Is your sink draining slowly? Or does a pungent smell come from your drains? Well, this may be due to a blockage of your drain. The outdoor drain pipe performs an essential function in transporting sewage and wastewater from your home to the sewer line. So, when this vital pipe becomes blocked, a lot of problems can surface. This post will help you understand how to unblock a sewage drain and identify the ways you can go about it.
Blocked drainages are what most homeowners dread. Most people start by searching ‘how to unlock a drain pipe’ on every search engine or contacting an outside drain unblocker. But you should know that there are several DIY methods you can use to clear a blocked drain. You will surely get your hands dirty and smell terrible things, but if it saves a couple of pounds in the process, then you should not turn your nose up at it (pun intended).
And if you are pondering on how to clean outside drains, then this is a guide you will find useful. Now, let us explore how to clear a blocked drain outside by yourself.
“My outside drain is blocked!!”
We get a lot of calls from frustrated people saying ‘My outside drain is blocked!’. But to unclog an outside drain by yourself, you would need to find out what the cause of the drain blockage was in the first place.
It is important to do this because each drain blockage has a different cause. For example, kitchen sinks get clogged with grease, food particles or oil, for a bathroom it may be soap or hair, and a toilet drain can be blocked by something that seems so harmless like toilet paper.
The drain outside the house is not exempted either. It may be blocked by soap, grease, domestic items or combinations of those items. Your leaves, silt, grease, dirt or other outdoor debris can cause your external drain to get blocked.
So how does one decipher whether their outside drain is blocked by soil, mud, dirt or any other outdoor debris?
Things You Will Need to Unblock the Drain
Before we learn more about how to fix a blocked drain, there are a few things you’ll need for the purpose. These include,
- Rubber gloves: Drains are dirtier than what you have imagined them to be. It is also as smelly as it is dirty, and that is why a good pair of rubber gloves would always be handy when going through a drain.
- Rope: A rope is quite useful in removing a drain’s cover when you need to unblock a drain pipe.
- Waste bags: Transporting the debris to the waste bins is also very important. That is why you will need some waste bags.
- Drain rod: Another important piece in the ‘how to clear a blocked drain puzzle’ is the drain rod. They are used to dislodge a drain blockage and are available in local stores. You might want to get two or more, just in case something happens to the first.
- Bleach: After clearing the blocked drains with your drain rods, it is necessary to clean up the drain. Bleach is an excellent outdoor drain cleaner, and it helps to remove the drainage smell as well.
- Caustic Soda: Chemical drain unblockers are useful substitutes to the conventional manual process of unclogging a drain with a drain rod. However, you will never know when your blocked outside drain will require caustic soda, but homeowners use it as their last resort.
- Garden Hose: After removing dirt from your drain, you may need to use water to clean it up more. Garden hoses will help you transport the water from the source to the drain.
How to unclog an outside drain (Removing The Drain Cover)
• Remove the drain cover: Every outdoor water drain has a cover used to secure it. You could use a screwdriver or other strong metal tool to open it forcefully. Some covers have a handle for you to grab when removing them quickly. However, if the drain has been closed for an extended period, then it will be difficult to remove the cover. In those cases, you could use a rope to open the drain.
- Take a look at what is happening inside
When you take a look inside your drain and begin to ask yourself questions like ‘Should there be water in my outside drain?’. Then we have got a problem. If the chamber is holding water instead of draining it away, then you can conclude that somewhere after the drain chamber is clogged. Usually, a clogged soil pipe is the cause, but other things can also cause a blockage. But, there’s just one way to be certain. Search for a full chamber on a side and an empty chamber on the other side and when you find it that is the location of your blockage.
- Use Drain Rods
Manually using a drain rod is perhaps the best way to clear blocked drains. It is a useful outside drain unblocker tool that you can easily purchase in local stores or online. After locating the blocked chamber (which is where your blockage is), thrust the drain rods into this chamber until the blockage is removed. When pushing the drain rod, rotate it clockwise because this helps to dislodge the blockage properly. Nevertheless, try not to turn it anticlockwise because the plunger attachment may be unscrewed. Repeated thrusting of the rods will loosen the blockage and cause it to dislodge.
- Clean all that is left
Even after clearing the blocked external drain, there may be some debris that could lead to blockage again. Therefore, clean all that is left of the debris and blockage. An easy tip you can use is to water the debris. To check if the drain is now working correctly, open all taps in your house for a while. If the water is draining, then you have done an excellent job. Before you close the taps, put the drain cover back and pour a small amount of bleach into the drain. Bleach is an excellent outside drain cleaner as it removes all grease and muck, and removes the smell of the drain. A close substitute you could use instead of bleach is an external drain unblocker liquid that is readily available in local stores.
