How to unblock drains outside: Tips and techniques to keep them working

Top down shot of open outside drain with drain rod
(Image credit: Getty Images)

Knowing how to unblock drains outside can stop those unpleasant smells wafting in from outdoors and make sure that your waste is carried away to the water mains. Drains are there to serve a purpose and to keep it that way they can need a little maintenance and looking after.  

If you’re moving into a new home it's a good idea to get a drainage survey done to check all is well. But even if your drains are in good condition they can still get clogged up, especially if you are putting too much toilet roll, wipes and other items that don’t break down into the pipes.

But even if you are careful with what goes into your drains, age and nature can still join in and create unwanted blockages. Here we tell you what you need to know to get rid of any blockages. 

Steve Jenkins

Steve Jenkins is a freelance content creator with over two decades of experience working in digital and print and was previously the DIY content editor for Homebuilding & Renovating. 

He is a keen DIYer with over 20 years of experience in transforming and renovating the many homes he has lived in. He specialises in painting and decorating, but has a wide range of skills gleaned from working in the building trade for around 10 years and spending time at night school learning how to plaster and plumb.

He has fitted kitchens, tiled bathrooms and kitchens, laid many floors, built partition walls, plastered walls, plumbed in bathrooms, worked on loft conversions and much more. And when he's not sure how to tackle a DIY project he has a wide network of friends – including plumbers, gas engineers, tilers, carpenters, painters and decorators, electricians and builders – in the trade to call upon.