During the autumn months, all sorts of material can fall into your drains. It is best to check the access points to your drains, such as soakaways near your gutters' downpipes, to make sure that litter, leaves and moss have not built up too much. Before winter starts, it can be a good idea to rod your drains so that any potential blockages in them are dealt with before they become a problem. If you only rod your drains once they have become clogged up, then the water that has backed up in the system will often make it harder for you to see what you are doing properly. Either way, here is what you need to bear in mind.
Remember that rodding drains is a dirty job. It is often better to get a professional to do it for you, especially if you have a respiratory condition that makes breathing in foul-smelling odours unpleasant. If you do decide to proceed, then wear old clothes you don't mind throwing away if they get splashed with dirty water. Wear rubber gloves and protect your eyes. Also, let someone know what you are doing so that you can get help if there is an unforeseen problem.
Lift Your Manhole Covers
Most drains are accessed via purpose-built inspection points. You can get to these easily enough by lifting their access covers up. Use proper manhole cover keys for this job. If you force one up using a crowbar or a screwdriver, then it can warp the cover or—even worse—drop down onto your fingers. Place the cover to one side out of the way while you get on with your rodding.
Using Drainage Rods
Screw two sections of flexible drainage rods together and work one into the drain via the inspection point. It is best to work in the same direction of flow that the water goes in. If you detect resistance as you push, then apply gentle forward-and-backward force rather than simply shoving more. You may damage the pipe if you are too heavy handed. Remember to turn your drainage rods clockwise as you push them in as well as when retrieving them so that they don't unscrew from one another.
Check for Blockages
Run some water through the drain before you replace the access covers. By comparing the colour and the rate of flow between inspection points, you should be able to tell if there is a blockage and whether it is partial or whole.
Call a business like Hydro Construction Products for more information about or help with working with access covers.