Think again we say!
We hear this all the time and yet every time we attend to do our own drain survey, we find what everyone else has overlooked.
So why is this?
Well first you need to understand who owns what pipes and therefore what pipes are being inspected.
If you call out the local water board, they will only inspect their own pipes. Refer to their respective websites for more information about which pipes these are but essentially if the pipe receives water from more than one curtilage, then it’s a local water board pipe.
The local water board are responsible for maintenance and repairs of these pipes so if you call them out they will simply ensure their own pipes are in good order and then leave!
Their approach to your rat problem is simply to ring fence their own liability – investigative work beyond their own pipes to try and solve your problem is not their problem and therefore not their prerogative!
They will not survey your own pipes and in the vast majority of cases, it’s the private pipes where the defects and problems lie.
Only a private drainage company will inspect these for you.
So this will in theory ensure the right pipes are being checked but again its rare these guys find the problem (unless it’s very obvious).
Why? Because drainage contractors are trained to identify pipe defects and characteristics that affect flow – after all that’s what drains are built to do!
They are looking for significant structural collapses, tree root ingress or other such pipe problems that are going to stop water flowing.
Whilst big defects such as these will also let rats out too, they are relatively rare and often it is very subtle defects that are causing the problem.
Because these defects are subtle they are very easy to overlook – in addition, unless you are aware of what a rat can squeeze through you won’t think them relevant even if you spot them.
But here’s the bigger reason……..most rat problems are caused by redundant aspects of the drainage system.
Redundant drainage aspects are only identified by a dye test – you can’t tell if a section of pipe is redundant simply by looking at it (or very rarely).
The only way to identify redundant pipe sections is to locate all the discharge inlets, add dye to the waste water facilities within the property and confirm that each inlet receives waste water.
A proper dye test to establish rat ingress points is a little more complicated than that but we don’t want these blogs to be a training manual for the competition so we’ll avoid going into any further detail.
Furthermore often the defect in question is beyond the reach of the camera – only people in the know will know such defects exist.
For example, if the hole is in a flexible toilet coupling or where a 32mm sink waste pipe has been connected to a 4” pipe then its highly likely the head of a drainage camera simply won’t physically get to that point.
Ultimately drain surveys are done by humans and therefore you a relying on the experience, diligence and expertise of that human to compute/translate the information the camera is feeding back to him.
As you are well aware, there is a lot of variance in these skill sets from one human to another and the quality of information fed to him/her will rely on the quality of the camera too.
So lots of variables involved which in turn means five drain camera surveys from five different companies will most likely give you five different reports.
But only a Pestology survey will tell you how the rats are getting out from the drains.
Our surveyors are all trained drainage engineers using the best cameras and kit on the market but, more importantly, they are pest controllers at heart so understand rat behaviour and what they are capable of.
They are also trained in building construction too so they will understand the structural differences between a 1930’s semi and Victorian terraced unit – without that knowledge you won’t understand how rats can enter or travel through to a certain part of the building.
No one does it like we do it and rats in buildings is what we do – get in touch for your survey now!