Everything You Need to Know About Floor Drains
In the family of indoor plumbing, people often overlook floor drains. Commercially floor drains are typically located on the floor in bathrooms, kitchens, laundry rooms, basements or anywhere there is a possibility of water being spilled on the floor where it can cause damage or a hazardous condition.
These drains are often ignored, simply because these fixtures are hiding in plain sight. Floor drains do not require much attention because we never seem to use them. They only come to life when a toilet or sink overflows and then we need that drain to take away the water before it becomes damaging. Many issues with floor drains can be avoided with some pre-planning and simple care. Following these easy maintenance tasks will ensure that your floor drains will do their job when you need them to and prevent flooding and the expensive water damage left behind.
FILL TRAPS OFTEN
Indoor floor drains capture overflow from sinks, toilets, tubs, water heaters, washing machines, etc. Outdoor floor drains quickly move water away from surfaces during and after heavy rainstorms. Whether indoors or outdoors, floor drains are designed to efficiently and safely direct water to a sewer or municipal storm drain so that the floor stays dry and rooms don’t flood. The purpose of traps is to prevent sewer odors and gasses from making their way through the drain and into your home. Make sure to fill or prime these traps regularly to ensure they’re full of water and working as they should – simply pour a gallon of water down each floor drain to keep it primed. This is also good practice to assure you that the drain line is open and water flows through it as well. The water will fill the trap, forming a barrier between your home and your sewer system.
CLEAR CLOGS IMMEDIATELY
Many different types of debris collect on your floor, from pet hair to dust bunnies. All the debris runs the risk of potentially clogging the floor drain. The first sign of a drain clogging is if it is draining slowly. If you catch the clog early on, clean it as soon as possible to reduce the risk of flooding. Typically, a few strong pumps with a plunger can clear that minor clog. If not, try pouring a solution of baking soda and vinegar down the drain. If you have a drain auger, feed the cable into the drain until you meet resistance, then turn the cable and try to reel back whatever is clogging the drain.
CLEAN YOUR DRAINS REGULARLY
At least once each quarter, check your drains for debris and clear them. If necessary, use a safe liquid drain cleaner or, if your drains haven’t been cleaned in a while, have a professional plumber do the job for you. It’s also a good idea to schedule professional drain cleanings annually to prevent clogs and keep your drains running.
It’s important to keep your floor drains in working order. These are meant to keep your location safe and clean. If you spot your floor drain not draining, it’s time to try some of these eco-friendly drain cleaning tactics or call a professional!