How to Unclog a Basement Floor Drain

It’s common in many homes to have all drain pipes lead to the basement floor drain. But when garbage disposal debris, grit from snow-covered cars, laundry lint and soap scum build up, the main floor drain experiences blockage. In times like these, you always think about calling a plumber straightaway. But before you do, there are some things you can do before you spend some money on a professional.

The Use of Basement Floor Drains

Basement floor drains in homes help with removing water from central air conditioning, washing machines and water heaters. But as time goes in, the debris that builds up is enough to clog your floor drain. As such, it might cause flooding in your own home. This is something you dread because you don’t want any part of your home damaged by something you can actually prevent.

Your basement floor drain is the final destination of all the pipes in your home. So it is not unusual for it to get clogged given what flows through your pipes. But even if that is the case, there are ways to make sure that it doesn’t happen. Then again, there are moments when what you dread happens and there’s nothing for you to do then to try and fix it.

A Guide on Unclogging a Basement Floor Drain

Here’s a simple guide to follow when attempting to unclog a basement floor drain by yourself:

1: Wear the Proper Gear
Clearing a drain is not a glamorous thing to do. It is messy and it is dirty, and you will be sweaty as well. What this simply means is that you need to have proper clothes on. And by proper, this means using your oldest clothes in case it gets ruined by your unclogging efforts.

Apart from wearing old clothes, make sure to have a pair of gloves for your hands. As mentioned earlier, clearing drains isn’t a clean affair and you might have to scoop up some nasty stuff. So wear those gloves to keep your hands protected.

In addition to gloves, boots are a must have when unclogging your basement floor drain. It wouldn’t make sense to go barefoot doing this because let’s face it, this is a dirty business. As such, you need to be as protected as you can.

Another important item you will need is a bucket. This is where you’ll dump all the water that you can scoop up. Equally important thing to remember when doing this: don’t turn on any taps so you don’t add further problems to the one you’re already having.

2: Find the Access Point
Basement drains are large but have an access point in the drain line. Finding this access line makes rodding the drain with a plumber’s road so much easier. In addition, the access hatch lets you handle blockage without having to find the sharp bend that is located between the drain and the pipe.

3: Rod the Drain
This involves pushing the road down the drain while letting a bit of water run down. As you continue to rod the drain, try to push it a bit further each time. In fact, you should try to push it to a point where it won’t go any further. The water should be on for this stage because it helps wash out whatever is causing the blockage.

In case you’re using a snake instead of a plumbing rod, you can use the snake’s handle and turn it so you can get the snake further down the drain. You might just be able to catch debris while you go further and hopefully remove a lot of them with ease.

4: Repeat This Process
After removing a fair amount of clog, try running water to see if there is still a problem to deal with. If so, repeat the process outlined above until you have gotten rid of what’s causing the blockage. But if you feel that you’ve done everything and still can’t solve the problem of the clogged floor drain, then it’s time to move on to another solution: calling a professional plumber.

How to Prevent Future Basement Floor Drain Blockage

It’s always better to put measures in place so you don’t have to deal with problems in the future. Here are some tips to prevent basement floor drain blockage in the future:

1) Use natural ingredients to clear soap deposits.
The earlier you notice the signs of a blockage, the better. This way, you can still deal with it yourself without resorting to the use of machinery or calling a professional plumber. With early signs of blockage, you can use hot water and vinegar to try and break down the soap deposits.

2) Don’t use too much soap when washing clothes.
Be it shower drains or basement floor drains, soap is listed as a culprit for clogs happening. To help minimize this issue with your basement floor drain, try not to use too much soap when doing your laundry. It’s always best to follow the specified amount of soap to use for the load you have rather than going overboard.

3) Set rules on what can be thrown down the drain.
Not everything should be tossed down the kitchen drain. For example, fat should never be thrown down the drain. Instead, it should be tossed in the trash. Listing down what you can or cannot throw down the drain prevents future blockage problems.

It’s always good to remember that regular maintenance does help things from breaking. You don’t just live in a home and neglect all its parts – you also have to care for it. And one of the simplest ways to care is to know what not to do to your drains. Be it laying down rules on what can and can’t be thrown down a drain to making sure you’re using the right amount of soap, keeping these things in mind helps prevent problems that you don’t want to deal with.

Skip to content