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Are you looking for help with projects around the house? Our blog offers helpful tips and DIY videos, or schedule a service appointment today. John C. Flood, Inc. cannot be held liable or responsible for any personal or property damages incurred if the end-user attempts any of the aforementioned DIY tips and instructions.

How to Unclog a Basement Floor Drain

Basement Floor

Finding your basement drain clogged is a fairly common occurrence. Many homes end up with this problem at some point or another, making it a valuable skill for any homeowner to understand how to proceed when facing this issue.

You shouldn’t attempt a maintenance project, even attempting to unclog the main drain in the basement, without proper understanding of the job.

Keep in mind, you can always call in a professional plumber to unclog a basement drain for you, and this is often the best course of action for serious clogs.

Causes of a Clogged Basement Floor Drain

Not all basement drains clog the same way, so if you're experiencing this problem, you may not be able to fix it, even if you want to. Some more benign clogs, however, can usually be easily fixed.

Here are some possible reasons why your basement floor drain clogged up.

Accumulation of Dirt and Debris

As your basement drainage line gets used through the years, it can start accumulating dirt and debris to a point of developing a clog. Sediment, dust, and other things flowing through your drain pipe collect until things can’t drain easily.

In cases like these, you need to be able to locate the clog, dislodge it or clean it out, and your water flow should begin draining again like normal.

Damaged Pipes

Infiltrating tree roots, deteriorating pipes, and other plumbing damage could be the source of your basement drain clog. If your task is to unclog the basement floor drain but a damaged pipe is the culprit, you should consult with a professional plumber immediately.

Water Flow Issues

A basement floor drain can clog due to water flow issues as well. A flat spot or a dip can occur in the main drainage line as the ground settles around your piping.

If this is the case, your pipe will need to be replaced to resolve the clog. You could have issues with water flow through your home as well, resulting in difficulties draining in multiple places. Have a professional plumber inspect your home’s drainage system if this is your issue.

Fixes for a Clogged Basement Floor Drain

The task at hand: unclog the basement floor drain yourself. There are many methods for unclogging a basement floor drain. Choosing the right method depends on what has caused the clog initially.

If you have invasive tree roots, deteriorating pipes, or water flow issues, you’ll need help from professional plumbing services. If you just have a small clog due to accumulated debris, here are some DIY fixes.

Use a Plunger

If you just have a small clog in your basement drain, then a plunger could easily dislodge it. Seal the plunger over the drain and give it a few good pumps.

Pour Baking Soda and Vinegar

Try pouring some baking soda down your basement drain, and follow it with some vinegar. This reaction can often remove whatever debris is causing the clog and help your drain work properly again.

Snake the Drain

Snaking the drain is a great way to reach deeper into your pipe and pull out any messy clogs that could be backing it up. Always follow the directions on the packaging and wear gloves to keep your hands clean and safe from bacteria.

Remove all Debris from the Trap

Locate where the backflow preventer is in your basement then remove its cap. Use a chisel to loosen the ring and the backflow ball, then grab your shop vacuum and suck up all the build up and sediment in the trap.

Once fully cleaned, remove the clean out plug. Next, attach a strong cable to a power drill then spin it around the pipe’s opening, hopefully clearing any clogs.

Never Use Harmful Chemicals

When working to unclog a basement drain, be careful to not reach for chemicals. You could unknowingly be using toxic chemicals or even a chemical that will corrode your plumbing, causing even more severe issues. Leave the chemicals to the professionals when solving this issue.

Call Professional Plumbing Services

Knowing the difference between DIY fixes and those that require professional plumbing services can save you time, energy and money — as well as prevent possible damage to your systems. If your basement drain is clogged, we understand it's disruptive to your daily life. 

If your task is to unclog the main drain in the basement, but none of these DIY fixes worked, then it’s time to call in a professional plumber to resolve the issue using professional plumbing services.

Contact our team at John C. Flood and schedule an appointment to get your basement drain unclogged as fast as possible.