While this process should rid-off most exterior drain pipe blockages, others might prove stubborn to remove. If you have such blockage in your drain, then it’s time to bring out to the big guns.
External Drain Unblocker
Caustic soda is one of the best chemical drain unblockers to use when unblocking a drain. After mixing, pour the solution in the outside blocked drain or any other place in the house where there is a blockage. It is that simple.
Another alternative outside drain unblocker method that is available is to remove the drain pipe and thoroughly wash it with CCTV Drain Surveys to detect the problem. Also, you could contact a professional plumbing service if you do not feel capable of unblocking your drain alone.
How to unblock an outside drain with caustic soda?
Caustic soda is a useful external drain unblocker that can be bought at a low price from local stores. It is also an excellent chemical that is used to unclog outdoor drain systems. But how does this chemical unblock drains?
Caustic soda is a very corrosive chemical. It will react vigorously with hair, dirt, food and any other material it comes in contact with. After the vigorous reaction, it will dissolve the debris leaving only particles behind. With the chemical having such destructive effect in indoor drains, it is quite obvious what it will do to the debris of an outside drain within minutes.
Unblocking drains with caustic soda is simple, and can be carried by following these steps;
- Dilute cups of caustic soda in a large bucket of cold water.
- Stir the mixture of water and soda with a stirrer or wooden spoon. Do not use a metal spoon as the caustic soda will react with it.
- As a precaution, do not utilise these stirrers or containers for cooking, other related purposes. Be cautious, and do not use your hand to stir the soda-water mixture.
- As you stir and mix the two components, a fizz and heat should be noticed.
- Next, pour the solution into the blocked outside drain
- After a couple of minutes, the debris should rise to the top.
- Remove the debris from the pipe and pour water to rinse the drain.
How to clear a blocked kitchen drain outside?
Kitchen drains are the most common drains in any homes to get blocked. Most people prefer to outsource the unblocking of these drains because of the debris they usually find in them. Nevertheless, you may still choose to unblock the kitchen drain yourself if the smell or dirt wouldn’t bother you. A few methods you can take unblocking your outside kitchen drain yourself are;
- Pour water: Fat is the most common debris people find in their kitchen sink. When they solidify, they can cause a blockage. Pour a bucket of hot water into the sink to melt the blockage.
- Use power washers: Power washers can be used to blast right through any kitchen blockage. But a power washer would not be useful if the obstruction is too deep down the sink or too strong.
- Use baking soda: This chemical is one of the best methods in every ‘how to unblock waste pipe guides,’ and the reason is apparent. Baking soda is a natural, readily available and safe chemical for unblocking kitchen drains. Add a few cups of baking soda to vinegar and then pour down the drain. Leave the mixture for about thirty minutes, then pour boiling water. This should remove the blockage.
- Don’t use your hands: It sounds quite obvious, but most people do not know that an easy and effective way of removing clogs from the sink is by using a rubber-gloved hand. Do not forget to use your gloves because you wouldn’t want your hands to get dirty. Pour in some power wash later to remove the debris.
- Use Caustic Soda: The should be your last resort before calling a professional if all other methods above fail. Make use of the chemical following the steps outlined above.
How To Prevent Drains Clogging?
You can ensure that the drain pipes outside your house do not get clogged by protecting the entrance of the following into the drainage system;
- Fats, oils & grease (FOG)
- Nappies & pads
- Wet wipes
- Applicators, tampons & wrappers
- Sanitary products
- Bandages & plasters
- Razor blades
- Medicines & syringes
- Dental floss
- Cotton buds
Best Drain Unblockers
Some drain unblockers with the best reviews on Amazon include;
- Caustic Soda Powder
- Buster Bathroom Plughole Unblocker
- Hair Grease Remover for Drains
- Hg Liquid Drain Unblocker
- Mr Muscle Kitchen and Bathroom Drain Gel
We will take no responsibility for the failure or success of the products we have listed above. They have only reviewed highly rated by customers on Amazon. (We highly recommend that you call us to get the best drain unclogging service that you can get).
You could also buy a drain-screener or a drain-gate which blocks debris like scum, food particles, soap, and grease going down the drain. Lastly, ensure that your pipes are frequently cleaned. Once in a while, pour hot water, drain cleaners or even some detergent down the drain. As simple as this routine task is, it will keep the drain clog-free and clean for several years. You may also use bleach to keep the sink smelling fresh. Minimising the debris that gets into the drains helps to decrease the possibility of outside pipes from getting clogged.
Always keep in mind that prevention is better than cure. It is better to do that the things that you can prevent than to pay a lot of money and still get the same effect.