Are You Asking, “Why Are There Rats in my Drains?”


There are an estimated 12 million rats in the UK. Many of these 12 million rats inhabit cities and towns, and may well be in your drainage system. Rats are very damaging to drains and can easily enter your drainage system. Rats can also easily enter your property through your drains. You may be asking, “Why are there rats in my drains?” and, “How can I sort the problem”. Here we are going to discuss how to spot you have a rat problem, where the rats are coming from, and the solutions we can offer.


How To Spot Rats in Your Home & Where They Are Coming From

Sewers and drains are the perfect habitat for rodents. Food can also be a trigger for a rat infestation in your drains. If a restaurant is throwing food down the drain, this will cause an increase in rats in their drainage system.

An easy way of identifying rats in the home is any chewed materials such as chewed paper, food packets and plastic. Another tell-tale sign of rats are their droppings. These droppings are larger than mouse droppings and are easy to spot. Keep an ear out for rats, too. You’ll hear them at night scratching at under the floor boards or even in walls. You should also check the loft space. It is possible that rats can enter through holes in your loft.

Aside from checking the inside of your property, it is also advised that you check the outside of your property. Whilst checking the outside of your home, you should be looking for holes in the brickwork.

Having addressed these issues, you should no longer have a rat problem. However, if the problem continues, it is likely they are coming from your drains.


Rats in Drains

Rats in drains is a common issue that we come across at Maintain Drains. A rat infestation from your drains can be very hard to spot. As discussed earlier, drains and sewers are an easy place for rats to live, thrive and populate. If the public drainage system is damaged in any way, rats will find an easy way into you drains. After entering your drains, rats will find it easy to enter your home.


How Can I Get Rats out of My Drains

Here at Maintain Drains, we possess years of experience dealing with drainage issues, including rat infestations. We recommend a CCTV drainage survey to check for rats. This will give our professional team a great survey of your drains and identify any rats or drainage problems. With a CCTV survey, we can see parts of your drains which are hard to reach. Call us now to discuss any drainage problem or contact us through our website. Call: 01202 300040.


There have been hundreds of questions that have been asked by our customers concerning their drainage. From guttering to blocked toilets here are our answers to the most frequently asked drainage questions that we’ve had.

What if the plumbers don’t know what’s causing my drainage issue?

Unfortunately, most of your drains are not visible. That means it is hard for a plumber to find out the problem if the issue isn’t obvious. A CCTV survey allows our drainage experts to take a closer look at your underground drain pipes. At Maintain Drains we provide a fully comprehensive CCTV drainage survey to see even the most obscure drainage problems.

How do I know if my drains are blocked?

Usually, there will be some quite noticeable symptoms. Common symptoms would be your sinks not draining and your toilets overflowing. There also might be some less noticeable symptoms. For example, a sewage smell around your drains. This would have a horrible odour of sulfur. Another less noticeable symptom would be gurgling sounds coming from your drains caused by trapped air. If in doubt call a professional. At Maintain Drains we provide planned maintenance service to make sure your drains are in working order.

What should I do if my drains are blocked?

If you believe your drains are blocked and you are the owner of the property then you are liable to clear the blockage. Though if you are renting a property via a landlord then you should go through them first as they will usually be liable to for the cost if the issue is not caused by you. If you are unable to clear the blockage yourself then it is recommended you call a specialist drainage expert. Our blocked drain service at Maintain Drains will ensure your drains are working in no time.

Why is my bath or shower draining slowly?

There might be a blockage in your bath or shower. This is usually made up of hair or skin deposits that are partially blocking the pipes. We have detailed a few ways on our blog on how to fix your blocked sink. Using drain cleaner is an effective way to keep your bath and shower draining properly. Make sure to take care when using drain cleaner as it can cause damage to the underlying pipes. Consider using enzyme drainage cleaner to minimize damage to the pipes.

Why is my toilet overflowing?

