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Clear Your Clogged Rain Drain With the Power of Hydrojetting


Have you noticed your downspouts bubbling up recently? Maybe pooling water in your backyard, water bursting out the seams of your exterior downspout, or even flooding in your basement? Portland may be famous for its rain, but what we have seen lately, just seems out of control!

If any of the above sounds familiar, you may be dealing with a clogged rain drain. “Interesting,” you say, “but what the heck is a rain drain?”  Well, a rain drain is an integral part of your downspout and, therefore, your gutter system. When we think of things that keep our homes operating smoothly, the rain drain is usually overlooked. 

However, it’s actually one of the most critical parts of your home – its purpose is to channel water away from the house, which protects the soil from erosion, the foundation of your home from becoming unstable, and keeps water from flooding into your basement. In other words, it acts as a vigilant defender to the integrity of your home. Keep on flowing, Rain Drain!

Hydrojetting vs. cabling (or snake)

There are two basic forms of drain cleaning that we use: cabling and hydrojetting. Using a cable, or snake as some people call it, will open a line and get your waste water moving again, but hydrojetting will clean your line by scouring out the debris and rust buildup with high pressure water, which is the most efficient way to clean your line.

How it works

The first step we take when we look at a line is to run a flow test. Sometimes a line will be running slowly, but not completely clogged. Debris like hair, soap, makeup, grease, lint or food, over time can build up in a line and cause a restriction. We can cable the line and get it open whereas things are flowing again, but it’s possible that it could clog back up again without scouring the line completely clean. Hydrojetting returns it pretty close to the original state in which it was installed.

Hydrojetting gets the pipe as open as possible by using high pressure water – but not high enough pressure to cause harm to your pipes. It has enough pressure to take out that old rust, and grease build-up that’s been collecting in your pipes for the last 20 years. We usually recommend hydrojetting for lasting, long-term results.

What Does a Rain Drain Do?

The rain drain is the part of your gutter system that’s underground. Water flows through the downspout and into the rain drain, ultimately into the street, a drywell, a drain field, or even the city’s sewer system. Think of a rain drain as a downspout for your downspout – it’s the final component of your entire gutter drainage system. Unfortunately, these small drains have a tendency to get clogged fairly easily. Things tumble from the roof into your gutters, through the downspout, and down into the rain drain. 

Usually, organic material is the culprit – twigs or leaves, for example. Nearby tree roots can be attracted to the moisture present in the pipe, too, and start to break through its walls. Additionally, we’ve seen plenty of composition shingle pebbles – which, again, fall off the roof and into your gutters, especially during heavy rain, and pile up in these rain drains. Fungus and moss can also be a problem – they build up over time and are pretty tough to clear. All of it can be cleared, though – more on that later.

What Happens When My Rain Drain Gets Clogged?

All the things we mentioned above and, potentially, even more! What you might not think about, though, are the long-term effects of these issues if they’re allowed to persist. Let’s take a closer look at why you really, really want to have clear, free-flowing rain drains.

Gutter Overflow

First of all, if your rain drain is clogged, this will cause backflow to your downspout, in turn causing a backflow to your gutters. Finally, when they reach capacity, water starts dripping down the side of your house, causing the issues your downspout is meant to help avoid.

Water pooling in yard in Portland area home due to overflowing rain drain

Pooling Water

This is when the water that’s supposed to be carried out by your downspout system ends up collecting around the foundation of your home. This can cause soil erosion, which ultimately damages the foundation and structure of your home – if left to go on too long you might notice cracked walls and uneven floors, or be unable to keep doors and windows shut.

In addition, standing water in your backyard can also attract pests with the mind to eventually make your home, theirs. It’s just not a good thing!

Basement Flooding

Too much pooling water can start to pour into your basement, the ill effects of which are obvious: you may have precious items down there that you don’t want to be covered in water! You might also have to get everything repaired by a damage restoration company. 

Finally, basement flooding can lead to mold growth, which can potentially be damaging to health.

Burst pipe underground from overflowing rain drain

Bursting Pipes

If your gutter/rain drain system is overflowing, that naturally means that the downspout and the rain drain are filled entirely with water. Just imagine what’s going to happen when the temperature gets below 32 degrees and that water starts freezing – your pipes are going to burst!

That’s why it’s especially important to make sure you deal with this problem before the wintertime.

