There is no doubt that clogged downpipes are one of the biggest nightmares for homeowners. But you don’t need to be scared anymore.
We agree that it is not something someone wants to think about unless they are stuck in a ‘sticky’ situation. And if you are here reading this guide, the chances are that you are in the same boat. Trust us when we say that it can be fixed with a little effort.
You do not need to necessarily make an appointment with a trained plumber to sort this issue. All you need to do is implement some of the time-tested methods that can help you get rid of the problem without fail.
In this guide, we will take you through some of the top methods that you can implement. So, without any more delay, let’s quickly take a look!
7 DIY Tips For Clearing A Blocked Downpipe
1. Use The Garden Hose Or Water Jetter
In case there are objects that are blocking your downpipe, it is best to use a garden hose to clear it. A stream of water directly from the hose can help clear the blockage immediately.
If the downpipe still does not function properly, consider banging it a bit with a soft rubber mullet. When you do that, any debris that might have been stuck in the pipe will get dislodged.
In case this method fails, use the garden hose up and down the blocked drainpipe. A steady water stream through the hose will surely clear the downpipe. But sometimes, you might find that the garden hose is not helping in removing the blockage from the downpipe.
In that case, you will require a stronger water force to clear the clog. You can drop by the local hardware store to look for a high-pressure water jetter. With this, the pressure of water will be highest, and when you use it on the downpipe, it will surely help clear the clog.
But remember that for using a water jetter, you need to take proper protection. Because of the high water intensity, it is best that you wear eye and face protection. We suggest that you pick up the essential protective gears from the same hardware store that you buy the water jetter from.
2. Use A Drain Rod
For someone planning to use DIY techniques to clean a blocked downpipe, a drain rod can be their best friend. True to its name, it is like a stiff wire that helps to dislodge any elements that might be blocking the downpipe.
Vacuuming is another great way to ensure that your downpipe is free of clogs. But regular vacuums are not suited for this task! What you will require is a wet/dry vacuum that can handle the dry and wet waste.
Keep in mind that it can create a lot of mess around the plughole when not used correctly. Thus, before you begin with the work, seal the plughole properly. Once you attach it well, turn it on at a high suction speed and keep adjusting it till the blockage is cleared.
You will need to keep doing this for 2-3 minutes, after which you can expect to have a cleared downpipe.
4. Check For Objects
When you talk to a plumber, you would be surprised to know how often they find objects stuck in the downpipes. Meaning, it would help if you do a preliminary check before trying out other ways to clear the blockage.
But make sure that when you are inspecting the pipes, you use hand gloves to avoid touching any gunk. What’s more, do not forget to use a sturdy ladder for this job. If the ladder is not stable, you will have a tough time handling the task.
When everything fails, it is best that you consider reinstalling the downpipe. If the block is too severe, the chances are that DIY tricks won’t be able to clear it. This is your last resort and you would have to take the downpipe out, clear the debris and reinstall it.
And in case you notice that the downpipe is severely damaged, it is best to put a new one in its place.
6. Know When To Change
A lot of times, you will see that the problem of blockage keeps reappearing and nothing that you do prevents it. Then it is time that you dismantle the pipe to check for permanent damage.
Many times, you will see that the downpipe has worn out with time and usage. This is more frequent when the downpipe is swan-shaped.
In that case, you might have to consider changing it completely. However, you can take a second opinion from a trained plumber before coming to this decision. If there is any permanent damage caused by build-ups, they will tell you that it is best not to spend more time and money on fixing it.
Even though it might feel like a big investment at first, by changing the entire downpipe, you will save more money in the long run. Constant repair works take a lot of effort and are not cost-effective.
7. Proper Maintenance
If you want the downpipes to work efficiently without getting clogged often, it is very crucial that you take proper care of them. There is no need for a trained plumber to get the job done; you can do it yourself with a bit of effort.
Like any other drain or pipe, it is crucial that you install a suitable strainer on the downpipe. This would help restrict the gunk from entering the pipe and building up over time.
Keep in mind that without maintenance, even the best of the downpipes will get clogged over time. Cleaning your gutters regularly will also prevent clogs in your downpipe. To make sure that you do not miss out on the cleaning part, you can even set a monthly reminder to ensure that the cleaning is done on time.
Clearing Your Clogged Downpipe
With that, we have now reached the end of this comprehensive guide.
By now, you must have understood that apart from applying all the methods we have mentioned, you need to maintain the downpipe regularly. These blockages are never going to go unless you work on them. If left unattended, the chances are that with time, it will only get worse.
Hope you enjoyed reading. Until next time!