A toilet overflowing can be caused by any number of issues, there may be a defect in the tank causing the toilet to continuously leak water or there may be a blockage in your drainage system. However, the most likely issue would be a blockage in the toilet itself. This can be easily fixed at home with a plunger.Check out our blog post on fixing your blocked toilet. If after these steps the problem has not been resolved why not give us a call at 01202 300040.

What happens if I suspect roots might be entering a drainage pipe?

Tree roots can cause a lot of damage to the drainage pipes and can block the flow of sewage from your house. This results in overflowing drains and even burst pipes. The older clay pipes are much more susceptible to damage from tree roots and may need to be replaced by PVC pipes. If you suspect tree roots might be causing your drainage problem you should call our professionals. At Maintain Drains we specialise in root removal, tackling even the toughest of roots.

How do I prevent my drains getting blocked?

There are some simple ways to prevent your drains getting blocked. Taking simple steps like installing a plug hole strainer on your sinks and shower, scraping off plates and pans before washing them in the sink. Aswell as not pouring oil down the drain instead pour it into a leftover bottle or jar and throw it away in the trash otherwise the oil and grease can congeal and block the drains. We provide a planned maintenance service to Maintain Drains to take precautions to avoid a major drainage issue.

Why has my water bill gone up?

A steep rise in a water bill if not caused by your water company is usually a sign of leakage in your drainage system. A leaking tap, shower or toilet would be your first call to action. Also, make sure to check the water in the toilet tank to see if the water level is dropping.  If after checking these you have still determined that you have a leak the problem may be outside any signs of puddles or damp ground could signal a leakage in a PVC pipe. For this, it is recommended to call a professional at Maintain Drains we provide solutions to any of your domestic drainage issues.

Do I need to maintain my septic tank?

A septic tank can last many years without being maintained. However, it will need to be periodically cleared of septage. This is done every few years. However, it is extremely dangerous to do this by yourself. Instead, it is recommended that a professional perform this procedure. At Maintain Drains we provide septic tank maintenance ensuring that the septic tank works properly and none of the pipes are blocked.

Why is there waste coming up from my drains?

It can be a horrifying experience seeing waste emerge from the sink. Usually, this is caused by a blocked grease trap situated in most kitchen areas. This is not only a health and safety issue but also can lead to fines. At Maintain Drains we provide grease trap maintenance to keep it working effectively. However, taking proper care of the grease trap by not putting excessive amounts of food waste or non-food items can extend the life of the trap.

Have any of your drainage questions not been answered?

If you feel that any of your drainage questions have not been answered feel free to browse our drainage services or call us with your problems and we can provide a free, no-obligation quote.

If your sink isn’t working properly, you’ve come to the right place. Here at Maintain Drains, we can offer you the best advice on how to fix a blocked sink. Reluctant to call a plumber? No problem. Find out how to fix a blocked sink with a few methods you can do yourself.


How to fix a Blocked Sink with Baking Soda and Vinegar


Drain cleaning products can be damaging to the environment. Baking soda and vinegar are an eco-friendly alternative to drain cleaners. Here are step-by-step instructions on how to fix a blocked sink with baking soda and vinegar:

  1. Pour a kettle of boiling water down your sink.
  2. Put approximately 8 tablespoons of baking soda down the sink and leave for a few minutes.
  3. Then, pour a mixture of 250ml of vinegar and 250ml boiling water down the sink.
  4. Cover the sink hole at leave it for 5-10 minutes.
  5. Finally, pour another kettle of boiling water down the sink.

This solution will soften any waste that might be in your sink and loosen it from your sink. A final rinse will make sure all of the blockage is cleared.


Use a Plunger


A plunger can also be a great way to fix a blocked sink. This method is very simple and does not require any other products.

  1. Start by making sure the plunger is completely covering the plug hole of your sink, making sure that all other outlets are plugged with wet rags.
  2. Making sure the plunger is help upright, plunge vigorously until the blockage is cleared.


