Is The Basement Floor Drain Clogged? Learn How To Unclog It.
What is a basement floor drain?
A basement floor drain is considered to be the lowest drain of your plumbing system. It has a round shape screen measuring around 6” to 8” in diameter.
The floor drain is very similar to a shower drain in appearance, however, the floor drain differs itself in the way that it is built and designed.
While the shower drains are usually deeper drains, the basement floor drain is directly connected with the p-trap which makes this particular drain to be very shallow when comparing with a shower drain.
Besides the p-trap itself, most floor drains also have a clean out built in it for easy access and maintenance.
As I mentioned in other pages of this site, the floor drain is usually located in the furnace room by the water heater and the furnace, however, you can also find it in other locations of the house, like in the laundry room for example.
It is very common to find the floor drain connected with the kitchen sink line and the laundry line, however, the floor drain is the last point of access between the kitchen and the main sewer line.
Determining if the basement floor drain is really clogged:
Remember what I explained about how the plumbing is done for the floor drain? Well, in this case, you must first determine whether the problem is with the floor drain or not.
On an attempt to help you avoid wasting time and money, I will first explain how to determine if it is the floor drain that is clogged or not.
If the kitchen sink is plugged beyond the floor, the debris will come out of the floor drain, if the main sewer line is clogged, the debris will come also out of the floor drain, so how to determine what is what?
If the floor drain is backed up with sludge and debris, do this simple test: flush your toilet. If your main sewer is the one that is backing up, you will see sludge and water coming out of the floor drain, otherwise, nothing will happen with it.
But if you run water in the kitchen sink or laundry line and the water come out of the floor drain, then, the common line between kitchen and floor drain is clogged, in this case, you will effectively fix the problem by cabling through the floor drain.
But if your main sewer line is the one clogged, you will need to find a different access for it, I will write more about it on another page.
Unplugging a basement floor drain:
Remember that this is a secondary line problem only, so, to quickly and accurately fix this problem, you must know how long the pipe length between the floor drain and the main sewer is.
If the pipe length is within 20 feet between the floor drain and sewer line, you can use the 700-machine to remove the clog.
If the pipe length is over 20 feet between the clogged floor drain and sewer line, then you have to use the 100-machine to get the job done right.
However, if the line has a strong blockage, you will be better off using a 100-machine; this machine has more power and a bigger and longer cable, so it might be a better option. If the clog is only in the clogged basement floor drain itself, then, you will probably be able to fix the problem using the smallest of the machines, the 700-machine.
You can also consider washing the line to clean the pipe better and fix the problem for the long run.
You can cable the pipe from the trap or clean out, however, if you want to wash the clogged basement floor drain, you must do it from a clean out because you will likely not go through the trap with the jetter hose.