Have you got a blocked downpipe? Sounds painful, doesn’t it?
Luckily, it’s a problem easily solved. You might be able to do it yourself, but it might be better asking a professional who deals with these kinds of blockages every day.
You’ll know you’ve got a blocked downpipe if your gutter is overflowing but you can’t see a blockage along the guttering. You’ll need to investigate further to confirm that you’ve got a blockage.
Downpipes can be blocked at the top or in the middle. If it’s blocked in the middle, it’s a bit more fiddly to sort out.
If you fancy having a go at unblocking your downpipe yourself, follow our tips to get it done as quickly as possible.
1. You’ll need the right tools
There are some things you’ll need to safely unblock your downpipe:
- Ladder – so you can look down the blocked downpipe
- A length of wire with a hooked end – to try to loosen the blockage
- A piece of wood – to place over the drain
2. Check to see where the blockage is
You’ll have to set up a ladder safely and look down into the block downpipe. If you can see the blockage, it’s obviously near the top of the pipe, but if you can’t, it could be further down.
3. If your downpipe is blocked at the top…
You’ll need to try to hook it out. Take a length of wire with a hooked end and try to pull it out of the top of the pipe.
If you can’t hook out the blockage, try to move the wire up and down the pipe to loosen the material inside. It should start to fall apart and go down the pipe.
Tip: Don’t forget to put a piece of wood over the drain at the bottom of the blocked downpipe otherwise you could end up blocking the drain with the debris from the pipe.
4. If the blockage is in the middle…
Things get a bit more tricky if your downpipe is blocked in the middle. You’re probably going to have to take the pipe apart unless you hire flexible drain-clearing rods.
- Before you start, tap different parts of the pipe to listen out for a blockage
- Start at the bottom of the blocked downpipe and remove each section. Look inside each part and keep removing until you find a blockage
- Use some wire to remove the blockage. Then run some water from the top to see if it comes straight down so you know you’ve removed it all
- Don’t forget to reassemble the pipe!
Too much effort? Prevent the blockages in the first place
To prevent a blocked downpipe in the first place, you can buy wire mesh or plastic caps to put over the top of the pipe. These trap debris but still let water flow through.
Make sure it’s big enough to fit over the top though, otherwise you’ll end up with a blockage again.
Another thing to consider is to cut back trees that overhang your gutters, as this could cause lots of leaves to block your downpipe. Be careful that you don’t damage your gutter or roof when you trim branches!
…Or get a pro in
Unblocking a downpipe is a lot of work. Get in touch with a guttering specialist who will be able to unblock the pipe in much less time than it will take you. They will have all the right tools and can get to the job straight away.
If you need help finding guttering professionals to unblock your downpipe, simply fill in the form below and we’ll put you in touch with up to 4 companies.