What Are Pitched Fibre Drains In Hertfordshire

So, you may have recently had a blocked drain or a drain specialist conduct a survey in Hertfordshire and they mentioned something called pitch fibre. In which case you're wondering what on earth it is, and no, it's not the fibre broadband running into your home.

So What Is It?

Pitch fibre is the material extensively used in the 1940s, to begin with as the choice material for underground pipes. The material is wood cellulose integrated with coal tar. It was a cheap, lightweight material which was easy to use and install. - Great! So what's the issue?

Pipes from this material do not handle waste such as fatty oils and hot water very well at all, which back in the 1940s was not really an issue, but as technology and engineering progressed, homes started outputting more of this kind of waste, which is where the problem lies. As the Times have moved on, so has the landscape of our day-to-day living. Supply of hot water and home cooking with oils and fats became the norm output waste. We stopped installing pitch fibre pipes in the 1970s because of this very reason. They are known to also contain asbestos, however, the manufacturing process did its utmost to ensure it was safe. Therefore, pitch fibre pipes are ever-present today and are a part of the waste networks that we must live with.

The good thing for the future, but not necessarily for the present, is that the lifespan of this material is 40-50 years, and when they start to fail & blister (like the image below) they cause blocked drains to emerge and start causing havoc, hence you may have heard the phrase when you had a drain expert review your blocked drain.

So What's The Solution?

Repair - as the original installations are such an integral cog in the waste network around Hertfordshire, the work to excavate and replace would be huge, so there are options available for the drain expert to repair the pipes, using a resin liner, or re-rounding tools, to prolong the lifespan again for another 40-50 years.

So do not be too concerned, talking the situation through with a drain expert is the first step to establishing the severity of the damage to the pipe, and establishing an action list to address the problem. It is also worth looking at your home insurance and some policies do state that issues relating to pitch fibre are not covered.

Conducting a drain CCTV Survey when purchasing a property in Hertfordshire can always give you that piece of mind to understand what's going on under your home, allowing you to be prepared for future issues.


If you're looking for Professional Drain unblocking specialists in Hertfordshire then look no further than AFS Drains Ltd. We take great care around your home/business to ensure a great result everytime. 100% customer satisfaction is our number one priority.