If you have a blocked drain outside your home, it can be a major inconvenience and even lead to water damage. Fortunately, unblocking a drain outside is a task that you can often tackle yourself with the right tools and some patience. In this blog post, we’ll provide a step-by-step guide for unblocking an outdoor drain.
Before you start: Gather your tools and materials
Before you get started, you’ll need to gather a few tools and materials. You’ll need:
- A pair of gloves
- A drain snake or auger
- A bucket
- A broom
- A hose
- A pair of pliers
Step 1: Put on your gloves
Before you start trying to unblock the drain, it’s important to protect your hands. Drain water can be dirty and contain bacteria, so it’s a good idea to wear a pair of gloves to keep your hands clean.
Step 2: Locate inspection points
The first thing you should do when unblocking an outdoor drain is to find an access point. A sewer drain will have an overflow relief gully covered with a grate, while a stormwater inspection point will have a PVC cap you can unscrew. Both of these drain openings will give you a window to look inside the pipes and assess the blockage. There may be more than one access point, so you want to be above the blockage. Use a broom to remove any visible debris from around the drain access so you don’t accidentally push debris into the drain.
Step 3: Remove any visible debris
If you can see any obstruction, first remove any visible debris from the drain by hand. To do this, you’ll need a bucket and a pair of pliers. First, remove the drain cover and use the pliers to remove any visible debris, such as leaves or small sticks, from the drain. If the debris is too large to remove with the pliers, use your hands (with those trusty gloves on) to remove loose material.
Step 4: Flush the drain with a hose
After you’ve removed any visible debris from the drain, it’s a good idea to flush the drain with a hose to make sure it’s fully clear. To do this, attach the hose to an outdoor tap and turn the tap on full force. Direct the water into the drain, pushing the hose down close to the blockage and let it run for a few minutes to flush out any remaining debris.
Step 5: Use a drain snake or auger
If the hose doesn’t work, you can try using a drain snake or auger. A drain snake is a long, flexible rod with a spiral end that you can use to loosen and remove blockages in the drain. To use a drain snake, insert the end of the snake into the drain and turn the handle clockwise to loosen and remove any blockages. If you don’t have a drain snake, you can try using a plumbing auger, which is a long, flexible rod with a hook on the end. To use a plumbing auger, insert the auger into the drain and turn the handle clockwise to loosen and remove any blockages.
Step 6: Check the drain regularly
To prevent future blockages, it’s a good idea to check the drain regularly and remove any debris that has accumulated. This will help keep your drain flowing freely and prevent any future blockages.
Unblocking an outdoor drain can be a dirty and inconvenient task, but it’s something that you can often tackle yourself with the right tools and some patience. By following the steps outlined in this blog post, you should be able to unblock your outdoor drain and get it flowing again.
If you need assistance with cleaning blocked drains, call on the drainage specialists at Ryan Old Plumbing. We can dispatch a Brisbane plumber, Logan plumber, Moreton Bay plumber, Ipswich plumber, Gold Coast plumber….we now cover most of southeast Queensland!