If you’ve ever had drainage issues in the past, you’ll know just how stressful it is to try and unblock your own drain. Blockages can often be persistent, recurring and without the full picture can even get worse with DIY’ing… Great.
So, you might ask yourself the question “Hang on a minute… Can’t I just call the water company?!”
Am I really responsible for unblocking my drain?
Well, when answering this question, there’s one fundamental factor to consider:
The Location Of Your Drain
The easiest way to know who is responsible for unblocking a drain is by understanding where it is in relation to your property boundary.
What classes as my property boundary? Any drains which fall within the borders of your home. Such as, beneath your house, garden, and driveway. These are classed as private drains. Any drains which do not share pipes with your neighbours are your responsibility to unblock.
In summary, for most cases as a homeowner, you are most likely to be responsible for unblocking your own drains should they fit the bill above.
When is a blocked drain not my responsibility?
The exception occurs when you have a blockage in a lateral drain.
What are lateral drains? Lateral drains are those which connect up to the public sewer network, i.e. sharing pipes with your neighbours. Whilst they are connected to your home’s private drains, lateral drains will usually be found outside of your boundary. A blocked lateral drain will not be your responsibility to unblock. This is one of the only exceptions, where the responsibility to clear is handed over to your water company.
Another occasion where responsibility may fall to other parties is a blockage in the sewer system. Problems with lateral or sewer systems may be found as a result of a detailed drain survey or inspection.
Private drains are connected to lateral drains and sewer systems which channel waste water away from your home. Both lateral drains & sewer systems will usually fall outside of your property boundaries – They are not your responsibility unblock.