What causes clogged garage floor drains & how to prevent them

Apr12 By Drain Service Plumbing Contractor
A clogged garage floor drain in Seattle, Washington

Is Your Garage Drain Clogged in Seattle, WA?

What Causes Garage Floor Drains to Become Clogged?

Your garage floor drain is meant to make it easier for you to clean your garage floor quickly, and to reduce water damage in the event of a flood or storm. Over time, the garage drain might become slow or sluggish as it gets clogged with debris. Routine garage drain cleaning will reduce the likelihood of a clogged garage drain. At Puget Sound Plumbing and Heating, we offer fast, reliable garage drain cleaning when your garage drain is clogged in Seattle, WA. We can determine the exact cause of your clogged garage drain and quickly solve it so you won’t have further problems like water backup and flooding. These are the main problems that might make your garage drain clogged up:

  • Sewer Line Blockage – If your main sewer line is blocked, you might experience overflow in the lowest drains in your home, often the garage drain, basement drain, or utility room drain. You may have a sewer line block if you smell a strong sewer odor in your garage or hear strange gurgling noises.
  • Sewer System Backup – If a sewer line blockage isn’t cleared, it will eventually cause a sewer system backup, meaning water, waste, and bathroom products can’t continue to flow freely through your sewer line. Instead, a clog in the sewer pipe causes the waste to back up again through your drains. You may have a sewer system backup if you have more than one clogged drain, strange noises and smells at your drains and sewage backup through the garage drain.
  • Crystallization in Drainpipe – If grease, oil, fats, soaps, and other liquids are left to build up in your pipes, they might eventually cause crystallization. The dried liquid will harden and narrow the pipes so water and other liquid can no longer flow freely.
  • Debris and Sludge – Your garage drain is more likely than other drains to have dirt, organic matter, leaves, oil, and other debris and sludge going down it. Without routine garage drain cleaning services, this debris will build up to the point that it causes your garage floor drain to be clogged.
  • Freezing and Thawing – If your pipes are frozen and thawed quickly, or if they burst, it can cause a garage drain clog.

How to Tell Your Garage Floor Drain Is Clogged

If you notice that your garage floor drain is clogged early enough, you can schedule preventive garage drain cleaning before the problem worsens. Watch out for these warning signs of a garage floor drain clog:

  • Slow drainage
  • Strange sounds like gurgling, bubbling, groaning, or sucking
  • Pools of water around the drains
  • Sewage or dirty water backing up through the drain to the garage floor
  • Bad smells coming from the drain
  • A flooded garage or noticeable water damage that seemed to appear overnight
  • More than one clogged drain in your home; for instance, if your garage drain is clogged and your toilet is clogged at the same time

Preventing Garage Drain Clogs

You can often prevent garage drain clogs by scheduling routine plumbing maintenance, like inspections and garage drain cleaning services. Be sure to call a plumber to schedule these drain maintenance services to prevent a clogged garage drain:

  • Schedule routine garage drain cleaning and drain inspections
  • Keep the garage floor clean of debris like leaves, organic matter, hair, oil, grease, dirt, and paper
  • Watch for warning signs like a slow drain or pools of water around the drain
  • Inspecting, repairing, and replacing the garage drain cover as needed or recommended by your plumber

How to Unclog a Garage Drain

In some cases, you can unclog a garage drain without needing to call a plumber:

  • Remove debris – Wear gloves and use your hands to remove as much debris from the drain as possible. Set up a light so you can see what you’re doing, and work slowly to avoid injuring yourself. Remember that sharp objects or glass could be in the drain, so be as careful as possible.
  • Plunge the drain – Use a cup plunger to attempt to plunge the drain and remove the drain clog. Put petroleum jelly around the rim of the plunger’s cup to create a seal. Center the plunger over the drain, and plunge up and down forcefully for one or two minutes. If standing water doesn’t drain, or if you pour water down the drain and it backs up again, you should call a plumber for professional garage drain cleaning.
  • Use home remedies – You may be able to use home remedies to clear a garage floor drain clog. Pour a quart of boiling water down the drain and wait 10 minutes. Then pour a one-pound container of baking soda into the drain, followed by around 32 ounces of white vinegar. Wait 10 more minutes, and then flush the drain with another quart of boiling water. Please note that if the drain is already backed up to the point that there is standing water around the drain, you should not use this method.
  • Use a plumbing snake – A store-bought plumbing snake may clear a clogged garage floor drain. Insert the snake into the drain while rotating it. Keep pushing and twisting until the snake is fully in the drain. While twisting in circles, pull the snake out and clean it off with a rag or towel. Repeat this process until the garage drain isn’t clogged anymore.

Importance of a Garage Drain Cover

A garage drain cover is the grate that sits flush over your garage drain. The garage drain cover prevents larger pieces of debris from being flushed down your pipes. If your garage drain cover is broken, loose, old, or rusty, it may be unable to keep debris out of your drain. Over time, this can lead to a clogged garage drain. If your garage drain cover is broken or missing, call a plumber to fit the drain with a new cover.

When to Call a Professional to Unclog a Garage Drain

If you’ve searched for how to unclog a garage drain and have followed the instructions carefully, but your garage drain is still clogged, you should call a plumber. A plumber can use a powerful garage drain cleaner to dissolve and flush the debris clogging your garage drain. He can also use a plumbing snake or drain rooter to break apart stubborn clogs so your drain flows freely again. If your garage drain is clogged along with other drains in your home, you hear strange noises, you smell sewage, dirty water or sewage is backing up onto your garage floor, or there is standing water you can’t clear from your garage drain, you may have a sewer system backup. Only a professional plumber can repair a sewer system backup.

Need Garage Drain Cleaning in Seattle, WA?

If your garage drain is clogged and you need garage drain cleaning in Seattle, WA, call us today at Puget Sound Plumbing and Heating. We will send an expert to your home to inspect and determine the cause of your clogged garage drain. We can then use our powerful garage drain cleaning solutions to clear the clog and get the drain flowing freely again. Call us today or contact us online to schedule a garage drain cleaning or inspection.

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