How to Unclog an Outside Drain

Written by faith mcgee
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Almost every drain will clog occasionally. Often, stuck organic material like leaves cause clogs in outside drains. Without fixing the drain, you run the risk of flooding during the next heavy rainfall. Monitor your outdoor drains, especially during the rainy season when lots of debris filter through the drain, and clear them if necessary.

Skill level:

Things you need

  • Screwdriver
  • Wrench
  • Power auger
  • Extension cord
  • Plunger

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  1. 1

    Pour hot water in the drain to see if it loosens any of the stuck matter. Wait a few minutes to see if the water breaks up any of the material.

  2. 2

    Remove the strainer from the floor drain with a screwdriver. Place a plunger over the drain and push down and up slowly. Remove the plunger from over the drain quickly.

  3. 3

    Remove the cleanout plug, a bolt on the side of the drain, with a wrench. This will allow you to access the pipes. For drains that do not have cleanout plugs, snake the power auger through the trap.

  4. 4

    Place the auger and the foot pedal next to the drain. Turn the power auger on. You may have to use an extension cord depending how far your drain is to your exterior outlet. Feed at least 3 feet of the cable into the drain. Adjust the motor so it will move clockwise.

  5. 5

    Turn the auger on and feed more cable into the drain until you feel resistance. Stop the auger and set the motor to move counterclockwise. Repeat until the blockage is dislodged.

  6. 6

    Pour hot water down the drain.

Tips and warnings

  • Wrap cling film over the cleanout plug for easy removal of future blockages.
  • Reinstall the cleanout plug, because if you leave it off it can release toxic fumes.

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