Rust, Clogs, And Flooding: Cures For 3 Common Basement Drain Issues

Posted on: 8 March 2016

Basement drains can prove to be a vital part of your home's drainage system, particularly if your home is in a low-lying area with frequent rains or melting snows. The drain can help prevent water damage within your home or extensive and messy cleanups. But problems with the basement drain can counteract all of those benefits and leave you with no or poor drainage and the growing threat of water damage.

Rusting drains, clogged drains, and flooding that overwhelms the drain are three common problems homeowners face. What are the potential solutions?

Rusted Drain: Call a Plumber for a Pipe Inspection

Does your drain cover have a few spots of rust? Don't sweat it; a little bit of rust isn't going to do much damage. Is the cover so rusty you can't see the original color peeking through? You need to call in a professional plumbing service, and not just to replace the cover of the drain.

Significant rust on the drain can be a sign of overly hard or mineralized water in your area that could also be having a similar effect on the piping underneath the drain cover. Rust in your pipes can lead to corrosion and the narrowing of the pipe or pipe breakage. These piping issues can cause further drainage issues for your basement and lower the water pressure elsewhere in the house.

A plumber can send a small, specialized camera down the pipes to check for problems. If the problem turns out to be only a rusty cover, you can head to the hardware store and replace that on your own.

Clogged Drain: Use an Auger

Basement drains can clog due to debris buildups or mineralization in the pipes. The clog will slow down the draining water and can reach the point of backing the water up and causing flooding. You can attempt to fix this problem yourself if you own an auger, or you can call in a plumber or drain cleaning service to deal with the situation.

An auger has a tension wire and a turn handle. You turn the handle to lower the tension wire down into the drain until you hit an obstruction and then quickly retract the wire while pulling up. The wire should pull up or at least break up the obstruction that was hit.

Note that you don't want to use a chemical drain cleaner in your basement. The chemicals can be harsh on pipes and end up causing more harm than good.

Flooding Drain: Get a Sump Pump

Basement drains can flood due to clogs or can flood due to the amount of water exceeding how much the drain can take in at one time. You can help avoid this flooding and associated water damage by paying to install a sump pump.

Sump pumps come in a few different styles but the styles all work similarly. The pump is mounted in the area near the drain where the most water tends to accumulate. A pressure switch on the pump can sense when the water is getting too high and trigger the unit into pumping the water out the nearby drain. Contact a business such as Lewis Plumbing for more information.