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How To Unclog Basement Drain

What To Know About Your Basement Floor Drain

How to unclog the basement drain.

Lee has over two decades of hands-on experience remodeling, fixing, and improving homes, and has been providing home improvement advice for over 13 years.

Keeping your basement floor dry is the first step to keeping your entire basement dry. If you want to turn your basement into a second living area, a home theater, a bedroom for a family member, or even a full-scale apartment to rent out, the basement must be perfectly dry.

Installing a basement floor drain or maintaining an existing drain is vital to accomplishing these projects and to keeping your entire house in good shape.

Water Heater Maintenance Tips

  • Once a year, drain several gallons of water from the tank to flush your water heater. Flushing will remove sediment buildup that can cause corrosion and reduce heating efficiency.

  • Test the pressure relief valve by lifting up on the lever and letting it snap back. The valve should allow a burst of water into the drainpipe, if not, call a professional plumber to have a new valve installed.

  • Check the temperature setting on your water heater. It should not be above 120°F or medium setting on older models. Lowering the temperature setting lowers your energy use, reduces risk of damage to your tank caused by overheating, and prevents scalding.

  • Never store flammable liquids such as gasoline, adhesives or solvents near the water heater, furnace or other gas-fired appliance as they may ignite.

For water heater replacement service, Roto-Rooter is available to help. Simply call 1-800-768-6911 or book an appointment online to get a technician to your home in no time flat. We also offer more water heater tips for the DIY plumber.

Other Areas To Think About

If you have a sump pump, make sure the sump pump is draining efficiently in the yard. The water should be flowing away from the home and not sitting in the yard. If you find that it is not, there may be issues with the grading and drain system. This will require a professional to look at it.

While you are in the home, you may notice a sink in the basement or one of the other floors has water underneath. It can be the sink trap that is leaking.This can be fixed by tightening the connection or taking the trap apart.

Another area you might notice with water around it is the base of the toilet. This can be due to the t-bolts and they should be in place. If not, they need to be fixed. It also could be the wax ring or caulking is needed.

You dont want to leave the water backing up too long in the basement as it can be contaminated, smell, and cause mold or other things to grow in the area. If you do find mold, you will want to make sure the backup is fixed first. Then put on protective gear to clean up the area if it is less than 3×3 feet. If it is a bigger area, call a professional.

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Can Sewage Backup Make You Sick

Sewage water is nothing to mess around with, and should be taken seriously. If you find a sewage backup in your basement, its crucial to deal with it in a timely fashion.

The pungent odor of sewage can actually make you sick. There are toxic gases in sewage that can cause anything from skin irritation to organ damage and death.

But if you take the proper safety precautions by wearing the right gear and work on solving the problem immediately, your risk of illness is much lower.

What Is A Floor Drain

How To Fix A Clogged Basement Drain

A floor drain is a drain pipe located on the floor of a residential or commercial structure and connected to a sewer line. Its function is to prevent flooding by allowing excess water on the floor to flow out of the building.

For example, because a water heaters tank holds many gallons of water, it is almost always located next to a floor drain. So, if the tank bursts, the water will go down the drain, minimizing any flooding and or water damage to the home.

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When I Flush The Toilet Water Comes Up In The Basement

If your basement floor drain backs up when the toilet is flushed, its caused by a blockage in your homes sewer line. The most common cause of sewer line obstructions is flushed items that arent meant to be flushed, but tree roots invading the sewer line can also cause obstructions. This isnt a project you can do yourself, so youll need a professional to do it for you.

Why Is The Basement Floor Drain Clogging Up

Basement drains tend to get clogged for various reasons. Below are a few of the reasons why basement drains might become clogged.

1) Mud buildup Over time, mud tends to build up around the base of the basin, resulting in blockage.

2) Hair Hair that enters the drain during washing can result in clogs.

3) Dirt Dirt from within the house, such as grass clippings, leaves, dirt and dust from cleaning products can accumulate in the drain and restrict flow.

4) Food During heavy rainfalls, animals can eat seeds and plant material that fall into the drain. This material could eventually enter the sewer system, clog the pipes, and cause problems throughout the drainage system.

5) Buildup Water from roof gutters running down from above can collect in the bottom of the drain, causing blockages.

6) Clogs A clog occurs when something solid gets lodged in the

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How To Fix Clogged Edwardsville Basement Drains

Named after a former Governor of Illinois, Edwardsville is a popular city in Illinois and the county seat of Madison County. A great family town, Edwardsville contains many beautiful homes, many of which were built more than seventy years ago. These older homes are more prone to flooding and clogged basement drains though, even newer homes may have clogged drains on occasion.

