Pitch Fibre Drains

Pitch fibre drains are a concept that not too many people are familiar with, but are, in fact, a commonplace feature of many properties built around 30-50 years ago. Here at 24 Hour Emergency Services, our team possess extensive experience and a wealth of expertise in fixing and replacing pitch fibre drains. Whatever the condition or age of your pitch fibre drains, we are here to help, so call us today on 0800 046 3471.



Please note, if your enquiry is an emergency, please contact us by telephone

What Are Pitch Fibre Drains?

The first step towards tackling issues associated with pitch fibre drains is understanding precisely what they are and how they can impact your property. In the early 20th century, a new type of drainage pipe was conceived that utilised pitch fibre as opposed to clay. The idea was to create a pipe that was flexible, quick to install and affordable. Unlike clay, pitch fibre did not require the sand and cement haunching of joints associated with clay pipes.

Pitch fibre was imported to the UK in the 1940s and became a popular choice for builders. Many properties throughout the 1960s to the 1980s were fitted-out with pitch fibre drains saving homeowners thousands of pounds in the process. Unfortunately, these drains were found to not be fit-for-purpose and were eventually phased out in favour of plastic drainage systems.

In effect, pitch fibre drains are made using wood and paper pulp or wood fibre that has been impregnated with bitumen. As time went on, pitch fibre drains evolved slightly to incorporate other materials. The popularity of these drains was largely because of how quick and inexpensive they were to install, but they were also fraught with many issues.

The Issue with Pitch Fibre Drains

Despite being inexpensive to install, pitch fibre drains are not cost-effective in the long-run. They typically only have a life expectancy of around 40 years and can suffer from a wide range of issues which can lead to blockages forming. When you consider that pitch fibre is basically a pitch impregnated papier mache tube, is it any surprise?

To start with, bitumen can blister and break off over time causing the exterior of the pipe to weaken. The pipes can start to absorb water both internally and externally causing them to warp and, in some cases, even collapse under the weight of the ground above. Subsidence can also result from issues associated with pitch fibre drains, so it’s essential that if you have these drains installed that they are frequently checked.

These pipes also relied on the sub-soil for support as there was little specification for pipe bedding at the time. As the land is built on over time and more and more weight is applied, this sub-soil is simply not enough to keep the pipe stable. What’s more is that pitch fibre offers no resistance to bricks, masonry or tree roots which can easily penetrate the outer surface.

How Can 24 Hour Emergency Services Help?

If you encounter any issues with your pitch fibre drains, do not panic, as 24 Hour Emergency Services are only ever a phone call away. While pitch fibre drains are not as reliable as their modern counterparts, the good news is that, in most cases, they can be salvaged.

Before we can proceed with any repair works, we must establish the extent of the problem and the most effective way to accomplish this is with CCTV Drain Survey.

CCTV Drain Surveys

Traditionally, if there were issues with a drain pipe the only way to get to the cause of the problem was to dig up the entire pipe. For obvious reasons, this led to the work taking more time to complete and only served to push up the cost even further. Fortunately, nowadays, there is a modern, non-destructive means of establishing the cause of a problem.

The process is simple and involves inserting a mini CCTV camera into the affected pipe. The feed is then monitored on HD screens which provide the most clarity making the true extent of the problem easy to make out. There is no need to excavate the pipe, and a CCTV survey can even turn up issues that are usually missed when the pipe is dug up. Once the survey is concluded, you will be supplied with an accurate quotation for the work required.

Clearing Pitch Fibre Drain Systems

Before any work can take place, the drain system must be cleared of any obstructions that could cause issues later on. For instance, as the drain becomes deformed and misshapen, blockages caused by leaves can become ever more prevalent. Tree roots and other foreign objects can also become lodged causing further issues to develop.

At 24 Hour Emergency Services, we utilise two methods to clear drains leaving them spotless ready for relining. The first method that we use is drain jetting which is a process where water is pumped through the drain at a pressure high enough to dislodge any blockages. This has the added effect of cleaning the drains too removing any fats, greases or oils that may have been deposited.

The beauty of drain jetting is that it won’t cause any further damage and is quick and easy to carry out. In some cases, we can also carry out manual rodding which uses rods to physically remove more stubborn blockages that cannot be shifted with water.

Drain Relining

Drain relining is a fantastic way of restoring the integrity of a pitch fibre drain without excavating the pipe and at a fraction of the cost. Most pipes can be restored using this method which will increase the life expectancy by as much as 50 years or more. The process involves inserting a liner into the pipe which has been impregnated with a special resin.

The liner is then inflated and heated causing the resin to adhere to the inside of the original pipe and set. Once the resin has set, the lining will serve as a protective barrier against cracks and other damage. This new pipe will not only seal any breaches in the existing one, but it will also re-round a pitch fibre drain that has collapsed or warped.

