Why Your Basement Drain Will Leak Tomorrow

basement drain

If you have ever seen flooded basements, it is obvious the long-term ramifications could include cracking foundations and poor drainage. Now multiple that problem by four to five feet of standing water — it could literally condemn your home and form mold spores in hot weather. Once mold forms, you are fighting a completely different monster.

Leaking occurs mainly in poor piping but is directly related to poor foundations. Groundwater has to go somewhere, after all.

Understanding basement drain issues

You probably did not know this, but …

Much like tennis balls, balloons or airplanes, plumbing systems heavily involve the laws of gravitational forces — in this case, to pull water back and forth from the main city water source throughout the various pipes running throughout your house.

While nobody really physically sees how "traps" — areas between the upward and downward pipes — can push globs of debris up and down the pipeline, it happens rather systematically. Let us look at common components of your home drainage and supply systems and how they eventually can harm your basement drain.

Components of home pipe systems

The overall piping system in your home consists of two key parts: a subsystem that is responsible for bringing in fresh water and another that drags wastewater away. The water that flows into your home is branched off the city’s water supply and therefore comes into your home under extreme pressure.

The presence of high pressure allows water to flow upward, downward and virtually any other direction that fresh water is needed. Common components used to gauge pressure and monitor usage include:

  • Water meters, which are usually located somewhere in your yard and moderated by your city;  these can be shut off by you or your plumber while work is commencing on your water lines
  • Shut-off valve, which is usually located close to the water meter and resembles the same shut-off as found under your sink
  • Septic system, which is responsible for handling the wastewater leaving your home and is fed into a much larger pipe feeding into the city’s waste system

When pipes have burst inside your home, you will notice how water spews everywhere at high pressure; this pressure is due to the flow of water being pushed from the city pipes and into your home. You will need to immediately access your water main shutoff to avoid flooding that causes floors to rot, carpet to get ruined and other unnecessary issues.

Seven ways to avoid drainage issues and save basements

When water starts trickling out of showers or faucets instead of flowing smoothly, you know you have a water pressure problem. Sometimes the fault is relatively simple, caused by the shut-off valve being closed or faucet blockages. But serious problems such as plumbing blockages or water leakage can also cause water pressure to drop. Here are seven ways to improve basement drain flow:

  1. Do not shove food through kitchen strainers that will not fit down the pipe
  2. Avoid taking the remnants of your hairbrush and depositing it into sink
  3. Use Drain-O or CLR to continuously keep your traps and drain pipes clear of rust or debris
  4. Keep smaller objects out of your bathtub area
  5. Call a plumber immediately when you are experiencing extremely slow and frequent basement drain issues
  6. Plunge your toilet immediately when you see that the water bowl is slower to fill up than normal
  7. Never attempt to fix elbows, hot water lines or water heater issues alone, as doing this could prove to be more costly than helpful

There is nothing more depressing than when foundation integrity suddenly is not so strong. A qualified engineer will need to inspect your existing foundations in order to come up with a solution that will be cost effective to you.

Everyone encounters a few basement drain misfortunes in their life. A running toilet, noisy pipes or the classic dripping faucet — many problems can be readily solved by contacting a trusted plumber who will visit, isolate the problem and teach you proper plumbing lore to avoid future anomalies.

Basement drain issues can wreak havoc on foundations and more. A qualified plumbing pro in Cerritos may be able to help. Visit us at ., or call (562) 457-4206 today.

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