Help! My Outside Drain is Blocked

What To Do If Your Outside Drain Is Blocked

Drainflow is a drain clearance provider, operating across Bedfordshire, Hertfordshire, Buckinghamshire, and North London. For many of our customers indoor drain blockages are their number one priority, as they can severely disrupt a home or business. It’s important to remember, though, that outdoor drains can cause problems too. In this blog we consider what you should do if your outside drain is blocked.


How Do I Know If My Outside Drain Is Blocked?

When an outside drain is blocked, there are several symptoms to look out for, as these will indicate there’s a problem that needs your attention:

  • Slow Drainage. Water takes longer than usual to drain or sits stagnant in the area around the drain.
  • Overflowing or Flooding. If an outside drain is blocked it may cause water to overflow, resulting in localised flooding creating pools of water in the surrounding area.
  • Unpleasant Odours. Nasty smells may emanate from the blocked drain due to trapped debris and stagnant water.
  • Gurgling Sounds. You may hear gurgling or bubbling noises coming from the drain or nearby pipes which indicate that water is trying to flow through the obstruction.
  • Problems With Internal Drainage. Other fixtures connected to the same drainage system, such as sinks, toilets, or showers, may also experience slow drainage or backup when the outside drain is blocked.
  • Wet Patches or Dampness. The blocked drain may cause water to seep into the surrounding soil, resulting in wet patches or dampness nearby.

What Do I Do If My Outside Drain Is Blocked?

If you’re planning to tackle your blocked drain yourself, get out your gardening gloves because it can be a very dirty and smelly business.

To begin with, remove the drain cover so you can see what’s causing the blockage. Once the cover is off you need to dig down with your hands to remove any build-up of leaves, silt, or litter. Keep going until you’re sure that you’ve removed all the debris.

If, once the debris is removed, you discover that the drain chamber is filled with water, it means that the blockage is located further along the pipes. You will need drain rods if you want to continue with your DIY drain clearance. These consist of a series of rigid or semi-flexible rods that can be connected together to form a longer rod.

Insert the drain rods into the drain or pipe system. By pushing, twisting, or plunging the rods, the blockage can be broken apart or pushed along the pipe until it reaches a point where it can flow freely.

The final step, if you think you’ve cleared the blockage, is to flush out the drain with a garden hose. If the drain is clear, the water will disperse easily without overflowing.

My Outside Drain Is Still Blocked! What Do I Do?

If the drain continues to cause problems, you’ll need to call in drain clearance engineers. You may be dealing with a broken pipe, or tree root ingress, and it’s best to let professionals diagnose the problem correctly and provide an appropriate solution. Drainflow will normally use two approaches when an outside drain is blocked:

  • CCTV Drain Survey. A CCTV camera is used to assess the condition and identify issues within a drainage system. The survey involves inserting a remote-controlled camera into the drain. The camera captures real-time footage, which is transmitted to a monitor, allowing professionals to visually examine the interior of the pipes.
  • Drain Jetting. This is a method of clearing blockages in drains and pipes using high-pressure water jets. It involves directing streams of water into the drain to remove stubborn debris, grease, or tree roots. It’s an environmentally friendly solution for restoring optimal flow and preventing future clogs in the drainage system.

How Can I Avoid Blockages In My Outside Drain?

You’ll be glad to know that there are a number of measures you can take to avoid a blocked outside drain. Autumn is the season when a blocked outside drain is most likely, so be particularly alert to potential problems at this time of year.

Regular Maintenance of Outside Drains

Get yourself into the routine of clearing away leaves and debris from your drains throughout the year, but especially from September onwards. Never pour anything down the drains – apart from water – especially not oil, paint, or grease.

Use a Drain Grating

Installing a grating over your drain opening is an excellent way to protect it from waste and debris. Choose a grating with a fine screen that prevents leaves and debris from entering while allowing water to flow freely.

Maintain Your Pipes and Gutters

Check regularly that your gutters are clear of blockages such as moss, leaves, and silt. If left to accumulate these can cause problems in pipes and potentially lead to problems with your outside drain. If your gutters regularly get clogged, try using gutter guards to keep them clear.


About Drainflow

If your outside drain is blocked, and you’re not up to sinking your hands into the slime, just give Drainflow a call. We don’t charge a fee for coming out, and nine times out of ten we’ll solve the issue on our first visit. As a local drain clearance business, with a fleet of fully stocked vehicles, we can respond to your call promptly, and solve your drainage issue fast.


Would you like to speak to a Drainflow engineer about a blocked outside drain? Call us today on 01525 718500