One of the qualities that stands out when dealing with London City Drains and which our customers agree on, is the go for attitude and determination to solve the drainage problem at hand.
One job recently undertaken in central London was for a solicitor firm whose drains were located in their basement offices.
Over the years a score of London drainage service firms had been called out to try and solve the drain problem of the horrendous bad smells that were emanating from their basement office area and which was affecting all those that worked in that confined zone.
A second problem was that of a blocked basement kitchen sink waste pipe. This again had been dealt with on numerous occasions but the drainage problem never solved.
The problem at hand was not an easy one as the basement was carpet tiled and there was only access to one manhole. This was the manhole that all the other drainage contactors had been heading straight to without ever investigating any further.
Our drainage engineer decided to approach the job with a different attitude altogether. The first thing he had to investigate was whether there were any other manholes available in the basement. His many years of experience told him that there had to be a main interceptor in the basement somewhere. It was crucial that this be found as this would give a clear indication of whether:
A) The smell was due to a blocked drain
B) Whether the drain had an eye cap fitted
This had never been undertaken by other London drainage engineers, as was confirmed when the drain was located and exposed. The drain, although it was running perfectly and there was no blockage, had no eye cap fitted. *One was immediately fitted and one of the problems resolved.
The problem of the blocked kitchen sink waste pipe was now addressed;
The previous London drainage engineers had all tried the same method and had failed in their endeavour. They would go direct to the only exposed manhole and use the high pressure jet up a side connection, which they thought was the waste for the kitchen sink. This method failed and no time was taken to investigate further the possible reasons for this failure.
London City Drains Engineer tried a different approach. Again, all his years of experience told him that obviously something was not right. After removing every item under the sink area, he traced the waste pipe and found that this was going directly into the floor and it would be normal to assume that this would be connected into the side connection that other engineers had tried drain jetting up and had failed. The problem was that it made no sense, as there was a pool of water on the floor and this was not normal unless there had been some form of flooding.
After obtaining permission from the office manager, the engineer removed the floor lino and found that there was an old rain water gully which had been sealed with a metal cover; the kitchen sink waste pipe was running into this gully. The gully as it turned out was an expired soak away and this particular area was originally an outdoor area that had been rebuilt over to accommodate for the new offices. The builders who had connected the kitchen sink waste pipe into the gully had made a serious blunder! This was not connected to any foul drain and there was no way the waste from the sink could flow away. The problem in the end was remedied by cementing over the old gully and realigning the kitchen waste pipe so it would flow directly into the manhole drain.
Because the waste in the old gully had just been sitting there for so long, this had also gone stagnant and was another contributing factor for the bad smells.
All the problems were effectively dealt with and the office workers were very relieved to be working under healthier conditions.
• The eye cap which is normally fitted on the rodding eye in the main interceptor serves to stop bad smells and rats from coming up from the main sewer on the road into your property. Most properties in London do not have one fitted.
If your property is suffering from bad smells then this could be the reason why.
For help and advice call London City Drains on freephone 0800 007 5309