When it comes to drain problems, it is unfortunate that you can have problems both in your home and outside. Inside your home, many issues can be dealt with by a good plunger! Outside however is a different problem. Not only could it be someone further up the stream who is causing the problem, but to unblock an outside drain can be hard work without calling the professionals.
A blocked drain can be highly frustrating, creating unpleasant smells and wastewater backing up into your sinks, toilet or shower. If you don’t unblock the drains, this problem will only get worse.
So what can you do? Other than call in a professional (SM Drains is highly recommended…) there are things that you can do – if you are willing – that will possibly unblock the outside drain that is causing you issues.
1) Find and assess the problem
Find the drain cover to your outdoor drains and remove. You may need a screwdriver, but this isn’t common. Once your in, take a look at what you are dealing with. Can you see the blockage, or is it obscured? Is it general gunk, or could it be something that is a bit tougher?
Whatever the issue, you will be in a much better position to assess whether you will be able to unblock it yourself, or call us to help you out.
2) Get Drainage Tools
Unblocking an outside drain requires a little more than bare hands and elbow grease! You will need some tools and safety clothing to give you the best chance without vomiting and adding to the problem.
The most important tool would be a drainage rod. You will be able to get these from any good plumbing or hardware shop like B&Q, Wicks or Screwfix (other retails are available). These rods are long, thin and flexible, but with enough force to be able to push through most debris in a drain.
You will also need protective clothing and gloves. Long, waterproof gloves. Trust us. Protective gear for your face would also be recommended in case of splashback. Again, trust us.
A bucket and hose – preferably a pressure hose if you have one – will also come in handy.
3) Remove any obvious blockages you can see
If you can see the blockage – wet wipes, excessive toilet paper etc, then you can reach in and take it out. Those long waterproof gloves come in handy here! Keep the bucket handy and remove as much debris as you can reach. It will make it easier for the drainage rods to get into the smaller pipes to remove the the smaller debris within.
4) Clear the blockage
Now is the time for the drainage rods to shine! Use the rods to push along any debris in the smaller pipes that you can’t reach with your hands. The narrow rod should slide through the sludge with relative ease. If you feel pressure, wiggle the rods around a little to try and break apart any blockages. Keep plunging until it becomes easier. It may take a little while if the blockage is particularly stubborn, so keep at it.
If this has worked, you should see the wastewater start to drain away. If you twist the drainage rods, make sure you turn them clockwise. Turning then anti-clockwise can actually unscrew the rods, meaning that you now also have a drainage rod stuck in your drain making the problem worse.
5) Clean up
Presuming your drains are now flowing again, it is worth spending a bit of time making sure the problem won’t come back. Use the hose (or pressure hose preferably) to clear away any of the excess water in the outside drain. The pressure from the hose should be good enough to clear up any residual waste left over from around the drain.
6) Call SM Drains to unblock your outside drains
The steps outlined above are great, if your problem is relatively simple. There is a chance that the issue may be more serious, such as tree roots breaking through your drains, or a broken drain that is getting filled with soil, If you have tried the above without success then it is worth giving us a call.
Continuing with your efforts – however admirable – can make the situation worse. We have the correct tools and experience to remove the blockage in no time and you don’t have to deal with splashback or getting waste on your clothing – grim.
If you are in this position, please give us a call on 07751 139 514 and book an appointment at your convenience. Alternatively, you can contact us through the website using the form on the site.