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Blocked Outdoor Drain? Essential Fixing Tips


When it comes to blocked drains, we often focus on maintaining those inside and forget that the drains outside are just as important. While it can be more complicated and messy fixing a blocked drain outside, it is something that needs to be done so that your drainage can run smoothly. So, how do you fix a blocked drain outside? Read on to find out.

When a blocked outside drain is most likely to occur

Blocked outdoor drains can happen at any time. However, they tend to occur most during the autumn season when leaves from the trees and shrubs around your garden gather together around the drain. Add this problem to a day of excessive rainfall and you will have a pool of stagnate water that can become a breeding ground for insects.

The good news is that you can learn how to fix the problem yourself, without having to call a professional for help. Just make sure you have your gloves on because it could get pretty messy!

Take off the drain cover

Firstly, you need to remove the drain cover to be able to thoroughly inspect the cause of the blockage. You might need to use a screwdriver to remove the drain cover but, once removed, you will be able to use your hands to remove any material causing the clog, such as a collection of leaves or other debris. This is not particularly glamorous and it may be smelly but you will benefit from removing all of the debris from your drain.

Unblock the Drain 

If you remove the debris and find that the drain chamber is filled with water, then the blockage is somewhere further along the pipes. This is a good moment to employ drain rods. Drain rods are flexible rods that can be connected together to force blockages from your drain. Take your drain rods and push them into your drain chamber. Keep on pushing until you feel yourself dislodge the blockage. Push the drain rod continually through the blockage and this should dislodge and break it up.

Test Water Flow

Once you think you have cleared out all the debris, check that the water runs properly through the pipes by inserting a garden hose into the drain and flushing it out. A clear pipe should dispose of the water quickly, instead of building up and overflowing. Run the taps in your home as well just to double check that the water is running through the drains as it should. You can even pour some bleach down the drains for additional cleanliness.

Still blocked

If, after all your efforts, the drain is still blocked then it is a good idea to call out a professional. It may not be a blockage, it could be that a pipe is broken and you don’t want to cause further damage. Whatever the problem, the professionals will be able to help and advise you on this and will fix the problem for you.

Here at Coastal Drains, we offer a number of drain unblocking services to help you get back to normal life. However, we know from experience that the best method, when it comes to maintaining your drains, is prevention. To prevent future blockages in your outside drain, we would recommend the following:


Placing a grating over the opening of your drain is a brilliant way of reducing the amount of debris that gets washed down your drain. Use a grate with a screen that is fine enough to keep leaves and debris out without restricting the flow of water. If you don’t have one already, we would strongly recommend that you purchase one before autumn sets in.

Clean Regularly

Especially with drains outdoors, blockages can occur more frequently. Make sure to clean out your drain periodically, especially before and after a heavy rainstorm. It goes without saying that you should always try to keep the drains in your garden free from leaves, and other garden waste which could easily get washed down causing an obstruction. Avoid this problem by keeping your garden well-maintained. Regularly sweep up leaves and place all excess garden shrubbery on the compost so that there is no possibility of it washing directly into the drain.

Pipes and Gutters

You gutters will also need some extra attention during the autumn months, as this is another way leaves can access your drainage system and potentially cause blockages. Unfortunately, clearing pipes and gutters can be difficult and harder to clear than drains. If you suspect that your gutters are becoming blocked, call in a professional to help before the situation escalates.

Outdoor Vacuums

If your drains are surrounded by trees and easily become blocked, you could hire an outdoors vacuum. These vacuums, although expensive to purchase, can be rented for those times when you require a more effective leaf-ridding method. These vacuums are effective because they are able to suck up masses of leaves from your drains that you may not be able to remove by yourself.

Call Us Today! 

We hope you have found this article useful. If you have a drain problem that you cannot fix, please do not hesitate to call us. We would be very happy to help!