Tired of Your Basement Drain Backing Up? Learn How to Avoid These Mishaps

Two drainage openings that are overflowing because of a basement drain backup in Edmonton.

As part of the foundation drainage system, your basement floor drain is located in your home’s lowest area. This drain is designed to direct excess water to the sewer or municipal storm drain system and its main purpose is to prevent a potential flooding incident in Edmonton homes without protective plumbing devices installed, such as a sump pump. Without these additional devices, it’s not uncommon to experience your worst plumbing nightmare in your home in Edmonton: basement drain backups.

Edmonton basement drain backups of any kind are a homeowner’s biggest nightmare because it’s not always easy to determine the root cause without closely investigating your drain lines. Many Edmonton homeowners may choose the natural way of unclogging their drains by using vinegar, baking soda, and hot water. While these DIY methods are only a temporary solution that mainly helps kill bacteria and remove unpleasant odors in Edmonton, basement drain backup issues might still not be solved.

Many causes can lead to your basement drain backing up, and if not taken care of, it could affect your sewer line and household drain lines. Our experienced Edmonton plumbers offer preventative solutions, such as Edmonton basement drain backup repairs with successful results that will ensure your home’s safety. If you need us to look at your basement floor drain, pronto, you can count on our expertise to efficiently complete the job.

What Causes Edmonton Basement Drain Backups?

If you have a finished basement with livable spaces, including a bathroom and a kitchenette, you may check for backups in low-lying plumbing fixtures, such as a shower, bathtub, toilet, or sink. However, these fixtures are not always the main trigger.

Floor drains in basements are particularly prone to blockages since they collect all your home’s water and waste from numerous sources. They must be at least two inches in diameter with average slopes of half an inch (or 1 to 2 percent) for every foot length. Backups happen when debris and sediment build up in your pipes over time. Other culprits include damaged or broken pipes or general water flow issues caused by stormwater, which can carry debris and other unwanted foreign objects.

Heavy Rainfall

Is your Edmonton basement drain backing up after heavy rainfall? If you have foundation cracks or unsecured basement windows, rainwater can leak through the cracks. Also, the French drains around your house could be damaged or overwhelmed by excess rain seeping through the soil. During appointments for our Edmonton basement services, we have noticed many negative impacts of heavy rainfall. In the worst-case scenario, the city’s storm sewer fails and starts sending wastewater back into your home instead. If your basement drain’s backing up then, it’s a sewer backup. To prevent sewage water from overflowing into your home, every sewer line should be equipped with a backwater valve.

Chances are also that your sewer cleanout is clogged. Your cleanout is known as your main house trap that connects to your sewer line and is usually located outside your home in the front yard or in your basement. Keep an eye out for a pipe with a brass lid sticking out. After a big dump of rain, check to see if it’s leaking.

Clogged Drains

Drainage issues are common in every household and may start small before they develop into something more serious. You may have a clogged sink that you attempt to fix with a drain snake or a clog in a toilet that you try to remove with a plunger. But what if these problems come back and start affecting other plumbing fixtures? Next, you might call for Edmonton basement drain backup services because your clogged drains are related to an issue in your sewage system.

What Causes Clogged Drains In Households?

Drainage issues in your home’s waste lines are often caused by foreign objects that should not have been flushed or washed down the drains in the first place. Even an accumulation of relatively natural products can create blockages over time:

  • Soap scum
  • Hair
  • Toothpaste
  • Feminine products
  • Paper towels
  • Baby wipes
  • FOG (fats, oils, and grease)
  • Food waste

Signs You Need Edmonton Basement Drain Backup Services

Is your Edmonton basement drain backing up, and you’ve already tried plunging and snaking? While homeowners prefer baking soda and white vinegar as a home remedy, it does not tackle the root cause of backups. Furthermore, we recommend you avoid using chemical cleaners like Drano. They send toxic components down into the sewer and are likely to corrode your plumbing system—especially if it’s older and hasn’t had recent maintenance.

When your basement drain’s backing up, keep an eye out for the following telltale signs throughout your home:

  • Slow drains
  • Recurring toilet backups
  • Foul smells
  • Water backing up into the basement

You might have outdated pipes made of weak material. A certified plumber will make the best judgment on whether or not you need plumbing repairs.

Other Signs To Watch Out For:

  • Clogged laundry sink. Some homes have laundry tubs or washtub basins for hand-washing laundry in their basements. Often, the sink trap is clogged with debris and sediments that you can clear with a plunger or snake. Suppose you cannot access the blocked area or don't have the necessary tools. In that case, our professional plumbers will assist you and quickly make this nuisance go away after ensuring that it was, in fact, the main culprit of your problem.
  • Backed-up washing machine drain hose. Is your drain in your basement floor backing up after doing laundry? On average, your washing machine uses 19 gallons of water per load, which means that a backup could potentially involve lots of water. If you notice a backup issue, we recommend turning off the machine. Smart washing machines will show you an error code indicating the problem. If the unit doesn't clear out all the water, it might be faulty. If the water drains but your basement drain is backing up, you should check your drainpipes on the wall or ground. There might be a blockage down the trap or drain and if clearing doesn’t help, you should call your local Edmonton plumber for assistance.

