Emergency Plumbing

Collapsed Drain – Separated Drains and Compromised Drains

Contact Emergency Plumbing Toronto at 647-402-7382

We know you don’t want to hear it but collapsed drains are a common occurrence in the GTA and Toronto. We have an aging infrastructure comprising of collapsed drains, separated drains and old broken clay drains that have soil/root infiltration.

Among the most common plumbing issues in the city – is the use of clay drains as a common choice material in our old infrastructure. Tree and plant roots have compromised the old drainage – causing cracking and separation in the drainage systems. Unlike new materials used in drainage systems – such as PVC for underground installation – clay pipe does not deter the growth of roots into the piping. Due to age, the clay material has weakened – allowing roots to penetrate the drainage in search for nutrients from matter flushed down the drainage. 

The major reasons behind using clay piping at the time was for the eco-friendly aspects, as clay is natural. This came with a fault, as the product is natural – it allows roots and natural growth to penetrate the drainage. The durability factor for clay pipe was also a major player – if the piping is property maintenance (utilizing hydro flushing services over snaking) – the lifespan of the pipe can be long. 

Our team is experienced in the removal of old drainage – either inside your basement or outside your property – and the installation of new drainage to meet new plumbing code/standards. We specialize in backwater valve installations – preventing city sewage from backing up into your home or business. 

Reason for pipe separation or collapsed drain:

Ground Movement: The earth is always shifting – this is why we emphasize the importance of proper drainage bedding when a pipe is being installed. Nature will shift the drainage underground, causing a separation in the pipe at joints between two lengths of pipe.

Age of pipe: Just like our bodies, the drainpipe health will deteriorate over time. We are impacted by the elements of earth daily – the same applies to the drainage underground. The interior is in constant use while the exterior of the pipe is in a constant battle with the elements – such as roots from nearby plants and shifting earth.

Faulty Installation: If the drainage is not properly connected at the time of installation – the pipe may separate or crack. Clay pipe is a very heavy material – and at the time of installation, had the bedding not be set correctly or the pipes not perfectly aligned – a pipe separation or crack would occur.

Major Drain Blockage: A collapsed drain can cause a severe drain blockage, halting the flow of water and leading to a backup.

Health and Safety: With the overflow of sewage into your home or business, comes with the aftermath of dealing with stagnant sewage water – which is a major breeding ground for pests and bacteria.


We recommend regular maintenance on your home or business drains – this will ensure the longevity of the property and plumbing systems. Drains can be scoped to inspect the interior of the drainage system. Utilizing our drain cameras, we can detect any possible future or current issues in the drainage. Our tracing system can pinpoint our camera head – giving us the exact location and depth of the drain issue. 

Our hydro flushing equipment can clear the interior sides of the drainage, breaking away any muck build up or roots that have penetrated the sides of the clay pipe. Doing a pressure wash is the most eco-friendly and least intrusive method of cleaning a drain. This is especially important when cleaning a clay drain that has been compromised. We do not always recommend using a snake in a clay pipe – as this may break and further compromise the drain. This is why it is important to first scope (camera inspect) your drain prior to snaking. 

If the blockage is major and an intrusion needs to be physically removed – we can insert one of our various sized sectional snakes. We can remove the intrusion – clear the drainage, hydro flush the excess muck away and trace the drainage to determine the location of the collapsed drain, separated drain or root intrusion location.