If you’re a homeowner, you’ve likely experienced the frustration of discovering standing water near your foundation or a suspiciously soggy patch in your yard. More often than not, the problem can be traced back to a clogged underground gutter drain. In this blog, we’ll help you identify the signs of a clogged underground gutter drain and provide practical solutions to tackle the issue head-on.

How to Tell if Your Underground Drain is Clogged

First things first, let’s talk about how to spot a clogged underground drain. It’s not always obvious, but there are some telltale signs to watch out for:

  • Standing water: If you have water pooling near your downspout or in your yard long after a rainstorm, it’s a pretty clear indication that your underground drain is blocked.
  • Slow drainage: Is the water from your gutters draining slower than a snail’s pace? Or not at all? Time to investigate that underground drain!
  • Overflowing gutters: If your gutters overflow during even the lightest rain, the problem might be lurking beneath the surface in your underground drain.
  • Foul odors: A blocked drain can trap all sorts of nasty debris and water, leading to unpleasant odors from your downspout area. If you smell something funky, it’s time to take action!

4 Effective Ways To Clean Underground Gutter Drains

Now that you know how to spot a clogged underground drain, let’s talk solutions. Here are five methods you can try to get your drain back in working order:

Method 1: Flushing with a Garden Hose

The simplest (and least invasive) method to clear a clogged drain is using your garden hose. Here’s how it works:

  • Remove the downspout from the underground drain entrance.
  • Grab your hose and insert it into the drain as far as possible.
  • Turn on the water full blast and let it run for several minutes.
  • The force of the water can help dislodge minor clogs and flush out debris.

Tip: If the clog won’t break down, try using a pressure nozzle for extra power.

Method 2: Plumber’s Snake

If a garden hose doesn’t work, it’s time to bring out the big guns—a plumber’s snake. Also referred to as an “auger,” here’s how you use it:

  • Make sure you use the right-sized drain snake—a 1/2 inch or 5/8 inch cable is usually suitable for underground drain pipes.
  • Insert the snake’s cable into the drain opening. If there’s a cleanout pipe, remove the cap and insert the drain snake there.
  • Begin feeding the snake into the pipe, turning the handle clockwise to advance it. Move slowly and steadily to avoid damaging the pipe walls.
  • When you encounter resistance, you’ve likely reached the clog. Continue to push and rotate the snake to break through the obstruction.
  • Once you feel the clog give way, continue feeding the snake further to fully clear the blockage.
  • Slowly retract the snake, continuing to rotate it. This helps to bring back any debris that’s been loosened.
  • After removing the snake, flush the drain with water to ensure it’s flowing freely.

If the clog persists or you encounter significant resistance, consider using a power auger or calling a professional.

Tip: Drain snakes may not be suitable for all types of clogs—especially hard objects or severe root intrusions.

Method 3: Hydro Jetting

If you’re dealing with a clog that just won’t quit, hydrojetting might be your best bet. This involves using a high-pressure water jet to blast through even the toughest blockages, and it’s a job best done by professionals.

Note: Hydro jetting is not for old, fragile pipes.

Before attempting this method, get an inspection from a trusted gutter service. After all, the last thing you want is to damage your pipes even more.

Method 4: When All Else Fails, Call in the Pros

Sometimes, despite your best efforts, a clog just won’t budge. That’s when it’s time to call in the experts. And by experts, I mean a professional gutter company that specializes in underground downspouts.

  • Find a reputable gutter service and give them a call.
  • Describe the problem in detail and provide any relevant information about your drain system.
  • Schedule an appointment for a thorough inspection and cleaning.
  • Sit back, relax, and let them use their specialized tools and techniques to remove the blockage and get your drains flowing like new.

Tip: Consider scheduling regular maintenance to prevent future clogs and keep your drains in top shape.

Aerotech: Your Stress-Free Solution for Stubborn Clogs

We’ve covered a lot of ground today – from spotting the signs of a clogged underground gutter drain to five DIY methods for tackling the problem head-on. But let’s be real for a moment: sometimes, the easiest and most effective solution is to call in the professionals from the get-go.

Sure, you could spend your weekend wrestling with a plumber’s snake or renting a hydrojetting machine, but why put yourself through the hassle when you can leave it to the pros?

Enter Aerotech. We’re experts when it comes to underground downspout installation and repair. Our team has seen it all and knows exactly how to tackle any drainage issue that comes your way. Request a free quote today!