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

5 Plumbing Mistakes Everybody Makes

Don’t use liquid plumbing products.

Don’t use liquid drain cleaners, they’re not miracle products. These caustic chemicals are known to corrode galvanized piping and to cause leaks. The heat that the product puts off can also damage your PVC piping. They may work on simple food and hair clogs but they don’t work on toilets or soild matter clogs. Additionally, drain cleaners are nasty to work with, they create noxious fumes and can cause chemical burns. The chemicals in the these cleaners pollute our waters and leave residue behind making them less and less effective over time.

Don’t forget to turn off the water.

Changing out a dishwasher? Turning off some old angle stops under the sink? Don’t forget to turn off the water before you start your project. Water pipes work at a very high PSI and failure to turn off the water before starting can lead to a big mess. A small house flood can appear within a few minutes of breaking a water line inside your home.


Pull a permit / the right permit.

Upgrading your home’s plumbing without the proper permits can lead to a major headache. It can actually de-value your home if it’s discovered during the selling process. States and cities all have their own rules and laws regarding permits. Check with your local jurisdiction if you have questions or concerns. Pulling a permit gives homeowners professional oversight on the project. In the end you’ll know the plumbing work was done properly.

Connecting galvanized piping to copper pipes.

If copper pipes and galavinized piping touch each other, they’ll start corroding. A lot of homeowners are unaware of this and they’ll start joining new copper pipes to old galvanized piping. A dielectric union needs to be placed between hte pipes to prevent the corrosion. This small plastic joiner will prevent the pipes from touching each other.

Disconnect your hose before the winter freeze.

If you leave your hose attached to a frost proof spigot and old man winter comes by, you’re gonna have a bad time. When you turn the spigot on next spring it may start pouring water down into your basement. This happens when the silcock pipe freezes and develops a crack. If your hosebib is behind finished drywall, you’ll need to cut an access panel to replace it. It’s best practice to have a sepearate shut off valve installed just before the spigot.

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(847) 518-5338


Des Plaines Location
1017 Graceland Ave
Des Plaines IL, 60016

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Green Tech Plumbing Co.

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