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Last updated on January 26th, 2024

How much does drain repair cost?

Most of the time we don’t even give a second thought to water and wastewater leaving our homes. That is until there's a problem with our drains. If you have a drain problem, here's how much damaged or blocked drain repairs cost in the UK.

Blocked, broken or damaged drains can cause unpleasant problems in your home. And, with the risk of damp, mould and flooding, you’ll want to repair drains as soon as possible.

Keep reading to find out how much the average drain repair cost for common drain problems.

Fast Facts

  • Drain repair prices can vary considerably, but the average cost is about £500
  • Drains within the boundary of your property are usually your responsibility to repair
  • Carrying out a CCTV survey is very useful for identifying the type and extent of drain repair needed

How much does drain repair cost?

Depending on the type of issue you face, the cost of fixing your drains will vary. For example, collapsed drain repairs cost more than minor drain patch repairs.

As a guide, we’ve put together some of the average costs for drain repair in the UK:

Repair neededTypical cost + VAT
Drain patch repair cost£450
Drain repair cost£500
CCTV drain survey£275
Collapsed drain pipe repair cost£200 per metre
Drain line breakage repair£500 (per project)
Replacement pipework£535 per metre
Sewer drain repair cost £800 (per project)
Relocating drain from main sewage supply – materials and plant removal£2,700 (per project)
Relocating drain from main sewage supply – labour£1,800
Drainage relocation design£500 (£75+ p/hr) (per project)
Clogged drain repair cost£240 (per project)
Install replacement air admittance valve*£150
Minimum cost for external drain repair involving digging£400
Drain lining (100mm pipe)£60-£100 per square metre
Drain lining (150mm pipe)£95-£120 per square metre
Soil stack replacement£350-£400
*These are now widely used in properties and typically fail after 5-10 years, although some claim they can last over 20 years. A sign of a faulty air admittance valve will be smelly drains in the house.

Our costs are ballpark averages – get a local tradesperson to quote now

Common drain repair costs

We often get asked about drain repairs across the country. So, we’ve answered some of the most common questions about drain repair costs:

How much does it cost to replace a drain pipe in the UK?

Sometimes a drain pipe can’t simply be unblocked. If it’s collapsed or cracked, you’ll need to replace it.

If you have to replace a section of drain pipe, you’ll be looking at an average price of around £535 per metre.

How much does drain lining cost?

The total drain lining cost per metre in the UK will depend on the length and diameter of the pipe.

On average, it costs £60-£100 per square metre for a 100mm pipe. Or £95-£120 per square metre for a 150mm pipe.

How much does collapsed drain pipe repair cost in the UK?

You should budget around £200 per metre for the cost to repair a collapsed drain pipe.

This covers the cost of drain relining, where a protective layer is added within the drain, that helps prevent future cracks. As this can often be done without digging, it’s a cost-effective solution.

If the problem is too extreme for a drain pipe repair, then it will need to be replaced – at a cost of around £535 per metre.

How much does a replacement waste pipe cost?

Waste pipes often get damaged and need to be repaired or replaced. the average waste pipe cost is around £180 per metre.

Although the exact price of the waste pipe will depend on the size, length and quality of the pipe itself.

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How much does a cracked drain pipe repair cost?

The cost to repair a cracked drain pipe really depends on the severity of the crack.

If it’s a small crack or hole, then patching it up could offer a temporary fix. However, we recommend fitting a new drain pipe to save fuss and long-term spending on repeatedly patching the issue.

Drain pipe replacements generally cost around £535 per metre.

Broken drain pipe

How much does sewer drain repair cost?

Whilst you are responsible for the pipes within your property, your local water company is responsible for the main sewer line.

As stated in our guide to sewer line repair costs, “If the pipe, line, run or sewer is outside the boundary of your home, you should contact your local water authority for advice.”

The only exception is if you have pipes that only serve your property. If that’s the case, you’ll be responsible for fixing them.

In these circumstances, you can expect to spend around £800 (per project) for sewer drain repair costs, including materials and labour.

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How much does drain patch repair cost?

Drain pipe patch liners are often used to fix small holes, cracks or fractures. These consist of a fibreglass matting and a silicate resin that holds it in place.

The cost of drain patch repair is usually around £450 – depending on the size and number of patches needed.

How much does soil stack replacement cost in the UK?

The soil stack is the main vertical pipe on the outside of a building. It’s used to transport the waste from all the other waste pipes.

Replacing the soil stack in the UK will cost somewhere in the region of £350-£400.

How much does clogged drain repair cost?

If clogged drains are not fixed then they can cause a drain to collapse, so repairing this issue is vital. Some minor blocks can be resolved with a sink and drain unblocker from most supermarkets. Although others are more stubborn and require specialist attention.

Professionals often use  a couple of methods to unblock clogged drains:

  • Drain jetting (where highly pressurised water is used to clear blockages all the way down the pipe)
  • Specialist unblockers

Clogged drain repairs cost around £240 (per project).

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Factors affecting drain repair costs

There are a number of factors that will influence how much you have to pay to repair your drain. They include:

  • The extent of the damage and whether the drain can be repaired or replaced.
  • CCTV surveys are useful or seeing exactly what the problem is and can potentially save you labour costs in the long run. The cost of a CCTV survey is usually around £275.
  • Accessibility: Thankfully, trenchless drain repair work can fix a lot of drain issues without digging up large parts of your garden. If you do need excavation work, this will add a hefty chunk to your bill.
  • Insurance: If you have buildings insurance then speak with your provider, as they may cover the cost of any repairs.
  • Cost of plumbers: Tradespeople tend to charge more in the South of the UK and in London, compared to the rest of the country. Also, more experienced plumbers will usually have higher day rates. View our guide to plumber rates for more details.

