Cardiff – Blocking Off A 4″ Pipe With Ratstop

April 20, 2015

Steve Vick International was recently called in to solve a problem of rat infestation at a householder’s property in Cardiff. The large property had recently been renovated and extended resulting in the need for a new drainage system.

The new kitchen in the home was built partly over a previous downstairs cloakroom where the vertical WC drain had not been blocked off.  After the owners had moved in they were horrified to find that rats had managed to chew through floorboards and enter the house.  Having tried the usual methods of dispersing the rats, they asked their plumber to investigate. It was discovered that rats were gaining entry via the abandoned WC outlet under the kitchen floor and the only solution involved tearing up the newly laid floor to gain direct access to the old outlet and seal it off at a cost of thousands of pounds.

At this point, Steve Vick International were called in to block off the pipe from outside the property, without disturbing interior floors, using their RATSTOP™ technique.

RATSTOP™ is an adaptation of the company’s well proven FOAMBAG™ pipe sealing and flow stopping system which has been used in the gas industry for over 25 years. Using a patented technology, a fabric RATSTOP™ bag is positioned remotely in the pipe and filled with specially formulated cementitious grout to block off abandoned drains and sewers to prevent rodent access.

The procedure involves using a CCTV camera at the point of entry, for example an external manhole, to locate the exact position for the RATSTOP™ bag. The fabric bag is then remotely pushed into place using the plastic fill tube which is connected to the bag. A specially formulated cementitious grout is injected via the fill tube using either a mix and inject machine or, where smaller quantities are involved, an injection gun. Once the grout is cured it forms a permanent block to prevent the passage of rodents.


At the house in Cardiff, an exterior manhole in the garden was used to gain access the main sewer, a 4” salt glaze clay pipe to which both the old and new drainage systems were connected.

Using the CCTV camera, the Steve Vick International engineer located the point at which the abandoned WC drainage pipe connected to the main; this point was three meters from the manhole. As the house’s new drainage system was connected to the same main it was essential that only the old pipe was blocked.

The RATSTOP™ bag was inserted using the filling tube to push it into place, with the CCTV camera ensuring accuracy of placement. Once the bag was in place, the cementious grout was mixed and a calculated measure inserted via the filling tube. In this case, due to the short distance of travel, the product was injected with a grout gun.

The cement was then left to cure for 30minutes leaving a permanent rat deterrent.

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