Everything You Need to Know About Basement & Laundry Drains

If you're noticing a foul stench in your basement, similar to a sewer smell, you could have a clogged basement drain. Every plumbing fixture has a trap, which is designed to prevent stinky sewer gasses from entering your home or business. If the basement drain gets clogged, it probably won't take you long to realize it because of the smell.
If you have a clogged basement drain, you can try to clean it yourself with a drain cleaning tool, like a drain snake. Floor drains have an area that bypasses the trap, which will allow a tool like a snake to be inserted into the drain. There is normally a plug here to keep sewer gasses out. If the plug is removed, the gasses can seep in. That's why it's important to remember to replace the plug after cleaning the drain. If you remove the grate covering the opening and notice the plug is missing, it means the last person who cleaned the drain or sewer lines forgot to replace it. In that case, you can buy a replacement plug at your local hardware store.

An additional potential source of the smell could be a water trap under a floor drain that has dried out due to lack of use. If the water in the trap completely evaporates, it can allow sewer gas to come through the drain. This is a relatively easy fix. Simply pour a few cups of water into the drain to replenish the trap water. If you want to prevent the water from evaporating so quickly in the future, simply add a few tablespoons of cooking oil to the water.

If your problem is water coming up through the basement drain, the likely culprit is heavy rains that are causing the municipal sewer system to back up and seep into your home or business. If that's the case, it's important to call a sewer and drain specialist like EcoClean right away.

Another common source of draining issues in the home is the washing machine. A gradual buildup can occur in the laundry drain after several years of use, resulting in a clog and water no longer draining down the pipe.

Should that happen, you will need to move your machine away from the laundry drain pipe to clean it. Locate your drain, which will be behind or under the washing machine, and detach the tubing or pipe to access the drain. At this point, you have a few options. You can try pouring an unclogging solution into the drain. Just be sure to check the manufacturer's guidelines first. Another option is to use a snake drain to try to break up the blockage. In both cases, use water to flush out the pipe once you have cleared the clog.

If the clog isn't responding to either the unclogging solution or the drain snake, you may have a larger issue. In that case, be sure to give the professionals at EcoClean a call at 207-310-8429.