Floor drains can be a lifesaver. If you break a pipe or your house floods from an outside source. A drain in the basement floor gives the water a way out. They can also relieve pressure on your pipes by allowing small amounts of overflow. However, your floor drain can cause problems as well. You will need to address them quickly or risk serious damage to your home.
If your floor drain starts to stink, check the trap. If it is dry then there is nothing blocking sewer odors from backing up into your house. Unfortunately, the odor is not the only thing that can infiltrate the home. Insects from the sewer can make their way in as well. Fortunately, all you have to do is pour some water down the drain to refill the trap and block smells and pests from getting in.
If the drain overflows all the time or overflows and never drains out, that means there is a clog or blockage in your sewer pipe. If you are lucky it is just an accumulation of hair or debris and you can send a plumbing snake down the floor drain to clear it. A more serious block occurs when a buildup of soap, grease, or other waster crystalizes. Crystallization might be more than you can handle on your own. Here at Express Plumbing Heating & Air, we have a spinning blade tool that can usually address this issue. The most troublesome blockages occur when a sewer pipe breaks and fills up with dirt. This requires extensive repair. This is not a DIY project.
You might have a problem if your floor drain never overflows. If you send a large amount of water down your pipes at once. You can expect a small amount of water to back up. Home plumbing systems are designed to work this way to prevent too much pressure on your main drain pipe. However, if you never get an overflow, it could mean that the sewer pipe is broken somewhere and your household wastewater is leaking into the ground. It is a good idea to have your plumbing system inspected periodically to make sure everything is working correctly.
The worst possible scenario when it comes to floor drains is if there is heavy rain or some other problem in the system. Waste from the sewers could back up into your line and into your basement. A backflow is both disgusting and a health hazard. You can have a backflow preventer gate installed to stop the wastewater before it gets into your house.
If you have any questions or concerns or want to schedule an inspection please contact Express Plumbing Heating & Air today!