Living in an area that has frequent storms and long rainy seasons, your home is more susceptible to the dangers of flooding and water damage though, a clogged drain can be just as damaging. A clogged drain can lead to leaks in your Edwardsville basement, which may promote the growth of mold. Over time, mold can start to rot wood and slowly destroy your home.

The Importance of a Basement Drain

A clogged drain in your basement can be a serious problem. This is where excess water in your basement should drain. In the event that your basement drain is clogged, your Edwardsville basement can easily flood, as there is nowhere for the water to go. If everything else in your home is in working order and you do not have a high humidity level to deal with, then an efficient basement drain may be the only thing keeping your basement from staying dry.

Fixing a Clogged Basement Drain

Serving MO & IL

Reverse To Relieve Tension


Flip the switch on the motor to Reverse. Then use the foot switch to run the motor in reverse for a few revolutions of the cable cage. This will relieve tension that may have built up in the cable when it hit the clog. Switch the motor back to Forward.

NOTE: The only other time you should reverse the motor is when the cable gets stuck and will not turn in the forward position.

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How To Minimize Floor Drain Blockage

While it is impossible to completely stop floor drain blockage, there are definitely ways to minimize it. Regular maintenance, cleaning, and not flushing things like pet hairs, tissues, and excess toilet papers can help to reduce the frequency with which they occur.

Use normal liquid cleaners, not the ones with harsh chemicals, to clean the basement drain once a month. Clean the hairs and debris immediately, and dont let them accumulate.

A leaking HVAC system or water heater, as well as a foundation leak caused by heavy rain, are common causes of water in the basement.

Basements with an egress window are prone to collecting leaves when these leaves are not cleaned. They decay and flow through the drain floor, which later creates a blockage in the pipes. Dry P-trap, too, can be the reason for drain blockage. Pouring one or two liters of hot water in your drain twice a month will also help to minimize the blockage.


Learning how to properly unclog a basement floor drain requires following a step-by-step process and having a lot of patience. However, if you can do it yourself, you will save a substantial amount of money. For your convenience, we have outlined everything in detail below. You should have a good understanding of what must be done.

Can You Plunge A Basement Floor Drain

Put a pot of boiling water down the basement drain. This step wont work on any of the larger ones, but it will work on minor ones. If you dont have one, you can use a garden hose, but be careful not to let the hose get too close to the bottom of your basement.

Once youre done, turn off the heat and let it sit for a couple of hours. The water should have cooled down enough that its no longer hot enough to burn you, and you should be able to pull it out with your bare hands.

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Common Causes Of Clogged Basement Drains

The most common causes are household debris like dirt, hair, dryer lint, gravel, leaves, and other tiny objects. In some cases a tree root or other outside factor can cause the clog but most are preventable with seasonal cleaning!

  • Hair: Human and animal hair are the most common causes of clogs. Overtime a few stands of hair can turn into a hairball that does not allow any water to pass. It usually starts with a partial clog that turn into a full blockage. Cats and dogs with long hair make the problem worse and will require extra cleaning.
  • Dirt and Gravel: Dirt and gravel can build up over time in the drain. The dirt is carried into the drain by the water as well as rolling along the ground with foot traffic. Try to keep the basement floor as clean as possible
  • Dryer Lint: If you have a washer and dryer in the basement it is not uncommon to find dryer lint built up inside the drain. Just like human hair dryer lint can stick together and eventually form a total blockage in the floor drain.
  • Leaves: Basements with window wells are prone to collecting leaves on the floor and in the drain lines. If this sounds like your basement make sure to sweep the floor and keep leaves from accumulating and causing a sewer line clog.
  • Rust: Metal draining covers can rust if they are exposed to water for long periods of time and eventually clog. The best way to prevent this from happening it to prevent the rust from forming once it has caused a blockage the pipe will need to be replaced.

How Much Does It Cost To Snake A Basement Drain

How to Unclog a Drain

If you already own a drain snake in your home, you can get away with paying as little as $5 for a snake at the hardware store. For example, if your drain is clogged with debris, its a good idea to use a vacuum cleaner to clean the debris out of the drain. You can also use an old toothbrush to remove debris from your drains.

