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If you have a blocked drain, your first instinct may be to try and fix it yourself. Proceed with caution: depending on the type of blockage you have, you risk doing more harm than good and could end up very dirty in the process!

While it’s always best to get the advice of an expert, some smaller blockages in indoor and outside drains can sometimes be fixed independently. Pipeline Drainage Solutions has created this guide to how to unblock a drain so that where possible, you can get your drains flowing again with minimum disruption.

Read on to learn more about unblocking drains inside and outside your home.

Work out what’s causing your blocked drain

If you’re experiencing a slow-draining or blocked drain, the first step is to identify the problem. Some problems with drains are common, depending on where they are located.

Bathroom drains, for example, may become clogged with hair and soap scum, while toilets are prone to blockages caused by flushing wipes. Kitchen drains can build-up with grease too.

It’s a similar story for outdoor drains, but they can also suffer as a result of leaves and other debris blowing into the drains.

Unblocking Drains Indoors

One of the easiest and most straightforward ways to unblock a drain indoors is by using a drain unblocker, which can be purchased at your local supermarket.

You should always follow the instructions on the pack but usually, it’s as simple as pouring the unblocker down the affected drain, allowing it time to work before rinsing away. These products can be extremely dangerous if not used correctly, so always take the necessary safety precautions such as wearing rubber gloves, ventilating the room and avoiding contact with eyes.

How to Unblock an Outside Drain

Unblocking outside drains is more complicated than unblocking an indoor drain. However, with the right equipment, you should be able to correct minor blockages. Essential equipment includes drain rods and protective clothing.

Please be aware that outdoor drains can often be smellier than indoor drains.

Step 1: Remove the drain cover

So you can better inspect the blocked drain outside your house, you first need to remove its cover. Often, these covers can be stubborn to remove, so you may need to use a screwdriver to leverage it open.

Step 2: Look inside

If after removing the cover the drain chamber is filled with water, you know that the blockage is after this chamber. If the chamber is empty, the blockage is somewhere before it. Work your way along to find a drain chamber that is between a full and empty chamber.

Step 3: Use your drain rods

Once you’ve located the correct drain chamber, it’s time to use your drain rods. Plunge them into the drain and continue plunging until you feel the blockage dislodge. Push the rods through the blockage to break it down and move it along.

When using your rods, always rotate them clockwise rather than anti-clockwise to avoid unscrewing and losing a part of the rod in the drain.

Step 4: Rinse the drain

Once you’ve unblocked your outside drain, you should rinse the drain with clean water to remove any remaining parts of the blockage. By turning on the taps, you can check whether water is again flowing through the drain, showing that you’ve successfully removed the blockage.

If you have cleared the blockage, you may wish to clean the drains by pouring a suitable product down it.

If you’re still having trouble, you may want to use a pressure washer down the drain as a more powerful way to dislodge the blockage. However, at this point, we would advise calling in the professionals who will take the guesswork out of how to unblock your outside drain.

At Pipeline Drainage Solutions, we’re experienced in tackling all types of blocked drains in Newcastle, Gateshead and throughout the North East. For emergencies, we provide 24-hour call-outs, rectifying your drainage problems as quickly as possible. Contact us today for more information.

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