More often than not, we don’t notice floor drains. That is until they become a problem. We’ve given you tips on how to avoid clogged drains, but what do you do if they act up?
Floor drains can be found in areas that experience excess water. These include the laundry room, the bathroom, or the garage. Depending on the size of your household, you could have several inside your home as well as a few outside.
Like any drain, floor drains become clogged for any number of reasons. But, what may look like a job for your septic contractor, you may need a plumber or some good ‘ol fashion elbow grease instead.
What if you could avoid calling your septic company and get to the root of the problem quickly? This list of common issues with floor drains can help you with this. Read below to figure out what type of floor drain problem you may have.
Common Symptoms of Backed-Up or Blocked Floor Drains
First, let’s look at some warning signs for floor drain issues.
1. Foul Odor
Unpleasant odors coming from your drain can be off-putting. But that doesn’t necessarily mean that you have an issue with your septic system.
These nasty odors could mean that the trap is dry. Meaning, that drain probably hasn’t been used in a long time. When this happens, sewer odors can travel up the pipes and into your house. This also means that insects can crawl up the pipes too. So, you probably don’t want to ignore this particular warning sign unless you appreciate unannounced houseguests.
To solve this problem yourself, pour some water down the drain. This will refill the trap and keep the odors and unwanted pests out of your house.
2. A Blocked Pipe
If you smell a foul odor and have raw sewage backing up into your house, it could be pipe blockage. This means that the wastewater coming from your household cannot make it to the city sewer system or your septic tank.
Also, it could mean that your drain is clogged with hair or other simple debris. If this is the case, then your pipe can be snaked and unblocked easily. You can do this yourself with the right tools.
However, if it’s soap or grease buildup, you may have to call a plumber. When these materials coat the edges of pipes, they can crystallize and form a hard substance that is difficult to remove. Luckily, plumbers have a spade-like tool that can scrape the inside of your pipes to ensure smooth flow.
3. Leaking Sewer Pipes
This warning may seem contradictory, but it can actually signal you have major pipe problems. Here it goes.
If you have never had a drain backup, you could have an issue. It’s common to experience some back flow when you drain large amounts of water or at least notice that it is draining slowly. In fact, many drains are designed to back up, so your system isn’t flooded.
So, if you’re used to flushing large amounts of water down your drain but never see back flow, it could mean you have a broken pipe that is leaking into the ground around your home.
This means that you have overloaded your pipe system to the point that a pipe burst. If this is the case, you should call your plumber to check out your piping system.
Luckily, most causes of clogged floor drains are preventable. And there are even several ways that you can fix these problems using natural approaches. However, if you think you are in over your heard — it’s because you are. Call the professionals if you even for a moment you feel that the job is too big for you to handle.
When to Call a Plumber or Your Septic Company
It may be your first instinct to call your septic company when dealing with odors and wastewater backup in your house. However, it’s not always necessary. Take a look at the questions below to evaluate your situation.
1. How old is your septic system?
If you have a reasonably new septic system, chances are you aren’t going to be experiencing problems early on. Septic systems can last up to 20 to 40 years depending on which tanks you have.
If you have recently had your septic system installed and are having drain issues, call a plumber to come to check it out.
2. How many drains are backed up?
This should include your sinks, toilets, and showers too. If the answer is one, then you should call a plumber first. If you’re experiencing difficulty with several, then your trusted septic professional should be your first dial.
3. How is your septic cleanout?
If you have a septic tank, you can figure out who to call by checking your septic cleanout. It is a PVC pipe in the ground, located between your house and your tank.
Remove the cap to see if there is standing water. If the answer is no, call a plumber. If the septic cleanout is full, call your septic company.