When you have a plumbing issue you call a plumber and when you have a drain issue you probably also call a plumber. This means you may not feel the need to know the difference between the two.

However, while a plumber can deal with drains, you’ll find there are also drain experts who have the equipment and tools to deal with your issues. 

In a nutshell, plumbing generally deals with freshwater, that’s the water arriving at your property. Drains cover everything leaving your property.


The drainage system in your property is surprisingly complex. Every appliance will have a trap under it. This is a way of collecting water to block the path of gases through the pipe.

The reason that this is important is that waste products create gas, specifically methane which is flammable. To prevent this and any diseases from entering your home the trap is full of water and the gas cannot get by. 

It’s worth noting that the methane gas produced by human waste is now starting to be used to create electricity!

Each drain then connects to the main drain which takes the wastewater and solids to the public drain system. You should note that the drains are your responsibility up until they reach the public drain, this is usually at the border of your property. 

The biggest issue with drains is generally clogs. These can be caused by a wide variety of items, including sanitary products incorrectly flushed down toilets, toys dropped and flushed by accident, and damage to the drains such as that caused by tree roots. 

The best way to monitor your drains and ensure they stay clear is to find a sewer camera for sale and run it through the drains regularly. 

If you find a clog starting to build or another issue you can either try to tackle it yourself or call the professionals. 


As mentioned, all the freshwater arriving in your home is classed as plumbing. This is often done in copper pipes although plastic pipes are increasingly common. Water is directed to all your faucets, toilets, and water heaters, as well as any central heating system. That means there are plenty of valves and joins that can leak. 

The incoming water needs to be supplied in the right sized pipes, depending on where the water is going. That is why most people use a professional to fit or repair plumbing fixtures.:

It’s worth visually inspecting the pipes and appliances regularly. Water mixes with metal and oxygen to create rust. This will ultimately cause leaks and catching them early can help to prevent your home from being flooded. 

Using the Right Expert

Using the right expert means you have someone with experience and the right tools. This increases the chances of them fixing the issue quickly and effectively. That saves you money and inconvenience. It’s worth verifying that the plumber you are calling is a drain expert or vice versa. This will ensure you get the best possible care.