Our outdoor drains are essential to the functionality and safety of our homes. Our outdoor drainpipes direct grey water and sewerage into the main sewerage line to be safely taken away as well as redirect runoff water away from our homes to prevent flooding or foundation damage. When a blockage occurs in your outdoor drains, your house and your plumbing are at risk of damage and you may face potential health hazards. In this guide, we cover the causes of blocked outdoor drains, ways to fix a blocked outdoor drain, and easy preventative steps you can take to reduce your risk of having blocked outdoor drains. When you need an emergency plumber to fix your blocked outdoor drain, Plumbing Ways is the efficient and professional solution to your blocked outdoor drain problem.


Causes of Blocked Outdoor Drains:


When you are dealing with a blocked outdoor drain, it can be difficult to get to the root of the cause due to most of the drains being below ground or hidden underneath a grate cover. To help you get to the bottom of your blocked drain problem, we have highlighted the most common causes behind blocked outdoor drains.


Tree Roots: One of the most common causes behind a blocked outdoor drain is tree roots. Tree roots can quickly damage your outdoor drainage systems. As the tree roots grow, they can slowly grow into the pipes and cause the pipes to become misshaped which can cause a blockage. Tree roots also can work their way into tiny cracks in the drain pipes to access water, causing the inside of the pipes to become blocked by the roots.


Plant Matter: Alongside tree roots, you also have to worry about the plant matter above the ground leading to a blocked outdoor drain. Leaves, twigs, and other plant debris can get stuck in your outdoor drain pipe and cause a blockage. Plant matter does not degrade quickly, meaning that it can quickly lead to a major blockage if you consistently have plant matter entering your outdoor drains.


Toilet Paper: Ironically, toilet paper can cause a blockage in your outdoor drainage pipes that lead to the main sewerage line. This is an especially prevalent problem if you flush too much toilet paper down the toilet or use double or triple-quilted toilet paper. The toilet paper can get stuck and create a blockage in your sewerage pipes, leading to potential plumbing havoc both inside and outside your home.


Hair: Hair is a common indoor drain blocker, but it can also lead to a blockage in your outdoor drains. The water from your sinks, shower, and bath all lead to your outdoor sewerage pipes that then feed into the main sewerage water line. If the hair washing down your indoor drains gets caught in your outdoor drain pipes, it will slowly build up and create a net to collect other matter being washed down the outdoor drain pipes and result in a blockage.


Construction Materials: If you have recently had construction work done at your home and are experiencing blocked outdoor drains, then the construction materials may be the source of the problem. Building rubble, such as cement, stones, sand, and other building materials, can accidentally get washed into your outdoor drains. This will quickly cause a blockage in your pipes that will need to be professionally fixed.


Cat Litter: Cat litter is a highly absorbent material as it is made up of sand, silica, and clay that is designed to clump together to absorb your cat’s urine. Unfortunately, some people will flush their cat litter down the toilet instead of discarding it in a bin. If this does not cause a blockage in your internal drainage pipes, the cat litter will swell and accumulate in your outdoor drains and cause a blockage there.




Fixes for Blocked Outdoor Drains:


While a blocked outdoor drain can be stressful and have an impact on your daily activities, a blocked outdoor drain is a fairly common plumbing problem. With the right understanding, tools, and experience, all blocked outdoor drain problems can be solved. Your best option for fixing a blocked outdoor drain is to call an emergency plumber, but we have also outlined the method for fixing a minor outdoor drain blockage in a downspout drain.


1) Call an Emergency Plumber:




The best way to solve any outdoor drain blockage is to call an emergency plumber. The majority of outdoor drain blockages can be difficult to unblock on your own or are located in difficult-to-access areas. A professional emergency plumber will be experienced with a blocked outdoor drain and will be equipped with the right tools to ensure the blockage is correctly removed and all other necessary repairs are performed. Calling an emergency plumber is the easiest way to solve a blocked outdoor drain problem as it requires no time or effort on your part.


2) Manually Clear Yourself:


In certain cases, a blocked outdoor drain can be easily fixed. If your outdoor drain blockage has occurred in your downspout drainage system, you can potentially clear the blockage yourself. We have outlined the three steps of clearing a blocked outdoor drain under a downspout.


Remove the Cover Grate: Beneath your downspout or just away from your downspout should be a drain cover grate. Removing the grate will allow you access to the catch basin, which is designed to filter leaves that come through the downspout off your house to prevent blockages in the pipe.


