What To Do About A Blocked Outside Drain

Blocked Outside Drain

It’s been raining and you’ve notice water pooling in the backyard. Is this only temporary, or is your stormwater or soak hole not doing its job?

A flooded yard can be due to a blocked stormwater drain or a clogged soak hole, leaving the rain nowhere to go, while an overflowing gully trap, means that your sewer drain is blocked. A gully trap is where waste pipes from plumbing fixtures inside your home join the drain on the outside of the house

What causes blockages?

The usual suspects for blocked outside drains are leaves, branches, soil, mud, moss, litter and other outdoor debris. Tree roots can also grow into older drain pipes and cause damage and block the flow. The latter will require a drain repair.

Other causes can also include things that people put down their drains that don’t belong there. This includes grease, food particles, oil and coffee grounds, soap scum and hair, sanitary products and excess toilet paper. Everything you put down your drains inside your home can affect your sewer drains outside.

The more you leave a blocked drain unattended, the more possible it becomes to back up wastewater or move the blockage further down into the drain pipe and cause a whole slew of other problems.

Can you clear the blockage yourself?

While there are products available from most hardware stores, you can use these to have a go to clear the blockages, BUT BEWARE! You can be making the situation worse by damaging the waste pipes, traps or drains. A blocked drain full of caustic chemical cleaner can be a major health and safety risk, resulting in a more expensive repair by a professional plumber or drainlayer.

You can not replace a drain or repair a drain yourself. This work can only be undertaken by a licensed plumber (for waste pipes inside your home) or licensed drainlayer (for drains under ground or outside your home).

Steps to take

If your drain or waste pipe is blocked, quickly check all your plug and waste outlets or drain grates for any leaves, hair or other build-up. Have a quick plunge, and if the problem remains, call a Master Plumber for blocked waste pipes inside your home, or your Master Drainlayer if it’s a blockage outside.

How to prevent a future blockage

Prevention is better than cure, and regular maintenance can help prevent blockages of outside drains.

  • Clean around the drain grate regularly. Daily clearing of leaves, shrubs and tree branches is recommended especially during Autumn.
  • Investigate your tree roots annually. Tree roots growing into older pipes can cause serious damage and would require a drain repair or replacement.
  • Keep your inside drains clear. Do not flush wet wipes, leftover food or any other foreign objects down the toilet or kitchen sink.

Battling with blocked drains? Call your JT Plumbing, Drainage & Gas – your Master Plumber and Drainlayers in Tauranga – on 0800 587 586.