Drain In Basement Floor Backing Up: What Can You Do With The Home’s Drainage System?

Often, a basement floor drain is formed if there are problems with the sewerage. The drain will connect to it, after which the water will begin to exit through the basement. However, there are other reasons for this phenomenon and necessary steps for basement drain backing, and they will be discussed in this article.

drain in basement floor backing up

Causes of clogged drainage

A basement floor drain can also be formed for other reasons. We will talk about basement floor drain backups further.

Tree roots

As you know, the roots of trees grow quite quickly and occupy a fairly large area. For natural reasons, the roots always move toward the water. If there are cracks or other deformations in the drainage line, the roots will pass through them.

This can cause the forming of the basement floor drain. To remove the roots of trees from the drainage line, you need to try. You can clean the home’s sewer line and wash tub basin using a water jet.

This creates protection for up to 5 years.

It is appropriate to use a drill if you need to remove the roots from the sewer. However, there is no guarantee that all roots are removed. Therefore, the risk of re-troubling remains. Try to immediately remove the roots if you notice them. Otherwise, damage to the sewer line may occur, or its destruction.

Pipe wear

  • As you know, the main sewer has its expiration date. The closer the expiration date, the more often blockages form in the sewer line. Therefore, more backups of the basement floor drain are formed.
  • On the inner walls of the pipes, scale is constantly formed, and pollution can also accumulate. If the main basement drain is made of cast iron, it may rust. Due to rust, the pipe shrinks in size. Because of this, it cannot pass a large flow of water.

If more water enters the floor drain than it can handle, the water exits through the basement drain. There are several ways to prevent such effects.

Hydrojet installation

This is one of the most common plumbing fixtures. Its main purpose is to clean sewer pipes where water flows under strong pressure. This allows you to remove scale and various contaminants that have accumulated inside the pipe.

Thanks to the large flow of water, you can remove all the dirt, which will prevent the formation of a basement drain. As soon as the pipe is cleared, you should call the master for an emergency water supply. He or she must use special equipment to check the integrity of the structure.

Pipe replacement or lining

You can lay pipes or replace the entire sewer. You need to understand that a complete replacement of pipes is much cheaper than their lining. However, you have to spoil the site and dig a trench.


Break in the main sewer

If there is a rupture inside the sewer, this is terrible. Correcting the situation requires large financial costs. You have to buy not only the pipe itself but also spend money on the expensive lining. You can also replace just the broken section, saving you money.

The problem at the base of the drainage

  • Often, a flat spot or depression forms in the main drainage line. This happens when the ground starts to subside. Correcting the situation is to dig and replace the pipe. For ease of operation, use a compact excavator.
  • If you wash tub basin with a water jet, you cannot fix the problem. However, this is a great option to prevent blockages and drain buildup in the basement. Most people use water jetting to service their sewers. This is much cheaper than a complete system replacement.

Improper flushing

  • Quite often, people dump excessive amounts of materials or inappropriate items into the sewer. The drain line may not withstand the load, which forms a blockage in the drain. To prevent the appearance of a clogged basement drain, you must be careful about what you flush down the toilet.
  • If you flush toilet paper or non-corrosive liquids, there is no harm. However, do not rinse paper towels, pads, or wet wipes. They have a rough texture, so they will not dissolve. This is fraught with the formation of blockages in the pipe.
  • Do not let children play in the toilet. They may pick toys or plastic items down the toilet that gets stuck in the pipe and cause a blockage.
  • Yes, these options are expensive. However, it still comes out cheaper than having to clean the entire drain system in the future.

Need to fix the basement floor drain backup

You need to know in advance all the methods that help eliminate the blockage of the drain. This prevents the formation of an unpleasant odor and excessive moisture in the house.

Some problems can be solved on your own, and you may need the help of a licensed plumber.

Everything will be discussed in more detail below.

Draining a sink or washing machine

Laundries are almost always placed on the basement floor, where there is a washing machine and a bathroom sink. It is possible that deposits and debris washed down the sink form a blockage. In the case of a washing machine, the issue is formed in the hose.


The use of a plunger help corrects the situation. With it, you can clean the pipes of sediment and debris. If this does not give the desired result, you have to manually clean the drain, using an electric snake. If you have any difficulties with the work, you can call the master.

You can also install a drain filter. This recommendation is relevant if there was no filter before. If both methods do not give the desired result, you can call a plumber.


The pipe has gone bad

Almost all pipes are made from materials that can shrink and rust. When the pipe shrinks, it is more difficult for water to pass through it. Often there are pipes made of clay or concrete, which can fall apart over time.

Try not to choose your pipes. It is better to consult a specialist in advance. This avoids problems.


If the pipe is damaged, it needs to be replaced. If the deformed area is small, you can only replace it. If most of the pipe has been damaged, it is better to completely replace it.