Use Drain Cleaning Chemicals


There are plenty of strong cleaning chemicals which are designed to unblock drains. These products can be effective when attempting to unblock a sink. Using chemicals is usually a quick and affordable method of unblocking a sink. However, there are issues with that arise with using chemicals to clear your drains. Repeated use can cause damage to your drainage pipes and drain cleaners and not eco-friendly.


None of these methods working?


Although these method are effective at clearing sink blockages, you may find they are not effective, especially with a heavily clogged drain. But don’t worry, our team of qualified professionals are ready to sort any serious blockages you have with our Drain Unblocking service. Regular maintenance of your drains is advised to further prevent your sink from clogging. For any questions about how to fix a blocked sink, or for a free quote on our drainage services, contact us or call 01202 300040.

Damp can be a major issue for many homes causing structural damage and health problems due to mould. Here are some ways to damp proof your drainage system and avoid damp creeping up the walls and floors.


Clearing the roof and gutters

Damp can be caused by a moss build up in the gutters and on the roof tiles. Moss retains a lot of water and expands in freezing cold weather. This causes damage to the tiles and guttering. Using a pair of gloves and an old brush firmly scrub the moss out of the tiles and guttering. After the majority of the moss has been removed use a power washer to wash the remnants off. At Maintain Drains we have drain jetting services with industrial level jet washers for the toughest blocked gutters.


Checking the bathroom and sinks

Damp can also be caused from within the home. It is recommended to regularly check bathroom sinks, toilets, and baths for leaks. Ensure the seals around baths are effective and renewed if damaged or old. To renew the seal you will need a general sealant and gloves. Simply apply sealant along the edge of the bath or sink. Ensure the sealant can handle the stress and has enough sealant to protect the walls. You can do this by simply filling the bath or sink for 24 hours to apply stress to the sealant. If any leakage occurs during this time apply a second coat and repeat to damp proof your bathroom and kitchen.

If you are worried that there may be any underlying issues with this problem try our planned maintenance service.


Fixing the pipework and underground drainage system

Leaking or damaged underground drainage pipes are another drainage issue that causes damp. This can be signalled by cracks, damp and bad odours from within the home. Unfortunately, if this happens your drainage pipes they would normally need replacing. Luckily at Maintain Drains, we can damp proof your home through our drain relining services at the fraction of the cost of a complete drain replacement. The repair work also only takes a few hours.


Think you have an unknown damp problem?

Drainage issues are a major cause of damp in homes across the UK. If you want to damp proof your drainage, feel free to browse our drainage services or call us with your problems and we can provide a free, no obligation quote. Call: 01202 300040.



Fatberg is a term used to describe congealed lumps of fat, sanitary items, wet wipes and other waste found in the sewer systems. It is advised not to throw too much grease, fat and sanitary products in the sewer system. Here at Maintain Drains, we can offer advice on how to prevent fatbergs and services to check your drains are working properly.


How to prevent fatbergs in the home


If you’re wondering how to prevent fatbergs from developing, there are a few easy steps you can take. Certain things (such as ensuring you do not dispose of wet wipes and sanitary products, or throwing excess oil into the bin) will help the sewage system work efficiently. Wet wipes are much harder to ‘break down’ than toilet paper. This leads to wet wipes combining with other materials in the sewers, such as fats and greases, causing fatbergs. Instead, simply dispose of things such as wet wipes and sanitary towels in the bin. The same goes for oils and fats. Rather than putting them down the drains, dispose of them in bin.


How to prevent fatbergs – commercial


If you work in a commercial kitchen, it is a good idea to have a grease trap installed. A grease trap is designed to ensure that grease and fats from the kitchen do not enter the public drainage system and cause fatbergs. In London, 90% of restaurants are contributing to the fatberg problems. It is advised that a kitchen should have regalar grease trap maintenance to ensure the grease trap is working effectively.


