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Drainage Inspection Checklist For Clogged Pipes

A drainage maintenance checklist helps licensed drainage inspectors and engineers assess and report issues and damages in the drainage system. The list also documents the cause of the problem and recommendations to solve it.

What Is a Drainage Inspection Checklist?

A drain inspection checklist helps professional inspectors and trained engineers look for drainage issues like accumulation of sediments and litter, blockages, and clogging that may affect flow control.

Other drainage issues included in the guide are:

To determine the extent of the problem, the inspector uses a drain inspection camera that probes deeper into the drainage system. The tool identifies the root cause of the blockage. It also looks for proof of the scope and depth of the problem in the drainage system.

There are two types of drainage inspections:

  • Video inspection – sends the camera deep inside the pipes and water lines to look for issues like corrosions, food clogs, and tree roots.
  • Sewer video inspection – attaches the camera to a snake line and sends it into the sewer to search for clogs and other problems.

In this article, the following points are explained:

1. Causes of a blocked drain

2. The harmful effects of a blocked drain

3. The advantages to digitlizing your inspections

Leaking pipe causing damage to building's foundation

What Are the Causes of a Drain Blockage?

Maintaining the drain system is very important for keeping your house or business from costly repair costs. It also prevents foul oder and diseases caused by bacteria, pests, and mold buildup from stagnant water.

Here are some of the most common causes of clogging that you will find in your drainage inspection checklist:

Food Waste

Food waste is common in houses and restaurants. They pose serious trouble when they start clogging your drains. So if you have a habit of throwing food items down the drain, you are making a big mistake. These types of clogs can’t be easily fixed with a bottle of Draino. They require plumbers, repairs, and a whole lot of cash. And if you have a business, the repair can delay operations and cause downtimes in your business.

Liquid Waste

Grease, sludges, fats, and oils that go down the drain get stuck inside your pipes. Over time, they build up, leaving no space for water to flow. Accumulated grease produces weird and disgusting odors are decidedly not good for attracting customers. Therefore, proper waste management and disposal are recommended.

Sanitary Waste

Tissues, feminine hygiene products, and hair are examples of sanitary waste. They are the primary causes of toilet blockages. If you don’t know how to manage your sanitary waste disposal, you can pay heavy fines and penalties for disobeying environmental regulations.

Industrial Waste

Toxic materials and chemicals are an example of poisonous wastes. They, too, can become a reason for drain blockage. Drainage professionals advise not to flush chemical waste produced by your manufacturing process. Not only will they damage your drain, but they can lead to environmental pollution.


Tree roots and plants can grow inside the pipe. When your lines are not maintained properly, the blockage can prevent smooth water flow. It can also damage your pipelines.

Drain inspection prevents unwanted accumulation and odor from festering your house. If you suspect that your pipelines have damaged or observe water backflow, this could be a sign of clogging. Ask a professional drain inspector to conduct a checkup. Meanwhile, here are some things you can do to prevent drainage blockages:

  • Don’t flush toilet paper and sanitary napkins down your toilet.
  • Install mesh screens on your drains to filter out solid materials and unwanted matter from your drain.
  • Use a water softener to wash off the buildup
  • Wash the dirt off your mops and cleaning materials before cleaning them in your sink.

What Are the Harmful Effects of a Blocked Drain?

Maintaining your house includes apparatuses that aren’t readily visible, like the plumbing and drainage system. Unfortunately, people will only look into it when something goes wrong, or the damage is already too extensive.

Clogged drainage can have a severe impact not only on your house but on other things as well. Here they are:

Health Risks

Blocked drains can have adverse effects on your health. It fosters bacteria growth which causes allergies and diseases. When your drain is clogged, water either only partially flows or stops running completely, resulting in flow back. As a result, water drains slowly and remains stagnant. Because of this, the clog becomes a breeding ground for bacteria and viruses. So the more you use the clogged sink or toilet, the more you risk contamination and diseases.

Unpleasant Odor

Think of how the water looks in a river. Now, think of how it looks in a pond. There’s a big difference, right? Healthy rivers tend to smell a lot better than ponds, too, and there’s a reason for this. Stagnant water gives bacteria, algae, and insects a breeding ground to thrive. The buildup of bacteria is what causes the unpleasant smell that is so typical of ponds and other small bodies of standing water.

The problem with clogged piping therein lies in and eventually blocks the pipes completely. Eventually, the pipelines dry out because water cannot pass through anymore. Because there’s no running water to break up the blockage, the pipes trap the odor, and a foul smell can begin to emanate from the drains in your home or business.

Slow Drainage

Slow draining is an annoying problem and a time-waster, especially if you’re in a hurry to use the tub or sink. The water might even start to flow back, which is even worse.

Attracts Pests and Molds

Molds and pests thrive in damp areas. For example, mosquitoes use stagnant water as their breeding ground. Mold and mildew also grow fast in moist areas, and they can start infesting your floorboards and walls.


Clogged drains can corrode your pipes faster. The accumulated dirt and debris can also stop water from flowing. When water cannot flow, pressure builds up and causes the pipes to burst or leak.

Weakens Home Structure

When water pressure builds to the point where it causes a pipe to burst or leak, it can wreak havoc on your home or business. The moisture from these leaks can seep through the cracks and accumulate around the foundation, weakening the structure. Small leaks are the most nefarious because they are most likely to go unnoticed. Meanwhile, the leak is weakening the concrete right under your nose. If you fail to address the issue in time, the repair can cost a lot of money.

Clogged gutter drainage pipe on the side of building

How a Digital Drain Inspection Checklist Can Save You Money

Although the drains in your home or business are most likely not the first thing on your mind when you wake up in the morning, they still do need regular maintenance. Out of sight might mean out of your mind, but that won’t stop a pipe from bursting. It’s like anything, a little maintenance here, a little upkeep there will be cheaper than a complete replacement, not to mention the cost of addressing the resulting water damage.

Repairs and damage control can cost thousands of dollars, but clog-related pipe issues are 100% preventable with regular inspections. Lumiform aims to streamline the inspection and auditing process with a digital checklist. Not only can Lumiform’s easy-to-use app be accessed on any mobile device – online or offline – but it makes inspections faster by up to 40%.

Use Lumiform to:

  • Convert any old paper checklist and inspection records into a digital checklist within minutes.
  • Anayalize the results of your inspections in an report automatically generated by Lumiform’s state-of-the-art software. Find room for improvement and implement corrective actions based on the analytics.
  • Communicate more efficiently with team members and third parties about the results of the inspection.
  • Be notified immediately of a burst, leaking, or clogged pipe. App users can report issues and classify their urgency level.

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Man standing on top of a city sewage drain
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