Blocked Drain Outside House

Clearing a Blocked Drain Outside Your House

A blocked drain is never a pleasant thing for householders to deal with – but if it’s inside, at least you know it’s your problem. When the blocked drain is outside your house there’s the added uncertainty of whether or not it’s your responsibility. At Drainflow we see too many blocked drains left to get worse, simply because no-one makes the move to get it cleared.

A blocked drain, whether it’s inside or outside, needs to be dealt with fast. Otherwise a small blockage can turn into a major problem to deal with. There’s a simple way to determine whether a drain belongs to you. If it’s within the boundary of your property, it’s a private drain and your responsibility. If it’s outside the boundary of your property you may want to alert your local council to the problem.


  • Types of Outside Drains
  • How to Tell if an Outside Drain is Blocked
  • DIY Drain Clearance
  • Professional Drain Clearance
  • Preventing a Blocked Drain Outside the House

Types of Outside Drains

Your property has an interior and an exterior drainage system. The different types of drains outside your house have varying functions, and the fixes are specific to each one:

  • Surface Water Drains. These collect rainwater from guttering and paving. They are normally covered by a metal grid and can be found in your driveway, at the base of surface water pipes, or in paved areas.
  • Foul Water Drain. If you flush the toilet, or run water down the plughole of the sink, you should be able to locate where your foul water drain is. This carries water off to the sewer where it is treated before being returned into the water system.
  • Manholes. A manhole cover provides access into a chamber that allows access to the underground drainage system. Two manholes side-by-side indicate a dual drainage system where both surface and foul water runs off onto different pipes.

How to Tell if an Outside Drain is Blocked

There are two clear indications that your outside drain is blocked. The first is a bad smell emanating from it, indicating that waste matter is trapped and needs clearing. The second is standing water around the drain. Again, this demonstrates that there’s nowhere for the water to drain away, suggesting that your pipe is blocked somewhere in the system.

Watch out for these symptoms in your internal drainage system:

  • Bad smells coming from the plughole.
  • Water is slow to drain from the sink.
  • You hear gurgling sounds in the plughole when water is draining.
  • The water in your toilet bowl rises after you have flushed.

DIY Drain Clearance

If you can see that there are leaves or garden detritus causing the blocked drain outside your house, it’s easy enough to put heavy duty gloves on and clear away the mess. You could also use drain clearance rods if you are a confident DIYer. On the whole though, the Drainflow team doesn’t recommend this as it’s a specialist job. If, however, you want a fast and effective solution, call out a professional team who’ll diagnose and clear the obstruction for you.

How Does Drainflow Clear Blocked drains Outside?

One way we don’t clear blocked drains outside is by digging up your garden! It’s one of the questions we get asked regularly, and we can promise that we’ll leave your flower beds and lawns intact. Instead, we’ll use a range of technology to first locate and then clear a blocked drain outside your house:

  • CCTV Drain Survey. Remote controlled HD ‘crawler cameras’ are sent into the drain system. They send back live images to the surface, allowing Drainflow engineers to pinpoint the blockage.
  • Drain Jetting. High pressure hoses send water jets in excess of 3000 psi into your drain to clear the blockage. The force of the water jets is sufficient to dislodge obstacles, clear encrusted material, and loosen debris.
  • Surface Water Drainage. If your drain has become blocked, you may experience local flooding as a result. This needs to be drained away in order to avoid long-term damage to buildings in the vicinity.

Drainflow is a Bedford Drain Company

Drainflow is a leading local provider of fast and efficient clearance for blocked drains in Bedford and surrounding areas. We don’t charge call-out fees. Instead, our engineer will be with you asap. Once an assessment has taken place, they’ll provide a free no obligation quote, there and then. In the vast majority of cases, we clear blocked drains in Bedfordshire on our first visit.


Drainflow is a Bedford drain company with a reputation for clearing drains fast. And we’re available 24/7. Give us a call today on 01525 718500