Floor drains are commonly found in basements, often in a laundry or utility rooms. Their purpose is to prevent flooding, particularly in the event that a water-using appliance like a hot water heater or washing machine overflows. If water is coming up your floor drain, one of the following causes is likely the reason.
1: Blocked Household Drain Lines
Floor drains are often one of the lowest drains in the house. When another drain line inside the house develops a blockage before the main sewer line outlet, then the water backs up to the nearest drain — which typically ends up being the lowest drain, the floor drain in your basement. Sometimes you can determine which household drain is the culprit because it may be emptying out more slowly than usual. In other cases, the problem drain may not be as obvious and you will need a plumber to locate the blockage with a drain camera.
2: Sewer Line Backup
A floor drain can back up due to an issue outside of your home, as well. If the main sewer line backs up, either on your property or somewhere along the municipal line, the sewage may first start coming up through a floor drain simply because it is the closest drain to the sewer outlet. You can tell this is the problem if the backup smells like raw sewage or rotten eggs. Sewer backups can pose a health hazard, so don't try to fix or clean up the problem on your own. Contact a plumber for help.
3: Drain Overloading
Older homes are particularly prone to drain overload simply because the drain pipes are sized to handle the water loads from modern appliances and water line flow rates. If you notice that the drain tends to back up when several appliances or taps are running — such as when someone is in the shower at the same time the washing machine drains — then it could be a simple case of drain overload. You will either need to avoid using too many water sources at once, or you will need a plumber to install larger drain pipes.
4: Floor Drain Float Issues
A floor drain is typically equipped with some sort of float mechanism that is designed to keep water from backing up. Occasionally, the device can become lodged in place. Either it doesn't rise when water tries to come up the drain, so the drain isn't blocked and water overflows, or the device gets stuck in the raised position, and water can't flow down the floor drain. You will need to have the float device repaired or replaced to solve the problem.
If your floor drain is backing up, contact a plumbing company, like Complete Plumbing, right away so they can remedy the problem before further issues arise.