Working With Floor Drains

If you are a homeowner, chances are you will have to deal with a floor drain problem at some point. Floor drains are like the drains in your tub or a shower, they sit flush with the floor. They’re designed to catch excess water and to direct it into your sewer or municipal storm drain. We usually find floor drains in basements, patios, garages, next to water heaters, or anywhere water needs to be removed quickly. They’re installed to prevent flooding and to whisk water away quickly and efficiently.

Floor drains often go ignored. Most people don’t think about them until there is a problem. You can avoid a serious flood by performing some basic maintenance on the drains. Here a few things to watch out for.

Backed up floor drains - If a floor drain in your home is draining slowly or clogged, don’t ignore it. A clogged floor drain can rapidly turn into a flood.

Floor drain backs up when doing laundry - Even if it eventually goes down afterward, someone should snake it. That plumbing line may serve more than just the laundry. If the conditions are right, it could flood.

Smelly floor drains - Are you noticing a sewer gas smell coming out of your drain? It could be the trap. The trap holds water to prevent sewer gases from escaping. If the drain isn’t used often, the water can evaporate and it will release the gasses into the home. Just pour a gallon of water down the drain to fill the trap. If it’s a dingy water logged smell, you could always try a little vinegar in the drain to clear it up.

Problem floor drains - If you have consistent problems with a floor drain it’s a good idea to get it rodded out annually. It may also be worth sending a camera into the pipe to check that the line is clear.

Construction debris - If you’re having construction work done near a floor drain, cover it. Screws, sawdust and other debris can cause a clog in the drain.

We get a lot of calls concerning floor drains. Most of them just need to be rodded out and that takes an hour or less. Don’t let your floor drain become a problem. If you’re having a problem with your drain, give us a call. Our licensed plumbers are on call 24/7 to serve you. Call us anytime at 847-518-5338


Chicago Attempts to Fix its Lead Problem

lead pipes

Chicago is one of the last cities to stop using lead in the service lines. It was so widely used that it wasn't until 1986 when congress officially banned the practice that Chicago stopped using it. Now over 400,000 homes in Chicago are using lead service lines, that's 4x more than Detroit. They anticipate replacing 2,400 homes per year for 45 million per year.

Today the Chicago Tribune featured the plans and objectives of the city. You can read it here.

Is there a safe lead limit?
The EPA measures what limits of contaminants are consumable without adverse health reactions. These health goals are based on possible health risks and adequate margins of safety. In the case of lead, the EPA has ruled that zero is the maximum contaminant level for drinking water because lead is toxic and accumulates in the body over time.

Adverse Health Effects of Lead

In Children
Even low levels of lead in the blood of children can result in:
Behavior and learning problems
Lower IQ and hyperactivity
Slowed growth
Hearing problems
In rare cases, the ingestion of lead can cause seizures, coma, and even death.

In Pregnant Women
Reduced growth of the fetus
Premature birth
Find out more about lead's effects on pregnancy:
Effects of Workplace Hazards on Female Reproductive Health (National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health)
Lead can also be transmitted through breast milk. Read more on lead exposure in pregnancy and lactating women (PDF) (302 pp, 4.3 MB, About PDF)

In Adults
Lead is also harmful to adults. Adults exposed to lead can suffer from:
Cardiovascular effects increased blood pressure and incidence of hypertension.
Decreased kidney function.
Reproductive problems (in both men and women).

If you have an old lead service line (from the street to your home) and you want it replaced, give Green Tech Plumbing a call. We've been serving the Northwestern Suburbs for more than a decade. We can help you change out that water service line from Lead to Copper, type K, which meets or exceeds building codes in all fifty states.

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(847) 518-5338


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1017 Graceland Ave
Des Plaines IL, 60016

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