Floor drains typically do not call a lot of attention to themselves. Most homeowners probably spend more time thinking about potential basement plumbing issues affecting their leaky pipes, washing machines or water heaters.
All the same, floor drains are important fixtures in many basements and utility rooms. They can help drain away excess water that comes in during a rainstorm or flood. This is crucial in cities such as Seattle, Washington.
What can you do to keep your floor drains in working order at all times so that water doesn't back up in your basement? Here are a few helpful floor drain cleaning tips:
First things first: You will need to take off the strainer/drain cover. The cleanout plug inside will also need to be removed. Don't lose it – it has to be put back in place later so that sewer gases do not begin flowing out of the drain.
Try boiling water...
This trick is often used to unclog sinks and showers, but it can sometimes help with a floor drain, too. Make sure there's no standing water beforehand, or it won't work. Heat a few gallons of water to boiling and then pour them quickly down the drain.
… or baking soda and vinegar
Here's another possibility if the floor drain is clogged but not enough to result in standing water. Baking soda plus vinegar is an effective and cheap alternative to many premade chemical solutions you'd get at a supermarket or corner store. After flushing the floor drain with hot water, pour in the baking soda and follow it with a combination of vinegar and more hot water. Let it bubble for a few minutes and then rinse it again.
Use a snake
Snakes (or augers) are special tools, whether manual or electric, that can be used to clean out different types of pipe. Feed the cable of the snake into the drainage pipe until it can't go any further, then go back and forth trying to pierce through the obstruction. If the snake is electric, you'll probably operate it with a foot pedal. The snake head may need to be cleaned periodically so that it does not accumulate too much debris.
Call a professional plumber
Floor drains can get seriously backed up not just from clogs near their traps, but from deeper problems throughout the rest of the building's drainage system as well. For example, a sewer line might be damaged and causing water to back up through the drain.
In these cases, it makes sense to call your local Seattle Roto-Rooter professional plumbers for floor drain cleaning. They can diagnose the possible issues, clear away the obstructions and provide maintenance tips.