Introduction: Unblocking an Outside Drain With Household Items

Picture of Unblocking an Outside Drain With Household Items

How to unclog an outdoor pipe (kitchen/bathroom) with things you probably already have around the house.

Step 1: Things You Will Need:

1 × broom handle (wooden or metal is fine, so long as it is sturdy)
1 × 2 litre (or larger) milk bottle
1 × metal jar lid
a couple of screws

if using a metal broom handle:

1 × 2cm×2cm×10cm length of wood
(thats what I used, but I dont really think it matters all that much)
2 × screws or hose clamps
(I used 1 screw & 1 hose clamp because they were the first things I found in my toolbox)

A cordless drill (you could do it without one, but that would be painfully slow going)

Step 2: The Milk Bottle:

The plastic in milk bottles is perfect for this use, its somewhat malleable if warm but tends to stiffen up when cold.
what I did was to cut the neck and base off the bottle and cut what was left into two matching pieces into V shaped rectangles. Once they were trimmed up I dropped both pieces into half a sink full of hot water for 5 minutes until they settled on the bottom and the corner bends smoothed out.

Step 3: Cutting the Plastic.

With the two pieces of plastic from the milk bottle which should hopefully now be (somewhat) flat, measure the pipe diameter and cut your plastic in a circle to be about 20mm larger than the pipe.

I traced a circle around the drain cap, then cut it about 15-20mm bigger.

when I did the kitchen drain it had a plastic cap, which had to be broken out, but they're about $5 at any hardware store, but the others are metal set in concrete which come out with a few taps with a hammer.

Step 4: Putting It All Together (wooden Pole):

Here's where you will need to attach the flattened plastic to your pole.

Grab the jar lid and draw a circle on it that is the size of your wooden pole.

Pre-drill two holes through the jar lid into the top of the pole, this just saves headaches on the next step.

Place the two round plastic pieces on top of the pole, then drill two screws in to secure it.

Because the holes are pre drilled you can center it all and push the screws through the plastic to make sure it stays in place while its put together.

Step 5: Putting It All Together (Metal Pole)

Picture of Putting It All Together (Metal Pole)

Following the instructions in the previous step, attach the jar lid and plastic rounds to the piece of wood.

Then either drill pilot holes through the pole to attach to wood, or affix it with some hose clamps, or like I did, one of each.
because there will be alot of strain zip ties will break off pretty quickly and shouldnt be used.
I have heard of people attaching a screw hook to the wood, so if it breaks off the pole from overuse it can be fished out.
This is a bit more of a disposable thing because the milk bottle plastic wont last very long.

Step 6: Now Plunge In:

Pushing the plunger up and down for a few minutes into the pipe should unblock any clumps of hair/fats that have built up over time.

Dont be put off if nothing happens after 20 seconds, you will really need to work that thing up and down and get good suction going before you will see any results*.

*that sounds so wrong out of context

Step 7: Warning:

make sure everything is secure before pushing it down your drain, if it's not strong enough, you may just add an extra blockage for the rescue plumber to worry about.

Step 8: Enjoy!:

Not having blocked drains.

Comments

DIY Hacks and How Tos (author)2016-08-06

Good tips. I have this project at my house all the time.

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Bio: I'm a jack of all trades, master of none. But I can fix whats broken, and get my shit done.
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