Which system of drainage does you property have? The first thing that needs to be established is the type of system you have:
Combined Drainage – this kind of drainage is found in older buildings and means that the drainage pipe for rainwater is funnelled to the foul water drain.
In newer homes, the surface water and foul water are funnelled into separate drains, known as a combined system.
Surface water is simply rainwater. Foul water is water that comes from all sources within the home – e.g. from the sinks, showers, toilets, washing machines etc.
If you are unsure about this, you can ask your local building control department for advice. Another source of information would be the property deeds of your house.
Are you installing new or are you simply replacing damaged sections? If you intend to install a new drainage pipe, or are in any way altering existing underground drainage runs, then you will need to inform your local authority. They will then pay you a visit to check on your intended plans, as well as requiring regular updates on the progress of the work, and notification when the job is near completion so that they can carry out final checks.
If you are just replacing a damaged drainage pipe or just sections of the, then you will not need to inform them.
If the building is old, you should also check if you are affected by the Public Health act 1936, which could mean that it is the local authority, not you, that is responsible for the underground drainage system.
Which kind of materials are your current drainage pipe made from? Depending how old your current drainage pipe and underground drainage system are, then they could be made from any number of materials.
These include cast iron, upvc, iron, clay, asbestos or concrete.
You will need to find out exactly what material your current drainage system is made from, in order to determine compatible replacement components, or to assess the types of adaptors you will need.
Components are always a brown colour as required by law, in order to distinguish them from other underground services. For this reason, only brown pipes may be used for underground drainage systems.
Further considerations when replacing soil pipe and fittings, or planning a full underground drainage system:
There are many other factors to consider when planning a project on this scale, such as digging and then backfilling the required trench, and implementing access points so that any future blockages can be dealt with.
Your specialist building supplies company can provide expert information and further guides on all aspects of installing drainage pipe and fittings, as well as underground drainage systems. They will also point you in the direction of qualified tradesmen who can carry out this work for you.