Scale is a problem that affects drainage throughout the country, and is one of the most common causes of blockages in businesses Metro Rod Oxford manage in Oxfordshire and Buckinghamshire. Often it can be due to uric crystals, particularly in urinal pipework, as well as hard water deposits, such as limescale.

 

We recently attended a job at a college in Oxford, who needed their pipework checking through as they were having some problems with recurring blockages. We carried out a CCTV survey, which helped to diagnose the problem as scale build up.

 

What is Scale?

As we’ve said, scale is the term for the build up of deposits in drainage, usually either from uric crystals or limescale from hard water. These deposits settle on the inside of the drainpipes and can be quite stubborn to remove, regardless of whether they are uric scale or calcium deposits. One there, they start to collect more scale and eventually you can end up with a drainpipe that is working at less than optimal capacity. In other words the pipe diameter can essentially be shrunk by half or even less, which makes blockages much more likely and is often a problem if you have a pipe that keeps re-blocking. This is what we believed would be the problem on this job and we were right, though there was a twist!

 

CCTV Drain Surveys

This is the most surefire way to diagnose drainage problems as we can literally see inside the drainpipes which are under ground or built behind walls out of the way and out of sight. Scale is easy to spot once our CCTV camera is inside the drainpipes and feeding the images back to our screen above ground with the drainage engineer.

We promised you a twist and here it is…

 

The Twist

The footage revealed that there was a lot of scale built up in the pipes, but it had also built around a piece of debris in the pipe. That turned out to be a scaffold clamp that had found its way inside the drains and become caught on a joint in the pipework. This then became an obstruction that was allowing water to flow around it, but was collecting scale, which grew over time. In fact it was so totally covered in scale that we weren’t able to identify the item when we spotted it on the camera. This was going to prove a little bit more tricky to solve this scale problem after all!

 

The Plan

In order to tackle the scale effectively we needed to remove this item first. Our engineer used High Pressure Water Jetting to break down the scale on the clamp, revealing it piece by piece. Through doing this he was able to come up with a plan to retrieve it. He did try to use his high pressure jetting to dislodge it, but it was just out of reach, so had to think outside the box somewhat. He used a hook on a rope and sent it into the drain with his CCTV drainage camera and managed to catch the clamp with the hook and withdraw the clamp from the drain. Needless to say, he was pretty impressed with his fishing skills and the customer was pleased to know their drainage pipes were cleared of the scale and would be flowing freely again!

 

If you require the services of Metro Rod you can get in touch with us in a variety of ways;

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