Replacement sewer pipe

Common drain issues

If left unrepaired, drains can cost a lot more to fix in the long run. Ignoring the problem also comes with a high risk of damage to your home as a knock-on effect.

Some of the most common issues and signs that your drain will need repairing or replacing include:

  • Pipe collapses from wear and tear, tree roots or frozen pipes (old clay pipes are more susceptible to tree root damage than modern drains)
  • Blockages from food and other substances leading to clogged drains and overflowing toilets
  • Slow and sluggish drainage
  • Pipe fractures and cracks
  • Mould and damp collecting in the home which can lead to cracks in paintwork and rotted woodwork
  • Foul odours coming from drains
  • Sunken or isolated damp patches of ground outside the home

Hire a professional to carry out drain remedial work

Whatever the issue is, a local drain specialist will be able to help with any drain remedial work.

Enter your postcode in the box below and search our directory of approved local tradespeople.

See the tradespeople we've checked and recommend for your job

FAQs

Can I repair a drain myself?

If it’s a minor drain blockage, you may be able to fix the problem with a supermarket drain unblocker. If the issue continues, it’s time to call a local drain expert. They’ll be able to check your drains and see if there’s a more serious underlying problem.

Experienced local drain experts can fix the problem and stop it from recurring, through regular inspections and leak monitoring.

To find a local, reputable professional in your area and get personalised drain repair costs, use our free search feature.

Can you fix a collapsed drain without digging?

In some instances, it might be possible to patch a section of collapsed drain without digging. However, if there’s a significant length of collapsed drain then it’s likely to require digging.

Local plumbers and drain experts will be able to advise you on the best solution to your drain problem.

How do you fix a drain without digging it?

There are certain drain issues that drainage experts can fix using trenchless repair, without digging.

Typically, they’ll carry out no-dig repairs to patch short sections of pipe or to repair or replace drain lining (usually up to around 25 metres).

More substantial drain repairs will usually involve digging in order to fully resolve the problem.

Broken drain pipe in need of repair

Do plumbers fix drain pipes?

Most plumbers offer drain repair services. When you speak to local plumbers, explain your drain issues and check that they have the skills  and experience to help.

Do plumbers unblock outside drains?

Plumbers are often the go-go tradespeople for drain issues. However, not all plumber have extensive experience in dealing with outside drains.

If in doubt, get in touch with local drain experts who specialise in external drain repair in your area.

How do you tell if a drain pipe is broken underground?

Common signs of a broken underground drain pipe include :

  • Soggy or sunken ground above where your sewer pipe is buried
  • Sudden low water pressure
  • Persistent clogging in your drains and slow drainage

Find out more in our guide on the signs of a broken sewer pipe and what to do.

How do you fix a broken drain?

We would always recommend hiring a professional to carry out any work on a broken drain. The good news is you’re in the perfect place to find the best drain repair experts near you.

Simply pop in your postcode in the box below and search approved tradespeople in your area.

See the tradespeople we've checked and recommend for your job

How do you fix a broken underground drain pipe?

Fixing a broken underground drain pipe requires skills and experience. Always hire an experienced local drain expert for your drain repairs.

We’ve made it super easy to get multiple quotes from local tradespeople with our handy request a quote service.

Drain repair cost - CCTV survey

What does a collapsed drain look like?

If you spot damp patches outside your house, when other nearby ground is dry, you could have a collapsed drain. If so, speak to a local drain repair specialist as soon as possible to organise an inspection.

By acting fast, you can reduce further damage and the backing up of waste into your home.

Drain experts will most likely carry out a CCTV survey to identify the problem. They’ll also be able to see if you can repair the drain, or if you need to replace it.

Who pays for drain repairs?

As a homeowner, your property’s drains are typically your responsibility. Lateral drains (which carry the wastewater to the sewer) and sewers fall under the responsibility of your water company.

So basically, if it’s a problem within the boundary of your property, chances are you’ll need to pay for drain repairs.

Key takeaways for drain repair cost

  • It costs more in the long run if you ignore collapsed and cracked drains
  • To spend less on drain repair costs consider using trenchless solutions, such as LSRs
  • Collapsed drain repair costs are higher than other types of repairs
  • Make sure you understand which pipes are your responsibility and which your water supplier is responsible for
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Blue tick
The tick you can trust

8/10 homeowners would choose a tradesperson endorsed by Checkatrade over one who isn't*

Claims are sourced from a survey conducted by Deep Blue Thinking on a nationally representative UK sample in November 2021. *8 out of 10 people would choose a trade endorsed by Checkatrade compared to one that isn’t endorsed.

Working with professional estimators, we collate cost estimates for the common home improvement and repair jobs in the UK.

All the costs are estimates only. For accurate costs for your particular requirements, you are encouraged to reach out to professional tradespeople to receive a quote for your job.

Our estimators are Chartered Members (MRICS) of the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors and Members of the Chartered Institute of Building (MCIOB). See full disclaimer.

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What others think of this article:

Checkatrade

Hi John, I recommend filling in our request a quote form to get a quote from tradespeople near you.

John Gallacher

Think my waste water pipe under ground is burst may need to dig and find the burst how much will this cost me

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