External drains can easily become clogged, and if this has happened to you, then you should address the issue as soon as you can before it becomes worse. A blocked external drain can be easy to deal with if you have the right tools and know-how, but what if you don’t? Blocked external drains can create waste backlogs, and the smell resulting from such a backlog is less-than-pleasant. If you would like to try fixing the problem yourself, you are more than welcome to attempt it. Here, then, is your best guide to unblocking an external drain in your property.
Make an assessment of the problem
The first step is to assess the issue. You have to gain access to your external drain, and this means having to remove the cover of the drain itself. Removing the cover may require a screwdriver, but you may not need one depending on the type of drain you have. Once you have gained access to the drain, check the blockage, and see if it is near the drain’s surface. Is the blockage just gunk or debris, or does it look more solid and tougher to remove? If you think you can address the problem yourself, you need to have the right tools. If you think the problem is too big, it may be a good idea to contact a professional drain unblocking service.
The tools you need
If you are planning to deal with it yourself, you need a drainage rod. A drainage rod is a long and thin tool that is also flexible and has joints. With this tool, you can push through the drain’s blockage and reach deep into the system. You may also want to have protective clothes since you will be doing some digging, and waterproof clothing such as a long-sleeved waterproof jacket and gloves are a good idea. Don’t forget to wear gear to protect your mouth as well as eyes, particularly if the blockage is almost at the surface. Other tools you need are a hose and bucket, and if you have a pressure hose, this will be better as well.
Removal of the blockage
If you can reach in with your arm and take part of the blockage out this way, this is the best first step because it allows you to shift the matter in your drain and get your drainage rod in to remove the other debris. Place the bucket next to you so you can place whatever debris you can reach into the bucket. Once you have cleared out whatever you can with your hand, you can use the drainage rods to flush out the remaining blockage. Pressure may be essential so the narrow rods can slide into the blockage, and you should make sure to move the drainage rods around to break apart the blockage as thoroughly as possible. One important tip: when you use your drainage rods, twist them clockwise, as twisting them anti-clockwise can result in the unscrewing of the joints of the rods.
Whilst you can attempt to remove the blockage yourself, external drain issues are often more complex than we think, as they may have an underlying cause. If you don’t want to deal with an even bigger problem, in the end, it’s always wiser to call in the professionals.