In some cases, a pitch fibre drain may have collapsed to the point where relining won’t work. If this is the case, we are more than capable of excavating and replacing the entire pipe. In the event that the drain requires excavating, we will usually skip the cleaning stage as a new pipe will be placed into the ground and the old one discarded.

So, if you have pitch fibre drains installed on your property, and they are in need of urgent repair work, call 24 Hour Emergency Services now on 0800 046 3471.



Here at 24 Hour Emergency Services, we provide complete coverage from Exeter all the way up to Cambridge. Wherever you happen to be situated, our team are only ever a phone call away, so get in touch today.

When disaster strikes it’s always a comfort to know that the professionals are never too far away. If you’re dealing with a blocked drain, are in need of plumbing services, are looking to request a CCTV survey or require drain relining services, give us a call now. Check out our main areas covered below to find out whether you fall within our coverage area.


We cover the whole of Dorset, from Bournemouth and Poole, to Dorchester, Shaftesbury and Swanage


Covering the whole of the Hampshire area, including Southampton, Portsmouth, Basingstoke and Ringwood


24Hr Services cover Wiltshire including Swindon, Salisbury, Chippenham, Devizes and Warminster


We cover the whole of Kent, including Maidstone, Dartford, Chatham, Tunbridge Wells and Dover


Our team work all across Surrey, including Woking, Guildford, Epsom, Staines and Farnham


Our team work all across Buckinhamshire, including Aylesbury, High Wycombe, Winslow and Buckingham


Our team work all across Cambridgeshire, including Cambridge, Huntingdon, Ely and Witchford


Our team work all across Cornwall, including Truro, St Austell, Penzance and Newquay

County Durham

Our team work all across County Durham, including Staindrop, Durham, Wolsingham and Wearhead


Our team work all across Cumbria, including Wasdale Head, Pooley Bridge, Ravenstonedale and Millorn


Our team work all across Derbyshire, including Chesterfield, Derby, Buxton and Matlock


Our team work all across Devon, including Exeter, Exmouth, Barnstaple and Axminster

East Sussex

Our team work all across East Sussex, including Hastings, Maresfield, Wadhurst and Camber


Our team work all across Essex, including Chelmsford, Colchester, Harlow and Braintree


Our team work all across Gloucestershire, including Cheltenham, Gloucester, Cinderford and Blockley

Greater London

Our team work all across Greater London, including Wembley, Twickenham, Edgware and Romford

Greater Manchester

Our team work all across Greater Manchester, including Rochdale, Bolton, Stockport and Wigan


Our team work all across Herefordshire, including Hereford, Wigmore, Bromyard and Monkland


Our team work all across Hertfordshire, including Stevenage, Hitchin, St Albans and Watford

Isle of Wight

Our team work all across Isle of Wight, including Northwood, Wellow, Kingston and Brading


Our team work all across Lancashire, including Burnley, Lancaster, Preston and Chorley


Our team work all across Leicestershire, including Leicester, Loughborough, Melton Mowbray and Hinckley


Our team work all across Lincolnshire, including Grantham, Lincoln, Gainsborough and Boston


Our team work all across Merseyside, including Liverpool, St Helens, Formby and Halewood


Our team work all across Norfolk, including Norwich, Great Yarmouth, King's Lynn and Holt

North Yorkshire

Our team work all across North Yorkshire, including Scarborough, Harrogate, Hawes and Northallerton


Our team work all across Northamptonshire, including Northampton, Kettering, Corby and Silverstone


Our team work all across Northumberland, including Rothbury, Falstone, Hexham and Ashlington


Our team work all across Nottinghamshire, including Mansfield, Nottingham, Worksop and Newark-on-Trent


Our team work all across Oxfordshire, including Oxford, Banbury, Faringdon and Chipping Norton


Our team work all across Rutland, including Hambledon, Ryhall, Ridlington and Ketton


Our team work all across Shropshire, including Shrewsbury, Telford, Market Drayton and Ellesmere


Our team work all across Somerset, including Taunton, Bridgwater, Frome and Exford

South Yorkshire

Our team work all across South Yorkshire, including Barnsley, Doncaster, Rotherham and Sheffield


Our team work all across Staffordshire, including Stafford, Cannock, Cheadle and Burton upon Trent


Our team work all across Suffolk, including Ipswich, Bury St Edmunds, Halesworth and Newmarket

Tyne and Wear

Our team work all across Tyne and Wear, including Newcastle upon Tyne, South Shields, Sunderland and Gateshead


Our team work all across Warwickshire, including Straford-upon-Avon, Royal Leamington Spa, Nuneaton and Rugby

West Midlands

Our team work all across West Midlands, including Birmingham, Wolverhampton, Coventry and Sutton Coldfield

West Sussex

Our team work all across West Sussex, including Horsham, Crawley, Worthing and Chichester

West Yorkshire

Our team work all across West Yorkshire, including Leeds, Bradford, Huddersfield and Halifax


Our team work all across Worcestershire, including Worcester, Redditch, Kidderminster and Evesham