No matter how many years you’ve lived, if you’re reading this, we already know that you’re familiar with the signs of a blocked drain. If it’s not completely obvious – like if the sink or toilet water is either stationary or at your feet – then you know that a blocked drain smells terrible, clears waste a lot more slowly than usual, and makes weird gurgling sounds. What to look out for is much less well-known if your place has an outside drain blocked.
While it’s usually soap, hair, food scraps and clumps of toilet paper that back up those inside drains, your outside drains are an entirely different kettle of fish. They’re designed to grapple with more severe debris, like branches, leaves, mud, litter and other outdoor debris – but they can only take so much. Often, all it takes is a severe storm, and you’ll soon be looking up how to unblock a drain outside or reaching for that plumber’s number.
So before calling in the cavalry, let’s see if we can unblock outside drain pipes all by yourself. First up, how confident are you that it’s just a relatively straightforward blockage and not a more profound and potentially more damaging, complex and expensive plumbing problem? If you’re confident, ask yourself a second question: Is it your drain or a shared one? If it’s yours alone, then it’s your right and your responsibility to do it right.
Related reading: How to unblock a sink drain
How To Unblock A Drain Pipe Outside
Learning how to unblock drains outside is something you can do. However, we should caution that if you’re not a reasonably confident do-it-yourself enthusiast, it’s probably best to leave it to professional drain cleaning plumbers. Also, please understand that the people who know how to clear a blocked drain outside are trained, licensed, and qualified and benefit from having all the best and most specialised drain cleaning tools and technologies, whether it’s a blocked stormwater drain or sewerage pipe blockage they know precisely what to do to get that outside drain unblocked and flowing.
Apart from that, our DIY method is quite simple:
1. Be Prepared
All you’ll need is some clothes that can afford a splash of dirty water, a pair of rubber gloves, eye protection if you’re super-safe, and then:
- A drain rod
- A bucket
- Some bin bags
- A screwdriver
- Garden hose.
2. Remove The Drain Cover
That’s why we’ve got the screwdriver – a big flat-head one, to be precise. And if the drain cover is particularly heavy, you may need the rope for superior leverage.
3. Find The Blockage
Put on your rubber gloves (and other PPE if desired) and go fishing with your hand for as much wrist-deep gunk as you can pull out. With some luck, that will be enough to unblock your outside drain.
4. Use The Drain Rod
Although you can try using something other than an actual drain rod, this specific tool isn’t expensive. The basic idea is that you can keep attaching another piece to hack away at blockages that may lie a lot further from the drain opening. Then, it’s just a case of moving it around with force but caution to get that water flowing again.
5. Use The Garden Hose
Now, it’s just a matter of using an ordinary hose to wash away what you’ve just loosened and broken up.
Outside Drain Blocked? Call Ezy-Plumb
How did you go? If your outside drain is flowing again, congratulations – now repeat the process now and then, and with some luck, you won’t need to read more about how to unblock an outside drain—still having trouble? Don’t panic because Melbourne Bayside’s best plumbers are standing by and ready to help right now.
We don’t just carry drain rods in our fully-stocked vans but also sophisticated drain-clearing equipment, including CCTV drain inspection cameras, powerful motorised augers and ultra-high pressure drain jetters.
With our fast response times and affordable, upfront pricing, there’s no need to search “how to unblock a drain outside”. All you need to do is give Ezy-Plumb a call right now!