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 Post subject: Collapsed Drain?
PostPosted: Mon Sep 19, 2016 8:36 am 
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Discovered a worrying hole just below the ground outside our 1928 house, just a small entrance but about 1foot deep by 1foot wide underneath.

The house is built on clay, but the 'groundsure' report from 2 years ago when we purchased said the risk of subsidence in the area was very low.

This is the second hole I have discovered. The first one I filled in. Both holes were/are in the vicinity of drains. Which now makes me think broken drains could be the problem? But how likely is this and how do I tell for sure? How serious a problem is this?

I am a bit lost as to my next steps and any advice would be much appreciated. Thanks


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 Post subject: Re: Collapsed Drain?
PostPosted: Mon Sep 19, 2016 4:32 pm 
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There's really only one way to confirm if you have a problem & that's to excavate the area.

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 Post subject: Re: Collapsed Drain?
PostPosted: Tue Sep 20, 2016 7:00 am 
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Dickie wrote:
There's really only one way to confirm if you have a problem & that's to excavate the area.


Thanks,
There are a couple of things that are holding me bacl from that course of action at the moment (not least my poor DIY skills!)

I have heard that in situations where neigbours share the same drain maintainance might be the responsibility of the water company. So

The other issue that is holding me back is that this is the second hole I discovered. The first one I already filled in, but was in a much less accessible position underneath the kitchen wall. I would be very wary of digging here without causing much worse problems. Which leads me to the question would it be worth getting CCTV drainage surveys of the whole drainage system done? I have seen these advertised for about £150. Has anyone any experience of these and is it an option?

Otherwise I could be in for a lot of digging! :)


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 Post subject: Re: Collapsed Drain?
PostPosted: Tue Sep 20, 2016 8:42 am 
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I think the first question is, are you or the neighbours having problems with the drain running-blocking etc, check the inspection chamber and get someone to flush the toilet.

Photos showing in the hole would be better.

Could it be badgers, ? are you in the country ? Has any of the neighbors got/had a similar problem ?



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 Post subject: Re: Collapsed Drain?
PostPosted: Wed Sep 21, 2016 11:29 am 
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thescruff wrote:
I think the first question is, are you or the neighbours having problems with the drain running-blocking etc, check the inspection chamber and get someone to flush the toilet.


thescruff, Firstly many thanks for your advice.
To answer your questions:

No. We are not having any obvious problems with drains running-blocking etc. My concerns stem purely from uncovering the hole while gardening.

This particular drain collects from the roof gutters of us and our neighbour, as well as a basin in our house. I don't believe anything else drains into it (not the toilet - not sure how flushing would help?).

The inspection chamber has about a pool of water at the bottom (perhaps 3 inches). Is this normal?
At the very bottom there is quite a lot of black gravel. Again I am not sure whether this is normal detritus washed down in to the drain, or indicative material entering a broken drain?

By leaving the tap on from the basin, water is entering the drain, and I think it is also reaching the street (based on lifting the cover and listening hard).

thescruff wrote:
Could it be badgers, ? are you in the country ? Has any of the neighbors got/had a similar problem ?


No. The hole isn't big enough for badgers. Having dug out a bit more for a better look, the hole is smaller than I first thought.
There is a fairly thick wall of clay between the hole and the drain, which makes me wonder if the drainage isn't a red herring.
Continuing your animal theme, I wonder if it couldn't be rats?
As the second pic shows, there are smaller sub-hole chambers on either side of the bottom of the main hole. Weighing gainst rodents is the fact that I don't recall there being much of an entrance to the hole from the surface - as I say I pretty much uncovered it by accident.

Thanks again for your advice.


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 Post subject: Re: Collapsed Drain?
PostPosted: Tue Aug 01, 2017 9:54 am 
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I think for this kind of job it's also worth consulting the schematics of your property and those surrounding it. As far as i'm aware, these can be picked up from the local council office/library. Feel it's more the latter. By doing that you should be able to see how and if your drainage connects to other properties.]

With regard to the sinkhole itself, your best bet is to get a plumber out. I used a plumber when I had a similar issue. If you've had material collecting at the bottom, I believe it is usually indicative of a broken drain. These are very large jobs and I certainly wouldn't trust myself having a go - but that's just my skill level! If you feel like you could, then by all means. I prefer to tackle smaller jobs myself. From my experience, those holes don't look like they'd be caused by rodents.

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