Foul drain blockage


Foul drain blockage


An insurance provider commissioned Catalyst to assist a homeowner who noticed a downstairs toilet was rising when flushed.

The property was a large detached house with pitch tiled roof. The property had gardens to the front and rear and a block paving driveway.

The drainage system was a combined system accessed by a manhole at the rear of the house. The pipe was made from clay with a 100mm diameter. The drain was not shared.

Catalyst’s response

The insurance provider instructed Catalyst late Friday morning. Within 90 minutes, we called the homeowner, the claim was validated, a dedicated claim handler was appointed and details of the claim were sent to the insurer for approval.

On Monday morning, Catalyst instructed a contractor, who attended site the following day (see full timeline below).

Blocked Drain - Plan

Cause and extent of problem

The contractor carried out a CCTV survey of the drain. This showed mass roots intruding from the junction serving the toilet. High pressure water jetting was carried out to clear the blockage.

The blockage was caused by the build-up of mass roots. It was also clear the drain would block again if work was not carried out to prevent future root infestation.

The customer informed Catalyst that his wife would be coming out of hospital after leg surgery and would need to use the downstairs toilet.

Blocked Drain - CCTV report-frature-circumferential
Blocked Drain - CCTV report-roots

Further action

It was recommended that, to minimise the risk of future blockages caused by mass roots, a liner would have to be installed to seal the pipe at the point of root ingress.

This would require the following work:

  • Carry out a sonar trace to identify the location of the pipe
  • Excavate the block paving path to a depth up to a metre
  • Open up the junction access to remove any remaining roots
  • Install a 2m-long pipe liner
  • Reconnect to existing pipe using a 1m plastic pipe
  • Encase in concrete hardcore, backfill and compact to trench width
  • Refit block paving
back yard with leak
back yard repair

Customer satisfaction

A post-works feedback survey revealed the customer was extremely satisfied. They commented: “The engineers were first class, clean, tidy and very polite. You couldn’t tell they had been.”


There were no recovery prospects


Date and timeEvent
Friday 11:25                        Claim instructed. Call to customer. Dedicated handler appointed.
Friday 12.57Claim validated and sent to the insurer for approval.
Saturday 11.19Approval received from insurer
Monday 11.03Appointment made for contractor to attend site on Wednesday
Monday 16.09Contractor able to bring work forward to Tuesday, with customer agreement
Tuesday 09.54Catalyst is informed contractors are on site and job is going to plan
Wednesday 13.19Contractor confirms all works complete
Wednesday 15.55Catalyst signs off work with the customer
Wednesday 16.11Catalyst raises invoice to insurer client

Do you need our services? Call Catalyst on 0800 870 8080

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