How to Unblock a Drain Outside?

Is water rising in your sink or very slow to drain away? Are their bad smells coming from your drains? Are you asking yourself, how do I unblock an outside drain? If so, there is a good chance that your drains are already partially blocked. This will only get worse unless action is taken.

Outdoor drainage pipes are essential to transporting wastewater and sewage away from your property to the sewer line. Therefore, blocked outdoor drains need to be dealt with in an especially swift and efficient manner. If the water cannot escape from the drain, it will accumulate. This may lead to more severe consequences, such as flooding or stagnant water.

how to unblock a drain outside

Common Causes of Blocked Drains

Most blockages are caused by items such as wet wipes, nappies and tampons, cotton buds, and hair. Such items are simply not designed to break down in wastewater systems, and thus should never be flushed down the toilet. All it takes is for a small item to get caught in a drain and then this creates an area where smaller debris can build up.

The same applies to what you put down your sink. Cooking oil, grease, and fats are some of the biggest culprits for blocking your drain; therefore, they should never be poured down the sink. When grease and fat cool, they cling to your drains. As they gradually build up over time – first coating your pipe and then coagulating – they can very easily cause a blockage.

Our Guide on How to Clear Blocked Outside Drains

The following section will take you through how to unblock a drain pipe outside in just a few simple steps, without the need to call in a professional. 

1. Inspect Your Drain

Firstly, carry out a visual inspection of your drain and figure out exactly where the blockage is. Sometimes the blockage is clear and visible, located within a certain section of the drain pipe. Other times, however, it is less obvious, and so you may need to investigate further to find out where the problem lies.

In this instance, you will need to locate your drain cover and remove it by using a screwdriver around the edges. You would ideally use a manhole key, many people do not have this in their homes. The manhole cover may be very difficult to remove as they often sit for years without being opened. Once opened you should see that there is water backed up. If can also see debris in this area, remove it and hopefully, your drains will start to flow freely again.

2. Remove the Blockage

Once you have found the exact location of the blockage, it’s time to clear it out and unblock your drain. Many different types of blockages can occur, so there are several ways to solve them. For example, if you were clearing out a blocked drain that was full of dirt and leaves, all you would need to do is scoop it out with your hands before running some hot water through it.

3. Use a Drain Rod for Stubborn Blockages

If the blockage is not visible, the problem may lie further down your drains. If so, you might need to use a drain rod. Push your drain rod into the blocked chamber and rotate clockwise to dislodge any debris causing the blockage. Rotating your drain rod clockwise is very important, as otherwise, you run the risk of it unscrewing itself and detaching inside the pipe.

After rodding your drain, clean the drain thoroughly to break up any remaining debris using a drain unblocker.

4. Check for Further Issues

If you manage to clear the blockage from the drainpipe, it’s wise to then inspect whether or not any further blockages will occur. To do this, you should leave the hot water running through the drain for an extended period of time to assess whether or not there are issues. After a few minutes have passed, check back to see if everything is still in working order. In that case, your work is done!

Tackling Blocked Drains All Over London

If you have followed our guide on How to Unblock a Drain Outside to no avail, it is time to get in the professionals.

First Response Drainage has been clearing blocked drains and pipes all over London for over 15 years. Therefore, if you need a professional touch with unblocking your outside drain, contact First Response Drainage today on 0800 043 4680. Our prices start at an amazing £25.80 inc. VAT!