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How To Clear A Blocked Drain Outside?

24th September 2019

How To Clear A Blocked Drain Outside?

One of the most common plumbing problems is a blocked drain; we get a lot of calls from frustrated customers saying, ‘My outside drain is blocked!’. But to unclog an outside drain or unblock an outside drain by yourself, you would need to find out what the cause of the drain blockage was in the first place. Whether you have a water way that has become clogged with FOG products, a pipe that is filled with unflushables, or an outside drain blocked with silt - identification is the first step towards the solution. Only once the problem has been identified, can the process of unblocking outside drains begin.

How to clear a blocked drain outside?

Drains can become blocked because of several reasons, and it is possible to receive a blocked drain outside for a number of reasons. Those reasons often stem from other issues elsewhere in the your home, such as:

  • Oil or food particles from a kitchen sink.
  • Soap and hair from a bathroom.
  • Sometimes a repellent combination of the two.
  • Flushing wet wipes and sanitary items down a toilet.

Blocked drains don’t usually happen overnight but build up over time. For this reason, you need to be careful with what you dispose of down your kitchen sink as well as your toilet and other sinks; otherwise, you could be unblocking your outside drain sooner than you’d like to be.

Things to look out for when gauging if your outside drain is blocked are:

  • Neighbours’ drains – Ask your immediate neighbours if they’re experiencing any issues with showers, sinks or toilets draining water.
  • Noticeable outside drain blockages – Check to see if there is any debris such as leaves, sanitary items or food particles blocking your external drain.
  • Noticeable outside kitchen drain blockages – If you have a drain immediately outside of your kitchen it is worth checking that for debris similar to those mentioned in the point above.
  • Smells coming from an outside drain – A putrid or rotten smell is an obvious sign that you have a blockage; if you’re able to (and have the right tools – see below), it’s worth investigating closer to see if you can spot anything blocking your drain.
  • Overflows – Another sure sign of a blockage in your outside drain is if that drain itself is overflowing with water, debris, or waste.

If you spot any of these signs, the list below gives you a quick run-down of everything you need to investigate and potentially try unblocking the outside drain. If you would prefer a trusted professional to tackle the issue instead, please get in touch with your local Metro Rod depot.

Things You Will Need To Unblock an Outside Drain:

If you find your outside drain blocked then were are certain measures you can take to attempt to unblock it yourself. There are times when it can be relatively simple to unblock outside drain pipes yourself, however, sometimes you do need to call in a professional. If you would like to try the process yourself however, our guide on "how to unblock a drain outside" below. You will need:

Rubber Gloves – Drains are dirtier than what you might have imagined them to be. They are also as smelly as they are dirty, and that is why a good pair of rubber gloves would always be handy when going through a drain, especially an outside drain.

Rope – A rope helps remove an outside drain cover when you need to unblock a drain pipe outdoors.

Waste Bags – Transporting the waste and debris to the waste bins is also very important. This is why you will need some waste bags for the job.

Drain Rod – Another important piece in the ‘how to clear an outside blocked drain puzzle’ is the drain rod. They are used to dislodge a drain blockage and are available in local hardware and DIY stores. It is usually helpful to purchase two or more just in case something happens to the first whilst unblocking your outside drain.

Bleach – After clearing the blocked drains with your drain rods, it is necessary to clean up the outside drain from lingering debris. Bleach is an excellent outdoor drain cleaner, and it helps to remove the drainage smell as well.

Caustic Soda – Chemical drain un-blockers are useful substitutes to the conventional manual process of unclogging a drain with a drain rod. However, it is difficult to know when your blocked outside drain requires caustic soda; this is why many homeowners use it as their last resort for unblocking a drain outside their home.

Garden Hose – After removing dirt from your outside drain, you may need water to clean it up more. Garden hoses will help you transport the water from the source directly to the drain while avoiding any potential spillages from a bucket.

How To Prevent Outside Drains Clogging and Blocking?

You can ensure that the drain pipes outside your house don’t get clogged or blocked by  avoiding putting things like the below  into the drainage system:

  • Fats, Oils & Grease (FOG)
  • Nappies & Pads
  • Wet Wipes
  • Sanitary Products
  • Condoms
  • Bandages & Plasters
  • Razor Blades
  • Medicines & Syringes
  • Dental Floss
  • Hair
  • Cotton Buds

If you end up with an outside drain you can’t unblock, contact Metro Rod. We are here to help, 24 hours a day, 365 days a year! You can also find your local Metro Rod depot here.

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