Go Back

Look Out for Outdoor Plumbing Blockages This Spring!

What Every Homeowner Needs To Know About Outdoor Plumbing Clogs

Most everyone has experienced a clogged toilet or a backed-up sink drain. After all, clogged pipes are among the most common plumbing problems. On the other hand, outdoor drain clogs are a little less common – but no less frustrating. In some cases, a blocked outdoor pipe can result in sickly vegetation, ruined landscapes, flooding, and even foundation problems.

That’s why homeowners should be aware of the signs of an outdoor pipe clog, common causes, and how to fix (or better yet, prevent) it. Homeowners should keep reading to learn all they need to know about outdoor plumbing clogs!

Outdoor Plumbing Fixtures – An Overviewsprinklers

Before diving into the signs and causes of clogs, it’s best to have a basic understanding of the various outdoor plumbing systems. Hose bibs and outdoor faucets are typically connected to the home via underground copper pipes. Sprinkler/irrigation systems usually consist of a network of small plastic pipes or flexible tubing buried several inches underground, fed by the home’s main water supply. This is generally the case for fountains, ponds, and other water features. 

Pool plumbing involves larger underground PVC pipes that carry water in a circuit between the pool and its pump. Pool plumbing is usually connected to the home’s water main to auto-fill the pool. Landscape drains are usually wide PVC or plastic drain pipes that carry excess water from a driveway or low point in the yard down to the street gutter.

How Outdoor Pipes Get Clogged

Hose bib clogs are fairly rare and are usually the result of mineral deposits inside the water lines. Weak water flows from an outdoor faucet may also be caused by a leak rather than a clog. Similarly, little or no water coming from irrigation drip lines or sprinkler heads may result from an underground leak, but they could also be a clog. Dirt or other debris may have gotten into the water lines through a small puncture hole or damaged component. Alternatively, the water lines may have been infiltrated or collapsed by roots or compacted soil.

The same factors can also cause clogs in the fountain, pond, or pool pipes, but a more likely scenario is that debris has been sucked into one of the suction lines leading to the pump. These systems have grates or pre-filters to prevent this, but some things can slip through or the grates themselves can become clogged if not cleaned often enough. This is also a common cause of clogs in landscape drains.

clogHow To Clear a Pipe Clog

It’s always best to prevent clogs by keeping drains clean and taking care not to damage sprinkler heads or exposed irrigation system components – but when clogs do occur, it’s good to know what to do. In the case of a hose bib clogged with mineral deposits, the only solution may be to replace the pipes altogether. If the issue is a buildup of debris on a drain grate, whether in a pool, artificial pond, or landscape drain, the fix may be as simple as clearing the obstruction by hand. 

However, with an underground pipe clog, things can get a little more complicated. Locating the source of the clog isn’t always easy, and fixing it may involve excavating whole sections of pipe to repair or replace them. Even once the problem has been identified, the pipe will need to be flushed of any debris, which can require more pressure than the average garden hose can provide.

This is why it’s probably a good idea to consider hiring a pro to handle most underground pipe clogs. Professional plumbers have specialized tools to clear pipe clogs quickly and safely. They can use special rooter machines to cut invading roots out of pipes or hydro-jetting machines to blast through obstructions and flush out pipes with a high-powered water nozzle. So unless the problem is obvious (such as a drain grate covered in soggy leaves), outdoor pipe clogs are typically a problem best left to the pros!

About Daniel Cordova Plumbing, Drain & Sewer

Since its founding in 1986, Daniel Cordova Plumbing, Drain & Sewer has earned countless 5-star reviews and an A+ BBB rating with its exceptional customer service and unbeatable workmanship. Their licensed, insured, and bonded technicians always arrive on time in fully-stocked trucks and get the job done right the first time. They guarantee 100% satisfaction on every job and are available 24/7 for emergency service – so don’t wait to call them for drain cleaning and clogged pipe repair in West Covina, CA!