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Accumulation Of Dirt And Debris

As your basement drainage line gets used through the years, it can start accumulating dirt and debris to a point of developing a clog. Sediment, dust, and other things flowing through your drain pipe collect until things cant drain easily.

In cases like these, you need to be able to locate the clog, dislodge it or clean it out, and your water flow should begin draining again like normal.

Getting Help From Professional Plumbers And High Tech Tools

If the above mentioned techniques failed to unclog your basement floor drain, or youre not up to doing the task yourself, its time to hire a professional plumber. True, their services can be costly, but that amount will seem small when compared to the loss/ damage of having your basement floor drain backing up. When your important belongings, photographs or papers stored in your basement get destroyed with nasty drain water, youll wish you spent the money to get the problem solved quickly.

Spend a some amount on the professionals to get peace of mind. They will not only unclog your basement floor drain within the shortest possible time, but will save you some of the money that you would need to spend on tools to do the unclogging yourself.

Its clear that to unclog a basement floor drain correctly, you need to know the step-by-step process. And, since we have discussed everything in detail, hopefully, you will know what needs to get done. Stay calm, try it yourself first. If the problem is solved, great! Otherwise, a professional plumber is just a phone call away.

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How Do You Know When Your Sewer Drain Is In Trouble

When the problems arrive, you will start to notice some of these things.

All of your house water fixtures will be backed up. Or at least some of them.

For example, when you flush the toilet, the water from the tub will rise. When you run one water fixture the other will not work as it should. But where is the headache?

All of your backed up water is the result of clogging in the basement. Precisely, the clogging in yourbasement sewer drain system.

How Does A Basement Floor Drain Work


Basement drains are used in order to evacuate any liquid that accumulates in the area around the foundation. It helps in preventing moisture from accumulating under the house. A basement floor drain is installed using a pipe that runs down the center of the basement. This pipe is connected to a drainage system that has a sump pump. The sump pump removes any water that collects in the basement. This prevents any damage caused by water accumulation. The main purpose of a basement drain is to remove any water that accumulates in the basement.

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Can You Put Drano In Basement Floor Drain

The answer to the question is yes, Drano can be put in basement floor drains.

Drano is a product that is used to unclog drains. It is safe to use in most sinks, including basement floor drains. However, if one bottle of Drano does not clear the sewage back up, you will need to get a plumbers snake.

Drano is a product that is used to unclog drains. It is safe to use in most sinks, including basement floor drains. However, if one bottle of Drano does not clear the sewage back up, you will need to get a plumbers snake.

There are many reasons why you might need to use Drano in your basement floor drain. For example, if your sink is backing up or if there is a slow drain. Drano can help to clear these clogs and return your sink to normal functioning.

However, it is important to note that Drano should not be used as a permanent solution to clogged drains. If you find yourself using Drano on a regular basis, it is likely that there is a more serious problem with your plumbing that should be addressed by a professional.

There are many reasons why you might need to use Drano in your basement floor drain. For example, if your sink is backing up or if there is a slow drain. Drano can help to clear these clogs and return your sink to normal functioning.

Here are some key points to keep in mind when using Drano in your basement floor drain:

How Can I Avoid Such Problems

While you may have no way of knowing if a nearby tree root is growing within your sewer line, there are some things you can do to decrease the chances youll have a clogged basement drain. For starters, only dispose of bathroom tissue within your basement bathrooms toilet. Unfortunately, many homeowners will believe paper towels, disposable diapers, and wipes, and various other hygiene products can be safely flushed down their toilet. While these items may make it through the initial flush, they often become stuck in the sewer line, eventually creating a clog that results in water backing up into the basement. Should this occur, our team here at Boss Plumbing can use state-of-the-art hydro-jetting services. Able to use water that is released at a force equivalent to 5,000 psi, we can unclog most drains easier than you ever imagined.

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How Do I Unclog My Main Sewer Without A Cleanout

Pour a cupful of baking soda down the drain and youre good to go. You can pour a cupful of white vinegar down the drain. Wait for around 10 minutes for the baking soda and vinegar solution to break up and mix together. Once the mixture has broken up, you can pour the solution into a container and store it in the fridge for up to a week.

Can You Pour Bleach Down A Floor Drain

How To Unclog A Basement Drain â enganchadaalreciclaje.com

Bleach is a powerful, toxic substance that should be used carefully and properly, and pouring it down a drain is not a proper use. Bleach can react with other substances in your pipes, potentially release fumes, and further plug up the system. … Pouring bleach down them will do much more harm than good.

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