If your garage has a continuous floor drain, a clog can cause some major issues. When your floor drain gets clogged, you may be left with standing water that can wreak havoc with anything you have stored in your garage, ruining things like tools and electronics. Learning how to unclog garage floor drains can help you clear the drain quickly before the damage becomes too great.
- First, gather your supplies. For this task, you’ll need an adjustable wrench or screwdriver, rubber gloves, a flashlight and bucket, a plunger and petroleum jelly, baking soda, white vinegar, and boiling water, and maybe a plumber’s snake and some old rags.
- Remove the drain cover to access the clog. There’s probably a screw holding it in place, or it may be even with the floor, held in place by its own weight. Once you’ve removed the cover, loosen the clean-out plug with the wrench and pull it out. Keep it in a safe place so that you’ll remember to put it back when you’re finished: the clean-out plug keeps dangerous sewer gases from getting into your home.
- Put on your rubber gloves and get to work on the clog. Shining a flashlight into the drain, reach inside with your gloved hands and scoop out what you can, placing whatever you pull out into a bucket. You might also be able to dislodge a blockage by applying petroleum to the rim of a plunger and forcefully thrusting the plunger against the drain opening. Try dumping about 2 gallons of very hot water down the drain very quickly, which can dislodge residue stuck to the sides of the drain pipe. Be aware, though, that this will only work if the drain is moving slowly and isn’t completely clogged. It won’t work if there’s standing water on the floor.
- Baking soda and vinegar cause a chemical reaction that might speed up your slow drain. This is another method that doesn’t work if the drained is completely blocked, but the bubbling cleaning action caused by mixing baking soda and vinegar has the potential to break up tough clogs. Just pour one cup of baking soda and one cup of vinegar down the drain, followed by 3 cups of boiling water. Once the bubbling has stopped, pour more water down the drain to further flush out clogs.
- If all else fails, a plumber’s snake may work. You can buy or rent a plumber’s snake, also known as an auger, at home improvement stores. Make sure you get one designed for large drains if you’re working on your garage floor drain. Use it by putting the end of the auger into the drain and twisting it down, or for an electronic auger, set the pipe to turn clockwise and press the foot pedal to engage it. Whichever kind of auger you use, lower the pipe slowly until you feel resistance, and then twist it out slightly. Going forward and backward several times, you may be able to dislodge the clog. If you are meeting too much resistance going forward, pull the snake out and wipe it clean.
- Try to prevent future clogs. To keep your drain clear, try to determine what caused the problem. It could be a blocked sewer line, which would manifest in gurgling tub drains or bubbling toilets when you turn on a faucet, or it could be a frozen drain pipe if the clog happened in extremely cold weather. If a frozen pipe is the problem, you’ll need to excavate and insulate it to prevent future issues. The problem might also be sediment left by sugary liquids, soap, and urine, which causes pipe crystallization. If this is the problem, it might be time to call in a professional for help.
At Puget Sound Plumbing and Heating, we’ve been taking care of business owners and homeowners in Seattle for over 20 years, and we can meet all your heating, cooling and plumbing needs. Our team is well equipped to repair and service every part of your plumbing, including sewer lines, water heaters, leaky faucets, clogged sinks, and more. Family owned and operated, we provide superior service at affordable prices because our customers are our top priority. For help with your plumbing 24 hours a day, seven days a week, call (206) 350-0079 or contact us through our website.