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Inspection of backed up basement drain in Edmonton home

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

As part of the foundation drainage system, your basement floor drain is located in your home’s lowest area, designed to direct excess water to the sewer or municipal storm drain system. Its main purpose is to prevent flooding that could potentially damage your Edmonton home.

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. Sometimes our natural way of unclogging drains involves vinegar, baking soda and hot water. While these DIY methods are only a temporary solution that mainly helps kill bacteria and remove unpleasant odors, the backup might be more stubborn and serious than expected.

Many causes can lead to basement drains backing up, and if not taken care of, it could affect your mainline and secondary drain lines. Our experienced Edmonton plumbing technicians offer preventative solutions and 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.

Common Causes of Edmonton Basement Drain Backups

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

Laundry Tub

Some homes have laundry tubs or washtub basins for hand-washing laundry. Often, the sink trap is clogged with debris and other sediments, which 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.

Washing Machine

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. If it doesn't clear out all the water, chances are it’s faulty. But if the water clears out but you notice a backup, you should check the pipes on the wall or ground. There might be a blockage down the trap or drain, and if clearing doesn’t help, you should call a pro.

Pro Tip: Some homes’ washing machines and kitchens share the same drain, which could be overkill for your overall plumbing system. It could also jeopardize your main line’s functions if you have a busy kitchen lifestyle. Trouble may be preventable if your washing machine drain pipes are at least two inches in diameter, which is a new requirement compared to the past when older devices had pipelines of one and a half inches.

Sewer Trap

Also called the “main house trap,” your sewer trap is a fixture in your main line pipe. Its purpose is to stop foul sewer gases from entering your home. Every home should have a sewer trap system with an accompanying fresh air inlet that removes gas and odors by letting fresh air into the plumbing system. It’s a process that allows water to flow smoothly through the drain pipes. Sewer trap systems involve sewer cleanout plugs that are connected to the main line and are often located outside your home. Is your Edmonton basement drain backing up? Chances are your sewer cleanout is clogged. Handling those plugs is risky, and we recommend a sewer specialist to avoid any injuries.

Basement Floor Drain

Floor drains in basements are particularly prone to blockages since they collect all your home’s water and waste from numerous sources. Their sizes must be at least two inches in diameter with average slopes of half an inch (or 1-2%) for every foot length. Clogs happen when debris and sediment build up in the pipes over time. Other culprits include damaged or broken pipes or general water flow issues caused by stormwater, bringing along dirt and other unwanted sediments. Often, cleaning the trap will fix this issue. First, you will need to locate the backflow preventer valve, a device installed on your water pipes to protect your drinking water from contaminants. (There should be an owner’s manual with recommended procedures for handling your backflow preventer.) You can remove the cap and clean out any nasty sediment that has settled in there. Some homes may have slightly different systems, so if you are unsure, a pro will use advanced technology to help locate the backup and advise if you require a basement drain repair.

Guesswork or any improper investigation could cause more problems in the future. DIY unclogging situations could also lead to potential damage and compromise your safety. Therefore, your safest bet is to have our plumbing experts diagnose the problem. They use high-end sewer video cameras to detect affected areas in your plumbing system. It’s a clean, convenient way that won’t cause any damage to your home.

Signs You Need Basement Drain Backing Up Service in Edmonton

Is your Edmonton basement drain backing up, and you’ve already tried the plunger trick? While homeowners prefer baking soda and vinegar as a home remedy, it does not tackle the root cause of backups. Furthermore, we recommend you avoid chemical cleaners like Drano. They send toxic components down the sewer and are likely to corrode your plumbing system, especially if it’s old and lacks maintenance.

You might have old pipes made of weak material. A certified plumber will make the best judgment on whether a basement drain repair is avoidable—even better, they will give you preventive solutions for maintenance.

Prevention 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 technology. Using our sewer video camera to examine your main line and secondary 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 incidents. To extend your sewer line’s life and prevent a potential basement drain 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.

FAQs: Is your Basement Drain Backing Up? Have Your Questions Answered

Understanding the signs and causes of basement drain backups can help you evaluate whether you need basement drain repair—even better if you 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 any building code, it is required for every home to have 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 to Clean a Basement Drain Hole?

Some minor cleaning that you can harmlessly perform includes removing visible debris with a small brush or scrubby. Additionally, you should refer to your backflow preventer’s manual on how to safely and properly clean the trap.

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

Can I Simply Snake a Basement Drain?

Snaking your drain is no problem as long as the clog is small (i.e., hairballs, 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 clog. First, turn off 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 a sewage backup, call for professional clean up. 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 water, you can remove it safely with buckets and tubs and wipe off 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 To 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 ceiling. Below-grade basements are particularly susceptible to these problems because moisture and humidity are harder to control. Expansive soil shrinks and expands, depending on water content. Since all that 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 sidings. The runoff from a roof can trickle down and seep into your siding and cause 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? Get Our Expert Plumbers in Edmonton

Whether you have a defunct washing machine or sewage backup, Mr. Rooter Plumbing of Edmonton provides quality service with effective results, using high-end technology for your plumbing solutions. 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. Give us a call at 780-429-3600 to speak with our friendly customer service representatives about your needs or preventative plumbing solutions.