Overflowing floor drains are a serious and baffling matter that most Australian homeowners face at some time or the other.
When they happen, people often assume that there is some issue with the floor drain itself. However, that’s not always the case. Several factors can cause your floor drains to back up and overflow, like unwanted objects lodged in pipes, accumulation of slime, etc.
So, if you’ve just spotted standing water in your bathroom or laundry room due to an overflow in the floor drain, fret not. This guide will look in detail at the common causes of overflowing floor drains. Plus, we will tell you how to prevent it from happening again down the road.
If you don’t have time to read the entire guide on why your drain is overflowing, here is a quick summary for your convenience:
The most common cause of a floor drainage overflow is a buildup in the pipes-foreign objects lodged in the pipes that can prevent them from flowing correctly. Your main drain may suffer damage if these foreign objects are lodged there.
With that said, let’s get started.
Causes Of A Blocked Pipe
Wastewater often accumulates and overflows because the drain pipes are obstructed or blocked. Here, we have mentioned a few causes that could lead to a pipe blockage.
1. Accumulation Of Slime
The potions, lotions, and gels you use in the shower accumulate over time in the pipes. This obstructs the pipes and reduces the flow, causing the wastewater to overflow from the floor drain due to slow drainage.
We are not talking about aliens but foreign objects that can block and restrict water flow in your drain pipes. A foreign object can be anything that gets into your drain but is not supposed to be there.
If you flush anything apart from toilet paper and human waste down your toilet, it may reduce the water flow in pipes and lead to a blockage. These contaminants can build up over time — so much so that the water may not be able to pass through at all, causing your flow drains to overflow.
A clogged drain can cause severe damage to your plumbing; flushing things down the toilet that don’t belong or washing things down the sink that shouldn’t be can cause a blockage further down your pipes resulting in a floor drain overflowing.
3. Drain Pipe Damage
Apart from the build-up of unwanted objects in the pipes, there are other causes of backed-up floor drains, such as:
- Infiltration or misalignment of tree roots in the drainpipe
- Cracked drain pipe
- Sagging drain pipe
Unlike minor clogs, drain pipe damage may require more work to fix.
Prevention And Repair
Here, we have talked about a few ways in which you can prevent your floor drains from overflowing:
1. Using An Auger
An ideal way to remove solid blockages from the pipe would be by using an auger. Make sure it’s decently long, as you need to shove it down the pipe to a considerable distance to reach the clogged areas.
2. Clean The Pipes
To stop the floor drain from overflowing, we strongly recommend using a drain cleaner now and then. That way, you can ensure that the water flows freely through the drain and prevent it from backing up and overflowing.
You can get a drain cleaner at a nearby hardware store or make it home using white vinegar and baking soda.
3. Using A Wire Coat Hanger To Catch Hair
Whenever possible, collect long hair before it enters the floor drain. However, a wire coat hanger might help if there’s a stubborn build-up. That said, you can bend an old wire coat hanger into a form allowing you to wiggle the hooked end into the drain. Twist the wire around, and it will hook onto any hair within reach and clear out the clog.
4. Plumbing Snake
If the above three methods fail, consider using a plumbing snake to clear the blockage and restore the water flow. You can even use a CCTV drain camera to investigate what is causing the blockage. The images from the camera will tell you about the condition of your drain pipes. Thus, it will help help you take steps accordingly and prevent it from happening in the future.
5. Professional Help
If the pipes are misaligned, cracked, or collapsed, you will need to either get them fixed or replaced. You will need to get in touch with a professional plumbing company. They have all the equipment, knowledge, and experience to dig out and replace the pipes without causing damage to them so that your water flows freely once again.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
In this section, we have tried answering some of the most frequently asked questions about overflowing floor drains to help clear any further questions or doubts you might have. We genuinely hope that you find them helpful.
1. How to unclog a drain using vinegar and baking soda?
Vinegar and baking soda are exceptional natural cleaners that you can use to unclog your drain. Their potent chemical reaction can help remove stubborn waste, clear your floor drain and eliminate odour.
You can do it in five easy steps:
- Remove the floor drain plug
- Pour hot water into the floor drain
- Then pour one cup of vinegar and half a cup of baking soda solution
- Cover the floor drain plug and wait for half an hour
- Remove the floor drain plug and pour hot water
2. What is hydro jet drain cleaning?
Hydro jets use water at a high pressure to remove blockages in the drains. This instrument helps remove tree roots and leaves that make their way into the pipes, past the reach of an auger or a plunger. Using a hydro jet requires the user to have expertise, so it’s best to let a professional plumber handle it to clear the blockages.
3. Who pays for clearing a blocked drain in a rented property in Australia?
More often than not, plumbing maintenance is shared between the tenant and the landlord. But we strongly recommend checking the rental laws in your region and your tenancy rights to be on the safer side.
Always speak to a Professional
With that, we have come to the end of our informative guide. But before we sign off, here’s our final advice: make sure you don’t allow slime and other unwanted objects in your floor drain pipe to accumulate.
Once contaminants end up in the pipes, you may have difficulty figuring out what is causing the blockage and making your floor drain overflow.
Nonetheless, keep a drain auger or a plunger handy at home, as they can help clear minor clogs without much problem. That said, contact your local plumber in case of severe blockage, as their knowledge and expertise will most likely solve your issue.