Having a drain survey undertaken

What is a home drain survey? A home drain survey is a detailed examination of a property’s drains and drainage system. The inspection should be carried out by professionals with an appropriate qualification. On your behalf as a prospective buyer, they will identify any faults, or potential ones, within the system. It is a vital service to invest in too.

Drainage surveys aren’t always undertaken as standard when buying a new home. However, if you compare the cost of a drainage survey against the potential savings, whether that’s helping you avoid a money pit house purchase or as leverage against the house price, it’s arguably something that more people should consider.

Having a survey as a home buyer

A normal homebuyer’s survey doesn’t cover a property’s drainage, and with the potential of the above pre-existing conditions, commissioning a drainage survey could save you from an expensive job to rectify issues later down the line. If any problems are identified, you may also be able to use this to negotiate on a property price. If you’re buying with the aim of extending, a drainage survey will help you identify the location of your drains. This may have big implications on how and where you build out.

What you also need to know

A build over agreement is an assurance to your local water authority that they will be able to access the pipe you’re building over or near to in order to clean and maintain it, therefore you design will have to take this into account. Locating the drain will also be important for remodelling the property in regards to re-locating the kitchen, or adding in extra bathrooms. Finding the drainage runs will help you to understand, logistically, how disruptive and therefore costly it will be to make these changes.


Get at least three quotes from surveyors to be able to compare and contrast costs. Ensure your surveyor is qualified to perform a drainage survey. They will need to have appropriate training for a CCTV drainage survey such as NADC accreditation. Feel free to take your time to find the best person for the job in hand. This is so you can be sure you will get a proper and correct survey undertaken. This is not a job to rush in any way.