Preventative Solutions From Mr. Rooter Plumbing Of Edmonton

We pride ourselves on being our clients’ first-choice plumbing company in Edmonton. We help homeowners detect any faults and blockages in their plumbing systems with advanced plumbing technology. Using our sewer video camera to examine your main line and household drain lines will quickly provide a diagnosis of your pipes’ conditions—whether it’s blockages or damages.

Scheduling yearly sewer maintenance could help you save money and prevent unexpected plumbing disasters. To extend your sewer line’s life and prevent a potential basement drain from backing up, we recommend reaching out to our expert plumbers for some guidance. Afterward, you won’t need to fear plumbing emergencies. We have the best Edmonton drain cleaning services for preventative maintenance!

Another recommendation we would make to help you prevent requiring Edmonton basement drain backup services is to install a sump pump. Not only does it support your basement floor drain by pumping the excess water out via a discharge pipe, but it also supports your exterior French drains in removing rainwater to protect your home’s foundation.

FAQs – Is Your Basement Drain Backing Up? Get Your Questions Answered

Understanding the signs and causes of basement drain backups can help you evaluate whether you need basement drain repair. Ideally, you’ll want to take preventative measures to keep your basement pipes in good shape. It’s frustrating if the worst happens when you least expect it and your attempt to resolve it fails. We have compiled a list of frequently asked questions from our clients who sought more information about backup problems in their basements.

Do I Need Basement Drain Repair Or Replacement?

As part of building codes, it is required that every home has a working basement drainage system. Modern floor drains are usually standardized four-inch PVC pipes. When you have frequent basement drain backups and notice that you have an old pipe made of clay, you should consider immediate replacement.

How Do I Clean A Backflow Preventer Valve?

Some minor cleaning that you can harmlessly perform includes removing visible debris with a small brush or scrubbing pad. First, you will need to locate the backflow preventer valve—a device installed on your water pipes to protect your drinking water from contaminants. You should have an owner’s manual with recommended procedures for handling your backflow preventer. Remove the cap and clean out any nasty sediment that has accumulated inside. Some homes in Edmonton may have slightly different systems, so if you are unsure, a plumbing expert will use advanced tools to help locate the backup and let you know if you require a basement drain repair.

Once you have cleared any clogs, you can clean the pipes with baking soda and vinegar to get rid of noxious smells caused by bacteria and decomposition. However, excessive sewage odors could indicate leaking or other issues, and will need a professional to look at your plumbing system.

Guesswork or any improper investigation could cause more problems in the future. DIY unclogging methods could also lead to potential damage and compromise your safety and your sewer line’s health. Your safest option is to leave the plumbing diagnosis to your expert plumber. They use a professional sewer video camera to detect clogs and other damages inside your sewer line. It’s a clean, non-invasive technique that won’t cause any damage to your home.

Can I Simply Snake A Basement Drain?

Snaking your drain is no problem as long as it is a minor clog (i.e., hair or food remnants). If located in the U-shaped trap, a light gauge or hand auger could easily fix the backup. However, using snakes requires some experience as they can damage pipes if mishandled. If you’re in an older home, bear in mind that the pipes could be galvanized or coated in zinc. Therefore, be careful when you play with snakes!

What Do I Do If There Is Standing Water In My Basement?

This could be a sign of an overflow or a backup. First, turn off the electricity in the affected area and shut off your water line. Investigate the area and tell your family members not to use the washroom facilities until you have located the underlying issue. If standing water is in fact the result of a sewage backup, call a remediation company for professional cleanup. Chances are you have a main line clog. Since it can be dangerous, we recommend that you and your family leave the house until the mess is cleaned up.

If it’s only freshwater, you can remove it safely with buckets and wipe up excess water with a mop. Since wet basements are never a good sign, keep an eye on this problem in case it reoccurs. You might have damaged drywall caused by bad weather, leading to leaks.

How Do I Stop A Basement From Flooding In Heavy Rain?

It doesn’t always take a flood to cause water issues in basements. As mentioned above, small amounts of water can enter through cracks, window frames, floors, and ceilings. Below-grade basements are particularly susceptible to these problems because moisture and humidity are harder to control. Soil shrinks and expands, depending on water content. Since soil surrounds your home, it’s easy for the soil to let water enter through your home’s foundation.

If your basement starts flooding during severe weather conditions, other explanations include damaged exterior walls, such as house siding. The runoff from a roof that is not protected by clean gutters can trickle down and seep into your siding, causing rot and structural damage. Or worse water can leak into the basement with nowhere to go because of a drain backup.

Pro Tip: Some homes have “pumps” built into their drainage system to remove water more efficiently—particularly larger volumes in a short amount of time. Since Edmonton ranks as one of the top Canadian cities prone to floods, installing a pump might be ideal.

Is Your Basement Drain Backing Up? Hire Our Expert Plumbers In Edmonton

If you need Edmonton basement drain backup services, trust Mr. Rooter to provide quality service with advanced plumbing tools and techniques to achieve effective results. We are available 24/7 for emergency needs so you can rest assured that you won't ever have to wait in line for service.

Whether your basement drain’s backing up in Edmonton or a nearby community, such as Sherwood Park, Riverbend, or Pleasantview, we have you covered! Give our expert Edmonton plumbers a call at to speak with our friendly customer service representatives about your needs to get rid of backups for good!