Unblock the Drain: Your next step is to get your hands dirty. Wearing gloves and being precautionary, slowly pull out the clumps of leaves and plant debris from the drain. While far from glamourous, this should effectively fix the blocked drain if a build-up of plant matter is the problem.


Test Water Flow: Once all the plant matter is removed, you will need to check the drainage by pouring water down the drain. Take a hosepipe and allow the water to run into the drain for a few minutes. If the water runs through easily, your blocked drain problem should be fixed. If the water still collects in the drain or only seeps away slowly, there may be a blockage further down the pipe and will require a professional emergency plumber.




How to Prevent Blocked Outdoor Drains:


Depending on the severity of your blocked outdoor drain, a blocked outdoor drain can be a time-consuming and expensive problem to deal with. Reducing your risk of dealing with the headache of a blocked outdoor drain is therefore essential. We have highlighted the top 3 tips to prevent your outdoor drains from becoming blocked.


1) Change the Cover Grate:


If you are constantly dealing with plant matter blocking your outdoor drain, then the problem may lie with the drain cover grate. The grate holes may be too wide, and thus allow excess plant matter to easily fall into your catch basin and block the pipes. Simply changing the cover grate or attaching a fine mesh to your existing cover grate will reduce this from being the cause behind your blocked outdoor drains.


2) Keep the Area Clean:


To reduce the risks of plant matter getting into your outdoor drains, it is important to keep these areas clean. It can be especially prevalent to practice garden maintenance during the Autumn seasons when there is an increase in fallen leaves and plant matter that can be blown or washed into your outdoor drainage systems. Additionally, to reduce the risk of tree roots growing into your drainage pipes, you can have trees removed that are located near your home or the main drainage pipe.




3) Monitor Indoor Drain Behaviour:


How we treat our indoor drains will have an impact on our outdoor drains. While flushing hair down the toilet or pushing food scraps down the kitchen sink may not lead to an internal drain blockage, eventually, this foreign matter will get lodged in an outdoor drain and cause a blockage. It is important to follow best practices of only allowing water down your indoor drains to reduce the risk of an outdoor drain blockage.


Fix Blocked Outdoor Drains with Plumbing Ways Emergency Plumber:


Plumbing Ways is the professional emergency plumber that is readily available to assist you with your blocked outdoor drain. We offer a 24/7 emergency plumber service so that no matter the time or day, we can assist you with any potential problems that result from a blocked outdoor drain. We will arrive at your home as soon as possible so that any damage to your home can be prevented and that you receive a solution immediately.


Plumbing Ways is comprised of an accredited, qualified, and highly experienced team of emergency plumbers. From minor to major blockages, our emergency plumbers have dealt with every type of outdoor drain blockage and thus are equipped to provide you with the best solution to your problem. Our experience paired with our dedication to providing you with an efficient and effective emergency plumber service ensures that you will receive an expert service.


We are the emergency plumber that will arrive at your home armed with experience and the best tools to deal with your blocked outdoor drain. We pride ourselves on being equipped with the best technology and most up-to-date tools in the industry so that your plumbing needs are quickly and effectively taken care of. We are the emergency plumber that is ready and waiting to solve your blocked outdoor drain problem.


Not only is our emergency plumber service professional and speedy, but we also offer budget-friendly rates. Even with our emergency plumber service, we offer the same competitive rates. You can rely on us to be your affordable solution to your blocked outdoor drain.


About Plumbing Ways:


Plumbing Ways is an accredited and professional emergency plumber. We offer our emergency plumber services to Cape Town city centre and the Winelands, Cape Peninsula, Atlantic Seaboard, Northern Suburbs, and Southern Suburbs. We will efficiently arrive at your home or business in these areas to offer our high-quality plumbing services.


Wondering why you should choose Plumbing Ways as your emergency plumber? We are a strong team of qualified plumbers with extensive experience, we offer the best value-for-money solutions to your plumbing needs, and we will provide you with a client-focused service that is personalised to your needs. If you are looking for the total package for plumbing services, Plumbing Ways is the emergency plumber for you.


In addition to our emergency plumbing services of drain unblocking, leak detection, and water pressure problems, we also offer numerous other plumbing services. These include gas, electric, and solar geyser installation and maintenance, grey water system installation, fixture installation, septic tanks, and more. We also offer electrical, carpentry, building, painting, skimming, tiling, paving, and rock plaster services.


Fix your blocked outdoor drain with Plumbing Ways’ expert emergency plumber service.