unclog commercial sink

How long does it typically take to complete a drain repair project?

Drain repair projects can be crucial for maintaining the functionality of a property’s plumbing system: repairs can range from simple fixes, such as unclogging a blocked drain, to more complex tasks like replacing entire sections of pipework. Due to the varying scope and complexity of these projects, it can be challenging to estimate the time required for completion. In this article, we’re going to discuss the factors that influence the duration of a drain repair project, so you can gain a better understanding of what to expect when faced with a plumbing repair job at home. Let’s take a look!

How long does a drain repair take?

It’s difficult to give even an average estimate to how long a drain repair will take; factors such as weather conditions, the severity of the problem, as well as the accessibility of the damaged pipe or drain will all play a role in determining the duration of the project. 

That being said, most drain repair services UK will aim to give you an upfront estimation on how long the project will take, in order to minimise any inconveniences and reduce any impact on your day-to-day activities. 

What factors influence the duration of a drain repair project?

So, what factors are going to be the most influential when it comes to a drain repair? Here’s what to expect:

Identifying the problem


The first step in any drain repair project is to identify the underlying issue. This process can take anywhere from a few minutes to several hours, depending on the problem’s nature and accessibility. For example, a simple blockage caused by hair or debris might be identified quickly, whereas more extensive damage, like a collapsed pipe, could require more time and effort to detect. In some cases, a professional plumber may need to use specialised equipment, such as CCTV cameras, to inspect the drainage system and determine the cause of the problem. 


Complexity of the job 

For moderate drain blockages, some industrial or commercial-level drain cleaners can be useful. That being said, we’d recommend speaking with an expert before choosing one – depending on the size of your sink, certain drain cleaners might be too strong and could end up damaging the pipes if used too liberally. If you do settle on a drain cleaner, it’s important to pour small amounts down the drain at regular intervals – don’t pour it all down in one go.

The location and accessibility of the affected area will also influence the time required for drain repair. If the problematic section is easily accessible, such as an exposed pipe under a sink, repairs can be completed relatively quickly. However, if the affected area is buried underground or located behind a wall, the project may take longer as excavation or demolition work may be necessary to reach the damaged section. Another important point to note is that if the drainage system is part of a larger building complex, coordinating with other residents or businesses may add further delays to the project. 


Weather conditions 

Weather conditions can play a significant role in determining the duration of outdoor drain repair projects. Heavy rain, snow, or extreme temperatures may hinder work progress, requiring more time for completion. In some cases, adverse weather conditions may even postpone the start of the project, leading to additional delays. 

Permits and regulations

Depending on the location and nature of the repair, obtaining permits and adhering to local regulations may add to the project’s timeline. In the UK, you generally don’t need planning permission to repair a drain, as these repairs are considered maintenance work and don’t represent a structural change to the property. However, there may be specific circumstances where you will need to seek permission or comply with local regulations, such as for listed buildings.



The availability of qualified workmen and necessary materials can also end up impacting the duration of a drain repair project: if the required materials are not readily available, the plumber may need to order them, which could lead to delays. Similarly, if the plumber has a busy schedule, they may not be able to start the repair work immediately, leading to an extended project timeline. If you want to ensure that your drain repairs can get started and completed as promptly as possible, don’t wait until the last minute to book a professional inspection.
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