Why is my Basement Floor Drain Backing Up?

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If you’re experiencing a sewage backup in your basement, it may be time to call a plumber. But before you do that first see if you can find the cause of the problem.

This article will provide you with the causes, the signs that your main sewer line has backed up, and home remedies for a clogged basement floor drain.

Causes of Sewage Backup in Basement

A sewer backup is an unpleasant and dangerous situation. This contaminated water can carry dangerous bacteria, viruses, and other contaminants.

Although the water itself is not infectious, the odor and other toxins can cause skin irritation and infection.

In severe cases, the sewage can even cause death. This is why it’s so important to clean up a sewage backup as quickly as possible. A professional sewage clean-up company may be necessary to prevent any further damage.

Clogged main sewer line

Clogs in the sewer line are another common cause of sewage backup in the basement. The most common culprit is a clogged main sewer line. This is especially likely to happen if the drain pipes are not routinely inspected. It’s important to keep grease and non-flushable items out of pipes as they can solidify and create blockages.

If you see a backup in a washtub basin, you may have a larger problem. In many cases, this clog or defect is deeper in the system. The washtub basin is the easiest place for sewage to back up.

If the clog or defect is more severe, it might be further up the drain line. If the sewage backup is visible and causes a flood in the basement, you should contact a professional plumber.

Faulty sewer lateral

Another cause of sewage backup in the basement is the improperly functioning sewer lateral. Overflow of sewage from the sewer main can block the drainpipes and cause sewage to back up into homes and businesses. Luckily, this is a preventable issue and usually has early warning signs. If you see a large amount of water entering the basement, contact a plumber or city public works office to get it inspected.

Clogged drain trap

If the floor drain is backed up with feces, the root cause is often a clogged drain line in the floor. If the sewer backed up under the floor, the trapped water can escape over the sewer trap and flood your home. Cleaning out the trap will help avoid a major flood of sewage.

Signs of a Main Sewer Line Clog

If your basement floor drain is backing up in the shower, the main drain line is likely to be the problem. A clogged main drain line can lead to water backing up in other fixtures in the house. This is why it is crucial to have the line cleaned by a professional plumber as soon as possible. The following are some common symptoms of a main sewer line clog:

Gurgling toilets are a common sign of a clog in the main sewer line. In older homes, tree roots may be to blame. Other signs include the use of paper products, especially toilet paper that is too thick. If you notice a slow drain in just one receptacle, it’s a good idea to have a professional inspect and clean the entire system.

Slow-running showers and sinks are other signs of a clogged main line. You may also notice that your toilet fills up during a shower or brushing your teeth. These signs may be caused by a buildup of hair, grease in the kitchen, and toilet paper in the toilet. As a result, you should call a professional plumber as soon as you notice any of these symptoms.

While basement floor drains may be easily repaired, it can be difficult to distinguish between an overflowing toilet and a clogged main sewer line.

Although basement drains are easy to clear up on their own, the sewage in them can be dangerous to human health. Exposed individuals can become ill from bacterial infections, Hepatitis A, and salmonellosis. Exposure to sewage gases can also cause a variety of illnesses. Therefore, it’s best to call a professional plumber immediately for your basement floor drain.

After drain cleaning, a video inspection can reveal the root cause of the clog and determine how to repair it. If the clog is in the main sewer line, you’ll need a professional plumber who is familiar with these tools and can safely and effectively remove the clog without causing any additional damage. If a clog has clogged the main sewer line, a professional plumber can use specialized equipment that can clear the clog using high-pressure water jets, augers, and professional-strength drain cleaners.

In addition to frequent clogs, sewer lines may also have extensive damage caused by tree roots. Tree roots, for example, can grow far beyond a human footprint, and they can crush underground pipes. Old trees are notorious culprits of clogged sewer lines, and their roots can eventually result in a clogged main sewer line and foul-smelling puddles.

Home Remedies to Clear a Clogged Basement Floor Drain

There are several home remedies to clear a clogged basement drain.

First, you should have a bucket and trash can ready.

Then, use a flashlight to shine into the drain to see what’s blocking it. If you see a lot of hair or grease, you can use a bend coat hanger to pull it out of the drain.

Next, use a plunger to remove the remaining debris.


Another home remedy for clogged drains is Coca-Cola. It contains phosphoric acid that helps break up the buildup that clogs drains. Pour the whole 2-liter bottle down the drain, allow it to sit for about an hour, and then flush the drain with boiling water. This method is not only toxic, but it is also not environmentally friendly. You should always consult a professional plumber before using any of these home remedies to clear a clogged basement floor drain.


A plunger is another option for unclogging a purged basement floor drain. The plunger should be used in conjunction with a drain auger cable. In a clogged drain, the auger cable should be fed into the drain and reeled back. The idea is to pull out the gunk. If this isn’t enough, you should contact a Donley plumbing expert for help.

Baking soda and vinegar

Another method involves baking soda and vinegar. Baking soda and vinegar are two common household ingredients that dissolve mild clogs. The baking soda and vinegar mixture also fizz to break up the clog. Then, after about ten minutes, you should rinse the drain thoroughly with boiling water. If the solution is too weak, use a quart of water and another one of baking soda.


If you’ve tried using a plunger and smearing the plunger with petroleum jelly, you can try pouring some water into the drain and see if the clog has cleared up. If it’s still a stubborn problem, you should call a professional plumber for help. You can also try using a plumber’s wrench to remove the cleanout cap in the drain.

Using a garden hose to spray the floor drain can be effective in removing any excess water. Next, check for a clog in the trapway and unclog the floor drain. This will prevent flooding and allow excess water to flow out of the building. If the floor drain is backed up with feces, it may be a sign that the floor drain is partially blocked.