Your browser isn't supported
It looks like you're using an old web browser. To get the most out of the site and to ensure guides display correctly, we suggest upgrading your browser now. Download the latest:

Welcome to the MSE Forums

We're home to a fantastic community of MoneySavers but anyone can post. Please exercise caution & report spam, illegal, offensive or libellous posts/messages: click "report" or email forumteam@.

Search
  • FIRST POST
    • luckypotato
    • By luckypotato 10th Jan 18, 11:01 AM
    • 27Posts
    • 16Thanks
    luckypotato
    CCTV Drain Survey reveals collapsed drain. Help.
    • #1
    • 10th Jan 18, 11:01 AM
    CCTV Drain Survey reveals collapsed drain. Help. 10th Jan 18 at 11:01 AM
    My partner and I are in the process of buying a house. It's a 1930s semi. Homebuyers report recommended a CCTV suvey of the drains as there are some large trees near the house. As well as some minor cracks, and some roots (not deemed severe), the survey uncovered a collapsed drain? It says...

    'Collapsed drain/sewer: 0% Cross sectional
    area loss - Grade 5
    pipe dropping/collapsed against the flow.
    System holding water
    '

    I'm still awaiting the DVD to take a look.

    Been advised that as the drains are so deep at nearly metres, it'd be easier and more cost effective to lay a whole new system costing just over £2500. Are there any alternatives?

    Shall we ask the sellers to fix this or ask for some money off the purchase price? To be honest I'm not sure I want the hassle of actually excavating, etc. We don't want to have to pull out as we love the house.
Page 1
    • Aylesbury Duck
    • By Aylesbury Duck 10th Jan 18, 11:04 AM
    • 1,994 Posts
    • 2,629 Thanks
    Aylesbury Duck
    • #2
    • 10th Jan 18, 11:04 AM
    • #2
    • 10th Jan 18, 11:04 AM
    If you ask the sellers to fix it, they will probably do so at the cheapest possible rate. Would you accept that? It would make me nervous.

    I would get an estimate for the job and adjust your offer accordingly. That way you have control over the quality of the job and the funds to do it, assuming the vendors agree. If they won't accept a lower offer, you'll have to decide whether to swallow the cost or walk away.
    • Davesnave
    • By Davesnave 10th Jan 18, 11:19 AM
    • 25,295 Posts
    • 93,030 Thanks
    Davesnave
    • #3
    • 10th Jan 18, 11:19 AM
    • #3
    • 10th Jan 18, 11:19 AM

    Shall we ask the sellers to fix this or ask for some money off the purchase price? To be honest I'm not sure I want the hassle of actually excavating, etc. We don't want to have to pull out as we love the house.
    Originally posted by luckypotato
    You want the money to do this properly, in your own time, using a reputable contractor of your choice. Repairing failed 1930s drains is a bad second option.

    What 'hassle' is there in excavating if someone else is doing the digging? Do you mean that it will involve damaging potentially expensive to replace hard landscaping? Can you get a digger in? Did you have plans to alter the garden anyway?

    If there is likely to be damage to lanscaping, costs to replace it must be factored-in, but if a bit of garden disruption is too much to contemplate, then you don't really love the house.

    P.S. Someone drove a digger through our garden three or four years ago and excavated to a depth of 1.2 metres to lay a new septic tank pipe for us. No one would know now.
    If you are finding huge gaps between your paragraphs and use Firefox, MSE know about the problem. However, they aren't necessarily doing anything about it yet....
    https://forums.moneysavingexpert.com/showthread.php?t=5844460
    • kerri gt
    • By kerri gt 10th Jan 18, 11:25 AM
    • 7,103 Posts
    • 49,562 Thanks
    kerri gt
    • #4
    • 10th Jan 18, 11:25 AM
    • #4
    • 10th Jan 18, 11:25 AM
    Get some quotes to have the work done and negotiate that off the price if possible (if the vendor refuses then you have to weigh up how much you love the house knowing those works need to be done and will cost in addition to the purchase price).

