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Plumber or Drain Specialist: Making the Right Call for Your Drainage Problems

25th December 2023

Sooner or later, drain problems come for us all, but when they do, who are you going to call for your drain repairs? Should you start searching for ‘drain repairs near me’ or call a drainage specialist? Thankfully, there’s a pretty easy way to distinguish between two different sets of problems, so you can decide who to call.

We’re going to take a look at spotting some of the most common drain problems, when you should call a plumber, when you should consult a drain specialist, cost considerations and how to make your final decision.

Identifying Common Drain Problems

Some of the most common drainage issues you might encounter as a homeowner will include things such as blockages in your toilet, slow drainage from your sinks, bubbling in your drains, unpleasant smells from your drainage system, leaking pipework and discoloured water coming from your taps.

These could be caused by localised issues in your pipework, such as fatty buildups in the U-bend on your kitchen sink, or they could be related to blockages further along the system where the water leaves your home. Localised issues can be relatively simple to fix, but if these attempts don’t solve the problem, then the issue is more severe.

All will require some form of drain repairs, but who do you call?

When to Call a Plumber?

A drainage plumber should usually be your go-to for any drain repairs inside your home or concerning water entering your home. For example:

  • A leaky or broken internal pipe
  • Repairs to your shower, bath or sinks
  • Any issues with your toilet cistern
  • Leaky or faulty radiators
  • If discoloured water is coming out of your taps
  • Low water pressure

Some issues, such as a slow draining bath, shower or sink, you may be able to fix yourself with the use of drain unblocking solutions or simple snaking tools, but speaking to a plumber is the sure-fire way to resolve these problems.

When to Consult a Drain Specialist

If the issue with your drains is an external one, and related to where your wastewater leaves your home, or if you need drain surveying or help with a septic tank, you’ll need to consult a drain repair specialist.

A drainage specialist will be able to help with:

A drain repair specialist will be able to step in and handle more severe drainage issues, as well as help with other waste systems such as septic tanks. They’ll be equipped to manage mainline blockages and help get everything flowing smoothly again.

Cost Considerations

Drain repair specialists can be more costly up-front than a plumber, however, if the plumber you hire can’t address the issue quickly or first-time round, you stand the risk of your drain repair bill becoming quite steep.

A drainage specialist will have the kit and the know-how to fix your issue the first time around, whether it’s blockages or damaged pipes, and could save you money overall.

Making the Decision

Making your final decision comes down to whether or not you know where the issue is and what’s causing it.

If, for example, you know for sure a slow draining shower is caused by hair buildup in the drain, then you can probably remove the blockage yourself using a simple snaking tool and perhaps fit a drain cover to prevent it happening again.

Or, if you know you have a faulty toilet cistern or a leaky hot water pipe you can’t fix yourself, you should call a plumber.

However, if you have a persistent blockage, wastewater backups, damaged pipes, or you need help with your septic tank or cesspit, you’ll need to contact a drain repair specialist. A drainage specialist is the ultimate solution for a range of issues, as they will have the most complete expertise and toolkit to handle a broad range of issues.

If you’d like to consult the experts, we at Cotswold Drainage can help. We even offer a 24hr drainage enquiry system. You can reach us using our contact form, by calling us on 01386 882324 or emailing This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.