the condition of the property’s drainage system, allowing you to make an informed decision and potentially negotiate a lower purchase price if issues are identified.

    Choosing the Right CCTV Drain Survey Company

    When selecting a company to conduct a CCTV drain survey, it’s essential to consider the following factors to ensure you receive a high-quality service:

    1. Experience and Qualifications: Choose a company with a proven track record and qualified personnel who have experience conducting CCTV drain surveys in the UK. This will help ensure that your survey is completed accurately and efficiently.
    2. Latest Technology: Opt for a company that uses the latest CCTV equipment, as this will provide high-quality footage and allow for a more thorough inspection of your drainage system.
    3. Comprehensive Reporting: Make sure the company you choose provides a detailed report outlining their findings, including a map of your drainage system, a DVD or digital copy of the footage, and any recommendations for addressing issues.
    4. Customer Service: A company with excellent customer service will be responsive to your needs, answer any questions you may have, and be willing to work with you to schedule the survey at a convenient time.

    Final Thoughts

    A CCTV drain survey can provide valuable insight into the health of your drainage system and help you identify and address issues before they become significant problems.

    By understanding the factors that affect the duration of a CCTV drain survey and following the tips outlined in this article, you can ensure a smooth and efficient process.

    Remember to practice regular drain maintenance and consider scheduling periodic inspections to keep your drainage system in optimal condition.

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