External or outdoor drains can regularly become a problem simply because they are located outside, so any kind of debris can easily enter them. It easily gets filled with leaves, dirt, plastic bags, or other garbage, making it essentially impossible to use. If you want to keep it working, you should probably learn what you need to do when your outdoor drain is completely clocked. Fortunately, dealing with this type of problem is not difficult which is probably why can resolve it all by yourself.
However, you should keep in mind that there will sometimes be problems that could only be resolved by professionals. Sometimes, the debris can enter quite deep, making it too complicated or difficult for you to resolve.
Either way, I assume that you will find this article very useful because it is a guide to help you with this kind of situation. In the end, it is up to you to decide whether you want to deal with this situation by yourself or if you want to call for professional help.
1. Get the right tools
Before you try to do anything, you will first have to find the right tools. I assume that most people will already have these basic tools at home, but if you do not, you will probably have to buy them.
Get a pair of thick rubber gloves
First, you will need a pair of thick rubber gloves. Since outdoor drains can be very dirty and filled with all kinds of bacteria, believe me, you will definitely appreciate the fact that you have gloves on your hands. If you do not have such gloves in your workshop or garage, you could get one of those that are for dishwashing.
If you do not have such gloves, you can just buy them for a few dollars from any hardware store. Keep in mind, make sure you buy those thick ones because they also serve as protection. You would not want to cut yourself from anything in that drain. If you do, your wound could get seriously affected.
Wear a mask
With all kinds of debris inside of the drain, I assure you that the smell will not be pleasant at all. Considering that 2023 is the year when everyone has at least one mask at home (because of COVID), I guess you will not have a problem finding one.
I think it would be good to wear one to protect yourself from the smell and any dangerous fumes.
You will need a few trash bags
Like I said previously, a lot of debris can get stuck inside of the outdoor drain and you will need to clean all of that. Naturally, to throw that all away, you will need at least one trash bag. Although, it is probably smart to take more than just one trash bag, in case it tears or if there is too much junk to throw away.
Grab a garden hose and some bleach
Last but not least, you will need some water to push all of the debris stuck deep inside the drain and some bleach to clean up any residual that is left.
If you do not have any of these tools and you do not plan on buying them, you should probably consider other options.
2. Call an expert
If all of the tools mentioned above are unavailable to you, it is probably best to call for an expert at will resolve this issue for you. Of course, this kind of expert will come at a price, but once you consider the price of all those tools that need to purchase, it probably will not make a lot of difference to your wallet. At least, an expert will make sure that the outdoor drain is properly clean.
If you are not sure whether you should call an expert, you could read more about what kind of process to go through to clean up the drain from all that debris.
Of course, if you are still determined to do everything by yourself, skip this part of the guide and continue reading the article.
3. Remove the drain cover
Most of the time, every outdoor drain has a heavy and metal cover to reduce the amount of debris that can enter it. Since you are determined to clean it, you will definitely have to remove it first. If you can, very carefully try to grab it with your fingers and pull upwards. If it is too heavy, you can use a metal rod and leverage it open.
4. Assess the situation
Before you get to work, I guess you will have to determine what the problem is. If you can see the blockage, the problem is obvious. But, the drain could also be filled with water, making it difficult to assess the situation.
5. Poke around with the metal rod
If you used a metal rod to open up the cover, I suggest that you use that same tool to poke around inside of the drain. Do not be afraid to use for is because there is not exactly anything you can break inside. Usually, everything is made out of metal, so you probably will not damage anything.
If you feel the blockage giving in, give it a few thrusts and you probably solve a big part of the problem.
Of course, the metal rod will not always work or you may not have one which is why you have to resort to other solutions.
6. Remove the blockage with your hands
Put on the thick rubber gloves and start grabbing anything you can find inside and throwing it into a trash bag. After you remove most of the gunk inside, try pouring some water with a garden hose and see whether it will properly drain.
7. Pour down the bleach
Whether the problem persists or not, I recommend pouring down the bleach inside of the drain to ensure that the blockage is clear entirely. The bleach will degrade anything that is stuck inside, making it much easier to flush the debris with water. The awful smell will also be gone after this.
If you follow this guide step-by-step, you are probably done by now and all you have to do is just put the cover back.