Blocked drains, sewers, and pipework are not just inconvenient but also pose significant risks to property and the environment. As a drainage specialist at William Gilder Group, I’ll guide you through identifying signs of blockages, understanding common causes, and effective methods to resolve these issues.

Identifying Signs of Blocked Drains

Promptly recognising the signs of a blocked drain can prevent the situation from escalating. Here are some key indicators:

  1. Slow Drainage: Water draining slowly from your sink, bath, or shower is a common early warning.
  2. Difficulty Flushing: Toilets that take longer than usual to flush or don’t clear waste effectively.
  3. Unpleasant Odours: Foul smells emanating from drains are a telltale sign of blockages where waste accumulates and decomposes.
  4. Backflow: The appearance of sewage or wastewater backing up into toilets or sinks indicates a severe blockage.

Common Causes of Blockages

  1. Fat, Oil, and Grease (FOG): These substances solidify inside pipes, creating stubborn blockages known as fatbergs. These blockages are compounded by unflushable items sticking to them, increasing the mass and severity of the blockage.
  2. Tree Roots: Roots can infiltrate pipes through cracks, growing and causing extensive damage or even pipe collapse.
  3. Non-Flushable Items: Wipes, sanitary products, and other non-degradable materials can cause significant blockages. Even items labelled “Flushable” often do not disintegrate sufficiently and should be disposed of in bins.
  4. Hard Water Scale and Debris: Accumulation of minerals and debris can narrow pipes, reducing flow and increasing the likelihood of blockages.

Professional Solutions for Unblocking Drains

At William Gilder Group, we employ various professional techniques suitable for different types of blockages:

  • High-Pressure Drain Jetting: This method uses high-pressure water to break up and push blockages through the system. It’s effective for dislodging and clearing fatbergs and other debris accumulations.
  • Robotic Cutting: Used primarily to remove tree roots or other solid obstructions within pipes, followed by necessary repairs to the damaged sections.
  • Vacuum Tanker Services: For severe blockages, especially in commercial or industrial settings, our tankers can vacuum out blockages, providing an immediate solution to water flow problems.

Advanced Diagnostic and Cleaning Technologies

  • CCTV Surveys: Utilising high-quality CCTV systems, we conduct detailed inspections of pipes to accurately identify blockage locations and severities. This technology allows for targeted interventions, reducing time and cost.
  • Sewer Cleaning and Maintenance: We clean sewers from 2m to 100m using state-of-the-art equipment, including the Disab vacuum unit for complex cleaning requirements.
  • Root and Concrete Removal: Our services include the removal of hard obstructions like roots and concrete that standard cleaning methods cannot address.
  • Preventative Measures and Maintenance

Maintaining free-flowing drains is not only about clearing blockages but also about preventing their occurrence:

  • Regular Cleaning: Schedule regular cleaning to ensure that potential blockages are dealt with before they develop into larger problems.
  • Dispose of Waste Properly: Educate household members on what should not be flushed down toilets or poured into sinks.
  • Install Drain Guards: Use guards to catch hair, food particles, and other debris, preventing them from entering the drainage system.

Emergency and Scheduled Services

Understanding the urgency of blocked drains, William Gilder Group offers:

  • 24/7 Emergency Services: Our team is ready to respond around the clock to emergency calls for blockage clearances, ensuring that disruptions are minimised.
  • Scheduled Maintenance Services: For non-emergency maintenance, we provide thorough inspections and cleaning to keep your systems running smoothly.


Blocked drains can cause extensive damage if not addressed promptly and effectively. At William Gilder Group, we specialise in diagnosing, clearing, and preventing blockages with a focus on quality and customer satisfaction. Our comprehensive services ensure that your drainage systems are maintained to the highest standards, protecting your property and the environment.

For more information or to schedule a service, please visit our website or contact our team directly. Whether it’s an emergency or routine check, William Gilder Group is here to assist with all your drainage needs.