Cost of fatbergs


In recent times, a ‘Monster’ fatberg was found in east London sewer. The fatberg measured 250 meters long and weighed a staggering 130 tonnes, which took 9 weeks to clear. You can imagine the blockage and damage this was causing. Overall, Thames Water spend around £1 million a month clearing blockages in its sewer network.


Think you have a drainage problem?

If you follow these steps, and you can help prevent Fatbergs being caused in the nations sewers. If you feel like your drainage is slow or not functions properly, feel free to browse our drainage services or call us with your problems and we can provide a free, no obligation quote. Call: 01202 300040

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If your drains are draining slow it might seem like a mild inconvenience. However, this can be an early warning sign that something is wrong with your drains. Follow our tips to make sure to sort out this problem before it gets worse.

Diagnosing why your drains are draining slowly

Slow drainage is one of the most common drain issues, and while it can be easy to fix, it could also be an early warning sign of a greater issue.

A common cause for slow drainage is an obstruction in the pipes, or deteriorating old pipes which are breaking down and causing a blockage. There could be a bigger problem, such as root ingress in your drains or a blocked drain.

We can assist with any domestic or commercial drainage issues, but you might want to try our below DIY tips and fixes.

When internet advice goes wrong

Before reading this blog you may have received advice on pouring boiling water down the drain along with baking soda and vinegar. If you haven’t seen this advice consider yourself lucky. We advise that you should NOT do this. Boiling water and baking soda can damage your pipes and the sink or bath itself. Not to mention the danger to yourself if you use this in conjunction with drain cleaner. It’s always best to get advice from a professional plumbing expert to find the best solution to unblock drains. Avoid doing this method and follow these steps instead:

Tip 1: Drain stopper

If you have a drain stopper in your sink or bathtub this might be a culprit for your drains are draining slow, if there is hair attached to it. First, remove the outer cap by switching it to the open position and turn it counterclockwise. Now you should be able to clean the hair out of the stopper with soap and warm water and insert it back into the bath or sink.

Tip 2: Drain cleaner

If you don’t have a drain stopper or the drain is still blocked pour some drain cleaner down the pipes. You can try enzyme drain cleaner to minimise the damage to pipes. All you need to do is simply dilute the solution with warm water and pour it down the drain. Wait around 20 minutes and then use the taps on the bath or sink to wash the solution away. You should always be aware of the dangers of using chemical drain cleaners.

Tip 3: Use a plunger

If the previous tips do not work try incorporating a plunger to help clear the drains. Use a standard plunger and warm up the rubber with warm but not boiling water. Then attach the plunger to the sink and thrust five or six times. Incorporate this with the drain cleaner and try again after the drain cleaner has been used. Afterwards, try the tap and see if the sink is draining properly.

Drains still blocked?

If you are still experiencing a blocked drain, it’s important to get advice from a professional plumber. To save future costs and time, it’s best to get a professional opinion to diagnose and resolve the cause of the blocked drain. Contact us today for a free quote and advice from our drainage experts.

A blocked toilet is a common occurrence that can be a nightmare for any house especially if it’s following a takeaway. Here’s our expert advice to get your toilet flowing in no time.


Step one: Prepare your equipment


You’ll need a pair of rubber gloves to protect your hands from the bacteria and other waterborne diseases. It is recommended to use some old newspaper around the toilet to soak up any water that spills to keep the bathroom slip free.
If you haven’t already open a window to keep the bathroom well ventilated.


Step two: The soap and hot water method


Using standard soap or washing up liquid squirt some into the toilet bowl along with around a litre of hot water. The hot water and the soap work together to soften the blockage. This should work to fix a blocked toilet with a smaller blockage. But if the blockage still occurs try our next step to help you fix a blocked toilet.


Step three: The plunger method


Using a standard toilet plunger create a seal along the toilet bowl. Before using the plunger in the toilet run it under hot water to soften the rubber. This will allow the plunger to make a tighter seal. Thrust the plunger firmly in the toilet. Though make sure not to do this too rigorously, as this may move the blockage deeper down the toilet drain. If a standard plunger is not effective you can use a plunger that uses water rather than air. Simply shoot a high-pressure jet of water to remove the blockage.

