A blocked drain outside of your property can make your home life miserable. There are often unpleasant odours, and many people feel unwell due to the blockage. If the drain is blocked close to your home, bad odours can be annoying, but if the blocked drain sits on your property, you face a lot of problems.
This is because, generally, homeowners are responsible for drains which lie on their property. This means you need to resolve the problem, but help is available. We aim to ensure you know the factors that lead to outside drains being clogged (so you can stop them), help you find the best drain unblockers, and provide you with a range of actions to take to unblock your outside drainage with the help of solid advice from Rider Drains in Darlington.
Unsurprisingly, a wide range of factors can cause blocked drains, including:
- Oil, fat or food waste
- Sand or soil from a collapsed drain
- Tree roots and related root damage
- A build-up of toilet roll or other flushed items
- Foreign objects jammed in the drain system
Dealing with an outside drain is different from how you’d use a bathroom drain unblocker, so if you need guidance in finding the best drain unblockers for outside the home, to enjoy free running drains, we can help.
Given the problems associated with a blocked drain outside of your home, you want a solution to work quickly and effectively. Some of the best drain unblockers available in the UK include:
- Zep Liquid Heat Drain Unblocker – This heavy-duty product has a 4.5 rating (after 35 reviews) on Screwfix, and many see it as the best outside drain unblocker
- Blockbuster External Drain Cleaner – Sulphuric Acid Blend – This industrial-grade solution has a higher than 4-star rating after 43 reviews on the JennyChem site, and it’s one of the leading chemical drain unblockers
- JCB Garden 5L Sink & Drain Unblocker – Another heavy-duty product, and holds a 4-star score on Amazon after 53 reviews
- One Chem Heavy Duty Sink & Drain Unblocker – This robust solution has a higher than 4-star score after 13 reviews on the Home and Cleaning site
These products rank amongst the best drain unblockers, but the best drain unblocker for you is the one that fits your budget and clears your drain.
Caustic soda, also referred to as sodium hydroxide, is a good drain unblocker and outside of the home. This product creates a chemical reaction when it connects with organic matter. If you have a blocked pipe or a slow drain, caustic soda is an abrasive yet highly effective way to remove the blockage and return life to normal.
Not everyone appreciates its harsh capabilities, but caustic soda is one of the best drain unblocker solutions you can find.
You might prefer to avoid chemical drain cleaners if you can, and there is no harm in initially using a homemade drain cleaner as a drain unblocker.
A simple mixture of boiling water, baking soda and vinegar is a good starting point when working with external drain blockages. This will bubble up but there is a pretty good chance you will need a few goes to unblock a drain and rid yourself of a clog or debris. You might even need to let it work overnight to fully clear or unblock a drain outside your house.
Of course, with severe blockages, you’ll likely need something more severe, and this is where other tools or chemical drain cleaners will be the best drain unblockers for you.
Yes, it is often possible to unclog an outside drain manually, and if you find homemade or commercial drain unblockers don’t work, this is your next step to removing blockages from outside drains.
Items you should have handy when unclogging a drain include rubber gloves, goggles, a face mask, drain rods (or an auger or drain snake), buckets, bin bags and a hose. Remove the drain cover, taking care with heavy outdoor drains, and place any removed exterior drains carefully in a place you can find them.
You should try to remove as much debris and water sitting from drains as you can, preferably manually. This is why having rubber gloves is vital because the more debris and blockage you can remove manually by reaching into the drain and grabbing leaves, roots and other waste, the easier it is to unblock a drain.
If this step doesn’t clear the pipes, an unblocking tool is your best bet with an outdoor drain and tough blockages. Drain rods are the most common tools to unblock a drain. You need to insert the rod until you start to feel resistance from blockages, and then twist the drain rod. You might need to use force to unblock drains, so make sure you or someone helping you has the strength and know how to use this device to its fullest.
All being well, this motion will smash through the blockage, creating a clear path. If you don’t reach the blockage, you’ll need to add more rods until you do.
Once the blockage is removed, remove the rods and clear up the drain and external area. If you have high-pressure water jets, hose the area down for complete peace of mind.
Given this is a messy job that requires time, effort and specialist equipment, it is easy to see why many people prefer to hire a specialist to resolve any external drainage issues they have.
As of October 2023, Checkatrade cites the following costs associated with hiring a professional to unblock your outside drain:
- £60 for the call out
- £80 for drain rodding
- £175 for jetting work
- £250 for a drain CCTV survey
Dealing with clogged pipes and blockages outside your home is a pain, but there is help to unblock outside drainage.