How to Unblock Drains Outside?

Blocked drains outside your home can lead to various issues, including water pooling, unpleasant odors, and potential damage to your property. Unclogging outdoor drains is crucial to maintaining proper drainage and preventing water-related problems. In this comprehensive guide, we’ll explore effective strategies on how to unblock drains outside, providing practical tips to keep your outdoor spaces free from drainage issues.

Identifying Signs of Blocked Outdoor Drains

Before addressing the blockage, it’s important to recognize the signs indicating that your outdoor drains may be clogged.

Signs of Blocked Outdoor Drains

  1. Standing Water:
    • Puddles or standing water near outdoor drains can indicate a blockage.
  2. Foul Odors:
    • Unpleasant smells around drains suggest the presence of trapped debris causing a blockage.
  3. Slow Drainage:
    • Water draining slowly or not at all from outdoor fixtures signals a potential issue.

Assessment and Preparation

Before attempting to unblock outdoor drains, assess the situation and gather the necessary tools.

Locating the Blockage

  1. Inspecting Drain Covers:
    • Lift drain covers and visually inspect for visible debris or blockages.
  2. Using a Flashlight:
    • Shine a flashlight into the drains to identify the extent of the blockage.
  3. Gathering Tools:
    • Equip yourself with a drain snake or auger, a bucket, gloves, and a garden hose.

Using a Drain Snake or Auger

A drain snake or auger is a practical tool for physically breaking up and removing blockages from outdoor drains.

Steps for Snaking Outdoor Drains

  1. Inserting the Drain Snake:
    • Carefully insert the drain snake into the outdoor drain, guiding it through the pipe.
  2. Rotating to Break Up Blockage:
    • Rotate the handle clockwise to advance the drain snake, breaking up or grabbing the clog.
  3. Retracting the Drain Snake:
    • If resistance is felt, retract the drain snake while rotating counterclockwise to dislodge the blockage.
  4. Flushing with Water:
    • After snaking, flush the drain with a garden hose to clear any remaining debris.

Using Homemade Drain Cleaners

Homemade drain cleaners can be an alternative method for breaking down organic blockages in outdoor drains.

DIY Drain Cleaner Ingredients

  1. Baking Soda:
    • Pour a cup of baking soda down the drain.
  2. Vinegar:
    • Follow with a cup of vinegar to create a fizzing reaction that helps break down debris.
  3. Hot Water:
    • Flush the drain with hot water after allowing the mixture to sit for about 30 minutes.

Preventive Measures and Maintenance

After successfully unblocking outdoor drains, implement preventive measures to avoid future issues.

Preventive Tips

  1. Regular Cleaning Schedule:
    • Establish a routine for cleaning outdoor drains to prevent the accumulation of debris.
  2. Install Drain Guards:
    • Use drain guards or covers to trap larger debris and prevent it from entering the drains.
  3. Landscaping Considerations:
    • Ensure proper grading around outdoor drains to direct water away from the foundation.


In conclusion, addressing blocked drains outside is essential for maintaining a functional drainage system around your home. Whether using a drain snake or homemade drain cleaners, these methods can effectively break up and clear blockages. By incorporating preventive measures into your regular maintenance routine, you can keep outdoor drains clear and prevent potential water-related issues. If the blockage persists or if you encounter difficulties, seeking professional assistance is advisable.