At maintain drains we provide commercial water jets to clear any blockage.


Step four: The plumbing snake method


If it’s a stubborn blockage that is lodged deep down in the drain try using a plumbing snake. To use this insert the plumbing snake into the toilet bowl pushing firmly down on the snake so that the end feeds through the pipe. Then twist and pull the snake to break up the obstruction allowing the water to flow down.

If none of these options work we recommend calling an expert plumber to fix a blocked toilet caused by a stubborn blockage. We provide domestic toilet unblocking services for all your plumbing needs.

It seems this time of year there are always reports of damage and inconvenience caused by flooded kitchens and bathrooms. Make sure to take these precautions to protect your home. These simple and inexpensive fixes can save you a lot of money and hassle in the long term.


1: Securing the bathroom

While it may seem an unpleasant thought, many homes are flooded by blocked and slow draining toilets. You’ll need rubber gloves, plunger (a piston-shaped one is more effective than the standard plunger) as well as standard bleach. To ensure the blockage doesn’t get any worse do not attempt to flush a blocked toilet which can lead to it overflowing. If the object is visible try clearing it by hand. Otherwise, make a vacuum seal on the opening of the toilet bowl with the plunger (try running it with hot water if it needs to be more malleable).


2: Securing the kitchen

Homes can get easily get flooded from a leaking tap and sinks overflowing. If you leave a blocked sink unattended with a flowing tap it can easily flood the kitchen. Sinks can get blocked by any number of food items such as cooking oil, egg shells, lard etc. So it is better to take a preventative measure. You’ll need a plunger, baking soda and vinegar.

Firstly insert the plunger and thrust 5-6 times to dislodge the blockage. If this method fails try using baking soda and vinegar in the sink followed by hot water. This will create a chemical reaction that should remove any residue blocking the pipes.

However, it is not recommended to try DIY attempts too many times as this can cause damage to the pipes and plumbing system. Maintain drains provides a sink unblocking service for those extra tough jobs.


3: Securing the gutters

One of the most common ways that homes can be flooded is by blocked gutters. So you should clean your gutters at least once a year. To do this, ensure you have a stable extendable ladder, rubber gloves and a small shovel. To get the large debris out of the gutters use rubber gloves and a small shovel (for the smaller debris).

You can also call our experts, who are able to do any size house and guttering, ask for a quote today.


4: Securing the drains

The failure with baths and toilets to drain properly may be the sign that the underlying drainage system around your house is damaged. While you can clear some of the debris around this area, it is recommended that you have a professional be called for this. You’ll need a spade, hose, rubber gloves and drain rods for this job.

Open the manhole cover with the point of the spade. Then by using a jet of water from a hose directed into the drainage clear out any fat or grease lodged in the drain. This should remove the blockage. But, if this sort of work is not for you or the problem is more serious you can get a quote from us.


Maintain Drains are pleased to announce that the company has successfully completed the transition of their Quality Management system from ISO9001:2008 to the ISO9001:2015 standard. This latest version of the much regarded standard is based on a number of quality management principles including a strong customer focus, the motivation and implication of top management, the process approach and continual improvement. The company has worked very closely throughout the transition with NQA who are our Certification body, to meet the stringent requirements, and achieve this significant milestone.

10Today is Maintain Drains 10th anniversary.

Over the past 10 years both our family and company has grown. Like every company, we faced our hard times, but we have also been very blessed. We have had many fair and honorable clients that have entrusted us to work with them and we continue to do so today.

I am very proud of what we’ve achieved and we continue to grow our business on the same morals laid down in 2006 to provide a dedicated, honest and reliable service to our clients.

The team has accomplished a lot in 10 years but we’re not nearly done – we cannot wait for what the next 10 years will bring.

Thank you.