Why Is My Floor Drain Backing Up?

Joe Battavio
floor drain

As the leading provider of emergency plumbing services near West Chester, PA, Battavio Plumbing, Heating, and Cooling understands that there’s never a convenient time for floor drain backups. When it occurs, your first guess might be that there’s a problem with the floor drain itself. In reality, that may not be the case at all, since backups in a floor drain are typically a symptom of another problem in your plumbing system.

If you detect standing water in your basement or your home is subject to floor drain backups, here’s what you need to know about what causes them and how our plumbing experts can make necessary repairs.

Drain Line Clogs

Clogs in your home’s drain lines can result in backups in your floor drain. Since a floor drain is the lowest drain in your home, it will be the first place wastewater can go when it can’t flow to the main drain and sewer line. With the main drain backing up, water will continue to build up in the line until it overflows out of the floor drain. For properties without a basement floor drain, drain line clogs can cause backups in the lowest fixtures throughout the home, including ground-level tubs, sinks, and showers.

Sewer Line Clogs

Floor drains can back up when clogs lie even deeper within a home’s plumbing system, like in the sewer line. With nowhere else to go, sewage will back up until it finds the nearest release point, which would be the lowest drain in a home.

Sewer Line Damage

Drain backups might not have anything to do with drain or sewer line clogs. Below are some other examples of scenarios that could cause a floor drain back up:

  • A sewer line with cracks or holes
  • A sagging, bellied, or collapsed sewer line
  • Tree roots have infiltrated the sewer line

In these cases, a blockage will act as a clog, since it forces wastewater to back up into the home. However, unlike a clog, sewer line damage can require more extensive work to repair.

Stopping Floor Drain Backups

A few things that a plumbing professional will do to identify the problem and conduct the proper repair:

Gather information: A plumber could inquire about how long the problem has been going on, whether it’s happened before, any foul odor, and whether it gets worse when you’re using plumbing fixtures.

Test your plumbing fixtures: This can provide the plumber firsthand information about how your system is acting as water flows through the drain.

Perform a camera pipe inspection: This allows a professional to see what exactly is going on within the lines and where the problem lies.

This diagnostic process will arm a plumber with the necessary information to recommend the most appropriate repairs. Whether you’re dealing with floor drain backups, heating issues, or are curious about installing a mini-split system in your Malvern, PA, home, contact Battavio today!