Having a blocked drain pipe is frustrating. You might have standing water on your property that doesn’t have a very pleasant odor or that is causing damage to your foundation or lawn. It’s time to learn how to unblock an outside drain pipe. These steps will get your outside drain pipe clear so that a blockage doesn’t lead to even more damage around your home.
Step 1: Diagnose the Problem
Before you can unblock your drain pipe, you need to figure out what’s causing the block. You’ll probably have to remove the drain cover to find out if you can see the block or if it’s further down the pipe. If you can see the block and determine what it is that’s causing the backup, you may be able to remove the clog yourself. If, however, you can’t see the clog, this means it’s further into the pipe and might not be easily removed. This might be a time to call in an expert, but you can attempt to remove it yourself.
Step 2: Gather Your Tools
To give yourself the best chance at unblocking your outside drain pipe, you’ll want to gather a few tools. First, you’ll need a drainage rod to push into the pipe and remove the clog. This is an essential tool that allows you to reach clogs you otherwise would not be able to reach. It’s a long, metal rod that often has joints that allow it to move around pipe bends. A bucket and pressure hose should also be on hand to flush your system once you clear the clog.
Step 3: Remove the Blockage You Can Reach
If you can see the blockage and can reach it with your hand, attempt to remove as much of it as possible. The blockage might be leaves or debris, or something that entered into the drain that shouldn’t be there, like clothing, paper, or sanitary products. Be sure to wear gloves while you’re doing this so that you don’t expose your skin to anything potentially dangerous. Place any debris you remove into your bucket. The more of the debris you can remove manually, the easier the next step will be.
Step 4: Clear the Blockage With the Drainage Rod
Using the drainage rod, attempt to clear the remaining blockage. Slide the rod into the drain and apply pressure to push the blockage out of the way. You may have to move the rod around a bit to break the clog up enough to move it through the pipe. You may need to remove and re-insert your rod several times to get a stubborn blockage to move. Be sure to twist your drainage rod clockwise to avoid unscrewing the joints of your rod.
Step 5: Flush the Drain and Pipe
Once you clear the blockage and water is flowing through your outside drain pipe again, you’ll want to use your pressure hose to flush the clog down the pipe and remove any other debris that could later cause other blockages. The pressure from the hose should remove any remnants of the initial clog and flush away other pieces of debris that could lead to clogs when the standing water on your property drains.
There are times when these steps to unblock an outside drain pipe won’t work because the clog is too deep or too dense. If you’ve tried these steps and your pipe is still blocked, call in the experts to get your water flowing freely once more.