Finding standing water in your yard can be alarming. Your first impulse may be to call a plumber with the thought that you have a broken water pipe. But sometimes, standing water is a sign of a drainage issue. What should you do when you find an outside drain clogged?

Yard drains work with gravity, similar to the home’s sewer system, which is installed at a downward angle. The yard drain allows water to exit from your yard and into the city drainage system. The types of pipe used may be PVC, corrugated, or perforated.

Unclogging a Drain

If you find your outside drain clogged with mud, you have a few options. With PVC pipes, you can use a drain auger or sewer-cleaning machine. These machines work by running a cable with a blade on the tip into the pipe, rotating it so that it clears the clog. Mud clogs may require a half-inch or 3/4-inch cable. 

Sewer-cleaning machines won’t work with corrugated or perforated pipe when you find your outside drain clogged. The cable’s sharp blade attached to the tip can catch in holes and tear up the pipe. For these kinds of pipe, try renting a hydro jetter. Hydro jetters flush out the clog with high-pressure water jets.

A word of caution: If you are inexperienced with these machines, you could injure yourself or damage your pipes, so be very careful. If you’re unsure of your ability to operate this equipment safely, hire a professional drainage expert.

Another option is a blow bag. This is an inflatable bladder that you attach to the garden hose. Insert the bag into the pipe as far as it will go but don’t force it. 

Maintain your drain by occasionally running water through it, particularly in the fall when leaves are falling and likely to clog your drainage pipe. It’s not recommended to use chemicals for clearing clogs, as they contain acid and can eat up your pipes. 

For more on what to do when you find an outside drain clogged, contact Mowery Heating Cooling and Plumbing. We serve Indianapolis and the surrounding area.