How to Unblock a Drain: Our Tips

Do you suspect that your outdoor drains may be blocked? The chances are, it’s probably more than apparent if something is causing a clog or two. So, what can you do? The fact is, there is lots you can try before you call out a drain unblocking team.

To help you get to the bottom of the problem, we’ve compiled a handy guide which features some top tips for a healthier drain. Here’s where to start:

Try to Diagnose the Problem

Not entirely sure if your drain is blocked at all? Do your best to diagnose the problem as best as you can – and if you’re still not convinced, head to an online forum like this and chat it through with people who’ve been in a similar position. If you don’t have the answers right away, the chances are that someone else will – and by taking their advice, you could save yourself a pretty penny.

It could be your toilet that’s blocked, or even a shower, or a sink. Fixing a slow-draining toilet, for example, may require a different approach to, say, a sink. Determine the problem before you start tending to it. And then…

Gather the Right Tools

Once you’ve worked out the problem – and be aware that any number of things could have contributed to the blockage (just check out this guide: common causes of blocked drains), locate the tools you need to going.

Work out if, for instance, you’ll need a drain rod or snake to move the blockage, or if you can manage the problem using only chemicals.

Get Started

You’ve probably found this guide by searching for money-saving drain unblocking options, so we have just the thing for you. Here’s a man who’s dealt with a blocked drain more than once – and he has a great value alternative to calling out the professionals.

The tutorial starts with a guide to clearing out the debris from the drain, before he grabs his trusty garden hose and inserts it as far down into the drain as he can. This is a cheaper option than professional drain jetting – and, as demonstrated in the video, it may take mere minutes, too. Try this before you do anything else.

Cleaning is key when unblocking your drain – and this YouTuber confirms this in his video here. He advises to clean and disinfect your outdoor drain before unblocking it – a tip we rely on here at London Drainage Services, too.

Unblocking a drain can be completed using caustic soda, as well, especially if you don’t feel confident using tools like drain rods. A few tablespoons of caustic soda is often all that’s required to sort out your drains; and any debris causing the blockage should be easily shifted with this method. This will leave you with a clear and dirt-free drain and a few more pounds in your pocket!

Do you own a wet vac? It could come in very handy when it comes to unblocking your outdoor drain, as this man explains in his informative YouTube video. You’ll save money by trying this – and few things will prove more satisfying than rectifying the issue yourself. Finish by pouring water in your drain to check it runs freely through.

Perhaps you don’t have a wet vac, but you do have a mop? This may prove to be your secret weapon when you’re unblocking an outdoor drain. The Beautiful Plumbing YouTube channel – and this video specifically – will help get your drains working effectively.

And Now for a Wackier Alternative…

Who actually knew you could unblock an outdoor drain with a Coke bottle? Well, the fact is you can. Well, that is if you follow this video tutorial to the letter anyway. And everyone has a drinks bottle like this to hand, don’t they?

Blocked Outdoor Drains: Some Preventative Measures

The best way to avoid spending money on unblocking an outdoor drain? Avoid a blocked drain in the first place! But how do you do that, we hear you ask?

Here are a few things to look out for:

  • Grease and fat which expands and congeals will do the same down your drains, which can mean – you guessed it – a blockage
  • Small toys deposited down the plug hole by your little ones can also lead to an unhealthy clog
  • Sanitary products and toiletries can and will find their way down your toilet (you can control what your family does, but sometimes guests will do their own thing), and this can mean a blockage later down the line
  • Toilet paper is also a big cause of blockages in outdoor drains
  • Body hair can make its way down your shower drain and lead to a clog or two in your drains; try to scoop out any excess hair, discarding it by placing it in your regular refuse bin
  • Leaves will block an outdoor drain in no time at all, which why it’s important to keep on top of a build-up before it turns into a problem.

By taking on board a few of these tips above, you’ll enjoy healthier drains and a little bit more money in the bank – and who wouldn’t want that?

Make sure you also educate your family, particularly your kids, so they know what can and can’t be put down the toilet. You’ll be surprised how quickly your children will pick things up – and in hardly any time at all, you’ll have outdoor drains to be proud of.

Drain Unblocking Tools: Where to Buy

So, where do you find those essential drain unblocking tools? If you want to head to a physical store, try B&Q or Homebase. If you’d prefer to shop online, Amazon should see you right. Make sure you shop around for a great deal, though.

Time to look to the professionals?

Try as you might, sometimes blocked drains are just too severe to deal with. So maybe it’s time to admit defeat and turn to the professionals to sort out the issue. That way, you can be safe in the knowledge that no harm will come to your drains, and you’ll enjoy a job well done.

We’re not the only ones who suggest calling out a professional team when you’ve tried everything else. Some of the ladies over at Mumsnet agree, choosing to opt for a drainage services company who’ll get the job done quickly and effectively, over trying to tackle the issue themselves.

Getting to the root of the problem swiftly and efficiently, a professional team of drain un-blockers will have your outdoor drains working in no time at all. So, if the problem persists, you know what to do.

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