How To Clean A Blocked Drain Outside

Friday 30th June 2023

Ellen Warren

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Outdoor drain being cleaned


Blocked drains on your property are a nuisance to tackle, and it can get complicated if the drain is outside your home. It may be difficult to unblock, requiring professional help, but understanding your responsibility makes it hard to know who is liable.

Our specialists use expert equipment to conduct efficient drain cleaning services. At ICE Drainage, our operatives can safely unblock any drain and dispose of biohazardous waste to keep your property sanitary. We are available nationwide and can be on-site at your earliest convenience.

Read on to learn more about how to unblock a drain outside and your responsibility for the pipes in your property.

How do outside drains get blocked?

When there are external drains on your property, they have a risk of getting blocked due to various reasons out of your control. Some outside drains show signs of being obstructed when the problem is inside your home. Your external drains will show signs of blockage if you notice:

  • Overflowing
  • Leaves or foliage debris in the water
  • A rotten or foul smell

When you see these tell-tale warnings in your outside drain, it means there is a blockage occurring in the pipeline somewhere.

This could be due to your negligence or external elements that are difficult to predict or prevent. There are various reasons why your outside drain may be blocked which include:

  • Leaves, branches, soil, or moss blocking the pipe
  • Litter or waste trapped in the pipeline
  • Pouring fats or grease down the drain
  • Flushing wet wipes or sanitary items down the toilet
  • Hair and soap scum building up in the pipes

How to prevent drain blockage

You are less likely to experience an obstructed drain if you take immediate steps to prevent an accumulation of debris in your pipes. Although outside drains can become blocked due to weather or foliage, they also become clogged because of activity in your home.

You can help prevent a drain blockage inside your home with vigilance and regular attention to your cleaning habits. To further control these issues, you should:

  • Use a drain strainer in your bathroom and kitchen
  • Dispose of oil, grease, or fats in your general waste bin
  • Regularly pour boiling water down the drain
  • Do not flush wet wipes, sanitary items, or other debris down the toilet
  • Inspect your pipes regularly
  • Sweep your garden to keep debris away from drains
  • Placing drain guards or covers over your outside drains

Are you responsible for an outside drain?

If you experience a blockage, it is always possible that this is not your responsibility and your local water and sewerage company is to blame. However, every drainage network works differently across counties, and there may be situations where you share a pipe with a neighbour.

You should contact your water or sewerage company if you are unsure who owns your drain or suspect it is shared. In any case of an outside drain, you must contact the company first to inquire about your responsibility.

You must ensure you are covered by a water supplier before proceeding further. Although you may have this coverage, it must always be confirmed. If you have insurance for blocked drains, contact your insurance company to see what your policy covers.

Should you attempt outside drain cleaning yourself?

If your outside drain is obstructed by leaves or foliage, it might be as simple as clearing it of surface debris. If you wear rubber gloves and always keep yourself protected, this may be a simple solution that does not require any equipment.

However, if it is still blocked after doing this and the drain is shared, you must not try to clean it yourself. There may be some biohazards that you are unaware of in the water, which might cause sickness if you interact with them.

What to do if an outside drain is blocked

If your outside drain is clogged and you believe it is a shared pipeline, you must talk to your neighbour immediately to see if they are experiencing similar issues. This can help you locate where the blockage is coming from and whether you need to contact a professional drain cleaning company.

If both of you are experiencing an issue, it could be that the local water company is responsible for the blockage, and you should contact them to report the incident. If the drain issues solely affect you, the source might be inside your property.

Regardless, you must always call your local sewerage or water company to understand why this might be occurring. This can also alert them to a potential issue in the drainage system, which may be the source of the problem. If the blockage persists or seems to be inside your pipes, you should contact drain cleaning services.

Get in touch

When your drains and pipes overflow due to a blockage, you can rely on ICE Thermal's industrial drain cleaning services. Our expert engineers will use state-of-the-art equipment and solutions to unblock a drainage system effectively.

If you have any questions about our industrial cleaning services, you can get in touch with our team at 020 3376 4801 or [email protected]. We are available 24/7, 365 days a year, nationwide — including bank holidays.

Reilly Peters

Reilly Peters

Business Development Manager

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