How To Clear a Clogged French Drain, DIY Method

I live in the vibey San Francisco Bay Area, home to picturesque scenery and, more recently, a gigantic rainstorm. This tempest posed quite a challenge as my front yard turned into a mini-lake due to flooding.

Today, I’m going to share a practical DIY trick that I devised to clear my clogged French drain, an issue countless homeowners face after a stormy day.

This simple method can be a handy alternative when you’re in a fix and professional help isn’t readily available. It came to my rescue when I couldn’t get a rotorooter or plumber, and I hope it will do the same for you.

Starting Off with the Basics: Removing the Grate and Clearing Debris

Let’s begin by disassembling the drain, starting with the grate. Once you take it off, you may find debris accumulated inside the drain pipe. You should reach in (carefully!) and clear out anything that may obstruct water flow.

The Trick: Using a Garden Hose to Clear the Drain Pipe

The next part involves a garden hose – disclaimer, it has to be off when you first start. Take the hose and snake it down your drain pipe as far as possible. Having a relatively rigid hose is advantageous for this task as it allows you to push deeper into the drain pipe.

Hopefully, after you’ve inserted the hose a substantial distance into the pipe, you’ll feel resistance indicating a blockage. In the wake of a storm, this would typically be a build-up of leaves or similar things. I was surprised to find that the hose could go in quite far in my drain.

Next Step: Switching On the Water Flow

After you’ve pushed the hose in as deep as it will go, it’s time to switch it on. Ideally, the pressure of the water coursing down the pipe will break up the blockage, beginning the clearing process.

As the water current continues, try to push the hose further in, and with the blockage breaking up, you should be able to move further.

This method entails some risk, as it’s not an absolute substitute for professional plumbing expertise. However, if you’re caught in a bind, as I was in the aftermath of a major storm, this trick could be a lifesaver.

For me, it worked wonders by effectively unclogging my drain, allowing the pooled water to drain off and restoring clarity to my once-flooded yard.

Finishing Up: Removing the Hose and Assessing the Results

Once you’re done, switch off the hose and pull it out from the drain pipe. Hopefully, you’d then have a clear drain, just like I had, allowing the standing water to finally flow away.

In summary, keep this DIY trick up your sleeve for emergencies. Given the unpredictable nature of weather, you never know when you might need it. Remember, a well-maintained drainage system not only preserves the aesthetics of your yard but also helps to retain its long-term health.

Key Takeaways

  • Take the grate off of the drain to remove debris
  • Use a garden hose to snake down the drain pipe
  • If you feel a block, switch the hose on to apply pressure to the block
  • As the water flows, you can push the hose further down the pipe
  • This is a DIY trick to use in a bind, but not a substitute for a professional plumber