    These kind of works are not unusual for older properties and ones with trees. Although it will need arranging / doing, it's far less invasive overall to the property than major internal works.
    Feb 2015 NSD Challenge 8/12
    JAN NSD 11/16


    • luckypotato
    • By luckypotato 10th Jan 18, 11:26 AM
    • 27 Posts
    • 16 Thanks
    luckypotato
    • #5
    • 10th Jan 18, 11:26 AM
    • #5
    • 10th Jan 18, 11:26 AM
    Ah Davesnave - you are a genius! Yes, we were planning to alter the garden anyway (in fact totally landscape it) so you make a good point. And yes, I suppose having the freedom to choose the best contractor to do the job is vital rather than getting the sellers to fix this 'on the cheap.' Many thanks.

    We do love the house and got it at a good price so think we could swallow the cost of the repairs if needed.
    • caprikid1
    • By caprikid1 10th Jan 18, 11:47 AM
    • 598 Posts
    • 599 Thanks
    caprikid1
    • #6
    • 10th Jan 18, 11:47 AM
    Same Situation
    • #6
    • 10th Jan 18, 11:47 AM
    I had the same situation , similar value quote.


    Showed the Vendors the report they deducted it from the house price no question.


    House was over £700K and been on the market for a while though.
    • EachPenny
    • By EachPenny 10th Jan 18, 1:16 PM
    • 5,183 Posts
    • 13,833 Thanks
    EachPenny
    • #7
    • 10th Jan 18, 1:16 PM
    • #7
    • 10th Jan 18, 1:16 PM
    'Collapsed drain/sewer: 0% Cross sectional
    area loss - Grade 5
    pipe dropping/collapsed against the flow.
    System holding water
    '
    That description, plus 1930's house, implies the drain/sewer is constructed using spigot and collar clay pipes. These were jointed by inserting the spigot of one pipe into the collar of another and then filling the gap with various different materials. If the joint wasn't made properly then the spigot can 'drop' within the collar of the adjacent pipe leading to a 'step' and a place where water can stand. In theory this is a problem because the standing water can allow a build up of solids, but in practice it probably isn't an issue.

    "0% cross sectional are loss" suggests the pipe is still intact and hasn't collapsed, so the flow capacity is unaffected. It is quite possible the pipe has been like that since the 1930's, and could still do the job perfectly ok for another 80+ years.

    If it was a single pipe length and there was no indication that leakage was causing a problem, then many water companies wouldn't consider it worth carrying out a repair. Excavating to do a repair disturbs the ground and can lead to further problems in the future.

    You really need to take a look at the video yourself to get a better idea of condition, but unless the problem is bad, or you are planning on putting expensive new hard landscaping above the drain, then I probably wouldn't go to the expense of having the repair carried out now.

    If the pipe is very deep, or access for mechanical excavation is limited, then one option is to use a no-dig repair technique. For example, depending on the type of fault, repairs can be done by inserting a liner into the pipe from the nearest manhole.

    The other thing to check - if you haven't - is whether this pipe is the responsibility of the householder, or if it is an adopted sewer the water company is responsible for.
    "In the future, everyone will be rich for 15 minutes"
    • Rambosmum
    • By Rambosmum 10th Jan 18, 1:16 PM
    • 1,721 Posts
    • 2,236 Thanks
    Rambosmum
    • #8
    • 10th Jan 18, 1:16 PM
    • #8
    • 10th Jan 18, 1:16 PM
    We do love the house and got it at a good price so think we could swallow the cost of the repairs if needed.
    Originally posted by luckypotato
    This is what we did. We could have gone back and forward arguing re a few grand for a rewire and repointing, but felt what was the point, it was pennies compared to the asking price and the house needed other work anyway and we loved it.
    ETA: The house was very popular and we didn't want to rock the boat.
    Last edited by Rambosmum; 10-01-2018 at 1:18 PM.
    • luckypotato
    • By luckypotato 10th Jan 18, 1:30 PM
    • 27 Posts
    • 16 Thanks
    luckypotato
    • #9
    • 10th Jan 18, 1:30 PM
    • #9
    • 10th Jan 18, 1:30 PM
    Thank you all.

    EachPenny you have given me a lot to think about. I definitely think a DVD viewing is in order. Will hopefully get that in the next couple of days. Will be taking all of your points on board then making a decision.
    • Davesnave
    • By Davesnave 10th Jan 18, 3:05 PM
    • 25,295 Posts
    • 93,030 Thanks
    Davesnave
    EachPenny knows more about drains than me, but the implication of my post was that the drain is working for the vendors, so you have time to consider your options before dealing with it, or not.

