How to Unblock an Outside Drain

This is an informational guide on the causes of blocked drains and how to properly clear them. Blocked drains are an annoyance that catch people off guard.  You never put much thought into your drain pipes until one day they are blocked.  Suddenly, your life is turned upside down by toilets that won’t flush or bathtubs that will not empty.

A blocked drain is not something that can be ignored.  Once you have an issue with drainage, it will only get worse over time.  DIY remedies may offer temporary solutions for blocked drains but if you want to find a permanent solution then you need to consult professional help.  The experts at Willow & Co. Plumbing are ready to help with any type of drain blockage you may be facing.

Common Causes of Blocked Drains

Listed below are some of the most common causes of blocked drains on your property:


Leaves and Twigs

When leaves and twigs fall, they end up in your yard. If you do not get rid of them, they will eventually be swept away by rain water. When they get to the entrance of your sewer drain, they will often become trapped there. This can lead to a blocked drain since water cannot flow freely to the sewer. It is important to remove this accumulation from your drains and to remove debris from your yard on a regular basis.


Tree Root Intrusion

This is one of the most common causes of blocked drains. Tree roots like to seek out drain pipes in order to access the moisture and minerals inside. Once tree roots get inside drain pipes, they may create blockages or cracked pipes. This type of blockage is not possible to see or repair from the surface. Professional help is needed in these cases.

Soap Scum

Some of the products in soap and other hygiene products may mix with minerals in your water and adhere to your drain pipes. Once there, they attract hair and dead skin. Over time, these accumulations can turn into blockages. It is important to prevent hair from entering your drain by using a drain guard.


After cooking, people often pour used oil and grease down their kitchen drains.  These products have a tendency to stick to drain pipes. Not only that but they often catch other solid material that goes down your drain.  This can eventually turn into a blockage. Instead of pouring oil or grease down the drain, be sure to dispose of it properly.


Improper Flushing

Many people flush items such as tampons, nappies and baby wipes down toilets.  Most toilet drain systems are not equipped for these types of items. Once they are in drains, they tend to collect water and expand.  This may lead to a drain blockage. It’s not a good idea to flush these items down the toilet, put them in the trash bin instead.


Mineral Accumulation

Hard water tends to have minerals that accumulate on drain pipes.  Over time, calcium and magnesium deposits may form. If you live in an area that has hard water, it may be a good idea to use a water softener to prevent these accumulations.


Mud & Dirt

Many people clean off muddy boots and clothes inside their house.  The material that goes down the drain can lead to a blockage as it settles in pipes.  It is better to clean your muddy boots and clothes outside with a hose.


DIY Solutions For Small Blockage Issues

You may be able to temporarily fix some blockages in your home.  Here are some DIY tips for unblocking drains:

  • Find the Cause of the Blockage

Your blockage may be caused by you putting something you shouldn’t down your drain or it may be caused by tree root intrusion.  A little detective work may help you find the cause of the blockage and eliminate it.

  • Clear Out Blockages By Hand

Some blockages are small and able to be cleared out by hand.  This means either removing accumulation from the entrance of a drain or removing the drain cover and pulling out any blockage close to the entrance.  Remember to always wear gloves when reaching inside drain pipes.

  • Use Drain Unblockers

If blockages are out of reach, you may be able to temporarily unblock pipes by using a pipe snake, drain unblocker or caustic soda.  This is most likely a temporary solution that will not get rid of a bigger problem.

  • Test the Drain

Once you feel you have successfully cleared your blocked drain, the best thing to do is to run water and observe the drain.  If water drains normally then you have unblocked the drain. If it does not, you probably need to call a professional as the issue is larger than something you can handle yourself.

How Willow & Co. Plumbing Solves Any Blockage With Our Step By Step Process

The experts at Willow & Co. Plumbing will go through a process to ensure your blockage issues are gone for good.  Here is our step by step procedure:

CCTV Drain Inspection


By incorporating our CCTV technology, we can inspect your plumbing from the surface.  We are able to see any blockage on our monitor to ensure that the problem is correctly identified.

High Pressure Jet Blasting


Our next step is using high pressure water to blast any blockage or debris stuck to your pipes.  This 5000 PSI system is potentially dangerous and should only be used by professionals. All of our technicians are trained and have experience using this tool.

Pipe Relining


Once all debris and blockages are cleared from your pipes, the pipe relining process can begin.  We insert new epoxy resin pipes inside your old ones. This can be done from a single access point and guarantees against further cracking or tree root intrusion in the future.

Ready To Discuss A Job?

Our experienced team at Willow & Co. Plumbing is available 24/7 and just a phone call away.  Contact us at 1300 512 737 and our expert team will arrive within the hour to clear any drain blockage you may encounter.  With our state of the art technology, we are ready to tackle any blockage no matter how big or small.

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