The Floor Drain Might Not Really Be the Problem
Did a floor drain backs up on you? The natural assumption is that it’s developed a clog. That’s not necessarily the case, though. The root cause may be elsewhere in your plumbing system.
The floor drain that backs up most often is a basement floor drain. (You may not see the moment when the water coming back out of the drain. But you may still find standing water on the basement floor.) That’s because it’s the lowest drain in your home. It’s natural point for overflow when there’s anything blocking wastewater from flowing out of the house to the sewer line like it’s supposed to.
Your home may not have a basement drain. If not, you’ll see that overflow coming from whatever is the lowest drain. You may observe it in a garage floor drain or ground-level sinks, showers, or tubs.
Occasionally the clog that causes a floor drain to back up is not in the house’s plumbing proper. In that case, it’s out in the sewer line. Either way, the principle is the same. Unable to flow to where it’s supposed to go, wastewater collects and backs up. Eventually it emerges from the lowest exit point available to it. That’s the first exit point it reaches.
Sewer lines can have problems because they develop cracks or holes, tree roots have shifted the sewer line out of position or dug roots into it, or the sewer line is sagging, has bellied, or has collapsed completely.
If a floor drain is backing up, a wise homeowner may hope the trouble lies somewhere in the house’s plumbing and not its sewer line, If the source of the backup is in the sewer line, that can still be fixed, but the repair is apt to be more work and more expensive.
Fixing Backups: Diagnosis
You’ll need a professional plumber to put an end to floor drain backups. He or she will first need to identify the cause of the problem, and to that end, the plumber will ask you questions. You’re likely to be asked when you first noticed the problem, whether you’ve had it before, and whether the backup comes with a nasty smell. All this information is useful in distinguishing between a plumbing problem and a sewer line problem.
The plumber will also check your plumbing fixtures with an eye to seeing firsthand what’s going on with them.
The plumber may also perform a camera pipe inspection. This is an inspection that permits the plumber to look inside the pipes, determine the exact nature of the problem, and pinpoint its location.
Fixing Backups: The Repair
Depending on the nature of the problem, various remedies may be necessary. These include drain cleaning and clearing, sewer line repair, and sewer line replacement.
Preventing Future Floor Drain Backups
Once your floor drain is in good working order, regular drain cleaning maintenance from a local professional should keep it that way and stop future backups before they start. The maintenance costs a little money, but you’ll spend more if you have to pay to have a backup problem fixed, and your life will be more pleasant if you don’t have to deal with any more messy, smelly backups.
If a floor drain in your home is backing up or you’re having any sort of plumbing issue, we invite you to call the experts at 24-7 Plumbing. Our friendly, experienced technicians offer affordable up-front pricing, and naturally, we guarantee our work.