In the family of indoor plumbing, people often overlook floor drains. Floor drains resemble the drains you see in bathtubs and showers since they’re flush with the surface, but actual floor drains are commonly found in basement floors, garages, laundry rooms, older bathroom floors and sometimes on patios and driveways. Floor drains are installed anyplace where fast, efficient water drainage is needed.
Since they are often ignored, most homeowners don’t think about floor drain maintenance until it’s too late. Many issues with floor drains can be avoided with some pre-planning and simple care. Following these easy maintenance tasks will ensure that your floor drains will do their jobwhen you need them to and prevent flooding and the expensive water damage left behind.
Indoor floor drains capture overflow from sinks, toilets, tubs, water heaters, washing machines, etc. Outdoor floor drains quickly move water away from surfaces during and after heavy rainstorms. Whether indoors or outdoors, floor drains are designed to efficiently and safely direct water to a sewer or municipal storm drain so that the floor stays dry and rooms don't flood. The purpose of traps is to prevent sewer odors and gasses from making their way through the drain and into your home. Make sure to fill these traps regularly to ensure they're working as they should - simply pour a gallon of water down each floor drain in your home. The water will fill the trap, forming a barrier between your home and your sewer system.
Many different types of debris collect on your floor, from pet hair to dust bunnies, all of it runs the risk of ending up and potentially clogging our floor drain. The first sign of a drain clogging is if it is draining slowly. If you catch the clog early on, clean it as soon as possible to reduce the risk of flooding. Typically, a few strong pumps with a plunger can clear that minor clog. If not, try pouring a solution of baking soda and vinegar down the drain. If you have a drain auger, feed the cable into the drain until you meet resistance, then turn the cable and try to reel back whatever is clogging the drain
At least once each quarter, check your drains for debris and clear them. If necessary, use a safe, liquid drain cleaner, or, if your drains haven't been cleaned in a while, have a professional plumber from your local Roto-Rooter do the job for you. It's also good idea to schedule professional drain cleanings annually to prevent clogs and keep your drains running.