A downpipe is exactly what it says on the tin – a ‘pipe’ attached to your home or building that heads in the ‘down’ direction, giving the rainwater somewhere to go once it’s been collected by the gutters. Simple, right? Well, downpipes are all hunky-dory until … they’re not. They become brittle, they get damaged, they break, they corrode, and they come loose. But what we’re going to discuss today is an extremely common, disruptive, messy, damaging and potentially unhealthy problem: the dreaded blocked downpipe.
How to Clear a Blocked Downpipe
The chief cause of just about every blocked downpipe is a build-up of leaves and other debris, which can lead to overflowing, flooding and even high levels of damp if all that water has nowhere to go except down the walls and into the ceiling.
Here at Fawcett Plumbing, we help with all sorts of gutter repairs in Adelaide, and we can get it done quickly, affordably and with guaranteed workmanship. But if you’re feeling handy, and you’re curious to learn how to unblock a downpipe with some sound and simple DIY methods, there are some things you can try for yourself. In this step-by-step guide, we’ll try to give you the tips that could well save you a call to your friendly plumber. You’re welcome!
1. Have you got the tools?
Learning how to clear a blocked downpipe can be quite simple if you have the right tools. You probably have most of them already, like a ladder and a garden hose. You’ll notice the professionals often using safety harnesses for tricky or slippery roofs, so please be careful.
2. Try a simple flush
Your licensed and experienced plumbers will always go to the next level, but the simplest flush just involves removing the attachments from the end of your hose and sticking the hose down the offending downpipe. Once the water is turned on, rapidly move the hose up and down and pipe – and get ready for some splashing! Within a few minutes, you could well unblock that downpipe.
3. Step up to a water jetter
If that downpipe really is stubbornly blocked, you may need to go to the next level for yourself. Although it might actually be cheaper (and a lot easier!) to call the plumber at this point, head to the hardware store and ask to be pointed towards the high-pressure water pipe jetters. You might also want to be shown the direction to the wet weather gear, eye protection and face masks, too!
4. Dismantle the downpipe
If you’re still dealing with a blocked downpipe at this point, the best advice we can give is to call in the experts. But if you’re feeling really adventurous, you could always try dismantling the pipe section by section until you find the blockage and can clear it by hand. Of course, it’s very possible that the blockage is actually underground, a blocked stormwater drain, in which case it might need to be jet blasted to clear tree roots, replaced or relined by a professional.
How to prevent downpipe blockages
As with most problems, the best cure is always prevention. So to prevent those downpipes from becoming blocked in the first place, keep them clean and clear with regular maintenance. You can also:
- Ask your plumber if your downpipe configuration is ideal
- Consider installing gutter guards
- Consider switching to larger diameter high-flow downpipes.
But the absolute best thing to do is call Adelaide’s best plumbers at Fawcett Plumbing. Our fully-licensed team always turn up on time, carry the latest in state-of-the-art plumbing tools & technology, offer upfront fixed pricing, and guarantee all workmanship 100%.
You can even call us with our 24 hour plumbing emergency response, so if a blocked downpipe is getting you down, there’s no reason not to get in touch right now.