A Healthy Gutter System Means a Healthy Home

Be on the lookout for some of these symptoms of a clogged rain drain. It’s important to perform regular inspections of the area around your downspout. An especially good time to check out your gutters and downspout is right after it’s rained – you should be able to tell if the water is flowing freely or not.

So, the long-term benefits of having an unclogged rain drain are clear – you’ll be keeping your basement dry, keep pests away, and be protecting the foundation of your home.  Boy, we can’t even begin to tell you some of the horror stories we’ve come across during our 15 years of operation! Overall, dealing with it sooner rather than later will save you a lot of money and stress. You’ll also be protecting the value of your home should you choose to eventually sell it.

“Ok, Ok,” you say. “You’ve convinced me! Clogged rain drains can be a huge problem and affect my quality of life.” Naturally, your next question will be:

How Do I Unclog My Rain Drain?

The answer is through the nifty process of hydrojetting. Hydrojetting requires specialized equipment but is – in theory, at least – very simple.

Similar to the “snaking the drain” method, we put a pressurized hose into the pipe to help clear out debris. What’s the difference between the two techniques, though?

Well, instead of just putting a cable into the pipe to push out all that gunk, we’re channeling water that’ll remove the blockage with the force of high pressure water! We’re talking pressure levels between 2500 – 4000 PSI. These levels are enough to remove blockage, but not enough to harm your pipes. This method is very effective, there have been times where we’ve recovered almost 10 pounds worth of refuse that was stuck in the rain drain. 

Compared to the snaking the drain technique, hydrojetting provides a much more thorough cleaning that will make your rain drain nearly as smooth and free-flowing as it was when it was first installed. It’s a time-tested method – it’s been around for at least 25 years, so plumbers have been able to work out all the kinks – that you can trust. As you might imagine, however, hydrojetting does require a bit of skill and tact. Years of experience help us gauge just how much pressure should be applied without damaging the pipe. The ability to clean out those pipes without destroying them is one of the main reasons you need a professional – hydrojetting is definitely not something you should “DIY.” 

And you don’t want to choose just any plumbing/drain cleaning company, either: novice drain cleaners can mess this method up quite easily – once again, tact!

If it is discovered that your line is in need of repair or replacement, you can rest assured that we will recommend some of the best excavation companies in Portland to resolve the issue. However, in all our 15 years of using a hydrojetter, we’ve never had a pipe burst unless it was incredibly corroded.

Rootx Treatment Before and AfterRootX Helps Keep Trees Away

As part of our work we also offer RootX, which is a great product at clearing out those irritating tree roots from your pipes and keeping them out of the rain drain system. It is completely EPA approved and will not harm above ground plants and trees. The city of Portland uses RootX on it’s sewer lines. Together, RootX and hydrojetting are like the “dynamic duo” of rain drain cleaning.

What if I Have More Than One Clogged Rain Drain?

This can happen, too – if you do have more than one clogged rain drain, it makes the issue even more urgent since you’ll be getting more and more water piling up and affecting your home’s foundation. We’re happy to offer specials for clearing out all your rain drains in one go. This way, you won’t have to see us again for a while! Check out our specials page.

Why Choose Grumpy’s Drains to Solve My Rain Drain Problem?

So, what makes Grumpy’s Drains different from all the other plumbing/drain cleaning services around? Why trust us to work on such a vital part of your home?Well, for one, we’ve been in business for 15 years and so we know a thing or two about how to properly hydrojet. We have served thousands of customers in the Portland and surrounding areas. We have new, top-notch equipment and a friendly smile. We also have more than 500 A+ reviews (and counting) on Angie’s List and are proud to have received their Super Service Award more than 11 times.

Finally, you may have noticed our buffalo mascot Grumpy up there on the top right corner of the page. He looks a little upset, but why so? Well, just like us, he really doesn’t like clogged pipes and all the inconveniences they cause! He is tough on drains!

The one other thing he doesn’t like is upselling. 

He – and we – want to get the job done as simply as possible, without any nonsense. We’ll quickly clean out your home’s drain pipe with the power of hydrojetting, make sure you’re satisfied and everything’s in order, then ride off into the sunset and our next job.

Together, we can unclog that pipe and make Grumpy happy again – at least, for a little while. More importantly, we’ll get your gutter/rain drain system – crucial to the successful operation of your home and its long-term wellbeing – working the way it’s supposed to once again. We promise to do this as quickly and efficiently as high-powered water punching guck out of a pipe.