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How to Unclog a Basement Floor Drain

How to Unclog a Basement Floor Drain

If the basement floor drain is clogged, it can flood the basement and cause a lot damage. Read the HomeQuicks article to find steps on how to unclog a basement floor drain, and save any significant amount of damage from happening.
Sheetal Mandora
Nothing could be more worse than having your bathroom flooring dirty, due to clogged drain water. With dirty water floating everywhere in the basement, it could seem like a nightmare for any homeowner. But that thought shouldn't discourage you from taking the necessary steps unclog the drain. Try the following steps in order to clear the drain thoroughly.
Materials Needed
  • Plumber's snake
  • Wrench
  • Bucket
  • Hot water
  • Hand gloves
  • Face mask
  • Rags or towels
Step #1: With enough courage, place your hand gloves and face mask on to fix the plumbing issues. Take the bucket to use it for removing standing water in the basement. This will give you proper access to the floor drain. Ask everyone in the house not to use/run any water till you unclog the drain. The basement floor drain is the final point for all the pipes in the house, which lead dirty water out.
Step #2: In order to look for the drains, you will need to search for the largest drains in your house. They are closest to the water drains in the streets, and will also have an access point for cleaning it. Take the plumber's snake (toilet jack or electric eel) to clean the drain properly. The plumber's snake is useful while working with sharp vertical and horizontal bends in the basement drains. Remove the clean out plug with the wrench in order to get the snake inside the drain.
Step #3: Once you place the snake inside the drain, pull a couple of feet back out and pour a little hot water in it. This will add slight pressure inside the drain as you move the snake around. Also, the hot water can help wash out any debris or material that the snake might have loosened. Keep pushing the snake into the drain till it can't go any further.
Step #4: Now you turn the crank on the plumber's snake in clockwise manner in order to turn the long flexible steel coil for dislodging debris in the drain. You could find more resistance while you're going down the drain. The number of halts you find in the drain will depend on how much material has been clogged in it. You might just have to remove several clogs in order to break through it, and reach the final blockage.
Step #5: If the resistance is tough to remove in first few attempts, there might be something solid stuck in the clogged drain. Carefully, pull out the snake from the drain so that you can pull the stuff that's blocking the drain as well. Don't push any blockage more into the drain, as that will only make the unclogging process tougher. When the snake comes out, it could get messier, as the blockage has also come out with it. Empty any solid material into the bucket which comes out of the drain.
Step #6: After the blockage is cleared, the drain will run properly. If you still find any more flooding, you will have to repeat all the steps mentioned above. Pour more hot water down the floor drain, to check if you have successfully removed all debris out. If there are any soap deposits (washer) that is clogging the drain, you could run the washer filled with hot water and 8 oz. of vinegar once a week.
If you frequently find soap deposits in the drain, it might be coming from excess use of detergent while running the washing machine. Perhaps you need to lower the amount of detergent used for washing clothes. You can also add a cup of vinegar each time you run a laundry cycle, so that there aren't any soap residue left behind. You can understand where you're going wrong from what comes out of the drain. Accordingly, you can talk to your family members in trying to lessen or stop the reasons behind clogged drains.