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How often do you peer up at your gutters and downpipes and thank them for their vital function? When you’re dry, your property is in good shape and your family is healthy, the answer is probably ‘Not a lot’. But your place’s stormwater solution really is one of the most critical systems at home. Effectively managing stormwater protects your home from flooding, your foundation from irreparable damage and subsidence, and your family from the health problems associated with pooling and mismanaged water. So take a moment to consider whether you may be leaving the door open to trouble with a blocked downpipe or three.

Of course, the easiest thing to do would be to call a great plumber – especially if they have expertise in drain cleaning, roof & gutter repairs.

But if all you have is one or two blocked downpipes, it’s well worth seeing if you can resolve the problem all for yourself with a simple DIY fix. And if your downpipes are working well now, maybe it’s time to think about whether a couple of preventative measures might stop problems from developing in the future.

Such as:

  • Regularly inspecting/cleaning out your gutters & downpipes
  • Considering installing larger downpipes to prevent blockages
  • Trimming back any branches that may be dropping debris on your roof and into your gutters & downpipes
  • Considering installing ‘gutter guards’ to keep debris out.

If you already have a minor blockage, though, let’s take a look at how to clear a blocked downpipe with nothing more than normal household items:

1. Check for single objects

It’s amazing how often a plumber will discover that something as simple as a tennis ball has caused the blockage. While you’re looking, fish out as much gunk and debris as you can with your gloved hands, ensuring you’re standing on a sturdy ladder.

2. Get out the garden hose

If there are any bulky attachments at the end, take it off so that the hose can be easily inserted into the top of your blocked downpipe.

3. Do a bit of banging

If a fast stream of water doesn’t fix the problem, try banging on the downpipe with your fist or a light rubber mallet. With a bit of luck, that will help dislodge the compacted debris.

4. Move the hose up and down

Another way to help the stream of water do its work is by pushing the hose up and down, in and out of the downpipe.

5. Try a drain rod

Although it gets its name for another purpose, a drain rod, a hand-held plumber’s auger (drain snake) or even some really sturdy wire can help to dislodge the blockage.

6. Try a gutter vac

You may not have one at home, but a gutter vacuum is specially designed with wet-dry technology to suck out the sludgiest of the muck.

7. Try some chemicals

You should always use caution when stepping up your effort to include caustic chemicals. That’s not just because they’re immediately harmful to you, but you don’t want toxic substances getting into your drains.

8. Remove/replace the downpipe

As a last resort, simply remove the entire downpipe and see if you can clear the blockage by hand. If the blockage is too severe or the downpipe is otherwise damaged, consider replacing the entire gutter.

Brisbane’s best plumbers can unblock your downpipes

Still having trouble with how to clear a blocked downpipe? Don’t stress! While a bit of DIY elbow grease can sometimes fix a simple problem with your stormwater system, only the experts like Brisbane Plumbing & Drainage have all the know-how, hands-on experience and professional tools like high-pressure jet rodder, CCTV drain inspection cameras and motorised augers to really get those more difficult jobs done properly.

So take the stress out of your blocked downpipes by giving our friendly Brisbane plumbing company a call today.