You should also focus on exactly where the pipe is located. After all, you typically have to contact city services. The city services should be repairing pipes if they come from the main sewer line and out of your yard.

Formation of stagnant drains in the basement

As already mentioned, a flat spot begins to form during the subsidence of pipes. Because of this, stagnation with clogged drains is formed on the basement floor.


In this case, you need to use a hydro jet system. This clears all pipes. If a complete replacement of the line is required, then you first have to dig a trench.

Drying drain and traps

If the water does not flow for a long time, the drain and traps may dry out. Because of this, sewer gases accumulated in the sewer line begin to escape through the pipes.

This can happen in the basement sewer line and the bathroom or kitchen where risers are installed.

If you notice that your basement shower is starting to smell bad, this could be a sign of contamination or a broken trap.


To remedy the situation, you can add some water to the drain or trap. This should fix the situation. If the trap is broken, it needs to be replaced. Therefore, before you start correcting the situation, you should determine the problem itself. You can call the master, who will quickly determine the cause of the formation of a drain.

Tree roots

As already mentioned, the roots of trees are constantly moving toward the water. Therefore, they can pierce the sewer pipe, provoking its deformation.


First, you need to inspect the sewers to find the roots. The cost of the inspection is about $300. After that, you have to rent a special machine to clean the sewer line, which removes debris and roots. You can also replant the trees further away, so the problem doesn’t reoccur.

cleaning machine

Drain backup prevention

  • Try to keep the sewers and basement floor drains in working order at all times. For ease of operation, try to call a plumber regularly. He or she will quickly and efficiently carry out maintenance of all elements of the sewer line. Special cleaning agents can attack pipes aggressively.
  • Therefore, as an alternative, it is better to use homemade products, including baking soda and white vinegar. You need to mix equal proportions of baking soda and white vinegar. Pour the mass down the drain line. Close the hole with a cork, and wait half an hour.
  • This starts a chemical reaction during which foam is observed. Then remove the cork, and use the plunger. It may take several minutes of active up and down movements to remove the blockage. After that, turn on the hot water for a few minutes.
  • If the water does not drain, then the blockage has not been removed. Therefore, you have to repeat the above steps a few more times.
  • If the sewer lines in the basement are constantly failing, you can install a sump pump. It absorbs moisture and increases the drying rate of the basement. Also, you may improve clean up. For these purposes, you can use a vacuum cleaner.

Some more information about basement floor drain backing

If you are using a drain pump, it is important to make sure it drains the water properly. It should not accumulate in the yard. If you notice that water has remained in the yard, problems with the drain likely form in the future. Therefore, it is better to call the master, who check everything and fix it.

Some people may notice that the sink or basement begins to fill with water. This happens if the siphon is deformed and leaks. To fix the issue, tighten the connections, or completely disassemble or replace the trap.

Water can accumulate in large quantities around the base of the toilet. This happens if the bolts are loose.

Therefore, they need to be securely fastened. It is possible that a replacement of the wax ring is required, or additional sealing.

Water can’t remain permanently and for a long time in the basement. Otherwise, it begins to acquire an unpleasant smell that seeps throughout the house. The accumulation of water can also cause mold to form, which is much more difficult to control.

If you notice signs of mold, the backup has a problem. If the area of contamination is small, you can do the cleaning yourself.

Situations for calling a specialist

You can call a plumber if you can’t determine what exactly is causing the backup in the basement drain line. It also makes sense to call it if you cannot cope with the consequences yourself.



While working with the drain on the basement floor, you can encounter numerous issues.

  1. How do I stop my basement floor drain from backing up? Avoid draining fats and oils down the drain line. If they accumulate and harden, they clog the entire drain system. It also makes sense to install a check valve or a pump for drainage. Check your basement drains regularly to prevent the basement floor drain backing.
  2. Why is my basement floor drain backing up? A drain line in a basement can become clogged for a variety of reasons. Often this happens if you are flushing the wrong items, or too much grease has accumulated in the pipes. So try not to flush the wipes down the toilet.
  3. Why is water backing up in my floor drain? If water begins to seep out of the floor drain, the drain pipes have been clogged. If the sewer lines are clogged, water flows down and accumulates in the drain line. When you notice the basement floor drain backing, water cannot go outside and begin to flow in the basement.
  4. Can I put Drano in my basement floor drain? Many people use chemical-based cleaners, including Drano. Such compositions are quite rigid and contain abrasive particles. Therefore, they can negatively affect the quality of pipes. It is better to use cleaners that contain enzymes.


As you can see, preventing or fixing a basement drain from backup is not difficult. The main thing is to determine the real reason for this phenomenon, and then immediately get to work. If you can’t handle it yourself, it’s best to call an experienced plumber.

Also Read About Basement Floor Drain

James Derrick

If you have become a reader of my blog, you are thinking about how to properly equip your home. I want to say that together with my family we live in our own big house.

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