Unlike other drain line components inside your building, an outdoor drain serves a unique purpose. They transport extra water away from the home and yard. Some collect water that runs over the surface. Others absorb groundwater.
Outside drains protect the house from excess moisture and prevent flooding during storms.
These external drains aren’t isolated but connected to your internal plumbing. So a drain blocked with dirt, stubborn debris or mud can create major issues for the rest of your property. Due to clogged outside drains, not only will you have a complex sewage system like overflowing sewer waste contaminating your yard. But the bathroom, kitchen sink, laundry sink, toilets, and internal drains could be affected.
While internal drains are common in most commercial buildings, a residential structure can also have them installed. The drainage pipes are placed under the roof and on the walls of the building. They are often positioned towards the centre of the roof or where the roof’s slope allows water to collect.
Inner drains help drain the water away from the house, with most of them usually featuring a strainer to catch debris and avoid drain pipe blockages and a clogged sewer line.
Anything can lead to a drain blockage, from hair to grease build-up, from food scraps to improper disposal of hygienic materials like wet wipes, especially your internal drains. Blocked internal drains are one of the worst nightmares of any homeowner.
For outdoor drains, stubborn blockages could result from improper plumbing system installation. While installing plumbing fixtures, mistakes can happen. At times, the pipes collapse, or cracks appear, which cause damage to your property. So, if your newly installed drains are blocked, it might be a case of faulty plumbing.
Whether it’s the kitchen drain or the bathroom drain, internal drains or outdoor drains, it is essential to determine its cause. Hence, blocked drains aren’t something that you must ignore. When you notice the tell-tale signs of a blocked drain, such as nasty smells, loud gurgling noise, or water draining slowly, it’s time to use a drain unblocker, a mixture of baking soda and vinegar with boiling water, drainage rod or contact a plumbing agency.
What causes a blocked outside drain?
Outdoor drains are not invulnerable to clogging. Leaves, dirt, mud, and heavy rainstorms can be too much for the outside drains to take.
The blockage can also originate from an obstruction in the sink caused by oil, grease, hair, food, toilet paper or another item lodged in the inside drains. Over time, your pipes may become so congested that they interrupt water flow to your sewer pipes.
There are a few reasons why a major drain blockage can happen. Tree roots can be the biggest culprit. Plants and roots thrive in wet and moist areas. And if there is even the slightest crack or split in the pipework, roots can take hold and begin to grow.
Once tree roots anchor themselves and grow internally, pipes can become crushed and weak.
How to Unclog an Outdoor Drain
You might feel overwhelmed by your external drain issue, but it can be fixed. You can take steps to unblock drains and get your drainage plumbing back to perfect working condition. Here’s how you can save your clogged drain.
A visual assessment is the first vital step to determining the extent of the problem and what steps to take. If the obstruction is clear to see or if you need professional assistance.
Even if you hire a professional, they’ll take this crucial step. Only then can they make a sound judgement on how to solve the problem.
2. Manual Retrieval
If you can see the blockage like outdoor debris, you can carefully remove it by hand.
You can access your outdoor drainage by removing the drain cover using a screwdriver.
Go over the drain opening and see if you can identify any material that is easy to clean by hand. Ensure you have your gloves on and remove every piece of blockage you can see. Place it inside your bucket for disposing of later.
You may need specific equipment if the obstruction is deeper down the drain.
3. Appropriate Tools
To unblock an outside drain, you may need specific equipment such as a plumber snake, drain snake, auger, drain rods, pressure hose and hydro jet blasters.
High-pressure water jets are also perfect for drain clearing and the toughest drain blockage. High-pressure water is jetted through the pipes to push through the stubborn blockage inside the clogged drain. Ensure you always have protective clothing, masks and gloves, as it can be messy. Have a bucket handy to dispose of the waste material.
4. Clearing the Blockage
Unblock an outside drain using your drain snake, drain rod, or drum auger. Insert the rod inside your drain and turn the rod clockwise.
For external drains, it’s best to use a drum auger. It is motorised and is powerful to cut through tree roots. On one end of the flexible auger is a coiled metal wire.
This is used to break through material and cut it up or use it as a hook to fish out the obstruction.
When you feel resistance, you have reached the obstruction. Keep using the auger or rod until you feel the blockage lessen and dissipate. You may have to give it more than one attempt.
5. Clean Up
Using the high-pressure jet blaster or garden hose, you can give the drain a final cleaning to ensure the pipework is clear. You can try this method a few times to ensure the blockage has been completely cleared.
When to Call a Plumber to Unclog Your Outdoor Drains
You can contact your local plumbing team if you find your plumbing problems too big or complex. A drainage expert can get through to the most stubborn blocked drains using drain jetting and other latest technology.
The team at Fixed Today have the skills to unblock drains and recourses to get your outside drain system working again and help you prevent future blockages.
One of our plumbing services is regular drain cleaning and maintenance to prolong the life of your drainage system and pipework. You can ask your professional plumber, Fixed Today, about annual drain maintenance at your property.
Call us to unblock a drain outside; trust your outside drain blockages or any plumbing issues are in reliable hands.