    While there may be no harm in presenting the report and seeking a modest reduction, if you think you've already pushed the vendors to their limits, then it would be wise not to upset them or lose the house just for this.
    If you are finding huge gaps between your paragraphs and use Firefox, MSE know about the problem. However, they aren't necessarily doing anything about it yet....
    https://forums.moneysavingexpert.com/showthread.php?t=5844460
    • EachPenny
    • By EachPenny 10th Jan 18, 3:24 PM
    • 5,183 Posts
    • 13,833 Thanks
    EachPenny
    EachPenny knows more about drains than me, but the implication of my post was that the drain is working for the vendors, so you have time to consider your options before dealing with it, or not.

    While there may be no harm in presenting the report and seeking a modest reduction, if you think you've already pushed the vendors to their limits, then it would be wise not to upset them or lose the house just for this.
    Originally posted by Davesnave
    I agree, that was the point I was making in my post, so apologies to luckypotato if that wasn't clear. If the DVD confirms the problems are minor and limited in nature then there is little point losing the house over it. Once you've got the house then you can decide whether it is necessary to get any work done - a decision that will possibly be guided as much by other plans (e.g. hard landscaping) you have for the house than the actual condition of the pipe.

    The 'wildcard' is if the pipe is the responsibility of the water company - in which case I'd say nothing to the vendor and then get the water company to repair it once I've moved in.
    "In the future, everyone will be rich for 15 minutes"
    • luckypotato
    • By luckypotato 10th Jan 18, 3:30 PM
    • 27 Posts
    • 16 Thanks
    luckypotato
    There is a public sewer in the property boundary but this was a survey of our private drain which joins it.

    I think we have pushed the vendors to their limits. It's actually a vacant property at the moment and has been for six months or so, so I'm unsure of how the drains work currently.

    Nevertheless, EachPenny and Davesnave I understand your advice and it's greatly appreciated.
    • Mojisola
    • By Mojisola 10th Jan 18, 3:59 PM
    • 29,368 Posts
    • 74,979 Thanks
    Mojisola
    That description, plus 1930's house, implies the drain/sewer is constructed using spigot and collar clay pipes. These were jointed by inserting the spigot of one pipe into the collar of another and then filling the gap with various different materials. If the joint wasn't made properly then the spigot can 'drop' within the collar of the adjacent pipe leading to a 'step' and a place where water can stand. In theory this is a problem because the standing water can allow a build up of solids, but in practice it probably isn't an issue.
    Originally posted by EachPenny
    That's been our experience.

    Our 1930s drains are as described above but a section has sagged a little which means there is always standing water in it. The drains are in a difficult place to deal with and we have managed the problem for 30 years now.

    We're very careful about what gets flushed away - not really any different to the septic tank system in our previous house - and check the drain occasionally. If the water seems to be backing up, it gets flushed through with a large binful of water.
    • RedFraggle
    • By RedFraggle 10th Jan 18, 6:11 PM
    • 670 Posts
    • 1,794 Thanks
    RedFraggle
    There is a public sewer in the property boundary but this was a survey of our private drain which joins it.

    I think we have pushed the vendors to their limits. It's actually a vacant property at the moment and has been for six months or so, so I'm unsure of how the drains work currently.

    Nevertheless, EachPenny and Davesnave I understand your advice and it's greatly appreciated.
    Originally posted by luckypotato

    Does it serve only your property? If others run into it (as in our current and previous 30s semi) then it would be the responsibility of the water board.
    Officially in a clique of idiots
    • luckypotato
    • By luckypotato 11th Jan 18, 2:20 PM
    • 27 Posts
    • 16 Thanks
    luckypotato
    I now have the DVD - the roots don't look too severe at all to me. They are a very very thin type that are lining a small section of the drain but they in no way inhibit the flow of water and are not blocking anything at all. There is minor cracking here and there but nothing too major.

    As for the 'collapsed' part, it doesn't appear collapsed at all - it's almost as though something has slipped a little creating a small puddle of standing water but I think it would shift and not block at all or overflow. I am in no way a professional but a brand new drainage system seem over-egging it a tad to me. We will keep repairs in mind for the future as and when needed.

    Thanks for all the responses and we are going to continue with our purchase as is.
Welcome to our new Forum!

Our aim is to save you money quickly and easily. We hope you like it!

Forum Team Contact us

Live Stats

2,195Posts Today

8,253Users online

Martin's Twitter