How to Clear a Drain Blocked by Rubbish

External drains can get blocked in various ways. Sometimes, blockages come from indoor pipes when people put the wrong things down a sink, like oil or grease. Other times, they get blocked by things on the outside like leaves falling into the drain or tree roots growing into a broken pipe.

Sometimes, drains become blocked because people throw things down them that they shouldn't. For example, if you have a blocked drain outside your office that is close to your outdoor eating or smoking area, then some of your staff may throw small bits of rubbish or cigarette butts down it. Your employees may assume that the drain will carry the rubbish away, but debris like this can easily block a drain if there is enough of it.

What can you do to clear the drain?

Pull the Blockage Out

If you have a maintenance person who services the building, then ask them if they can help clear the drain. They may be able to remove its cover. They can then pull out the rubbish and anything else that might be blocking the drain. If this works, the drain should start working again.

Push the Blockage Through the Drain

If the drain cover won't come off, then check if your maintenance person has a plumber's augur or snake in their toolbox.

These tools are long, coiled cables. If you push the augur or snake down the drain's cover holes towards its outlet, then it may push through the blockage and clear the drain enough for it to start to clear.

If the water starts draining again, it may take the rubbish with it. If it doesn't all shift, then putting a couple of buckets of water down the drain may get rid of it.

Get Your Plumber Out

If your maintenance person can't clear the blockage, or if you don't have anyone on site with maintenance skills, then call your plumber out.

Plumbers are used to clearing all kinds of blockages from exterior drains. They have the experience and heavy-duty tools to get your drain running again.

While you have your plumber on site, talk to them about whether you could fit a different kind of drain cover or a rubbish guard that would stop stuff going down the drain that shouldn't be there. This should prevent cigarette butts or any other unsuitable stuff from going down the drain and causing another blockage in the future.