All You Need To Know About Outdoor Plumbing Clogs
When homeowners experience a clogged drain or toilet, they often assume that the problem is in the fixture itself - and in many cases, it is. But sometimes the problem may be much deeper in the plumbing system, even outside the home’s footprint in an underground sewer pipe. Other clogs may have nothing to do with the home’s internal plumbing but only affect the outdoor plumbing, such as a landscape drain.
These kinds of outdoor plumbing clogs can be extremely messy and unpleasant - whether it’s a flooded yard or a sewage backup inside the home - so every homeowner should know how to deal with them. This article will discuss the most common signs of outdoor plumbing blockages, what causes them, and how to go about clearing them (or preventing them altogether)!
Signs of Clogged Outdoor Plumbing
The effects of outdoor plumbing clogs can get out of hand very quickly, so homeowners should be able to spot the warning signs as early as possible. The clearest sign of a clog with landscape and other outdoor drains is flooding or standing water around the drain. Likewise, if the ground is unusually soggy around the drain or mold/algae growth is forming, it may indicate that water is draining too slowly due to a blockage.
The signs can be slightly more subtle if the home’s sewer line is clogged. Individual drains may start draining more slowly or become backed up. Unpleasant odors may begin wafting up from drains. Toilets may start to have trouble flushing properly. These issues will generally occur in basement-level or ground-floor fixtures first since the backed-up wastewater will reach these sooner. But if the home’s main sewer line clogs, it will eventually affect every drain.
Outdoor Pipe Clogs - Causes & Prevention
Underground sewer lines or yard drain pipes can become clogged due to multiple factors. Yard drain clogs typically occur due to debris such as leaves, twigs, grass clippings, sand, or blown trash blocking the drain grate or getting stuck in the pipe. Overgrowth around the drain grate or outlet can cause outdoor drains to clog.
Sewer line clogs are often caused by a gradual buildup of grease, food waste, and other gunk - or by introducing unflushable materials into the pipe. In many cases, it’s a bit of both. The best way homeowners can help prevent underground plumbing clogs is to keep the home’s drains clean and free from clog-prone materials.
Yard drains should be routinely inspected and cleaned to ensure nothing obstructs them. Grease should always be cooled and put in the trash in an appropriate container because it solidifies inside the pipe and sticks to the pipe walls, accumulating and forming a sticky mire that traps other debris. Homeowners should avoid flushing “unflushable” materials such as paper towels, hygiene products, and sanitary wipes - toilet paper and human waste are the only things meant to be flushed. These simple practices go a long way to prevent outdoor plumbing clogs.
Clearing Outdoor Plumbing Blockages
Even with preventive measures, underground plumbing clogs may still occur (especially if the home’s previous owner did little in plumbing maintenance and clog prevention). Unfortunately, DIY remedies don’t typically do the trick when it comes to underground plumbing blockages. Instead, homeowners will likely have to call a professional plumber with the tools and training to clear tough clogs in underground pipes.
Drain snaking is one method professionals use to clear sewer lines and outdoor drains. This involves using a long, spring-like metal coil that bores into or cuts through obstructions. Small drain snakes are sold in hardware stores for clearing minor clogs, but those used for outdoor plumbing can be around 100 feet long and require a special motorized machine.
Another method pro plumbers use is called hydro jetting. This involves a machine resembling a pressure washer, with a long hose that can be fed into an underground pipe. The business end of the hose features a nozzle that sprays an extremely powerful water jet straight ahead while simultaneously spraying backward in a cone shape. The jet breaks through blockages while the cone propels the hose forward, scouring the pipe walls to remove stubborn residue. This isn’t just an extremely effective method for clearing underground pipe clogs but also a powerful tool for clog prevention when performed as part of routine plumbing maintenance!
About A & W Plumbing and Heating, Inc.
Since opening its doors 15 years ago, A & W Plumbing and Heating, Inc. has quickly become one of Murphysboro's most trusted and highly-rated plumbing contractors. Their trustworthy licensed technicians always arrive on time in fully-stocked trucks, ready to provide personalized options, competitive pricing, and fast turnarounds for a quick and convenient experience. They offer membership perks, 24/7 emergency service, same-day service, and a 100% satisfaction guarantee - so there’s no one better to call for drain cleaning in Murphysboro, IL!